How to use SEO for your business

As an entrepreneur, you probably know that it is important to be found and approachable online. Search engine optimization (SEO) for your website and digital assets, including your social media profiles, helps you grow online.

SEO can be a bit confusing if you are not very familiar with digital marketing. But don’t worry: with these steps, all entrepreneurs can improve their online presence and generate extra (foot) traffic. Here, we’ll discuss what you as a small business owner need to know about SEO and give you the information you need to optimize your online presence. What is Local SEO? Why local SEO is important?

What is SEO?

Let’s start with the basics: Simply put, SEO is the process of getting more traffic to your website. This optimization increases the total number of website visitors, influences how often your company appears in a search for a certain keyword, and improves the quality of those visitors.

In general terms, SEO is an organic, unpaid strategy. The primary focus is a combination of keyword research, content strategy, and getting your business to appear in local searches.

At the heart of any SEO, the plan is a keyword strategy. Knowing what words people use to search for your products and services can help you formulate a plan. TOP 15 Marketing Tips on Google

Good content combined with a robust SEO strategy can help you rank higher in search engine results. Being on the first page of Google as a small business owner generates more traffic and conversions… and ideally new customers. Moving up a page will give you a much smaller boost because many people are more likely to search again than look at lower pages of results.

SEO is an inbound marketing strategy, meaning people see your business when they actively search. That is different from an outbound strategy that can disturb the target audience, such as a TV commercial.

Why is SEO so important for small businesses?

Search engine optimization is important to small businesses for several reasons. Most importantly, it makes sure the right people find your businesses at the right time…when they search for it!

SEO is rooted in keywords and search terms that users type into search engines (like Google), or ask virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa. As an entrepreneur, your ultimate goal is to appear on the first results page for a particular keyword. This leads to more:

Website traffic: More traffic for certain keywords tells the search algorithms that your content is valuable and important and as a result, your website will rank higher in searches over time. Google Ranking Factors: The 200+ Google Ranking Factors

Leads: One of the best SEO tips is to use your website to generate leads for your business. Even if you don’t sell anything online, you can use a form to collect email addresses and provide information to website visitors. Offer a coupon for your physical location or email articles from your blog. Anyone who signs up becomes a direct marketing lead with a deeper connection to your business.

Conversions:  It’s a proven fact that most people searching for something click on some of the first results they see. These clicks can lead to purchases, form filling, or other conversions on those websites.

What is the difference between regular SEO and local SEO?

There are two types of small business SEO that you need to differentiate regular SEO and local SEO.

Regular SEO helps you appear in searches regardless of the user’s location. It’s a general search strategy that attracts website interaction-based only on keywords and topics. This can be great for small business owners who work online and ship their products worldwide or entrepreneurs who provide virtual services. How to Unblock YouTube Videos Where You Live

Local SEO for small businesses is the strategy that increases foot traffic and gets people to your business. This practice ensures that people nearby can find you. For example, people who search via their mobile phones are often looking for companies that are not too far away.

Local search terms include a keyword plus area-specific words such as:

  • ‘In my neighborhood’
  • A specific city name, such as Amsterdam
  • A city and province, such as Hengelo, Gelderland

A local search might look something like this:

  • Veterinarian near me
  • Veterinary Practice in Amsterdam
  • Vet clinic in Hengelo, Gelderland

So if you optimize your keywords for the keywords people search for, you’re more likely to show up in their search results. Remember this: according to HubSpot 72% of consumers who conducted a local search went to a store within 5 miles and 92% of those searchers chose businesses that appeared on the first page of their search results.

How to set up Google My Business and Bing Places

The two primary sources to consider when it comes to local SEO are Google My Business and Bing Places, as they are linked to the two most widely used search engines.

Most entrepreneurs can set up these pages themselves. If you need help or are short on time, GemSleek’s Search Engine Listings Manager does the work for you; that only takes 5 minutes.

That’s how you imagine Google My Business in:

  1. Visit the Google My Business website and sign in or sign up with your email address.
  2. Enter your business information, such as name, location, and contact details. You may also be asked to record your address on the card.
  3. Add a business category.
  4. Enter the URL of your website.
  5. Verify your company account and the information. This is proof that you are authorized to manage the account on behalf of your company.
  6. After verifying your business, you can add additional information to your business, such as photos, opening hours, events, and special posts.

