Small businesses have much to gain from optimizing their websites for search engines. They can connect with new customers, spread the word about their excellent products and services, and boost their online sales revenue.
However, as a small business owner, you probably already have enough on your plate. Taking the time and effort to learn about SEO are luxuries you may not be able to afford.
If that’s the case, SEO software may be the perfect solution for you.
This article will provide you with some tips on choosing the best SEO software for your small business. Armed with the right software, you will finally have the competitive edge you were looking for.
Learn Why Small Businesses Need SEO
Welcome to the wonderful world of SEO! Before we dive into the subject of selecting the best software for your small business, let’s first take a look at why SEO is essential for small businesses.
In a nutshell, the purpose of SEO is to make it easier for customers to find your business online. Appearing in the search results drives traffic (or potential customers) to your webpage.
However, we don’t want just anyone landing on your webpage. We want people who are most likely to purchase your product. In fancy SEO terms, we want “targeted” traffic and a higher “conversion rate.”
SEO can make that happen. It optimizes your webpage for the best user experience. It brings in customers who are in the market for exactly what you’re selling.
It’s also cost-effective. That’s why SEO is perfect for small business owners who don’t have big marketing budgets. SEO provides a large return on a small investment.
Face it. In the world of online sales, the real competition for customers happens on the search engine results page.
The data tells us that the first five organic results on Google account for 67.6% of clicks. Therefore, appearing on the first page isn’t just good for business. It has become essential.
To avoid lagging behind, you need SEO.
Learn the Ranking Factors in Small Business SEO
How do search engines know to favor your webpage over others? Great question. Search engines measure certain aspects of your webpage that influence user experience.
These aspects are called ranking factors. Understanding and improving them is what SEO is all about.
The ranking factor that takes precedence over everything else is content.
Even if you don’t do anything else, regularly providing relevant, reader-oriented content will do wonders for your results page rank.
After that, webpage security and loading speed are almost equally important.
Google knows that users need to feel safe when browsing and that they are likely to leave a site if the landing page takes too long to load. That’s why it favors safe pages with higher page loading speeds.
Search engines also look at your title tags and meta descriptions. They want users to get results that match their searches perfectly. In other words, search engines favor sites whose title tags and meta descriptions contain keywords relevant to the user’s query.
Other ranking factors include:
- Responsiveness, which means making your website mobile-friendly.
- Social media that complements your webpage and provides content about your products.
- Backlinks to your site. If other websites have links to your content, Google is satisfied that your webpage is legitimate and relevant.
The work doesn’t end there. Your company can also be ranked locally. And that’s particularly important for small business owners who want to attract customers to their physical location.
Google has a special service that connects customers to business based on geography, as well as relevance. It’s called Google My Business, and it can work magic for your search engine rankings.
To sum up, Google wants its users to have the optimal user experience, both in the online and offline world. It knows all the elements to a perfect customer journey and rewards webpages that put effort into proving they’re relevant and easy to navigate.
Know the Benefits of Using SEO Software for Your Small Business
Keeping track of all of these ranking factors is a full-time job unto itself. If you’re a small business owner, you don’t have time to stare at a computer screen all day!
That’s where SEO software comes in.
Let’s see some of the benefits that can be gained by using SEO software.
First off, SEO software is a guilt-free and legitimate way to spy on your competitors. It can analyze the webpages of other players in your industry and tell you what strategies they’re using to boost their ranking.
Armed with that information, you can adapt and prevail!
Another great benefit is all the time you’re saving. SEO software automatically analyzes all the key ranking factors. It alerts you to the actions that need to be taken to improve ranking.
That means you don’t have to do anything manually.
SEO software can also show you what keywords you should be creating your content around. That way, you don’t have to do a ton of research to discover what your customers want to read about.
Finally, SEO software provides you with loads of data that you can use to learn how to improve ranking further. Without data, it would be impossible to determine where the problems are and how to fix them.
All of that data can be difficult to interpret. Luckily, SEO software also comes with neat dashboards! With a click of the mouse, your data turns into visually appealing graphs and tables.
The truth is, SEO has a lot of moving parts.
That’s why SEO software is such a valuable tool to any small business owner. It keeps tabs on how your webpage is doing and alerts you to the aspects that need your attention. That way, you can concentrate on what’s important–running your business.
