8 SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Here are wallet friendly ways to earn organic online visibility.

Written by Cassandra Gucwa
Published on Mar. 14, 2024
8 SEO Tips for Small Businesses
Image: Shutterstock / Built In
Brand Studio Logo

In today’s digital world, having an online presence is crucial for any business, no matter the size. For small businesses and startups, getting found online can feel daunting. Search engine optimization is key to improving visibility and attracting customers, but it can seem complex and expensive. 

The good news is there are straightforward, affordable tactics small business owners can use to boost their SEO. With some fundamental best practices, your website and online content can start gaining more traffic both organically and through paid methods.

A strong digital presence is no longer optional. It’s imperative for boosting brand recognition and driving sales. By focusing on quality content and fundamentals like speed and mobile optimization, young companies can gain tremendous organic visibility without breaking the bank.

8 SEO Tips

  1. Produce high-quality content that provides value.
  2. Make your site easy to use.
  3. Register your physical location listings.
  4. Run PPC ads.
  5. Generate backlinks.
  6. Use Google Analytics to track metrics.
  7. Use caching plugins, image compression and responsive design.
  8. Be consistent.

More on online visibility4 Ways to Set Yourself up for Online Success in 2024


Focus on Quality Content

The foundation of good SEO is high-quality content that answers questions and provides value for potential customers. The keywords you want your business to rank for should be seamlessly woven throughout helpful, informative articles, product descriptions and other website copy. Avoid overusing keywords or cramming them in unnaturally as this may get flagged as spammy by search engines. Instead, the content should speak to your ideal customers’ needs and interests. 

Regularly publishing fresh, optimized content shows search engines that your site is active and thus heightens your authority in your niche over time. Incorporate target keywords in headings, image names/alt tags, video titles and the first 100 words of each page. Be sure every piece of content has a focus keyword or phrase that it revolves around.


Optimize Site Architecture 

Make your website easy for both users and search engine bots to navigate. Use descriptive page titles and headers, create XML sitemaps and implement effective internal linking between related content. Your information architecture should follow a logical hierarchy and flow. 

It also helps to have a blog and content that caters to multiple related topics or keywords within your broader industry. For example, a catering business could blog about menus, pricing, working with clients, managing staff, all kinds of subjects that web visitors may search for. This builds domain authority and brings more avenues for organic traffic.


Claim Your Listings

Register your Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings to help customers find your physical locations. Filling out directory listings on sites like Yelp is also wise. Ensure all sites and profiles have your accurate contact info, hours, location map link and engaging photos. Keep listings consistent and updated across the web to establish local SEO trust signals.


Run Pay-Per-Click Ads

While SEO takes time to build results, paid search ads placed through Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising can generate website traffic more immediately. As a small business, paid search is extremely affordable — often only a couple dollars per click. The key is honing your keywords, tightly defining your target audience, setting bids appropriately and tracking conversion rates. Mastering PPC ads helps fund your organic efforts until those fully mature.


Generate Backlinks  

The more quality external sites that link back to yours, along with accurate anchor text, the more credibility and relevance search engines assign to your domain. As a small company, guest posting on industry blogs is an impactful backlinking tactic. Include contextual backlinks in any guest articles along with your author bio. Also share your newest content on social media to catch readers. 

Interview leaders in your niche or explore co-marketing partnerships to be featured on complementary sites. Build connections with micro-influencers who may shoutout or reference your brand to their engaged followers. While backlinks shouldn’t be bought, they can certainly be earned through outreach and providing value to others online.


Analyze Your Metrics

Driving relevant traffic to your website is only half the battle; you also need visitors to convert by making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, etc. Install Google Analytics to track meaningful metrics like bounce rate, time on page, click-through-rate and which content spurs conversions. Study the analytics to determine customer behavior patterns and underperforming areas to improve.


Technical Optimizations 

Though not strictly related to content, search engines factor website speed, security and mobile-friendliness into rankings. Use caching plugins and image compression to accelerate load times. Secure HTTPS URLs and eliminate site errors that frustrate users. Implement responsive design so your site resizes seamlessly on all devices.

More on building brand credibilityHow to Make Videos That Earn Customer Confidence


Stay Consistent 

With core SEO elements in place, consistency and persistence are key. There are no overnight wins. Stick to regularly publishing content, monitoring analytics trends and expanding your backlink profile and listings presence over the long-haul. As with any marketing initiative, it takes time and effort for SEO success to compound based on the authority you build.

Focusing on value-driven content and user experience lays the groundwork for SEO growth. Master fundamental best practices and then scale up tactics as makes sense for your small business over time. With a methodical and savvy approach, your website and online visibility can flourish.

SEO does take patience and strategy, but it’s one of the most cost-efficient ways for small businesses to acquire new leads online. An incremental approach starting with foundational on-page and technical factors leads to momentum over time. Consistency and persistence are key. With the right digital building blocks, results compound.

Hiring Now
Capital One
Fintech • Machine Learning • Payments • Software • Financial Services