That’s how you imagine Bing Places in:

  1. Claim your business in Bing. Most places already exist in Bing’s database.
  2. Fill in the fields to complete your listing with your services, opening times, and information about your location.
  3. Verify your listing in one of the available ways.

This is how you do keyword research to determine which search terms you want to focus on

Keyword research is the most valuable process in planning and developing SEO for your business strategy. Effective keyword research helps you find out what visitors search for when they come to your website and what search terms they used to find you. Keyword research can also reveal words or terms that you should avoid if you are attracting the wrong searchers so that you are targeting visitors in the right locations. 10 SEO tools recommended by experts

Keyword research can be intimidating at first, but there are tools to help you out. Google has a keyword planner tool for advertising users and contains search term information for websites linked to its search Console† There are also several paid search term research tools on the market that can be helpful depending on your company’s size, number of competitors, and budget.

This is how you perfect the optimization on your page

Local SEO opportunities for small businesses appear on every page of your website. SEO on the pages includes the search terms and the written content on each page and other search signals, such as meta tags and the structure of your pages.

It is important for your overall search engine score to use relevant keywords and natural language on the pages of your website. Make sure to use keywords in these parts of every page:

  • Title Tag:  This main page description should clearly tell your users what the page is about by using the main keyword for your website. Structure the title tag so that it is written for the average person. Think of it as a short headline containing one search term.
  • Meta Description:  This secondary information appears below the headline in search results. You have about 155 to 160 characters to explain the content. So make sure to use the main keyword again and encourage searchers to click on your link.
  • Alt information:  Descriptions of photo and video content must describe the image and use a search term.
  • URL:  What is your page about? The URL should provide that information. When visitors see a descriptive URL, it indicates that they are looking for the right content in the right place and that it is relevant to their search.
  • Body text:  Finally, keywords related to the subject of your page should be woven into the text in a natural, entertaining way. If the headline tells users that the page is about “vet costs,” then that information should really be on the page, including using that particular search term. Use the keyword and other secondary search terms in the body of your page and for at least one headline or subheading in the context of the page.

Let’s put it all together in an example of a veterinary clinic. The meta-information for the “Rates” page should contain the keyword “vet costs” and look something like this:

Title tag: Veterinarian costs: Rates of veterinary clinics in Hengelo, Gelderland

Meta Description:  Our vet fees are some of the cheapest in your area. Routine checkups, vaccinations, dental cleaning, sterilization, and castration in cats and dogs from € 45.

Alt information: If you decide to use an image of a dog on that page, your alt information could be, for example,  “Veterinary costs for a barking, wagging dog.”

URL: The URL should be short and sweet and contain your search term. In this case, it is the URL of your domain name, separated with a slash or dash before your search term: gemsleek.com/gemstone.

Include the NAT data

The last and arguably most important element of local searches is NAT data. NAT stands for name, address, and telephone number.

To optimize your NAT, it’s important to always refer to your business in the same way. ‘Dog Biscuits NV’ can be ‘Dog Biscuits’ in the footer of your website, URL, and in Google My Business and Bing Places. That’s fine because it’s the same everywhere. But it is better not to switch between Dog biscuits, Dog biscuits NV and Dog biscuits BV, because search engines see them as different companies.

TIP FROM GemSleek

Helpful SEO Tip for Small Businesses: To get the most out of your NAT data, be consistent in your name, address, and phone number.

Helpful SEO Tip for Small Businesses: To get the most out of your NAT data, be consistent in your name, address, and phone number.

The same goes for your phone number and physical address (use the Google verified address on the map everywhere). A common mistake is to switch between different phone lines if you have one. Instead, use the same phone number on all your digital listings and materials.

Reviews are also an increasingly important part of NAT data. You’ve probably noticed that reviews often show up in small business search results. With more reviews and better ratings, you will appear more prominently in local search results. Using your NAT consistently makes it easy for your fans and customers to find and review your business online.

On Google, for example, those reviews are directly linked to your page on Google My Business. You can link them even further to your website to make a connection between the two.

Every small business should use SEO to get a website and physical traffic to the right location. A good strategy, keyword research and optimized content for the right type of customer can help you gradually improve your search results.

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