Small business search engine optimization (SEO) can be frustrating and expensive. How do you stand out from competitors with big advertising budgets? Even if you hire a pricey SEO expert, what are your chances of appearing on the first pages of search results? 

You may want to invest in SEO for your small business because two trends are working in your favor right now.

  • Customers are actively seeking opportunities to support neighborhood small businesses. Local SEO helps you capitalize on this sentiment.
  • Consumers are getting increasingly specific in their searches. Use long tail keywords to reach these customers who are more likely to buy from you.

Local SEO

You’re out of town and you’re hungry. You’re in the mood for Italian, so you search for “pizza near me” on your smartphone. Google returns a map of pizzerias complete with distance from your location, rating, and links to find out more and get directions for each one. That’s local SEO in action.

It’s free, easy to set up, and you only have to do it once. Open Google My Business and follow the directions. (You will need a free Google account.) Give Google a day or two to index the information et vIola! Your small business will start showing up in local searches.

Long Tail Keywords

Your other opportunity is to exploit the power of long tail keywords in all your content. In a nutshell, these are descriptive phrases that searchers use to get more precise results. (If you’re curious and want to learn more, see my blog about SEO in which I explained long tail keywords.) 

Most businesses rely on keywords to generate search results using one or two words, not long phrases. Competition for these short keywords is often intense and the odds of you showing up in search engine results are minuscule. You may be more successful using longer phrases–long tail keywords. Competition is lower and even better, you’ll be reaching an audience that has pre-qualified itself with a specific search.

Should I Bother With SEO for my Small Business?

It never hurts to do what you can to raise your search engine rankings, especially if just a few simple steps will improve your small business’ SEO. But the honest answer is your marketing strategy should drive the amount of effort you spend on it. Some things to consider: 

  • How do your customers find you now?
  • Do you want to get more business from the internet?
  • Is your online reputation important for your business?
  • Do you depend on social media to get the word out?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then maybe you should invest in SEO for your business. Confused? Have questions? Give me a call and let’s talk it over.