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7 SEO tips for small businesses and entrepreneurs

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 31 Aug, 2016
Essential Essential topic

Leverage local SEO and influencers to boost your business's position in SERPs

If you’re a small business looking to get noticed on the organic search landscape with a limited budget, you’ll need to pick your battles wisely and arm yourself with a realistic and informed approach. Here are some useful things for small businesses and entrepreneurs to consider:

1. If you are a local business, focus your organic search efforts there first.

Traffic from local visitors is intentful and often more likely to convert – so it should not be overlooked. Also, the good news is that you’ll often find it much easier to dominate the organic SERPs for local search queries than you will do for broad, non-geotargeted queries. Google estimates that over 20% of all search has a local intent, so it’s worth pouncing on the opportunity.

2. From an SEO perspective, many claim that 2016 is the ‘year of the influencer’.

Influencer partnerships are a great way of boosting visibility and leveraging another person or brand’s audience to help promote your business. Find a person, organisation or company that is somehow related to your field (but not a competitor) and think of ways that you can collaborate to utilise each other’s network constructively. This can prove a successful way of increasing reach, strengthening brand awareness and building wider audiences.

In 2015, Jellyfish ran an influencer marketing campaign as part of our SEO activity for a key e-commerce client. In doing so, we partnered with influencers to produce and promote high-quality and unique niche content across relevant audiences and networks. The enhanced brand reach and engagement for our client had an exceptional impact on performance, with record-breaking growth for the business, both in terms of search performance and sales.

Results across the year included:

  • 28% uplift in keyword visibility across high-value search query portfolios in 9 months
  • 72% YoY increase in SEO traffic
  • 103% YoY growth in organic product revenue

snapshot of SEO visibility

Snapshot of SEO Visibility over time. Searchmetrics

organic traffic growth chart

Snapshot of organic traffic over time. Google Analytics

3. Know the size of the opportunity.

A common mistake with SEO is not doing the research needed to understand what potential there is, leading to unrealistic expectations or a lack of goals and KPIs within your campaign. Tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends are good starting points for ascertaining the size of the market that you are targeting online, trends, demand and seasonality.

4. Keep an eye on your competitors.

In understanding their strategies, wins and losses, you’ll be in a far better position to fine-tune your approach to SEO and learn what is most likely to displace them in Google’s organic SERPs. Some great tools for monitoring this are Moz, Searchmetrics and SEM Rush.

5. Boast!

Demonstrate the great things you are doing by encouraging happy customers to leave their positive sentiment on review platforms such as Feefo, Trustpilot or Reevo. You can also use schema mark-up to shout about how great you are in the SERPs, giving new prospects the confidence that they need to invest in your brand and increasing your natural click-through rate from search engines. SEO is increasingly being used as a trust building and reputation management channel.

6. Google’s Search Console is an SEO essential for a business of any size.

It allows you to monitor the wellbeing of your website easily and effectively, ensuring that technical problems that might affect your SEO visibility are brought to your attention and can be dealt with before becoming harmful. And, the good news is that it’s free.

7. No one-trick ponies.

In most scenarios, success in SEO is dependent on addressing a wide variety of factors, which cumulatively produce positive results. It is unusual for a campaign’s success to be determined by one single factor; an SEO specialist will typically be required to undertake technical, content and syndication tasks to drive success in the organic search results. So be varied in your approach, keep your ideas fresh and always ask yourself whether your work is likely to add value to a user’s experience on the web. If the answer is ‘yes’, you’re probably heading in the right direction!

SEO is a process of continued optimisation; you rarely get things 100% right the first time around and, in most cases, there is no distinct finishing line. Learn from your mistakes, be patient, persist and set realistic goals. Use the methodology “test, analyse, refine, repeat”.


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