While paid advertisements can be an effective way to get immediate clicks and visits to your website, the downside is they can become a massive expense for small business owners that rarely return a great ROI — especially if you’re not working with the right digital marketing team.
If you own a small business, paid ads should be a smaller part of your long-term digital marketing strategy, as you should look for more affordable (even free) ways to get traffic onto your site and generate leads. One of the best ways to achieve this is with SEO (or search engine optimization).
What is SEO for Small Businesses?
Whenever you type in a search term on Google, and are taken to the search engine results page, the bulk of the listings you will see are from businesses who have built authority for their web pages organically. Why is this ideal?
By building authority organically, you spend less money — or nothing, if you’re doing SEO on your own — while getting your pages to rank on the top search engine results pages. Once this occurs, you’ll be able to attract a massive amount of traffic on a daily basis (Google receives about 5.6 billion searches per day). With that said, once your pages have been ranked on the highest possible page, it’s up to you to maintain them as you’ll have stiff competition that could potentially pass you in the race to number 1.
How to Build Authority for Your Web Pages
Building authority takes time, effort, and an effective long-term strategy. For example, if you want to rank for “organic coffee shop in Tulsa, OK”, the best way to do this is to build a location page for your business — give it the same title as the keyword you chose — and fill it with content that provides value to the user.
In this scenario, your location page could give users some facts about organic coffee and how it is cultivated, provide health benefits, and tell the user why they should visit your coffee shop over your competitors. Once you have a strong web page built, the work is not over. You’ll now need to build authority for that page, and the best way to do this is with internal link along with backlinks.
These are the links you include on your other web pages and in your blog posts. Keep in mind, when linking to the pages you want to build authority for, don’t overdo it, and ensure the links are relevant to their destination.
Backlinks are much trickier to build than internal links, as you’ll be relying on other relevant websites to do the work for you. The ideal backlinking method is to create a special blog post — which includes links back to the web page you want to build authority for — and reach out to other websites to see if they would be willing to share the content. In return, you could offer a free product/service, or offer to post one of their links on your site.
A few things to note about backlinks: You don’t just want any website linking back to yours; they need to be relevant to your industry and have a good reputation score on Google while not being a direct competitor.
There are many other ways to build authority as well, such as posting links to your web pages/blog posts on social media and — if your business has a physical location — building local citation listings on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, and YellowPages.
Maintaining Your Google Rankings
As we mentioned before, once you’ve successfully built ranking for your web pages, you need to maintain them. The best way to do this, especially if you’re busy running your small business, is to partner with a digital marketing team.
At Venture Digital Marketing & Consulting, we specialize in SEO for small businesses and can effectively build and maintain your Google rankings by providing consistent content and on-page/off-page optimization. Let us help your business thrive on Google, contact us today or give us a call at (714) 656-7281.