SEO Strategies for Startups & Small Businesses

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Not once, not twice, or thrice I tried to start a business. Back then, I never knew there was something for small businesses like SEO strategies. Result? I ended up closing shop because I couldn’t keep up with competitors’ online presence.
Maybe your story is close to mine. You are on the verge of giving up, or you have already thrown in the towel. It doesn’t have to be all gloom. There are SEO strategies for startups that can set your business to fly.
According to Higher Visibility, 67% of marketers vouch for SEO as the most efficient tactic.
Most startups have no idea how to go about search engine optimization (SEO). You may have heard about setting a website, but what does it take for the content to rank high on search engines?
We will not go into domain authority, on-page optimization, and other technical aspects of SEO for small businesses. As a beginner, we will highlight opportunities that exist for startups.
Before you invest in paid ads, you can explore organic traffic because it is more rewarding. How many times do you even check the paid ads? Before you go there, learn how you can leverage SEO to increase your conversions.

Small Business SEO Dynamics – How is it Different?

Small and established businesses are not the same. This difference in dynamics plays an essential role in how each approaches digital marketing. We will explore some features of small businesses and how they impact the SEO strategies for small businesses.

a.) Low Digital Presence

According to Blue Corona, more than 36% of startups have no website. If your business is on that list, you could be missing out on potential customers. With more than 80% of the people doing an online search before purchase, you understand the place of search engine optimization.
Most small businesses have no social media following or a website, making it more challenging to make it in the digital world. If you want to gain credibility and build your brand, an online presence is a must. It also makes it easy to attract potential customers with your offers.

b.) Limited Marketing Budget

Experts recommend a budget of at least 7% on marketing for small businesses. But what happens when your company is in the initial stage and you have a lot to deal with?
In most cases, online marketing comes last in the allocation of funds. But that should not be the case with the customer-rich platform.
You should allocate some funds for a digital marketer, whether hired or employed. It takes time to see the SEO strategies results for startups, but it gives a good foundation for the company.

c.) Unclear Picture of the Target Market

There is a difference between the theoretical figures you get in your initial research with the real business experience. If you have never been in business before, it takes time to learn the loops.
Small businesses have no touch with the target market. Therefore, you never know what the reaction will be about your brand. Despite these uncertainties, it is essential to do intensive market research before you dive into it fully.

d.) Competition from Established Competitors

When starting a business, you will have competitors unless you are an inventor. It can prove a hard nut to crack trying to compete with companies that have been there for years. But how do you go about it?
As the adage goes, Rome was not built in a day. The success of any business requires resilience and consistency in digital strategies. Results are not instant because it takes time for Google even to index your pages.
In another section, we will unravel the strategies you can use to give established competitors a run for their bucks. But before then, we will look at the benefits of search engine optimization for startups.

Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses

a.) Brand Awareness

SEO packages for small businesses help you to set off. Do you want to build your reputation right from the word go? Establish your online presence through search engine optimization.
To increase the impact of SEO, you should combine it with social media. By sharing the content you create on your social platforms, you can build business credibility. There should be consistency across different digital platforms to let your brand stick.

b.) Wide Market Target

The world has become a global village, thanks to the internet. You can take advantage of exposure to different markets to build your business.
Digital marketing strategies allow you to explore markets beyond the borders. You can sell your products or services to people you could have never reached through brick-and-mortar stores.

c.) Better Conversion Rate

Search engine optimization for your small business helps you to convert site visits to customers. You can market your products or services to visitors on your site.
However, you should avoid being salesy in your call to action. You don’t have to hold a gun of words to your site visits. Most buyers prefer being left to make a purchase decision without manipulation.

d.) Continuous Customer Engagement

Search engine optimization helps you to reach out to your audience. You can keep conversations going on various platforms: social media and websites.
Because SEO for startup businesses focuses on quality content, your customers derive value from what you write. Consistent engagement through blog posts and social media satisfies search intent.

e.) Outdo Competitors

Online marketing strategies provide a fairground for all companies, whether small or big. If you put up quality content consistently, you will rank above your competitors in search engine result pages (SERPs). Although it takes time, after gaining traction on SEO strategies, you will only improve your margins.

Affordable SEO Strategies for Startups

One of the dynamics of small businesses is limited resources. Therefore, the budget might not afford the best digital marketers. We’ve curated a list of cheap or free SEO strategies for small businesses with that in mind. Let’s get started!

