SEO basics for small business

6 Easy-to-apply SEO Basics For Small Business

AJ Saunders Profile Picture

Written by on 02 Mar 22

Filed under: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

If your business’s website isn’t performing as you’d imagined, you’ll be disappointed. However, the answers you’re looking for may lie in the basics. Here are six easy-to-apply SEO basics for small businesses.


Many overlook the basics and instead get distracted by new shiny objects, only to try the latest tactic a week later. After a few weeks, it’ll feel like you’re chasing your tail and not making any real progress.


The solution is simple. Focus on applying the basics consistently over time and watch your results improve. If you want your business’ website to drive sales, you need an actionable plan built around goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).


Here are six SEO basics for small businesses that are easy to implement and will drive results within weeks.



Quick wins vs long-term strategies

None of the tactics we’ll discuss will provide an instant boost to the revenue your website drives for your business. If you want a short-term solution, try PPC (pay-per-click).


That said, some of the SEO basics for small businesses we’ll cover will produce results in a few weeks. Other tactics will take months for you to see a benefit. Your strategy should include both quick wins and long-term tactics.


With a balanced plan that includes paid and organic search marketing strategies, you can create a stable foundation for growth.


Of course, you want to get the basics sorted first, as, without a solid foundation, your website won’t drive the level of revenue it could.



#1 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

The biggest mistake small businesses make with their website is not having a clear idea of what success looks like. Many business owners focus on building an aesthetically appealing website, rather than one that converts visitors into customers.


I’ve already written an introduction to website KPIs that’s worth reading (even if I say so, myself!) as it explains what to measure and when.


Basic Website KPIs

Ignore 99.9% of the data points you can measure. Instead, focus on what data matters to your business. Pick 2 or 3 data points to measure daily or weekly, and measure them on time without fail. Finally, tweak your strategy based on your KPIs.


Focus on revenue

What I mean by this, is focus on what drives revenue. Unless you’re running an online website publishing business, the amount of daily visitors doesn’t matter. What does, is the amount of time each visitor spends on your website and how many convert into customers.


By focusing on revenue per visitor, you can ensure your SEO efforts pay off. Just like other marketing tactics, your website should provide a healthy return on investment or you shouldn’t have one.


Time on site

You want to optimize your website’s content to encourage visitors to keep reading. The more articles the average visitor reads, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action (CTA). I call this content indoctrination.


With content indoctrination, your visitor starts to convince themselves that you hold the best solution to their problem and so want to work with you rather than looking for other options.


Keyword positions

Google is sending less traffic from its result pages to websites. Instead, they are trying to keep people on their website. However, tracking positions is still important if you want to drive traffic.


No one is looking beyond the second page of the search results for an answer. If your website doesn’t appear at the top of the first page, your competition will be eating your lunch.


So, it’s vital to track keyword positions and have a plan to improve pages that aren’t in the top 3 results.


Picking your website KPIs

Simply put, your 3 KPIs for your website could be:


  1. Time on site over 3 mins
  2. Revenue per visitor of £100
  3. 50% of keywords in top 3


You can easily measure these three in seconds each day.



website speed seo basics



#2 Website speed

No one will visit your website if it takes an hour to load. It doesn’t matter if you have the best content, an epic layout, and CTA in all the right places. A slow-loading website isn’t worth visiting.


Your website should load in under 2 seconds for the best user experience. Use either Google Page Insight or GTmetrix to check your website’s current speed.


Now that you have a starting point, there are a few things to improve your website’s speed. Here are my top three:



Ensure you resize any images for your website to the correct size. If your title image is 2000px by 600 px, you should only upload that size of image for that slot. Also, you should try to keep file sizes under 100KB.


Of course, if you’re selling items that your visitors will want to view in detail such as s jewelry, make images links to the full-size image. Visitors can still zoom in and see every detail but your website isn’t directly loading large images.


Minify files

Don’t worry if this sounds complex as it’s not. Most CMS, such as WordPress and Wix have plug-ins that can remove white spaces in files reducing their size.


If you’re running WordPress, install Autoptimize. Select the options to combine and minify your CSS, JS, and HTML files. The whole process takes a few minutes.



One of the biggest speed improvements you can make is to ask your hosting company for a better server package. If your website is being hosted on a shared server with a thousand others, your website’s speed will suffer.