Understand the Common Functionalities of SEO Software
SEO software can analyze and track many factors. An essential step in selecting the best SEO software for your small business is determining which functionalities of SEO software matter to you most.
What follows are a few examples of the functionalities most commonly used by businesses.
The most basic functionality is, of course, the SEO audit tool.
SEO auditing means checking your website for errors and problems preventing you from reaching a high rank.
It can find things like missing title tags and meta descriptions, broken links, content that’s too short, and images that AI has trouble understanding.
The audit tool alerts you to these problems so you can take them off your list one by one.
A good Keyword Rank Tracker is another useful tool. It lets you perform keyword research that will point to the keywords you need to be creating your content around.
Building your content around popular, and less competitive keywords is an excellent way to drive traffic to your site and improve your rankings organically.
After publishing your SEO friendly content, a keyword rank tracker will allow you to monitor your search engine rankings and any SERP features you might rank for.
You might also find use in a good Backlink Checker. This tool will let you know which sites have links to your webpage and where your backlinks are disappearing.
You can complement that with a Link Prospector that will draw your attention to websites that might have an interest in sharing links to your page.
Remember! Search engines like backlinks because they tell them that your webpage is legitimate and relevant.
The functionalities of SEO software are many and varied. The smart approach to selecting SEO software is to think of the benefits you want to reap and find software with everything you need in one place.
What to Pay Attention to When Choosing SEO Software?
Many small business owners have reported having no SEO strategy in place. Only 40% use SEO toolkits to improve their ranking. By investing in SEO software, you’re giving your business a competitive edge.
Keep in mind that you will be the primary user of the SEO software you choose. As a small business owner, you already have much on your plate in your day-to-day work.
Find the SEO toolkit that you feel comfortable using. Make sure it’s intuitive, easy to use, and easy to understand.
What’s equally important, the SEO software you choose should have all of the functionalities you choose in one place. It should neither be too bare nor too packed with features you’ll never use.
SEO software is here to help you run your business more successfully. Your comfort and time are the highest priorities when choosing the best SEO software for your small business.
Bonus SEO Tips to Get Your Small Business Website Ranking
To help you achieve the best results, here are a few more tips and tricks that don’t require you to be an SEO wizard to implement.
Analyze Your SERP Competitors
Beating out the competition and coming out as number one is what SEO is all about. However, to beat them, first you have to get to know them.
In the offline world, it’s not uncommon to secretly visit a competitor’s business and see how they do things. The same can be applied to the results page of a search engine.
Finding out who your main competitors are is easy. All you have to do is Google the keyword that you want to rank for.
For example, if you run a bakery in Brooklyn, you could search for “Best cupcakes in Brooklyn.” Hit enter and wait .43 seconds.
You now have a comprehensive list of the major players in the Brooklyn cupcake biz.
Study them. Find out what kind of content they’re posting, what other keywords they rank for, what their social media looks like, what kind of reviews people are leaving on their My Business page.
Keeping an eye on what the competition is doing will give you much insight into the specific strategies that drive traffic and conversion in your industry. It’s an excellent way to adopt good practices and avoid some mistakes you may be making unintentionally.
Use Short, Descriptive URLs for Your Pages
Page URLs are more than just an address in the directory of the Internet. Both humans and search engine algorithms read URLs to predict what will happen once they arrive at the destination site.
That’s why it’s worth your trouble to examine the URL of every page on your website.
Short, descriptive URLs improve user experience. And improved user experience, as we have already argued in this article, is always rewarded with a better ranking.
Here are a couple of tips on creating excellent URLs for the enjoyment of humans and algorithms alike.
First and foremost, keep URLs short, compelling, and descriptive. Avoid using numbers and codes as they only confuse.
Example of SEO friendly URLs:
To improve readability, use hyphens to separate words.
Avoid capitalizing. It can cause a couple of problems. For example, it can make the search engine think that the same page written with a lowercase and an uppercase letter is actually two pages.
Finally, URL parameters, such as UTM codes, can be useful for your page analytics but they also cause duplicating issues with search engines. Try to avoid them.
That covers the basics, but there are many more tips that can help you build SEO-friendly URLs.
