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What Small Businesses Need to Know About SEO

Monday, 9 December, 2019


When it comes to marketing a small business, owners and agencies choose tactics that give them the highest return based on the time and monetary investment needed. From social media to Google Ads to email, there are various channels businesses can utilize to spread awareness and increase sales. One often overlooked tactic is search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of organic (free) traffic to a website. Google and other search engines scan every webpage in order to decipher what it’s about, so that it can serve the best and most relevant content to users looking for information on a specific topic. SEO allows you to better speak the language of Google and other search engines, thereby enabling your results to appear higher.

While there are many search engines, Google retains 90% of the market share. Databox estimates that there are more than 6.3 million Google searches every day. The higher your webpage or blog ranks in those search engine results, the more likely it is to result in traffic to your site. Approximately two-thirds of clicks go to the first five organic search results.

The benefits of SEO
  • Unlike Google Ads, SEO does not require a media buy or monthly spend. The investment is time for optimization and measurement.

  • Unless a page or blog is deleted, content will remain visible to search engines forever.

  • Optimizing content to keywords relevant to your mission, products/services, and company, allow you to increase traffic from an engaged audience.

  • SEO capitalizes on content you already have, such as your website and blog posts.

  • A strong SEO strategy can increase brand awareness and level industry market share regardless of marketing budgets.

  • Optimizing your site for SEO often leads to mobile responsiveness and a better user experience.

How to optimize for search engines

When Google looks at every webpage or blog post – of which 2 million are written every day – it uses an algorithm to decipher what the content of the page is and how trustworthy that information is. For that reason, SEO is best utilized with both a frontend time investment and ongoing work to increase your brand’s authority and relevancy.

When it comes to the frontend investment, it is best to start with an audit of your current website. Factors to consider are the content on the pages, meta titles, meta descriptions, slugs, and focus of the page. While a page can and will rank for more than one word or phrase, it is important to choose a primary keyword, in addition to secondary keywords, to ensure your pages and blogs are focused on topics relevant to your business. Those primary keywords should appear in a few key places such as:

  • Meta title

  • Meta description

  • Slug

  • Headings

  • Copy

Once pages and blogs have been optimized, Google will begin to better understand what queries (searches) for which they will be relevant. The next step after your content is optimized is increasing the authority of your site. This is done by producing fresh, relevant content and obtaining backlinks from other sites. When another website links to you – particularly one relevant to what your site or post is about – it sends Google the message that the content on your page or post is useful. This increases the authority and trustworthiness of your content, which in turn tells Google your content should appear more prominently in search results.

SEO can often seem like a daunting process. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. With a proper strategy, your brand’s website can work to optimize its existing pages and posts, as well as optimize any new content. The first step in any SEO process is an audit and competitor analysis. This audit gives your company a quick snapshot of where you currently stand in the market and what opportunities you have to capitalize on.

At inferno, our team is equipped to help businesses optimize existing and new websites for search engines. Our digital team also provides SEO training to internal and external copywriters, in order to help clients better speak to Google and other search engines. To see where your site stands and what opportunities you have for organic growth, contact us today.

Interested in learning more about the Chamber’s Small Business Resources?