1. Work on Local SEO

Local business listing can give you an edge over your competitors. Listing your business on most platforms is free.
Customers trust reviews from platforms like Yahoo!, Yelp, Local, Google My Business Listing, among other directories. Some of the local business listing platforms you should consider are:
  • Yelp
  • Local
  • Yahoo!
  • Google Local Places
  • Foursquare
  • Bing Places
  • YellowPages
  • MapQuest
  • Whitepages
  • HotFrog
  • MenuPages

Tips to Rank High on Local Business Listing

Just like online stores have replaced brick-and-mortar shops, business listing reviews are replacing word of mouth. How many times do you check a business review before making a purchase? Almost every time.
You can use Moz to know where your business is already listed to claim. This makes it easier to reap the benefits of local business listing for your business.

2. Set Up a Responsive Website

A website is an integral part of the success of any small business. Make sure that the website loads fast to keep your customers coming. You should also optimize the site for mobile users to tap into the high number of smartphone browsers.
A website acts as the physical location for online businesses. After setting up the local business listing, you have a place to direct the traffic.
If you want to gain credibility, avoid free or one-page websites with scanty information. Buyers want detailed information about your brand and how you can solve their problems.
The choice of your domain name is essential. You should make it easy to remember and relevant to your business. For remembrance, ensure the domain name is short.
When it comes to hosting, don’t go for the cheapest but the most reliable. It will give the wrong impression if your website is always down. The web hosting company should offer support services if you want to transfer, activate security certificates, or resolve issues or upgrade.
Before publishing your site, make sure you have tested its interface usability. Have the main pages like home, about us, and contact us set up before going live.

3. Long Tail Keyword Targeting

Keyword research and mapping are essential to ensure your website ranks high on search engines. Before you go for keywords with high difficulty, optimize for long-tail keywords which are easy to rank for.
Long-tail keywords have high conversion potential because the search intent is precise. Most high domain sites may go for high-volume keywords, which small businesses may not compete for effectively.
Local SEO keywords can help you to rank fast and high on search engines. You can create pages for different locations that your business serves.
If you go for a keyword like “locksmiths in Plano, TX” you are likely to rank fast than using “locksmiths” as the keyword you want to target. Apart from that, your target audience is within a specific location, making it easy to locate your business. Some buyers want to promote local businesses, and you will have a competitive edge for such an audience.
Content gap analysis is essential before writing your content. You should identify keywords that are unexplored or which have low keyword difficulty.

3. Analyze Your Competitors

Analyzing your competitors will help you determine who to target and which keywords are important for your business. Here is a process to do effective competition analysis for small businesses:
Competitor analysis helps you to know the market size and existing opportunities. Through this, you can know how to differentiate your approach to SEO for your startup.

4. Keep Your Audience Engaged with Quality Content

In most cases, you will have a monologue on your social platforms before your target audience is hooked. Don’t give up at this stage. Consistency is essential if you want to gain influence and convert visits to purchases.
You should post regularly on your website and social media. Google rewards consistency. However, don’t just post for the sake of it. Ensure that the content is informational and relevant to your audience.
The use of visuals like infographics and videos can be a good start for small businesses. Infographics are easy to share, and they provide a summary of bulky information. For videos, some of your audience may have limited time to go through all your blog posts.
Another approach that can give you a following is asking questions, as noted by Hamilton.

5. Guest Posting

Do you want to improve the authority of your website? You can write guest posts for relevant and high-domain authority sites to increase the credibility of your website.
Some sites allow you to insert dofollow links for your website. DA is an essential factor if you want to build a successful business online. However, avoid spamming sites with unrelated links, which, if published, can lead to penalties.
Depending on your niche, you may want to check these free guest posting sites. Guest posting strategy provides an opportunity to interact with relevant businesses in your local area. It also increases the visibility of your brand by expanding your publication network.

6. Master Technical SEO or Hire an Agency

Technical SEO should have a priority if you want to make it through digital presence. Most small businesses ignore technical SEO because of limited information about its impact.
Fortunately, if you don’t know, there are many digital marketing agencies with affordable SEO packages for small businesses and startups. Digital Marksmen offers proven strategies that will take your business to the next level.
If on-page and off-page optimization are not your cup of coffee, you can get in touch with us. We also help you to set up a responsive website for your business.

Parting Shot: Implement the SEO Strategies for Your Startup

There is no shortcut if you want to make it in any business. Do you want to outdo your competitors through search engine optimization? Do a competitor analysis, set up a website, create a local business listing, and keep your audience engaged.

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