According to Ahrefs, a search engine is the starting point for 68 percent of all online interactions. We understand the importance of engaging with target consumers in the moments that matter most to them as small business owners.

Our pages must be the first ones to welcome them, whether they are investigating a product or service, or getting ready to call or visit a shop. That is why so many of us devote so much time, effort, and money to small business SEO.

The issue is that search engines such as Google do not provide you with a road map to success. Yes, there are webmaster guides and blogs that can help, but the most popular websites have learned the majority of their lessons by trial and error.

As a small business owner, I’ve had to go through the rigors of learning successful SEO along the way, and I’m still doing so every day.

Looking back over the last six years, it’s clear how much our content plan has progressed, but I’m also aware of how much time I’ve spent spinning my wheels. Here are five things I wish I had known about small business SEO before I began.

1. Create content based on a single keyword or phrase

When it comes to developing a business site, the most popular mistake I see small business owners make is – they are racing to build a site as fast as possible. They don’t care what search keywords their target audience uses when finding a similar site, which can be a big mistake.

It’s just as important to write content in the style that your target audience prefers as it is to show them why they should come to our store or call you. Let’s take a look at a typical scenario.

The following example illustrates a typical blunder we see. A residential roofing page is created by a roofing company. They started by showing how they struggled at the beginning, what kind of roofs they usually work with, and have some written recommendations from their happy clients. By and wide, a fantastic website.

The issue is that they end up the rating for the term “residential.” Not a roofing company for homes or a roofing company that installs roofs. How many people do you know who use Google to look for a roofing company using the term “residential”? They don’t have any! They look for terms like “roof repair company near me,” “roof repair company near me,” and so on.

So, before you start writing a page or a blog post for your website, ask yourself, “What is the search term or keyword I’m trying to rank for?”

2. Make Data Work for You

In the beginning, it’s so obvious that everything will be overwhelming to you. Unless you hire an SEO expert for your business site it will be hard to find the correct path. I strongly recommend you use the Google keyword planner tool. It is completely free to use.

Keyword planner tool

If you are not short on budget, then I also suggest you use the Ahref SEO tool for your business site. It is a bit expensive though but you will get lots of benefits.

The Google Keyword Planner assists me in determining which search terms or keywords are most common in the field where I am attempting to rank with my service. By looking at this before developing a new page or article, I was able to avoid using the incorrect keyword or a slightly different version that does not receive as many monthly searches.

The Ahrefs Dashboard is the second tool I use. One of the most effective methods for SEO analysis available. You can use this method to check the keyword density of a search term, which indicates how competitive it is.

I suggest you check frequently asked questions, it is very effective to find relatively high demanding questions from your target audience.

You can also take a closer look at your rivals to see what keywords they’re rating for or which blogs they’re getting the most traffic from, and then base your content strategy on that.

As you can see, there are several SEO tools available that allow you to take advantage of the data generated by searches.

3. Pay attention to long-tail keywords.

I mentioned it briefly at the start of this post, but concentrating on long-tail keywords is much superior to focusing on broad keywords. Long-tail keywords, as the name implies, are longer and more descriptive search phrases that your visitors are likely to use as they get closer to making a purchase or contacting you.

Long-tail keywords are even easier to rank for on your end, so if you’re just getting started with SEO, they’re your best mate. If you own a plumbing company, for example, ranking for the keyword plumber would be incredibly difficult at first.

That is why you should try to rank for more basic keywords such as “24/7 emergency plumber near me,” “residential plumbing company near me,” or “well pump repair company near me.”

You will get a better idea of what is going to fit well for your website by looking at the types of phone calls or lead form submissions you want to generate.

4. Maintaining Consistency is Crucial

The more time you devote to your website, the better the outcomes will be. We were ecstatic to receive 50 hits to our website in a month when we first started our business. Regularly, we now have over 1,000 visitors.

We still have a long way to go, but we began to see sustained results when we began creating a consistent small business SEO content strategy for our website. The question is, how do you do it?

Make a plan. “If I only had an hour to cut down a tree, I will spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe,” says a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln. His quote, in my opinion, can be applied to developing an SEO strategy.

Examine the rivals’ blogs to see what they’re writing about. Start by searching for keywords or search phrases that you believe your target audience uses and seeing what comes up in the results.

Finally, write down the often asked questions or subjects that they want to explore during the regular meetings with customers or clients. Both of these techniques will assist you in developing a marketing plan for your website.

You don’t have to blog every day, but at least once or twice a week, you can try to update your website.

5. Have Patience

It takes time to rank a website. It requires concentration, imagination, and, most importantly, patience. “Energy and persistence overcome all things,” said the great Benjamin Franklin. When it comes to SEO, be tenacious.

Always be able to learn and spend time keeping up with the latest SEO trends. The beauty of SEO is that the solution is never far away.

You won’t see improvements in your website on day 1 or even day 15, but I guarantee that after a few months, your website traffic and overall performance will be significantly improved.

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