One of the most commonly asked questions about SEO (or any other form of digital marketing, for that matter) is what odds do small businesses have to outcompete companies with bigger budgets? The truth is that money (as a resource) itself is only as efficient as the use that you put it to. In SEO, like in any other field, money can’t make up for ingenuity, strategic planning and understanding of the industry. With that in mind, here are the top five SEO rules that every small business should know about.
1. Speed is Paramount
The first reason why you need to think about the speed of your website is due to the fact that people don’t have a particularly large attention span, on average. They expect the content to load within 2 seconds and if it fails to do so in the first 4 seconds, they might get visibly upset. This can create a positive or a negative experience, which will directly impact the likelihood that they’ll return. The number of return visitors is actually an important SEO metric to pay attention to. Also, if your website fails to load, they might leave right away. This adds to the growth of your bounce rate, which is a negative SEO trend that you want to avoid.
2. Make Connections
The next thing you need to do is make some friends online. You see, by teaming up with other brands, bloggers, influencers and content writers, you can get some allies. These are the allies that will link towards your content, thus generating backlinks. The simplest way to earn these backlinks is to link their own content; however, you need to be careful what you’re linking towards. A link with domain authority that’s unrelated or too low can lower the SEO rank of your own content, as well. Naturally, the more contacts you have, the more brand mentions you’ll earn. In other words, start making some friends and focus on networking.
3. Analyze Everything
In order to improve your SEO presence, you first have to understand where you are now and what your long-term objectives are. The best way to do so is to find the right reporting software and commit to studying all of its secrets. This kind of reporting can help you with data analysis and it allows you to interpret all of the information available. Turning raw data into information is often a challenge and sometimes you might have to fall back on some of the previous records. If these reports are not made in the same model and by the same tool, making comparisons may not be as easy.
4. Focus on Unique Keywords
One more thing you need to figure your way around is the keywords. Just remember that all the top keywords are already taken and are incredibly competitive. For instance, imagine inventing your own drink and trying to use the “soft drink” as your keyword. What are your odds of competing against the likes of Coca-Cola and Pepsi? However, what if you were to add a word or two or try an alteration of the phrase. With the right keyword research tool, you can figure out the best competitive tools for you to use.
5. Voice Search SEO
The very last thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that you need to dedicate quite a bit of attention to voice search SEO. Why? Well, first of all, in 2020,about 50 percent of all internet users are going to use this feature. The problem, however, lies in the fact that your traditional SEO efforts don’t necessarily translate into voice search. Just one of the reasons behind this is that people often omit prepositions and articles when typing the keyword into the search box. On the other hand, when speaking the phrase, they usually use a more grammatical form, which is where the discrepancy comes from. Overall, this is just one of the many technical aspects that you need to adapt to in this voice-search-oriented world of modern SEO.
Keep in mind that depending on the competitiveness, you’ll have to adjust your budget (between 10 and 50 percent of your average annual revenue) and your approach to keyword research. You’ll also have a different demographic, with different web-searching habits. In other words, this is strictly situational and the above-listed rules are more guidelines than anything else. Fortunately, by knowing the basics, you’ll have an easier time adjusting and coordinating within your business. This flexibility is one of your biggest assets when facing those who would otherwise outcompete you.