If you’re running a small business in 2022, you’ll know that being seen is crucial for maximizing growth. Given that search engines are the origin of 68% of online experiences, optimizing your SEO should be a top priority.
In this article, I’ll show you five easy SEO techniques you can implement in your business straight away. Specifically, I’ll help you understand what each one is, their purpose, and how you can get started today.
Here’s what we’ll be looking at:
- Link Building
- Publish & Optimize Great Content
- Measure & Analyze Performance
- Competitor Analysis
- Technical Auditing & Monitoring
1. Link Building
Link building is the process of gaining backlinks from other websites back to your own. More often referred to as just ‘links’, backlinks allow website users to navigate between pages on the internet – you’ll have clicked a link to get to this article!
Links are important for SEO as they help to prove authority and relevance to search engines. If a bunch of websites are all linking back to one webpage, this indicates that that webpage is popular and relevant. Search engines like to promote super relevant content, and as such, will boost the rankings of that page – simple!
Therefore, link building is an important SEO strategy and, if done right, can have a real impact on your SEO performance. But, how do you build links? Here are three simple techniques:
- Guest Posting – Offer to write guest post articles for other blogs within your niche. Many blogs accept articles from outside writers, especially if the content is well-written and insightful. Within the article, link back to your own website, but make sure the pages you link make sense.
- PR Services – Digital PR agencies can build high authority links by creating & distributing content to their news network. It helps to raise your organization’s brand profile & backlink profile at the same time – something that’s important for small businesses with limited exposure. You can find out more about our startup PR services here.
- Broken Link Building – There are thousands of web pages out there linking to pages that no longer exist. Many of those present you with an opportunity to replace them. Broken link building is a great way to get easy links back to your website. Simply identify broken links, then contact the owner of that website and see if you can take that link’s spot instead – win, win for everyone!
2. Publish & Optimize Great Content
Of course, the best way to take your SEO to the next level is to publish amazing content that makes your customers take action. Now that’s easier said than done, especially for competitive search terms.
If you’re following this high-level process, you’ll easily be able to identify some quick win search terms to go after.
Find the right keywords to target
First, it’s time to do some keyword research. Here, you’re trying to identify two things: what are people searching for, and how can you satisfy their search intent? You can use keyword research tools and/or Search Console data to find potential queries. You can learn more by reading our article on keyword research & selection.
Write optimized content
Next, it’s time to create some optimized content. That means content that is easy to read, answers the search intent, covers all the related sub-topics, and more.
If you’re struggling for ideas, remember to check what is currently ranking for your target keyword. A content optimization tool like Dashwod will help you write SEO-friendly content by analyzing the current top results for your keyword and generating recommendations.
Add an appropriate call-to-action
Lastly, you’ll want to drive your customer to take action. You can do this by matching your call to action (CTA) to the search intent. For example, if the user has searched for “how to bake a cake” your content should provide some high-level information (to answer the question), with a call to action potentially driving them to purchase a cookbook.
Remember that if your content is ‘top of funnel’ and not likely to lead to a direct sale, you’ll want to play the long game and employ a lead magnet strategy instead.
3. Measure & Analyze Performance
Sometimes you don’t need to add any new content to boost your SEO performance. You may just need to improve on what you already have. Many small businesses waste money on new ideas when simply measuring, analyzing, and improving their current SEO positions would deliver more substantial ROI.
To do this, first, make sure you know how to track Google rankings using a rank tracking tool. Nightwatch is a good example of a rank tracker, given that Google has been using mobile-first indexing since 2019, and Nightwatch has a good mobile rank tracking tool.
Secondly, you should also have Google Analytics set up to measure conversion events on your website (such as contact form submissions, or e-commerce sales), and the Search Console to learn about organic performance.
Between these tools, you’ll learn how your current content is performing, and where there’s room for improvement. This is a critical step for optimizing existing content, and for monitoring new content too.
4. Competitor Analysis
While SEO is all about answering questions with relevant content, to rank number 1 for your target keywords, you’ve simply got to be better than your competition. Spying on them is one way to do this!
Tools such as Ahrefs help you break down your competitor’s SEO performance, allowing you to identify areas of opportunity. You can analyze which pages generate the most traffic for your competitors, and how difficult it might be to outrank them based on their domain rating & backlink profile.
In addition, you can learn about your competitor’s link-building strategies too. For example, if they’ve been guest posting, you’ll be able to easily identify where, and reverse-engineer their success if you choose.
There are a bunch of fantastic SEO competitor analysis tools out there, so if you don’t have an Ahrefs account, shop around for an Ahrefs alternative that works for you.
5. Technical Auditing & Monitoring
And to finish, think of your SEO like a car. It’s a well-oiled, reliable machine that helps you get where you want to be – but sometimes it needs a service.
You should check & monitor your website’s technical performance, staying on the lookout for security problems, broken pages, performance issues, and crawling or indexing errors.
Free tools such as PageSpeed Insights and Screaming Frog provide quick and actionable insights into website performance.
As I mentioned in #3, while it’s easy to focus on new and exciting ways to boost SEO performance, ensuring your current SEO is stable is just as crucial as proactive growth. A strong technical foundation is key to making sure all your other SEO activities are successful.
SEO has never been a better strategy if you’re a small business looking to reach more customers in 2022. Whether through competitor analysis, link building, or an improved content strategy, there are loads of quick and easy ways to grow your SEO capability.
Remember, with SEO, it’s easy to go back if you take your eye off the ball. So, if you’re a small business on a tight budget, remember to proactively manage what you already have to maintain a solid SEO foundation.