Small business SEO can be complicated and it can be time-consuming—but it doesn’t have to be.
Especially if you are doing all of your own search engine optimization, as many small business owners do, you might feel lost in a sea of acronyms and terminology and no matter how hard you try, you are still not seeing the results you need.
Simplifying your SEO strategy does not mean losing your place in search rankings—in many instances, it may actually help you improve those rankings.
Here are a few things you can do in order to simplify your small business SEO:
1. Let go of the keyword obsession.
Keywords are important—there is no denying that, but so many people are so obsessed with first, finding the perfect keywords and then finding the perfect formula for how often they are used and what they are used for, that it consumes all of their time and makes the content they create unreadable.
The mandate to use a certain keyword, especially one that is not naturally worded, so many times in so many words, on top of using it in every title and subheading, rarely creates content that is as valuable as it could have been if value and information, not keywords, was the primary focus.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use keywords, it simply means that they should not be more important than the content itself.
2. Use the SEO tools available to you.
You might not be aware that there are a number of tools available to small business owners who want to improve their SEO.
There are extensions for WordPress, paid and free tools from sites like Moz and QuickSprout, and a range of different free online tools that help you develop and sustain a functional SEO campaign.
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to SEO—these tools are designed to give you a leg up, and for a small business that is new to search engine optimization, it is always a good idea to use the free and cheap tools that can make your life easier.
3. Hire a professional.
If you don’t yet have the help of a SEO expert, it might be time to invest in one.
Many small businesses think that hiring a SEO professional is out of their price range, but if you could refocus your efforts on earning money, instead of trying to manage an unruly search engine optimization strategy and also get a SEO strategy that was more effective, you might actually end up making more money by spending some to hire a professional.
When choosing a small business SEO professional to work with, it might be worth your time to look for one that works specifically with small and medium businesses and therefore understands the needs of those businesses and how to get them to a page ranking that will help them make money.
4. Outsource your tasks.
If you don’t think hiring a professional is for you, there are still plenty of tasks that you can outsource, including content creation, monitoring your page ranking, adding links to your content, and staying on top of algorithm changes and making sure your website adheres to those changes.
Outsourcing these tasks can seriously simplify your life, even if you don’t want to take the full plunge and hire someone to take over your entire strategy.
5. Ask people to share your content.
The more your content is shared, the more impactful it is for your small business SEO.
If your content is not currently being shared, it may be because you aren’t asking your readers to share it.
At the very least, you should be asking your friends to share your content with their followers, friends, and circles.
Utilize your network when it comes to SEO.
There’s nothing wrong with sending an email to one of your good friends in the industry and asking if he wouldn’t mind Tweeting a link to your latest blog post out to his Twitter followers.
Ask individuals to share your content and ask the everyday reader to share your content, too.
Make it easy by including social share buttons on your blog and website.
6. Pay attention to what get results and what doesn’t.
If you are taking on SEO by yourself, you might feel like you are being pulled in a hundred different directions.
You need to take a critical look at what really works and what doesn’t work at all, in order to determine what you can stop including in your strategy.
You shouldn’t spend your time and resources on parts of your strategy that have never brought you results.
While it might initially complicate your SEO life, getting rid of the parts of your strategy that don’t work will ultimately simplify your life.
7. Optimize for people, not for Google.
Why does Google prefer content that has keywords in its subtitles?
Because people prefer reading content that has subtitles, instead of being one long block of text.
Every single ranking factor that Google and other search engines use is related to searching behavior.
They have those ranking factors because websites that fulfill those factors are more likely to be high value for their searchers.
If you want to rank highly, you should think primarily about the very real people that will be visiting your website and what they want to see, what they want to read, and how you can present it to them in a way they will engage with.