A small business owner performing an SEO audit.

Get the Most Out of Your Small Business SEO – How to Maximize Your SERPs Ranking

You may think that your small business can’t compete with the big dogs when it comes to placing high on the search engines. You may think that because you only have a brick-and-mortar store in your hometown that small business SEO is a waste of time. You may think that a traditional store only needs traditional marketing strategies.

No offense, but you may be wrong.

Whether you have a big or small business, a physical or ecommerce store – a strong online presence is important. When potential customers are looking for your product, they’re turning to search engines. So you need to make sure your local business is turning up there, too.

Small business SEO doesn’t have to cost you big dollars and can help you extend your reach to a whole new target audience. Plus, with a little know-how it’s not so hard to get started. Let’s get you on your way.

What Is Small Business SEO and Local SEO?

SEO means search engine optimization. Meaning – in simple terms – building a search engine algorithm-friendly website to better increase your chance of being seen.

Local SEO means optimizing your website to appear in search results that are region specific – i.e. near me, or Youngstown, OH. Large businesses and small businesses alike may use local SEO tactics to attract potential customers to their physical locations.

As a small business owner, you may have a physical store or you may just have an ecommerce site. Either way, small business SEO can help you get higher conversion rates – and without the big time budget of corporate competitors.

How Do You Develop a Small Business SEO Strategy?

First things first – you need a website. So, if you haven’t launched a website for your small business, the time is now.

Without a website, you’re not going to be appearing on the search engine results pages (SERPs) which means you’re massively missing out. Eighty-one percent of customers prefer to read about a company online before making a purchase. That’s a huge chunk of your potential customers never coming to your door because you don’t have a web presence.

So – step “0” is to build a web page. After that, you get started on SEO.

Step One: Keyword Research

Relevance is a big ranking factor for Google and other search engines. So to develop your small business SEO, you’re going to need to do relevant keyword research.

You want to generate a list of keywords related to your business that your target audience will be entering as a search engine query. For example: “digital marketing,” “SEO services,” or “SEO tips.” These would be called short-tail keywords because – well – they’re short.

They’re often used in queries, and they’re very easy to put on your webpages. This means a lot of companies are gunning to optimize for them, which does make them slightly harder to rank for.

There’s also long-tail keywords which are – you guessed it – long! These are more specific – they also tend to be searched for a little less. However, less companies may optimize for them. With long-tail keywords it’s a little easier to achieve a high ranking on the SERPs. Examples of long-tail keywords are “how digital marketing works,” “what’s the difference between local SEO and small business SEO,” and “does my small business need a website?”

If you’re struggling to come up with keywords to suit the algorithm, there are tools available from companies such as SEMrush.

Step Two: Optimize Technical SEO

Now you have your search term keywords. Great! But don’t go wildly slapping them on your small business’ website all willy-nilly just yet. You want to make sure you’re taking care of your technical SEO.

You see, site performance, user experience, and structure are all search engine ranking factors, too. Technical SEO takes care of these aspects. You want to make sure your site speed isn’t bogged down by images or plugins, and that the search engine algorithm can easily scan your webpage to see that it’s relevant.

This means each web page should have high-quality headers, subheadings, title tags, alt tags, and relevant meta descriptions. Meta descriptions aren’t exactly a ranking factor – but they do help website traffic by tempting your potential customers to visit your site.

In the headings, you want to place relevant keywords so that the search engine algorithm can easily pick them up as they crawl your webpage.

Step Three: Produce On-Page SEO Content

Now to keep boosting your keyword ranking and organic traffic, you need to build up your on-page SEO. Long story short, on-page SEO is any optimization you do on your webpage to make it rank higher on the SERPs.

A great way to build up your on-page SEO is to develop a content strategy that makes use of your target keywords. This means regularly publishing relevant content – such as a blog – answering questions that searchers may be looking for. This SEO marketing strategy not only helps you place higher in the local search results, but also has the added benefit of increasing your brand awareness.

But remember – it’s got to be high-quality content. Not just a jumble of keywords! Write for your potential customers as much as (if not more than) you write for the Google search results glory.

Pro SEO Tips:

Those three steps alone are a great start to your budding SEO strategy. But let’s say you want to take it further – and why wouldn’t you? Here are four SEO expert tips you can follow to boost your SERPs ranking even higher.


As you produce content, you want to be link building. This includes links to reputable websites (kind of like a citation) to boost your credibility, as well as links to your own relevant content on your own web pages. If you want to check how reputable a website is, you can use this free tool from Ahrefs.

Google Business Profile

This is an off-page SEO tool you can use to boost your business. (Pssst – off-page SEO means anything you do that isn’t directly on your webpage to boost your SERPs ranking.)  Google My Business/Google Business Profile places your business in local search queries and directs visitors to a landing page on your website (the first page they visit after clicking a link).

It’s also helpful to place your physical address and phone number here, as most potential customers use this tool to find products near them.

Social Media Profiles

Having a strong social media presence isn’t a direct search engine ranking factor, but it does help build brand awareness and encourage people to share links to your website and content. This will lead to organic traffic gains that will help increase your ranking in the long run.

SEO Audit

An SEO audit is helpful to identify what is and isn’t working for your SEO strategy. It’s great to perform an SEO audit when:

    • You first develop your SEO strategy to identify any existing issues and challenges
    • Every 6 months to determine how your SEO strategy is working
    • If you see a dip in organic traffic or a drop in your SERPs ranking

Let Us Lift Your SERPs Ranking

Now you know everything you need to know about small business SEO to begin developing your digital marketing strategy. Go forth and flourish!

Or, if you’re feeling nervous – well, we’ve got SEO experts that can help. There’s no shame in reaching out if web pages and content marketing seem a little much to manage on your own. After all, everyone’s got their own special kind of expertise – this stuff just so happens to be ours.