If you run a small business then you will probably be aware that you face some very specific challenges when it comes to getting your website ranking well in the search engines.

Firstly, you will be competing with larger brands who already have a big share of the market and who have marketing budgets far higher than your own. And, if you are a local business, you’ll also be targeting a much smaller base of potential customers, so you may have to work harder to attract traffic to your website. After all, people will only travel so far, even for a great hairdresser or a fabulous restaurant.

At Wagada HQ we love working with small businesses and we have a wealth of experience in helping them to wake up their website.  The good news is that there are lots of positive ways that small businesses can boost their SEO and get their products and services seen and talked about in the local area. So, let’s take a look at the ways that you can help to boost your site’s ranking in the search engines.

  1. Find out where your business fits in

The first thing you need to consider is where your business fits in and what your particular niche is. What is your unique selling point and what potential customers are you looking to attract? Obviously there is a lot of competition out there so it’s important that you can offer your customers something that your competitors can’t. It could be that you are the only restaurant in the area that cooks a certain type of food or perhaps you are the only hairdresser to have won a national award. You may even have a loyalty scheme that offers discounts or special deals, that no-one else offers. Whatever it is, you need to be able to shout about it online and show people why you are different (and better!) than the rest. Once you know where you fit, you can incorporate this into your SEO strategy. This could mean writing great content that potential customers will want to read, or targeting specific keywords that could be used in searches related to the product or services that you can offer.

  1. Think about your keywords

As a small business, it can really pay off to spend time researching the keywords and long tail keyword phrases that potential customers may be using to search for the products/services you provide. So do some research – speak to your customers either in person or via your social media channels and find out how they found you. What did they search for in Google? Once you know the keywords and phrases that they are using, you can start to incorporate them into your website content. It is also very important to think about the specific local areas that you may be looking to target and ensure that the names of those towns and cities are also included within your keyword strategy.

  1. Make the most of your budget

Whilst you might not have a multi-million-pound marketing budget (wouldn’t that be nice!), you can still get the most out of what you do have. Think about what you are able to do yourself and what elements of your marketing you enjoy and think about what you could outsource. Sometimes trying to do everything yourself can actually be a false economy, as a high-quality SEO agency could get done in one hour what it might take you five hours to achieve. Create a budget planner and look at how your budget can work best for you.

  1. Understand the local ranking factors that work for you

If you are a local business then to boost your SEO, you really need to understand and utilise the local ranking factors that Google uses. If you want to rank locally then the first thing you need to do is get your company on Google My Business. This is easy to set up and it actually uses distance as a ranking factor – giving more prominence to companies based close to where the user is located. This means that it is very important that your address shows correctly on your website and in your Google My Business account.

You can also get reviews on Google My Business and these can really help to boost your rankings. Remember to always ask your customers to leave you a review. The better ratings you have from your reviews, the more likely people are to click on your website!

You should also think about ‘near me’ searches. This is where customers use search terms such as ‘restaurants near me’, ‘florists close by’. So, if you can optimise your site for these type of searches you will reap the rewards, as these search terms are valued highly by Google.

  1. Network online and share your expertise

Networking on social media can help to boost your sales and get your business seen too. One of the reasons why social media is so great is that it works well even if you have a really small budget and if you get it right there’s no reason why your blogs posts can get shared and go viral just as much as those of companies with bigger budgets. Engage with key online influencers such as bloggers who write about your industry and with other local companies whose services and products complement your business.

Remember to add value to others and share your expertise. Create some great content on your website and start sharing! This could be written blog posts, cool images or video content. And don’t forget to engage with others on social media, as this is more likely to mean they will like and share your content in return.

SEO isn’t just for the big players in your market. Small businesses can also boost their website ranking by formulating an SEO strategy that plays to their strengths. It’s great news too, that you can optimise your website on a small budget. If you’re a small business who wants your website to work for you, why not get in touch with us at Wagada HQ. We can offer advice on SEO, website content, social media and digital marketing and we’ll help you to wake up your website and grow your business!