Search engine optimization (SEO) is challenging but becomes even more complex for small business owners like you. How do you maximize your tight resources?
This blog post highlights fledgling entrepreneurs’ and startups’ top five SEO struggles. It also provides actionable tips and strategies to overcome them.
5 Biggest Small Business SEO Hurdles and How to Beat Them
Running a business is not for the faint of heart. Take SEO, for example. While necessary, it is a resource-intensive strategy. It requires patience, time, and money.
The good news is solutions are available. They help you:
- Manage your resources efficiently
- Master the use of helpful tools
- Focus on the most basic but highly effective ideas
1. Work with an SEO Agency if You Have a Limited Marketing Budget
You cannot market products and services without money. In fact, experts suggest allocating between 15% and 30% of your budget to it.
You are often saddled with financial constraints. These include startup costs, labor, and administrative expenses.
It can then limit your options for reaching out to your target audience, even through digital marketing.
How to Solve It: Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners (DAP) recommends working with an SEO agency. This advice may sound counterproductive. After all, you can use free marketing artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
But many of these tools have limited features under the free version. Further, it is difficult to interpret and maximize the results unless you know the SEO fundamentals. An experienced provider can help you jumpstart your optimization efforts without breaking the bank by:
- Analyzing your current website performance
- Crafting a comprehensive SEO strategy tailored to your needs and marketing goals
- Implementing organic search best practices, such as keyword research, content optimization, link building, etc
- Monitoring your progress and adjusting tactics as needed
2. Use Local SEO When You Cannot Sell to a Huge Demographic
For a small business owner, it is difficult to realistically target a broad audience when it comes to marketing campaigns. The cost implication of reaching a wider network outstrips the resources available.
Even if appropriate funds were available, reaching a large number of people requires specialized expertise that larger organizations with dedicated marketing departments and larger databases have.
How to Solve It: Targeting specific demographics with tailored messages is much more achievable for small businesses. One valuable strategy is local SEO, optimizing your website to rank higher for location-based searches.
For instance, if you are a restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona, you will want to appear for queries such as “restaurants near me” or “best restaurants in Phoenix.”
To do this:
- Start by creating a Google My Business profile—it is free and fast. Optimize it with location-based keywords, user reviews, and media assets, such as photos.
- Ensure all your business information is accurate and up-to-date, particularly your name, address, and phone number (NAP).
- Add location-centric keywords in your content and meta tags.
- List your business on various directories such as Yelp.
3. Show Your Expertise in Content if You Have A Small Team
Going solo can be a daunting task, especially when the goal is to create content that attracts high-quality traffic. It demands lots of time and even people for some of its key technical aspects, such as keyword research, content production, and link building.
How to Solve It: With the new search engine guidelines, quality trumps quantity. Instead of churning out hundreds of articles a month, build navigable structure, show your knowledge and expertise about the subject, and optimize for relevant long-tail keywords related to your industry.
Here are a few key ideas to try:
- Create an all-encompassing content page, such as a blog or resource center, to house your posts and other assets.
- Focus on creating content that resonates with your target audience.
- Invest in research and data analysis to understand their needs and interests.
- Produce longer-form articles, between 1,200 and 2,500 words. This way, you can expand your ideas, cover more topics, and create more opportunities for backlinks.
- Write content with natural SEO features, such as titles, meta descriptions, H1/H2 tags, etc.
- Highlight customer reviews and other social proofs to increase trustworthiness.
4. Tap Social Media if Your Budget and Team Limit Your Reach
Contrary to popular belief, social media is not a ranking factor. But it can support your optimization plan without wasting your resources. For example, it can:
- Help maintain a relationship with your customers, who can be potential leads
- Provide an opportunity for brands to engage and interact with their target market
- Create brand awareness and visibility among the right audiences
How to Solve It: Capitalize on social media to gain access to a larger network of customers.
Here is what you can do:
- Identify the channels where your target audience hangs out, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Create content that resonates with your customers and encourages them to take action.
- Be active in engaging in conversations with other users and responding to comments.
- Develop relationships with influencers who can amplify your message to larger audience.
- Provide promotional offers and discounts for purchases made through social media.
- Include share buttons or other social media widgets in your website to make it easier for users to spread the word about your services.
5. Leverage Simple Tracking Tools to Keep up with SEO
It can be difficult to keep up with SEO trends and make the necessary changes to your website as you learn more about keyword optimization, content performance, and other analytics. This is especially true for small businesses that have limited resources.
Tracking tools require a lot of time and money to set up, and it is often hard for small businesses to hire someone to manage the system.
How to Solve It: Choose tools that simplify SEO tracking. One good option is Google Analytics, which is free and consistently updated. The latest version, for instance, can gather data from applications and websites and use AI and machine learning to predict user behavior.
Google Search Console is also a great tool for tracking website performance and organic search results—it is free, easy to use, and covers comprehensive metrics, such as page load speed, keyword rankings, and content impressions.
Running a small business means managing birth pains that can challenge your marketing strategies. But these five tactics can also help you grow fast to be as competitive as the more established brands.
Further, you can always get the support of an SEO specialist or agency to ensure that your strategies are efficient, up-to-date, and in line with Google’s best practices. Consultants can also give tips on staying ahead of the game without going overboard and wasting resources.