Digital marketing strategies for small businesses can seem overly complicated to any small business owner. In fact, “digital marketing strategies” is really an umbrella concept which encompasses a long list of individual strategies proven to drive online traffic to your website or landing page. To better understand how digital marketing works, it’s best to look at each strategy one at a time. So, let’s start by looking at how you can improve web page performance using 3 effective SEO strategies.
What is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Land describes SEO as:
The process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing, and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
In essence, SEO is a powerful way to drive people who are already interested in your merchandise or services to your website.
The key point is that people are already interested. If you think about how you search for things on a search engine, you can see how the process works. If you are interested in baby clothes for a one-year-old, you enter that information into the search engine, and you get results showing where you can find those baby clothes. But, you have already qualified yourself as someone shopping for baby clothes.
Ultimately, the best SEO services for small businesses will seek to drive the most qualified searchers for what your brand is selling, right to your web page. Your SEO strategy is designed to drive the highest number of interested people possible to your site.
1. It All Starts with a Keyword
To get those searchers to your landing page, you have to do a lot of work. While the concept is pretty easy to understand, the implementation is more difficult. However, keywords are one of the basic tools of SEO.
Keywords are the words or phrases that searchers look for when they are interested in what you are selling.
And keywords aren’t only words. They can be phrases too. Because if you put only one word in a search you will get way too many results. The term “baby clothes” is probably too general, but “baby clothes for a one-year-old near me” will net you a list of local shops that carry what you’re shopping for.
Therefore, you need to do research into what keywords people use when looking for your products or services. This keyword research is the building block for all types of digital marketing that use SEO. You can look at keyword research as market research, helping you find the way people search for your products and who those people are.
Keyword Research for Small Businesses
How can you get started finding the best keywords that people use who find your business? Well, you have to roll up your sleeves and do some basic research. This isn’t a task you have to do alone. Working with an expert in SEO services for small businesses will make keyword research easier because they have keyword tools that you don’t. But, you can get started on your own. Here are some suggestions to get started.
- Search for your keyword on Google. Then see what related topics are listed on the bottom of the results page (SERP). Click on that, then scroll down to the related topics on that page. Rinse, and repeat.
- Look up your topic on Wikipedia. Then look for the outline of the page and links to related pages. Both will generate new keywords for you. Again, you can do this many times to find more keywords.
- Search for keywords on social media. If your audience is on Reddit, you can use Keyworddit to find search terms on your topic that people use on Reddit.
- Enter your keyword into Google or YouTube. Just type it into the search bar without hitting enter. You will see a list of related keyword suggestions.
- Find keywords by searching forums on your topic. You can find keywords in topic/subtopic headings, comments by users, and threads.
You can also use free tools to research keywords such as:
As you work on your keyword research, you can see that you are generating a huge list of terms, many of which may be too competitive to use. Working with an SEO professional, you can sort through these keywords to find several that will work for your website.
Google’s Influence on SEO
Google has the largest search engine for desktop and mobile. Statistica says,
Ever since the introduction of Google Search in 1997, the worldwide market share of all search engines has been rather lopsided. Google has dominated the search engine market, maintaining an 92.47 percent market share as of June 2021.
What this means is that ranking high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) is a high priority. Using what you find in your keyword research is a great start.
2. Optimizing for Organic CTR
It’s important to know how Google makes money. Their top source of income is from advertising both on theirs and on third-party websites. Some of these ads show up in SERPs before any of the organic listings. You can see examples of these on the top of the most popular SERPs, where you may find a Featured Snippet, Knowledge Graph, Pay Per Click ad, or other Google content. The issue is that Google’s elements are pushing down the list of organic results, resulting in fewer people clicking them.
So, if you want to get the big boost that comes from being at the top of the SERPs, you need to do it on SERPs that don’t have Google elements on top. These pages aren’t as popular, but also have much less competition for your keyword.
You can also look at the commercial value of keywords using Google Analytics. In the Campaigns section, there is a list of paid keywords and organic keywords. Each keyword has a Cost Per Click (CPC) value, letting you know how much people who search for this keyword will spend on each click. This is a great place to consult with an expert in SEO services for small businesses because they can access more tools to determine a keyword’s commercial value.
3. Understanding Keyword Trends
The popularity of keywords isn’t static. The reasons people search online change, leading to changes in which keywords they use. For instance, in 2020 and 2021, the term “pandemic” has been a very popular keyword, because most people weren’t familiar with the meaning. But, this keyword value will continue to change, since people understand what a pandemic is now.
That means that you should study keyword trends to see which keywords are growing or shrinking in popularity. A good place to start is Google Trends. Using this tool, you can see which keywords are trending up, giving you a head start on a growing keyword trend. While it might not grab a lot of search traffic now, that number will continue to grow, driving more traffic to your website.
Just the Beginning for seo strategies
This page is just the beginning of learning about SEO services for small businesses, and how they can improve your pages’ performance. As you look into digital marketing strategies for your small business, you will see that effective SEO is the foundation that anchors all of your digital marketing strategies.
Are you ready to get started learning more about SEO and keywords? If you want to consult with an SEO marketing professional to learn more, contact us.