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Managing SEO for small businesses can be even more critical than SEO for big brands competing for a top spot in the SERPs. Since this is the case, the ideal approach is to focus on organic ranking hacks that would increase your website traffic and sales.

Here are eight hacks that will improve your small business’ SEO.

1. Optimize your website for SEO

If your website is not well optimized for on-page SEO, it will be much more difficult to position it correctly for the terms you want to rank for in search results.

What does on-page SEO mean? Focus your attention on the following checklist:

  • Use an appropriate server

  • Use the correct domain

  • Enable HTTPS

  • Provide encryption

  • Make sure all your links are HTTPS

  • Check that there is only one browsable version

  • Configure authenticated emails

  • Configure analysis

  • Manage broken links

  • Test and remove irrelevant content

  • Enable data caching, modification and compression

  • Check for potential index blocks

  • Register your site in Google Search Console Webmaster Tool

  • Link and share on social networks

2. Create a content strategy for your small to medium business (SME)

For content to maximize your SMB’s SEO impact, it’s essential to set a goal of delivering quality content (i.e. tangible value to the user). In the case of small businesses, the need to deliver added value with your content is huge.

Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and answer their questions, concerns, and doubts with your how-to guides, helpful videos, in-depth ebooks, and everything else that goes into a successful content strategy.

3. Choose and target specific keywords

To effectively position your small business website, it is crucial to stand out from the competition.

Big companies like Tripadvisor can afford to target generic keywords like “travel” and easily overlook more specific ones without any problems. This is not the case with small businesses. Small businesses should opt for long-tail and more specific keywords.

Following the lead of the travel industry, you can create content about specific itineraries that target particular keywords, such as “charming towns in California to visit with kids.” You can also generate some valuable information for the traveling user, such as “vintage fashion stores in New York”, or bet on exclusive content such as “interviews with chefs from the best restaurants in Paris”.

Large companies often prefer not to compare themselves to the competition. But when it comes to SEO strategy for small businesses, competitor analysis can be very helpful in learning more about the industry itself and what your audience expects from you. Take a look at your competitors’ keywords to inspire, match, or beat them. From there, create your own keyword study to establish your content plan.

Related: How to identify the best long-tail keywords

4. Get active and passive links

In addition to adding value to the user, creating quality content will help you passively generate links.

To stand out and grab attention to get shares and links, you can include various formats such as multimedia content, infographics, podcasts, interviews, tutorials, and guest posts in your content strategy. There are also many opportunities to improve the positioning offered by link building or active link generation.

Some link building ideas for small businesses include press releases, business directories, and generating guest content on third-party blogs.

However, not all links are ideal. To focus on:

  • Links from websites related to your site’s theme and keywords. And of course, the higher the authority of the website, the better.

  • Links that point to your website in a natural way, providing useful information to the user.

  • Links that happen because your content is worth it. Pay special attention to the content you generate and think viral; in short, create engaging content that others want to share.

Also, don’t forget to have a proper internal linking strategy in place.

5. Launch a local SEO strategy

SEO for small businesses with physical headquarters becomes more robust if it includes a local positioning strategy, i.e. keyword and location. This powerful tool will bring traffic to your store because users who perform this type of search are interested in a specific product or service and want to acquire it in a particular place.

Local positioning strategies rely heavily on the Google My Business tool, so don’t forget to create your GMB account.

Related: Local SEO, optimized for today and tomorrow

6. Avoid traffic losses with all your might

SEO depends on many variables, and it is essential to know them well in order to analyze them and keep track of updates and changes. You may not be able to keep up with all algorithm updates, but there should be someone who can.

Not keeping track of all changes in Google’s algorithm (and tweaking your website accordingly) can lead to a big drop in traffic.

7. Stay up to date on new SEO strategies for small businesses

To compete with the big guys, you can’t leave your SEO strategy stuck in the past; it must always be fresh and adapted to possible changes in search engine algorithms and new trends.

Don’t be afraid of trends such as local SEO, voice or image searches, positioning on Amazon and Google Shopping, or any other SEO tools available that you might use to boost your business, such as Google Trends.

Related: 7 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEO

8. Leave your SEO strategy in good hands

Can you call yourself an SEO expert? Probably not. As mentioned earlier, you need someone to monitor all changes and updates within Google’s algorithm. The same goes for having a professional handle all of your SEO efforts.

Even if your business is small, you can only benefit from hiring an SEO specialist in the long run. With remote work, you can perform online hiring and outsource this task properly without additional staff costs.

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