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The Small Business SEO Checklist: 7 Ways to Improve Rankings Today

small business seo checklist

Website optimization can be very daunting; especially for small businesses.

The small business SEO checklist highlights important search engine optimization elements that must be optimized for small businesses to rank well in SERP for relevant keywords.

Running a small business often involves working hard on your marketing strategies to improve your popularity.

In today’s digital world, every business owner has to face competition in their fields which indicates that survival in the market has become more difficult than ever.

Those who are unaware of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) thought that it is a waste of time, money, and energy but in reality, if it is done properly SEO services can help businesses supercharge their income.

How Search Engines Work

Search engines such as Google and Bing have three primary functions:

  1. Crawl: Source the Internet for content (including videos, articles, animations, etc.).
  2. Index: Store and organize the content found during the crawling process by categories, keywords, location, etc.
  3. Rank: Rank the pieces of indexed content by keyword relevance.

Small Business SEO Checklist in 2020

Great organic website rankings for relevant keywords is not rocket science and do not happen overnight.

For any small business to rank well in SERP, certain things need to be taken into consideration.

The small business SEO checklist below highlights 7 things you can focus on to start moving the needle for your small businesses.

It includes:

  • What to address.
  • Why it’s important.
  • The tools to use.
  • The time commitment involved.

1. Fix Your Website Technical SEO Issues

A bespoke design does not translate to great SEO.

In fact, your small business website might look beautiful on the outside – with great graphics, colors, and fonts but with poor technical SEO.

The first thing you should spend time fixing before anything else is the foundation.

Some of the most common technical SEO problems have to do with:

  • Website loading speed.
  • SEO friendly URLs.
  • Duplicate content.
  • Broken links check.
  • Improper use of canonical link elements.
  • Un-optimized pages.
  • Robot.txt file update.
  • Sitemap XML update.

For a 7-day trial at $15 CAD, leave us a message at Free Website Audit for Small Business SEO Checklist.

Tools to use: SEMRush, Google Search Console, GT Metrix, Sitechecker, and Screaming Frog
Time involvement: High

2. Add Schema Markup

Schema markup helps search engines to better understand your website pages by sending signals about page components, such as:

  • Business name.
  • Business type.
  • Reviews.
  • Business location.
  • Products and services
  • Phone number.
  • Ratings.
  • Business hours.

This can lead to rich snippets in SERPs.

Tools to use: Google Structured Data Testing Tool
Time involvement: Medium

3. Optimize Your Website Pages

On-page optimization is more than just putting keywords on your website pages.

It involves developing quality content that is properly structured for the targeted keywords.

To optimize a website page, you must use every reasonable (i.e., non-spammy) opportunity to add your focus keywords appropriately on that website page.

In other words, you must optimize your:

  • Page Titles.
  • Meta descriptions.
  • Body content.

For more information about our on-page optimization, goto: SEO Services at The SEO Hive.

Tools to use: SEMRush, SpyFu, Ubbersuggest, Google Search Console, Keywords Everywhere
Time involvement: High

Read more: How to Reach your Target Audience in 8 Simple Ways

4. Optimize Google My Business

Google My Business should be a focal point for any small business. It’s free, easy to update, and can make a big impact on your business

The first step toward optimizing your Google My Business listing is claiming and verifying your business on Google: https://www.google.com/business.

Be sure to fill out as many fields as you can and include business hours, business descriptions, photos, and videos to enhance your business listing.

Your category selection is very important. Be sure to choose the correct categories for your business.

If you want to get more advanced with Google My Business, take the time to create questions and answers.

What does that mean?

In local search results, there is now a section where people can ask questions and get answers.

As a small business, it is important that you stay on top of these questions. Create your own questions and provide the answers.

Here’s how these questions appear in local results:

Local SEO Service @ The SEO Hive

Tools to use: Google My Business
Time involvement: Low

5. Manage Local Business Listings & Citations

In addition to Google My Business, you need to control the accuracy of your local business data across multiple platforms on the internet.

Consistency is crucial.

The basic business data that must be consistent are the Name, Address, and Phone Number.

This is because data aggregators share information about local businesses, including the name, address, and phone number (NAP).

The key to success is to make sure that your business’s NAP information is consistent and correct.

The best approach to local directories and citations is to sign up for a service that will distribute your business NAP information.

Tools to use: Yext, BrightLocal, WhiteSpark
Time involvement: Low

6. Focus on Getting Reviews

Reviews were one of the leading local search ranking factors in 2017, according to Local SEO Guide.

The frequency and volume of reviews play an important part in how quickly your website will rank in search engines.

Plus, you can improve your conversions by putting effort into getting reviews and feedback from your customers.

Platforms can help you organize and manage a review campaign.

Or, you can simply encourage customers to leave reviews on the major online review sites.

Tools to use: GetFiveStars.com, Yext
Time involvement: High

7. Create Videos & Images for Competitive Keywords

Websites need content, which means words so that search engines understand what they are about.

Content goes beyond words, though, and should include images and videos.

In fact, if you are struggling to show up for competitive keywords, why not try a properly optimized video or an image?

Tools to use: Keywordtool.io, SEMRush, SpyFu
Time involvement: Medium

Summary of Small Business SEO Checklist

This list is a consolidated version of what you can tackle to improve your rankings.

If you get stuck, there are enough online resources to help point you in the right direction.

Or you can simply ask us to help out.

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