Beginner Guide

5 Steps to Small Business Search Engine Optimization

The 5 Steps to Small Business Search Engine Optimization by John Jantsch Read more in Duct Tape Marketing

Want to know what Google thinks of your site? Request a free SEO review from Duct Tape Marketing.

The video above is a replay of a live webinar I organized recently. With the text below you should have great experience with the steps required for small business SEO.

If you’re looking for a highly technical post on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this isn’t the content for you, and honestly, that’s because I don’t believe SEO is technical (unless you have an e -commerce site, in which case it can be). There are elements that you have to understand, but you mainly have to apply the right strategy on a consistent basis.

So, without further ado, here are five steps that I would recommend for small businesses as they dive into their SEO efforts.

1. Strategy First

In the olden days, people would build a website, they would find someone to put the content in the website, and then they would find someone to do “site SEO”, but you can’t approach SEO that way today because every The aspect of your total online presence is so integrated (see picture below), that you really have to think about all the components at once.

small business seo strategy

That’s why I put so much emphasis on focusing on strategy first.

When focusing your strategy, start by developing a list of problems your target audience is experiencing that you can help them solve. Conduct keyword research around this list of key topics and identify the top five or so topics that you will create content about. So, instead of writing about your products and services, you’ll write in detail about the problems your audience is facing and how to fix them.

Content is such a big part of SEO these days. You should create content that your audience will want to read and find useful, that allows you to build relationships with the solutions you sell. This is how you think about search engine optimization strategically.

The main thing is to focus on four or five main themes and start building content around them. Your website structure and content needs to revolve around these few themes which will make your content development easier and more focused.

To develop these themes, I brainstorm on a set of topics, and then there are some tools I use to narrow them down:

google keyword planner

It’s a free tool from Google that’s a part of Google Ads and is often used by advertisers to figure out which search terms and keywords they should be bidding on, but it’s also a great tool for giving you data. Which search terms are being searched for.

In addition to monthly search volume and competition, Google Keyword Planner also gives you a suggested bid for the term, and when you’re not using it for advertising purposes, it can help you see who A little word can generate more conversions or sales because people are willing to pay more for it in their advertising, which is a good sign that it may be a good word for you to target with your content. Good volume and high suggested bids can be good indicators that they are good topics that you should focus on.

This tool gives you questions that people are asking that often show high intent (the questions are great for voice search SEO too).

answer the public

When you type a search term, this site will give you a bunch of variations and people are asking questions related to that term.

google autocomplete

If you start typing a keyword into the search box on Google, it will start suggesting which words you think are related or related to general searches (there are also related searches at the bottom of the search page). These related words are often high volume.

google related words

Keywords Everywhere (Chrome Extension)

When you type a search term into Google, this extension will provide a sidebar on the right side of the search engine results pages that shows you related keywords and other things people are searching for, as well as quantity and cost per click.

Once you have a handful of themes you want to go ahead with, I’d recommend creating a hub page with lots of related links driving them back, including block post-related content is what you generate in a year. or so. From a structural standpoint, I would make these Hub pages the major tabs on your main site navigation (more on the Hub content later).

2. Google My Business

Once your strategy is in place, you’ll inevitably have to bow to Google, especially if you’re a local business. For local businesses, Google My Business has become one of your most important search engine optimization assets.

Google My Business is also how you get into Google Maps that appears above organic listings. Google factors in proximity to your current location to determine who appears in this 3-pack, but also factors in whether your Google My Business listing is properly optimized. To optimize your listing:

  • Make sure it’s claimed
  • Make sure there are no duplicate listings
  • Add a specific and relevant category
  • Include your company name, address, local phone number and website (this should match the information on your website)
  • Add photos and videos
  • Add positive reviews (this in itself is a huge ranking factor) – be sure to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative.
  • publish google post

To be effective with your SEO, small businesses need to take advantage of not only Google My Business, but also the entire Google Universe, including Google My Business, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Google Ads, as they All integrated together. Help you achieve the desired results.

3. On-Site Ranking Factors

If you’re trying to optimize a page for a keyword phrase, you’ll need to set the following:

  • page url
  • Page Title (Meta)
  • Header Tags – H1 and H2
  • Alt image attribute
  • page content

Take a look at these elements on the page you’re reading now – you’ll see SEO tips and strategies for small businesses everywhere, because that’s what this page is optimized for.

So, include keywords in those fields! Now, that doesn’t mean you should keyword stuff just because you shouldn’t. You may still want to write for humans, but be sure to take the opportunity to get your most important keywords in these areas. The page title, meta description, and URL also affect the snippet that appears in search engine results pages (the meta description is not an actual ranking factor, but is a click-through factor, in order for someone to click through. It’s like an advertisement.)

I use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, a free plugin that helps me optimize this metadata. I highly recommend using it!

To complete these attempts on the page, you must also control your Google Search Console. This is where you tell Google what’s on your website. To do this effectively:

  • Claim and verify your profile
  • add your sitemap
  • see your message
  • Integrate it with Google Analytics

4. Content Hub

I talked about this briefly in an earlier post, but thought I’d dive a little deeper. Content is no longer just a device; It’s the kind of air that’s essential to your marketing efforts, which is why these hubs are so important because this content becomes such an important asset over time.

If you were working with an HVAC contractor, for example, this is a hub page (Guide to Air Conditioning Repair), the various sections of which might look like this:

small business content marketing

On these pages, you will include links to all of the content being written about these topics, as well as curated content from other related websites, creating a link building structure that shows Google what all of this content is. is related. This essentially shows Google that you have useful content for your audience. Remember, the guide itself will be in your main site navigation.

If you create 4-5 hub pages during the year and just keep building on them, they will be a huge asset to your business.

Here’s an example of a hub page we’ve used for Duct Tape Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Local Marketing.

5. Off-Site Ranking Factors

These are things that you have some control over, but are not on your website (though usually point to your site). These are other factors that tell Google what your site is about, what people think of it, whether it’s important, etc.

clean data

Make sure all listings and directories are accurate across the web. This is especially important if your business has relocated. Your data must be consistent. There are a few tools that can help make sure your data is clean, including Yext and MozLocal (both offer free scans to see where you stand and can help you fix them). Huh).

links to other sites

If people link to posts on your site (a backlink), it tells Google that people think your content is great on your site. This serves as a popularity vote. Good places to look to add links to your site include:

  • Alumni Sites
  • Strategic Partners and Suppliers
  • local program
  • Media
  • Chamber of Commerce


When people write about your business and type in what a business does well, Google recognizes it. The following are the areas for adding reviews:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • bark
  • Industry Related Review Sites

social cues

When people talk about you on social media, Google takes note of those mentions.

domain authority

You have less to do with it, but it is a huge ranking factor. It depends on how many links on your site are from important sites, how long the domain has been around, and so on.

To summarize the above information, you must have a plan; You must leverage the Googleverse, you must optimize and focus on on- and off-page ranking factors, and you need to build a content hub.

Need more tips on Search Engine Optimization? Check out our complete guide to small business SEO.

Want to know what Google thinks of your site? Request a FREE SEO review from Duct Tape Marketing.

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