Online shopping and e-commerce have become increasingly prominent in recent years, a trend that has only been further compounded and accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. This help topic will dive into Search Engine Optimization (SEO), providing guidance on how to maximize web presence and online lead generation for small businesses. Be sure to also check out our related help topics on selling online and web design for small business to boost your online business success.
Getting Noticed Online
Online marketers propose at least three methods to help customers find your business. Through Search Engine Optimization, online marketing companies promise that they know what to tell Google to keep your name at the top of the search results list so that customers can easily find you. Another method, known as link building, involves strategically embedding your product or service information in online texts or internet sites so that potential customers can click on it and find your website. The third, approach recommends taking advantage of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to increase exposure to potential customers. It’s important to note that these methods aren’t mutually exclusive. They actually work together synergistically to boost your small business visibility online and are most effective when used in conjunction with one another.
Here are some resources for more information on link building and other strategies for boosting your web presence to help improve traffic generation to your site:
- 7 Local Link-Building Strategies Guaranteed to Boost Your Business – Business2Community
- 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Link Building Strategies in 2020 – Digital Current
- Five Advanced Link-Building Techniques Every Business Needs To Know – Forbes
- Differences between B2B and B2C link building tactics – Search Engine Watch
- How to Get Your New Online Business Noticed – The Balance Small Business
- How to Drive Quality Traffic to Your Website – Business.com
- 27 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Website – HubSpot Blog
Search engine optimization is critical to driving traffic to an online store. The goal is to boost your rank in search engine results, ultimately making it easier for potential customers to find you online. Effective SEO gives small businesses a competitive edge, especially as consumers are looking to support their local small businesses during this economic downturn. According to new survey results, however, only 30% of small business have an SEO strategy, indicating that small business owners may be leaving a lot of potential profit on the table. While there are legitimate challenges small businesses face with SEO, including a shortage of money and time to dedicate to the practice, it is still absolutely essential to conducting business online.
Here are some resources to get you started with the basics of SEO:
- SEO in 2020: What Basics You Need to Know to Be Successful – Search Engine Journal
- SEO Marketing Explained: The Basics for Small Businesses – Campaign Monitor
- Small Business SEO: A Beginners Guide To Get You Started in 10 Quick Steps – SEMrush
- SEO for small business: Everything you need to know – Microsoft Business Insights and Ideas
Making SEO Work for Your Small Business
So now you know what SEO is and the basics of SEO. But how can you get the most out of SEO for your small business? When it comes to improving your rank on Google search results, businesses can pay money to stay at the top of the list (e.g., Pay per Click) or use other non-paying methods (e.g., organic searches). It’s important for small business owners to understand the difference between the methods before making an investment. Here are some resources to help explore available options:
- SEO vs. PPC: When to Optimize and When to Pay for Traffic – HubSpot Blog
- Organic Vs. Paid Search: What’s the Difference? – Business2Community
- What’s Better: SEO or PPC? – Digital Marketing Institute
- Ecommerce SEO Guide: How Online Stores Can Drive Organic Traffic in 2020 – Big Commerce
Even when you get the basics of SEO down, there is room for improvement. Fine tuning new and old content beyond the basics can make a difference to your rankings. To further improve your search engine rankings and web visibility, we have gathered some resources:
- Local SEO: the ultimate guide for small businesses – Yoast
- What SEO means for your small business – The Business Journals
- SEO on a shoestring budget: What small business owners can do to win – Search Engine Watch
- Small Business SEO: Seven Tips To Rank Your Website On Google – Forbes
- 6 Ways to Improve Your Small Business SEO in 2020 – Entrepreneur
At the end of the day, there is no one size fits all strategy for conducting business online. But no matter the industry, experts agree SEO is a key foundational aspect to success in e-commerce. Incorporating SEO into your online strategy will set you ahead of the competition. Don’t forget to continuously revisit your SEO practices and make improvements to keep up with the latest trends in the digital marketplace.
Already in business or thinking about starting your own small business? Check out our various small business resources:
- View our COVID-19 Resources here: COVID-19 Small Business Resources and COVID-19 Industry Resources
- View small business help topics here: Small Business Information Center
- View business reports here: Small Business Snapshots
- View industry-specific research here: Market Research Links
Remember, you can also receive free professional business advice and free or low-cost business training from your local Small Business Development Center!
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