Competing with multinational corporations to market their brand, products, and services is quite a challenge for small businesses. Without large advertising budgets, sufficient personnel, and spare time for extensive market research their chances to leave an impressive mark on their industry are very slim.
It is not fair, but in the ‘real’ world, small businesses simply cannot compete with their giant competitors. They just have too many disadvantages. On the other hand, in cyberspace, the playing field is different, and with the right SEO techniques, even home-based companies can be as successful as firms with hundreds of employees. How is this possible? Simple! Search engines don’t care about fancy statistics!
The following tips can be used by small businesses to develop their user experience and Search Engine Optimization tactics.
Search engines evaluate the content
The Internet is always changing, yet one thing has been consistent since the beginning: search engines continue to look for unique content. The more useful information you list on your eCommerce site, the easier your customers will be able to track you. Expand the content on your website by:
- Translate conversations, interviews, product videos, personal opinions, etc. into the plain text;
- Use support emails to create FAQ pages on your website;
- Reduce the number of PDFs and turn them into HTML pages.
People also love the content
Do not only generate keyword-rich content for key search engines but also address your customers. Keep your text simple, to the point, and do not hesitate to throw in a few funny lines. Speak from the heart to your shoppers, because if they don’t feel a connection they will leave in a hurry and never come back. Just remember, search engines are important, but in the end, they are not the ones shopping in your store!
Keep it personal
Use your personal voice to address your audience and share consumer experiences. Modern-day shoppers enjoy reading reviews and recommendations. Publish as many product and service opinions as you can, because more and more peoples today will research the market before finalizing their own shopping. You can create special review pages, or you can create a buyer’s guide connected to your product listings. Show your audience that you care about them and they will most likely buy from you!
Optimize for local search profile
Make yourself visible, because most consumers rather support local businesses than distant, impersonal industrial giants. Grab each opportunity presented to you to become known in your own community, and register on as many local business lists and directories as you can.
The few extra dollars you spend on a professional website design or update will be worthwhile, as shoppers detest slow websites. Just think about how you feel when you are wasting precious minutes
waiting for a page to materialize on your screen. How often do you wait, and how often do you click away? If you have a small business website, keep this in mind, because what you personally do to other websites, may also be happening to you.
In addition, Google has now introduced “speed” into its ranking algorithm. If you do not want to lose your spot on this search engine’s rankings, improve your website’s download time and customer’s experience! Take advantage of tools like Web Page Analyzer and the Firefox extension YSlow! to locate your download slow-down factors.
Expanding internal links
Internal links are vital for online businesses because the more internal are present, the bigger the chances are shoppers will see your entire inventory. You can even add links in articles, reviews, or other data, so when customers are curious about a certain product or service they don’t have to look through your entire site to find it. Adding links to inappropriate content also makes a site extremely user-friendly and improves your overall SEO tenfold.
When setting up your site’s linking architecture, have your navigational plan and sitemaps tested frequently to make sure that they are user-friendly and properly extends throughout your entire website.
Do not worry about Nofollow links
Everyone fears the dreaded ‘nofollow’ links. Why? Isn’t a link still a link? As long as it generates potential customers, you want it. Refusing specific links, as insignificant as they may seem, is limiting your potential for customers and slowing down your overall visibility. That is totally the wrong attitude.
If you want your small business to be successful, design and in-depth SEO strategy and grab every improvement possibility that is handed to you. Create and distribute as much quality content as possible, add links wherever it is appropriate, and use every Search Engine Optimization tool in the book. Be technically smart, yet without losing perspective. Unlike search engines, customers are human beings that appreciate being treated as such!