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Not all small businesses have the budget to take on the services of a digital marketing expert, but that doesn’t mean they should have to blindly navigate the world of SEO and online marketing alone! There are loads of simple and easy SEO tricks that can add a boost to your online visibility and make a big difference in terms of traffic and rankings.

It’s a complex, misunderstood term, but SEO isn’t all complicated and technical. There are some elements that can easily add value to your site, without driving you mad at all. If you’re a small business owner, keep reading for some simple SEO tips you can apply immediately to increase your site’s online visibility organically.

  1. Create content

You may be struggling to think of content to put on your site at first, but there are a wealth of different options to choose from – everything from a blog to a case study to reviews and aggregators. Don’t be limited by the scope of your industry, but think outside the box as to what your target audience might be interested in reading about.

Search engines love content, and it’s a great opportunity to rank for relevant keyword phrases – although you’ve got to keep in mind that you need to write for humans and not for search engines. Make your content valuable, as this will be a reflection on your brand, and let the keywords come naturally.

Some ideas for content include:

  • Blogs,
  • How-tos,
  • News articles,
  • Reviews,
  • Advice pages,
  • Case studies,
  • Roundups,
  • Lists, and
  • Interviews.

As a small business owner you’ve likely got a lot of expertise in a specific niche, so use that knowledge and experience and share it with your readers. If what you’re writing is truly valuable, it can even help build links back to your homepage from other websites, further aiding in your SEO.

To get some ideas for content you could write, have a look at what’s popular online in your industry, what your competitors are writing about, what influencers in your industry are posting about, and so on. Don’t copy anyone here, just have a browse for some ideas and see how you can get creative with your content.

  1. Be mobile responsive

More and more people are using their mobile phones to search, and if your website isn’t optimised for mobile then you’re likely losing a lot of potential traffic and customers. Adding to this, Google understands the importance of a mobile optimised website and ranks mobile-friendly websites higher, even listing in the results whether a page is mobile-friendly or not.

Stay up-to-date with the way consumers are interacting with search engines and make sure your website is optimised for mobile to encourage a seamless experience with your target audience. It’s a shame to have potential customers drop off before they’ve even seen what you have to offer, simply because your website doesn’t offer a great mobile experience.

You can check if your website is mobile-friendly using this test.

  1. List your business on Google’s My Business

This is especially important for smaller, local businesses. My Business means your business will show up on location based searches, Google maps, Google+, as well as normal search results. Map based search is incredibly popular when looking for local businesses, so it’s essential to have your business listed there to attract more local customers.

You can set up a My Business page here, and follow this how-to guide for some instruction. Make sure to fill in as much detail as possible to keep your business relevant.

  1. Build listings on local sites

Furthering from the previous point, while listing your business on local sites won’t have it appear on Google maps, it will certainly point more traffic towards your website. Take some time to think of local directories or listing sites like Yelp, True Local, and Yellow Pages, and make sure you list your business to improve its online visibility.

Make sure to list your business in the appropriate category to ensure proper optimisation. Fill in as much information about your business as possible, and try to include photos, contact information, and services or costs if possible. All this information encourages users to click through to your website.

If you have several locations for your business, build a different listing for each of the locations and put the location in the title to encourage further localisation. For example, “McDonalds Sydney” as well as “McDonalds Melbourne”.

  1. Build your brand with PR and social media

Especially important for local brands, try to engage in as much social media and PR campaigns as possible to put your name out there locally. Find relevant local blogs and see if they will offer to cover or review your services on their site. Post and engage with popular social media sites in your local area to make yourself relevant and well-known in your local area.

Try to get your business covered in local media, either by encouraging reviews, or creating PR strategies that are interesting and engaging enough to be written about. Get creative and put your name out there, and your name will naturally begin to appear in more online spaces, increasing visibility.

Is there one particular SEO strategy that you’ve seen boost your online profile the most? Share your success stories with us in the comments!

Andrew Raso
andrew