Basic SEO for Small Business Websites – A Comprehensive Guide

Starting a business can be an adventure but it’s crucial to understand that just having a website designed does not guarantee you online success and more customers.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the ways to achieve this. We will lay out some of the basics you will need to prepare your website to be well received by Google and the other search engines.

What is SEO and Why Does it Matter for Small Businesses?

Search engine optimisation involves enhancing your website’s visibility on search engine results pages, when done correctly SEO can help your small business get more customers and sales as well as increase possible success rates.

Choosing the Appropriate SEO Plugin

One of the steps in implementing SEO, for your small business WordPress website is selecting the right SEO plugin.

Two of the most popular options are Yoast SEO and Rank Math SEO. These plugins offer a range of features and tools that can assist you in improving your website’s visibility in simple steps.

Now that you’ve selected the SEO plugin let’s delve into the essential work required to develop successful SEO for your small business website.

Conducting Keyword Research

Keyword research is an important aspect of SEO. It involves identifying the words and phrases that your target audience is likely to use when searching for products or services related to your business.

By incorporating these keywords into your website content, you enhance the likelihood of achieving rankings on search engine results pages.

To conduct keyword research, you can leverage tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or the SEMRUSH SEO tools, Begin by brainstorming a list of topics and then utilise these tools to discover keywords along with their search volumes (how many people use that term).

Prioritise long tail keywords (usually 3 to 4 words long), these have fewer people searching them but less competition too.

You may find this article helpful: 19 Essential Keyword Research Tips

Optimise Your Websites Structure

Having a structured website not only enhances the website user experience but also assists search engines in comprehending and efficiently crawling your content.

When it comes to optimising your website’s structure group your content logically and don’t just spread it around the website with no firm structure.

Schema Markup and Structured Data

Schema markup refers to a type of code that you can add to your website to give search engines a better understanding of your website content.

By implementing schema markup you increase the likelihood of appearing in enhanced search results like snippets and knowledge graphs.

You can read more about Schema Markup code here.

Logical Site Navigation

A logical site navigation structure is crucial for user experience and SEO purposes.

It is important to ensure that your website’s navigation is easy to comprehend and follow with categories and subcategories.

The use of links connecting pages helps search engines navigate through your site and understand how different pages are connected.

A logical website structure not only improves usability for visitors. It also assists search engines in efficiently crawling and indexing the content on your site.

On-Page SEO Optimisation

On-page SEO focuses on optimising pages on your website to enhance their visibility on search engines.

This involves techniques such as optimising tags, headers, URLs, content quality, keyword usage, image optimisation, and ensuring mobile friendliness.

By following these steps you can boost the performance of your website in terms of user experience as well as its ranking potential.

When optimising your website on page SEO it’s crucial to consider these elements.

Here is a great guide on On-Page SEO

Meta Tags

HTML elements, like titles and meta descriptions provide information to search engines.

Craft accurate and keyword-rich meta titles that summarise your page’s content.

Create concise and compelling descriptions that entice users to visit your website.

Image Alt Text

Add text to your websites images for better search engine understanding and to help anyone with vision impairment.

Incorporate keywords in the text to enhance visibility in image search results.

Building Quality Backlinks

Backlinks from websites are essential for improving search engine rankings.

These incoming links indicate trustworthiness and credibility, boosting the chances of ranking against your competition.

Remember to never buy backlinks and stay away from cheap SEO, it will cost you dearly later on.

Here are some effective strategies you can use yourself to create high-quality backlinks for your business website.

Business Directories

Submit your business details to trustworthy directories such as Yell. This will help you establish backlinks and enhance the visibility of your website in search results.

Consider listing on LinkedIn which has a high rating and credibility in the eyes of Google.

Local Listings

If your small business caters to customers in a specific area, create a Google Business Profile page.

This can significantly boost your visibility in search results. Attract potential customers from your area.

Ensure that your NAP (name, address phone number) remains consistent across all listings.

Social Media Profiles

Include a link to your website in the profiles of all your social media accounts. This will drive traffic to your website.

Make sure that all of your social media profiles are complete and up to date providing information about your business.

A few other tasks for a new website

Prioritise Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Implementing SSL is crucial, for website security and it can also boost your search engine rankings.

SSL certificates encrypt data transmitted between your site and users ensuring a secure browsing experience.

Google also considers SSL as a ranking signal so it’s worth implementing for search engine visibility.

Optimise Page Speed

Enhancing your website’s page speed is vital for both user experience and SEO. Slow-loading sites often result in bounce rates meaning people bounce away from your website and don’t look at any of your other content.

To improve page speed compress images and large files, and leverage the browser. Minify CSS and JavaScript you will need help from a web designer for this.

Mobile Optimisation

Given the rising usage of mobile devices, it’s essential to optimise your website for mobile users.

Google Prioritises mobile-friendliness as a factor so optimising your site for mobile can positively impact search engine rankings.

High-Quality Content

When it comes to SEO content reigns supreme. Creating informative content not only engages users but will also convert your web visitors into paying customers.

Creating quality content plays a crucial role, in attracting and retaining visitors to your small business website.

Laptop with rocket coming off it and the word content

Here are some tips to help you create content

  1. Understand your target audience and their needs, develop content that addresses their challenges and offers solutions.
  2. Incorporate keywords naturally avoid stuffing your content with keywords as this can harm your search engine rankings.3. Make your content scannable, use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to break down information and make it easy for readers to navigate.
  3. Enhance engagement with visuals Include images, videos, or infographics that complement your content and capture readers’ attention.
  4. Keep your website fresh Regularly. Add content to demonstrate to search engines that your site is active and up to date.


Continuously Improve SEO performance
It’s important to assess your website for any issues or areas of improvement. Utilise tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track keyword rankings and evaluate performance data.

In conclusion

It is crucial for your business website to implement best SEO practices in order to establish an online presence and attract potential customers.

By following the steps outlined in this guide you can develop an SEO strategy that will improve your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPS for short).

Remember to choose an SEO plugin and conduct keyword research optimise both the structure of your website and its on-page elements, build high-quality backlinks monitor technical aspects of SEO create valuable content, and take advantage of local SEO tactics.

With effort and optimisation you can stand out as a quality business in the competitive online landscape.

We wish you luck and hope this helps – blog written by our friends at SEO Co-Pilot