In 2021, when creating an SEO strategy, businesses shouldn’t focus only on targeting certain keywords. SEO and content creation are about more than targeting keywords.
As algorithms mature, it’s important that content does as well. So, how can business owners take advantage of changing search engines? How can they be sure they’re doing it properly?
Read on for 10 of the best tips for creating an SEO strategy for small businesses.
1. Identify a Target Audience
The first thing any business should zone in on is its target audience. Creating a target persona is crucial because it’s who the content is going to be geared towards. If a product or brand is meant for 18 to 24-year-old females, but the brand’s content is geared towards men in their 30s, that’s not going to get anybody very far.
When creating a target audience or persona, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Here are a few base questions to answer:
- How old is the target audience?
- What do they look like?
- What are their interests? Hobbies?
- Are they in college?
- Do they work full-time?
- Do they have kids?
- Are they pet owners?
- Are they homeowners?
- What is their annual income?
- Where do they live?
While there are other ways to begin identifying your target audience, these questions provide a great place to start. Knowing their income, age, and whether or not they rent or own a home is important for knowing what kind of content they’d be interested in.
Nailing down a few other basics is also a great way to begin identifying topics to base content from, and provides a great basis to begin keyword research with.
2. Identify Easily Ranking Keywords
While knowing the popular keywords a business can rank for is great, that’s also a great way to ensure they don’t ever end up on the first page of any search engine. Identifying keywords that fit within those popular keywords, however, is a win.
So, while “dog treats” might not be an easy keyword to rank for, “dog treats near me” might be. It’s also great to get into specifics when conducting keyword research as well.
If a business sells gluten-free, grain-free, or even organic dog treats, those are also potential keywords they could rank for. Exploring pages like Google Trends is a great place to get started.
3. Determine Goals
The next step is for the business to determine its goals. Is national or global SEO the goal here? Or is targeting local SEO going to be better in the long run?
While that answer might depend upon each business’s industry (a locally-owned grocery store in New York might not want to target an audience in LA), it’s still worth taking into consideration for an effective digital marketing strategy.
Wanting to boost search rankings is an obvious one here, but there are other things to take into consideration as well, like understanding how SEO can affect a business’s sales and overall revenue. If things are done well, then sales are going to go up.
If things are done poorly, then it’s almost guaranteed that nothing is going to go up. In fact, things can actually go south if special care isn’t taken to create high-quality content that draws people in.
If businesses find themselves struggling to create a list of goals, then it’s best to keep it simple: create good content that has something to offer the reader, promote the brand, and keep audience members coming back for more.
Often, repeat customers are valuable than new ones.
4. Conduct Market Research
Once a business has determined its target audience and goals, it’s time to research similar businesses in the marketplace. Market research can be as simple as looking at the first page of Google to determine what the competition may hold.
Identifying how competitors work and what they do well is a great place to begin building a marketing strategy. While business owners don’t simply want to blend in with their niche, they do want to make sure they’re following marketing trends.
Researching competition can help businesses identify not only what they would like to replicate in their own way, but also what they can do differently, and even improve upon.
After gathering that information, it’s time to move into identifying what their target audience’s pain points might be.
5. Identify Pain Points
From there, business owners can begin to look at their target audience’s pain points. No business can fill all the gaps, and there are bound to be places that competitors are lacking.
These pain points are often pointed out by customers in reviews — especially the bad ones.
By going through content, website designs, customer reviews, and even conducting potential customer interviews, a solid content strategy can be built. This content strategy should incorporate not only what others do well, but also make up for what they don’t do well.
6. Fix the Problem
After that, it’s up to business owners to address their customers’ pain points and work to fix them.
This may take some trial and error, but it’s not too complicated to address. Start with creating content that addresses your initial goals and fills any gaps you believe are in the market. From there, interact with your customers and followers on social media.
Ask for their opinions and whether or not they would change anything you’re currently doing. It’s surprising how direct people can be when they’re asked for their opinion on a subject. Being open to honest feedback is also going to make the entire process easier.
7. Create Quality Content
The key here is to create content that not only targets specific keywords but also presents value to your target audience.
This means answering specific questions, providing insight into specific situations, and even educating them on things they could do better. Creating numbered lists is always attention-grabbing, but so are how-to articles.
A big thing to not do is keyword stuff. It isn’t going to help any site’s rankings. In fact, it’s simply going to hinder rankings and made readers want to click off content.
Search engine algorithms actually have ways of spotting keyword-stuffed articles, and it usually results in lowering a website’s overall ranking, or just removing it from the search engine altogether.
People — and bots — appreciate authenticity. Keep things simple and real!
8. Use Keywords in Page URLs
Now that you’ve worked so hard to create quality content, it shouldn’t go to waste with awkward, long webpage URLs. These too can be optimized for SEO, and definitely should be.
In fact, this is where keyword research comes in the handiest.
Having simple, easy-to-comprehend page URLs is not only going to make content more clickable, but it’s also going to increase a brand’s overall search engine rankings.
9. Improve User Experience
Besides content, user experience (UX) is the best way to boost a business’s SEO rankings.
In recent years, Google has evolved its algorithm to begin placing websites with great UX at the top of its rankings. Though content is still important and plays a larger role, placing emphasis on UX is a great move for any SEO strategy.
Creating an intuitive website that’s easy to navigate is not only to drive to SEO rankings, but it also has the potential to boost conversion rates.
10. Hire an Expert
While SEO is a fairly common sense affair, hiring an expert is a great way to make sure it gets done right. Instead of spending hours conducting research and implementing SEO into a business website, business owners can set aside a portion of their budget to allow an expert to get it done for them.
This is an especially great idea if a business’s website already exists. Having someone go through and optimize SEO instead of doing it alone can save business owners a lot of time and money in the long run. (Their focus can be placed elsewhere!)
Remember These Tips For Creating an SEO Strategy
When creating an SEO strategy, putting any of these tips to use can make a website flourish. Not only is taking SEO into consideration from the beginning an important step to take, but it’s also the most crucial.
Having an excellent SEO strategy is going to boost a company’s search engine ranking. This can take any website from simply existing to the internet to thriving in the e-commerce world.
If you don’t know where to begin, contacting the award-winning specialists at Killer Spots is a great place to start.
Contact them today to begin your journey.