When times are especially challenging, small businesses can be the ones that mostly take the brunt of it and that’s why Aqaba Technologies, our prestigious SEO agency based in the Detroit metro area, has compiled a series of actionable tips for small business owners to start working on their digital strategies and make the best of this time out like a reputable marketing and SEO agency would do:
Think about the Content you Already Have
You can rank for competitive keywords thanks to your content and it’s the best and the cheapest way to make your site relevant to the popular terms people are searching for and to give them a reason to visit your site.
Produce an Attractive Blog for Your Audience
It shouldn’t be done purely as an SEO play, as simply producing content to dump keywords in won’t work in the long term. Instead, write for your audience and produce a blog that brings people to the site again and again. That’s what content marketing is all about. Over time, you’ll have relevant and frequently updated content for search engines to index.
Put your Readers First
Don’t become obsessed with cramming every keyword you may have into a single page, blog post or product description. It’s best to aim to produce relevant and interesting pages that can be read and enjoyed by humans. Don’t write for the search engines, write for your readers.
Set up Accounts on Social Media Channels
Social media is a great and pretty inexpensive way for small businesses to build their online presence full stop, and it’s well worth experimenting to find the sites that work best for your business. As a first step, set up your profiles with accurate contact and web address details.
Write More Evergreen Content
Year-round content doesn’t age too quickly. Unlike news-related or seasonal posts, evergreen content should keep visitors coming to your site long-term. This is great for search too, as this kind of content is more likely to rank on for a long time.
Put in Place a Strategy for Internal Linking
Smart use of internal linking can help you to rank for certain target keywords, as well as helping your visitors to find useful or related content within your site, thus amping up the time they spend on it.
Be Careful of Keyword Stuffing
This is something Google will spot easily. It also looks bad for visitors and affects the quality of the pages. Think of one or two keywords and phrases to target and use them naturally and use semantically related words and phrases to avoid repetition.
Set up a Google My Business Listing
This is a free and easy way to increase your presence in local search results and also Google Maps. Once you have it all set up, try to encourage customers to leave reviews on your listing. Good reviews will help to give your results more prominence on Google.
Check if You Need Mobile Optimization
Google is focusing heavily on mobile, that’s why they’re adding text and labels to mobile search results to indicate those sites which are ‘mobile-friendly’. If your site runs fast on mobile devices, it’ll be placed higher on query results.
Create or Optimize your Sitemap
Sitemaps are necessary for Google to find and index your webpages. You don’t need to sweat it out too much, if you’re a WordPress user, you can generate it using free plugins such as Once you’ve created your sitemap, submit it to Google Search Console and try to update it at least monthly.
Take Special Care of your Images
Google can’t see what’s in an image, but it uses metadata such as the image file name and image alt text (alternative text) to determine what’s in it and that’s why your images need to have ALT tags on them and you should include keywords in the filename and the ALT tags as well. Also, try to make sure that your images have good quality and compressed size.
Add Useful Information to your Local Pages
Create unique content for each physical location you may have, but make sure it is relevant to the user. Opening times, contact details and addresses should be there, but think of other ways to make these pages more useful, such as adding images, menus, facilities, offers and so on.
Think about UX and Site Speed
Google is increasingly focusing on things that affect the user experience when ranking sites – mobile optimization, site speed and so on. Making your site more user-friendly is not only good for your sales but also helps with your SEO efforts. Also, if your site is slow and takes a long time to respond, Google will place a small penalty on your website, making it a technical SEO aspect that you simply can’t afford to ignore.
Get your Citation Details Right
Uniform NAP (name, address, phone number) details on your citations are a key ranking factor in local SEO and Google looks at them in a similar way to how they look at links in conventional SEO. NAP citations from relevant and authoritative websites provide more value to your brand’s online presence.
Make your own Product Descriptions
Quite often retailers use product copy from other sellers, especially for branded items that are sold through various websites, making it quite difficult to differentiate your products’ copy from others. Try to write original copy for each item, which is also great to boost your conversion rates, and also gives Google more unique content to crawl.
Keep an Eye on SEO Trends
Google’s algorithm changes regularly, and all the tips that may work now could become obsolete shortly. Just remember that guest blogging for links, paid backlinks, link farms and any spammy technique you can think of are a huge don’t.
Perform Monthly Technical SEO Site Audits
You need to make sure that your on-page SEO is in tip-top shape by running a technical SEO audit regularly if you’d like to rank higher. Several tools on the market can help you accomplish this like SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs (spoiler alert: most of them are paid).
Install an SSL Certificate
Since Google confirmed a couple of years ago that SSL certificates aka HTTPS encryptions are a ranking signal, now’s the time to make sure you have one installed on your site and if you already have one in place, now is the time to upgrade it, not just for enhanced security, but also for SEO purposes.
Many of these tried-and-true suggestions can be applied rather quickly but if you need professional help, our SEO agency is still working to provide small business owners with practical solutions that can actually help them flourish and succeed in these trying times.