SEO has so many moving pieces, it can be hard to keep up – especially when SEO isn’t your main duty.
If you're running a small business, that probably means you’re far more passionate about serving your customers than you are about competing in the never ending race that is SEO.
SMBs might not have all the resources large enterprises do to manage SEO, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things your company can learn from enterprise SEO programs to apply to your own site.
Below I’ll outline a few lessons and best practices from successful enterprise SEO programs SMB owners can leverage for their sites.
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Free Up Your Time With Automation
When you have thousands of pages to your site, it can be nearly impossible to change each page one at a time. The time involved usually doesn’t out way the outcome of the changes, and for SMB owners it robs you of time you'd much rather be spending on your customers. Templated pages can help make this headache go away. While it’s true that templates might sometimes restrict a few of the unique ideas you have for your site, the time savings templates deliver will more than make up for that sacrifice.
Templated pages can help make this headache go away. While it’s true that templates might sometimes restrict a few of the unique ideas you have for your site, the time savings templates deliver will more than make up for that sacrifice.
SMB Takeaway: Figure out what template works best for your site — and then spend more time on what matters most: your customers.
Since SEO works best with clean URLs, making sure a new page automatically populates a clean URL makes life easier for everyone. In addition to saving you time, automation will give you the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing your URLs are automatically SEO-friendly.
SMB Takeaway: To keep up with SEO standards, having a clean URL is a must – and automation is key to ensuring that your URLs are SEO-friendly right from the start.
Reporting is yet another avoidable time-drainer. The more you can automate reporting, the easier your life can be. Using tools like SEMRush and Moz will send reports to your inbox, taking the heavy lifting involved with reporting off your back.
SMB Takeaway: By eliminating the time required to manually create reports, automating reporting can keep you up-to-date on the things that matter most to your business.
Focus Attention to Key Areas of Your Site
What are My Top Pages?
SEO experts at large enterprises don’t expect to drive an equal amount of traffic to every page of their site. There are just too many pages. Instead, they focus on directing consumers to the sections of their sites where conversions are most likely to happen. Have an e-commerce site? Which categories are your bread and butter? Rather than focusing on each product page—branch out into the categories those products live under.
SMB Takeaway: Don’t cast a thin net across all of your content. Instead, heavily focus on the areas that matter most to your business.
How Volatile Is the Space?
Does your site focus on highly competitive keywords? Is there a constant battle to win a place above the fold on the search engine results page (SERP)?
If your site is facing stiff competition for a small group of keywords, do what many large enterprises do to bring qualified consumers to their sites: focus on long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases consumers are likely to use when they’re close to making a purchase. Although you’re going to drive less volume to your site with long-tailed keywords than you would using more common ones, the consumers you do attract become more likely to buy what you’re selling.
SMB Takeaway: If your SEO keywords are falling short in the battle for prime SERP space, consider alternative ways to drive consumers to your site, such as targeting long-tail keywords.
Content Marketing Works
“Content is king” may be an over-played phrase in the marketing world – but that’s for good reason. In the SEO arena, quality content can help your business outperform the competition by:
- Identifying you and your business as experts in your field: Google is getting smarter, and as a result, looking for sites that deliver expert-level content related to their respective fields. Creating high quality content is a great way to set yourself apart from the pack. Enterprise level sites understand this, and create mounds of informative, relative and engaging content as a result.
- Creating opportunities to gain links: Enterprise level sites realize creating content people want to read and share is a great way to inspire other sites to link back to that content. Social sharing is also an important piece to the SEO puzzle. The higher quality content you create, the more likely people will share in their social networks.
- Adding context: You might be an expert in your field, but adding context to what you offer gives search engines more information about what you do. The more information search bots can gain can help you rank better as a result.
SMB Takeaway: You don’t have to be a huge company to create great content. It’s worth the investment in the long run to make sure your content is created with precision and care.
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Local SEO Can’t be Ignored
If you have a brick and mortar location, local SEO should be a top priority. Back in August Google switched the way they populate local results in the SERPs. Instead of showing seven results, they now show only three. In other words, half of Google’s most valuable local SEO real estate is now gone.
To get a slice of the shrinking pie, large enterprises often have the upper hand because they have store locations throughout the nation. However, SMBs can level the playing field by making sure there is consistency across all of their local listings as well as creating localized content within each location page.
Below is a quick cheat sheet to get your local SEO efforts started:
- Mention your city and state in your: title tag, H1, URL, content, alt tags and meta description
- Include an embedded Google Map on your site
- Make sure to use consistent citations (name, address, phone number)
- Leverage customer ratings and reviews
You can read more about local SEO over at Moz.
Related Article: Why Links Will Always Matter in SEO Marketing
SMB Takeaway: If you have a physical presence, local SEO can’t be ignored. Prioritizing your local SEO can pay off — especially when you are competing with larger known brands. Keeping content focused on local information and keeping your citations consistent can go a long way.
At the end of the day, SEO for large enterprises isn’t all that different than it is for SMBs – and many SEO tactics large players use to drive traffic to their sites can be easily and effectively adapted at your company. As a result, you’ll have more time to do what you do best: satisfy your customers.