SEO in 2015: Trends and Tips for Small Businesses - Page 2

By James A. Martin
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Expert SEO Tips and Advice for Small Businesses

1. Market your business equally offline and online

"Offline marketing will inevitably lead to users searching for the brand online, which instills some kind of trust in them from Google. In addition to this, I recommend that small businesses get as many reviews as possible on their Google Business Profile. Google uses this data, and this may be a factor in the search engine trusting the brand…Plus, it will never hurt your brand to have honest reviews showing when a user searches for your company—as long as they're good!"—Andrew Akesson, technical SEO strategist, Venn Digital.

SEO advice for small business

2. Make sure your website does its SEO job

"A great way to verify that you're doing your basic SEO correctly is to create a Moz account (free 30-day trial; afterwards, $99 and up monthly). Run your website through its on-site grader with the goal of achieving an 'A rating' on your homepage at the very least." Do this before focusing on your off-site strategies (such as link building), because "if your on-site SEO is wrong, nothing else will help."—Matthew Egan, CEO, Image Freedom.

3. Don't expect quick results

"SEO is never an overnight strategy, and people looking for fast, cheap wins are the type to have the least consistency in their strategy. Every time you change course with your SEO, you're creating a pattern that Google can see, and standing out is the last thing you want to do with Google constantly watching."—Egan

4. Optimize for local search

"Add location-based keywords, such as Columbus Ohio Wedding Venue, to your website and use free tools such as Moz Local to make sure local directories list your business information accurately and consistently. Additionally, work with local news agencies and related businesses to get more press" to help build links to your site.—Banz

5. Make business information consistent across all sites

This includes your business name, address, phone number, email contact, owner contact information, business description, home page URL, and brand logo. Doing so will "let you rank regionally…and to rank in any maps displayed on search result pages."—Blews

6. Make videos related to your industry or region

"Not only does this allow you to show and not just tell, it can increase the dwell time on your site. (Make sure the video is at least three minutes). Use a good title, description and links in your video description."—Blews

7. Keep your site fresh

Google tends to reward sites that contain regularly updated fresh content. A user-friendly content management system such as WordPress is key."—Blews

8. Deliver a great user experience

In 2015, site speed, site security, clear on-site CTAs, and site structure are all going to be bigger SEO ranking factors. "Sites that offer the best user experience should rank above those that simply get backlinks the right way. I can see why Google's algorithm would rank sites that are easy to navigate above sites that have links from high-authority sites, such as Forbes.com."—Jaimyn Chang, SEO analyst, Overit.

9. Never stop your SEO efforts

"One thing I've seen consistently in my 15 years of experience is the belief that SEO is a one-time thing. In reality, it is a process that never stops. The moment you stop improving your site and search rankings is the moment you fall behind. Once you fall behind, it's incredibly difficult to catch up, and catching up is not something a few code changes can fix. Small businesses that are serious about search and SEO must realize that it is a long-term investment."—Rich Missey, North American SEO manager for Newarkelement14.

James A. Martin is an SEO and content marketing consultant and frequent Small Business Computing contributor. Follow him on Twitter @james_a_martin.

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!

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This article was originally published on January 13, 2015
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