Even small businesses can benefit from a strong SEO program. We live in an online world, and even 50 year old mom-and-pop pizza joints have a basic web presence nowadays, even if it’s just a one page website with their address and phone number. If you are looking to take your small business SEO to the next level, here are three pieces of advice:
Try to learn the basics of SEO for yourself.
In my opinion, small business owners shouldn’t be so quick to outsource their SEO the minute their website is live. Take a year (which gives your site time to age and gain trust) and learn the basics of SEO for yourself! Maybe signup for a local SEO workshop or download a few SEO 101 webinars so you learn what goes into creating an executing a successful small business SEO strategy. Even if you just start reading a few SEO blogs each day (spend a ½ hour in the morning), you’ll slowly learn what is and isn’t white hat SEO, best practice SEO tips and other valuable small business SEO lessons. The more educated you are the less likely it is that you will be taken for a ride by a black hat SEO company, and the more your eventual SEO partner will be able to do for you. Since you have the basic knowledge and SEO framework in place, your white hat partner can help take your small business SEO campaign to the next level.
Start writing now.
Most of the major search engine updates in the past few months have been focused on rewarding quality content. If you want your small business SEO campaign to be successful, I would suggest you start writing now. Get your company blog up and running and try to publish at least one post a week. Start cultivating relationships with other industry bloggers so you can become a guest author on their sites. Send out newsworthy press releases, create a video marketing campaign, maybe even write a white paper—you want to get comfortable with creating great content on a regular basis. Remember, great content takes the reader into account first, and SEO second. A small business SEO campaign needs content in order to thrive.
Spend your limited budget wisely.
In most cases, a cheap budget is going to get your cheap SEO if you try to outsource the work. If you don’t have a lot of money to throw at SEO, pick and choose your battles and spend your limited budget wisely. There’s no need to hire (in-house or outsourced) a social media manager AND a content manager AND an SEO expert right away. Hold off on purchasing expensive SEO software until you know that you really need it. Maybe take one or two paid SEO training courses, but augment your SEO knowledge with the thousands of free resources available online (blogs, white papers, webinars, podcasts, guidebooks, etc). In short, be smart with your money! SEO is a long term process, so there is no need to blow your limited budget at the start. Find out what you really need and how much it’s going to cost and budget accordingly.