People often underestimate the power of a concise and to-the-point URL. For an excellent boost in your SERP ranking, don’t make the same mistake.
Find and Fix Any Technical SEO Issues
Technical SEO issues are small errors that can have a serious effect on your ranking scores when they add up. You should continually tweak your website to ensure that the search engine algorithms have no trouble reading and understanding your content.
Here is a list of the most common technical issues that may be keeping you from a high rank:
- Slow loading speeds.
- Broken pages and links.
- Crawl errors. That’s when the search engine algorithm has trouble understanding a part of your page and decides not to show it in the SERP at all.
- Duplicate content.
- Sitemap errors.
Your chosen SEO software will probably have a SEO Audit tool and that will alert you to these issues as they arise. That’s why it’s such a useful tool. It saves you time by crawling through your webpage and making a note of every error it comes across.
Those errors are then presented to you in a neat dashboard so you can approach fixing them one by one and never feel overwhelmed.
Remember, technical SEO issues are small errors but they can add up. Not dealing with them on time can have serious repercussions for your ranking results.
Create Great Content That Speaks to Your Customers
Creating content is both the most important and the most fun part of doing SEO. As a small business owner, you probably enjoy talking about your work, your products, and services.
Content allows you to do just that. It lets you speak directly to your customers and inform them about your products and services.
Additionally, if you’re producing quality, relevant content, other sites may want to use your articles to support their arguments. This means they will include backlinks to your pages in their own content.
To write excellent content that will boost your rankings, write often and be relevant. And don’t be afraid to rack up that word count. Articles longer than 3,000 words get three times more traffic and four times more shares than shorter articles.
Having an active blog legitimizes your website.
Relevant content makes it easier for search engines to understand what it is that your website offers. With an intimate knowledge of your products, it can better connect your product with the right customer.
In the world of SEO, content is king. Check out this guide to SEO for bloggers for more tips on writing content optimized for search engines.
Optimize Your On-Page Elements
SEO doesn’t just happen on search engines. Optimization can be done on the web page itself. This is what we call on-page SEO.
It starts with title tags. Title tags can be found in the head section of each page. They are also the main element you can see on the results page. They represent the first clue or even a summary of what’s going on the rest of the page. That’s why it needs to be concise and easy to understand.
An SEO toolkit like SERPtimizer can point out the errors made in this category.
The page itself is probably organized into headlines. You should always take care to make your headlines compelling to capture attention. This prevents bounces from your page, which the search engine will take as a sign that your content is relevant to the user.
Finally, every webpage is made more appealing with visual content. Pictures, graphs, videos, all media can help retain the visitor a little longer, earning you more SEO points.
What’s more, images can improve your ranking by placing you on the results page of Google images.
On-page optimization is a crucial ingredient in improving your webpage’s ranking. While the rest of SEO is concerned with driving traffic to your site, on-page SEO is all about keeping visitors engaged as long as possible.
Promote Your Website and Build Some Backlinks
Building a network of backlinks to your website is the last step of SEO. It’s a highly effective method of optimizing your site for search engines.
On the one hand, backlinks drive traffic to your site. If many pages quote your excellent content and provide links to your pages, users are likely to click those links and visit your site as well. That’s great for traffic.
On the other hand, your backlink network doesn’t go unnoticed by the search engine. It sees that many articles rely on your content to support their arguments and understands that to mean you’re the authority on the subject.
So, when a user googles a keyword relevant to your content, the SERP will offer your page as relevant to the user’s query.
So how do you build a network of backlinks? It’s tricky, but there are many ways to do it.
The key, once again, is excellent content. From writing blog posts for your site and offering to write as a guest to publishing original infographics and data. It is your content that will earn you backlinks.
With a network of backlinks, you’ve completed the major steps to earn your website a high-ranking position on SERP.
Small business owners have a tough time standing out. These days, it’s no longer enough to let your products and services speak for themselves, and a good word from a satisfied client doesn’t travel as far as it used to.
To really shine, small businesses need to do whatever they can to attract customers who turn to search engines to find the products they need. And that’s almost everybody.
Good SEO software can help you climb the search engine results page and make you the ruler of Google results. Help your small business get the attention it deserves with SEO software that fits your needs.