SEO for small businesses

Get more business through effective small business web marketing

The aim of this article is to advise small businesses on how to get the phone to ring more and generate more business from their website. To do this it is necessary to understand how to rank well for the phrases your target audiences are using to search for their products and services.

The basics – Google webmaster tools

To start optimising your small business website visit Google’s webmaster tools. After all, if you want to do well in Google you need to listen to what Google has to say on the matter. Here are the key things you need to start your optimisation of your website:

  1. undertake a domain background check – if your domain has been used for spam activity you will not do well
  2. if there are any penalties associated with your domain follow the steps in Google webmaster to address them.
  3. it is important to ensure that Google is crawling your site appropriately and viewing content as it should in an optimised way. To do this use the “Fetch as Googlebot” tool and ensure Google is viewing your pages effectively.
  4. implement Google analytics so you can understand how people are using your site, how people are successfully finding you and where you are failing.
  5. the structure of your site is also very important, not only because Google wants to see a logical and simple hierarchy of content but also because Google rewards success. This means that if people stay longer on your site and you have a quality experience for all of your different visitor types, Google increases your ranking.

Defining your conversion

What this means is identifying what you want to happen from your visitor types. Have you defined how you want each persona to engage with you? e.g.:

  1. buy something online
  2. call me
  3. download something
  4. sign up for a newsletter
  5. share our service with someone

You want a conversion for every page which means you need to think about:

  • layout
  • calls to action

Copy (is king)

This is where the bulk of the work needs to be undertaken. Not only from an SEO perspective but also very much from a visitor’s perspective. There is no point driving traffic to your site if your copy is dry, hard to read and is not benefit based.

Core tips on writing for Google are:

  1. put yourself in the user’s shoes and include relevant phrases they are likely to use when searching for your products and services
  2. research common terms using Wordtracker and Adwords keywords tool
  3. consider common misspellings
  4. answer questions as people often pose questions in search terms
  5. meet visitors other needs on a page such as links to returns policy or delivery

Every page should include:

  • A unique topic
  • A unique Title (the most important aspect of the page descriptors for Google)
  • A unique meta description – good ones increase click-throughs from Google
  • Descriptive links to pages in your site optimised for that phrase

Speed of loading

It is important that your pages load fast as Google puts quite an emphasis upon this and is looking for sites that have pages that load in under half a second.


Don’t try for any shortcuts. Google employs more PhD graduates than any other organisation and they are on the look-out constantly for sites trying to short-circuit their quality guidelines.

There are plenty of things you as a small business owner can do to increase your rankings, but for quicker and more effective Search Engine Optimisation results, use a highly experienced and qualified SEO Specialist agency such as Nvisage.