You might have to pay more for a better server, but that’s a good investment to make. It’s worth asking your hosting company every 6-months for a speed tune-up.


They might be able to wipe a few hundred milliseconds each time, which could have a massive impact on your conversions.



#3 Keyword plan

The biggest issue I see with small business websites is the lack of a keyword plan. And while I’ve written plenty on this blog about keywords and search intent, many still make the mistake of not having a plan.


The simplest way to build a keyword plan is to think about what topics you’re covering. These are your top-level categories and should be a single word or two words.


From there, think about sub-topics that fit under these categories. If you keep adding more sub-topics, you should end up with a list of questions that your target prospect will ask. That’s your content plan.


With this list of keywords, you need to validate them using an SEO tool such as Rank Tracker by SEO Powersuite. Any SEO tool will help you determine how many people are searching for a keyword per month and what the competitiveness of each is.


After collecting this data, you can start creating pages that target both low- and high-difficulty keywords. Your keyword strategy should include both to ensure you’re targeting people at all points in the buying journey.



keyword plan seo basics



#4 Internal links

I could talk about the power of internal links for hours. And yet many still wouldn’t apply these basic ideas to their website or blog. Adding internal and external links can help your SEO efforts massively.


There are many benefits to having internal links, including:


When creating a new page, you should add two internal links to existing pages that provide the reader with more information about your point. Don’t aimlessly add links.


Next, add two or three internal links from older pages. Over time, you’ll build internal links to every page and see an SEO boost. Don’t overlook the power of internal links.



#5 Promotion

Successful marketing involves more than just building a great product. People need to know how amazing your products are. So, you need to promote your content that helps push people to buy from you.


If you don’t know where to start, begin by reading: How to promote your blog for FREE: 20 Tips as you’ll learn a ton of tips you can use now to promote your website. Next, have a read of 8 Ways to repurpose content for better marketing.


My top five website promotion tips:

  1. Guest posting
  2. Email newsletter
  3. Podcasts
  4. Medium
  5. YouTube


Guest posting

Ask to publish articles on relevant websites within your niche. You could even do an interview exchange, where you each end up with a piece of content.


Email newsletter

You can start an email newsletter today for free. They are a great way to stay at the forefront of your prospect’s mind and can help you promote your latest blog posts.



You could appear on a podcast to talk about your latest blog post or start your own. Podcasts are a great way to promote your business and blog. Plus, getting started doesn’t cost much.



You can import your articles into Medium and reach even more readers. It takes about two minutes.



You could turn your blog post into a video or film some people discussing the topic of the article. Again, you don’t need any fancy gear to get started, just a commitment to keep going.



blog marketing seo basics



#6 External links

I’ve purposely left external links to the end as they are a long-term tactic. As far as SEO basics for small businesses go, you need some external links. Your website won’t rank as well as it could without links.


There are some rules you should follow when building backlinks. You want to acquire links from good quality, relevant websites. Do not act like a kid in a candy store! Instead, focus on quality.


Here are 10 places to find backlinks for your small business:

  1. Local newspaper – many still have a small business directory.
  2. Press – talk to editors at local magazines and even offer to write for them.
  3. Schools – you could sponsor an event?
  4. Charity – donate an item they need or pay for a special treat.
  5. Networking event – can you join a networking group and get a link from their directory? (if they don’t have one, suggest it!)
  6. Cross-promote other local businesses – swap links with other local businesses.
  7. Contact local bloggers or influencers – ask for a link or sponsored post.
  8. Social media – create profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Don’t forget to keep them up to date.
  9. Google My Business – build your profile and keep it up to date.
  10. Local photographers – hire a local photographer and ask for a link on their previous client page.


There are hundreds of ways to build backlinks, but these ten should get you thinking and help you build your few links.



Start using these SEO basics for small businesses now

These SEO basics for small businesses should help you build a better website strategy and tactics. If you don’t have KPIs start there as having the right goals will transform your strategy.


From there, focus on improving your website’s speed. Next, build out a keyword plan that targets every step of the buyer’s journey and start creating pages around your keyword strategy.


Spend some time daily asking other websites to link to yours and building a few internal links. Don’t forget to promote your blog.


Even if you apply these SEO basics for small businesses, it will take a few weeks before you see any improvement. Remember, SEO takes time, regardless of how long you’ve been doing it.

Last month Izabela saw her search traffic from Google increase by 400% using 3 SEO tips we taught her.

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