If you are a small business owner, you know how important it is to promote your products or services online. Digital marketing, for sure, has become a standard for generating new customers and giving your brand an edge over your competitors. But the question remains: “How much do you really know about digital marketing?”

Apart from social media and video marketing, you also need to invest your resources on a proper search engine optimization strategy. SEO is all about making your brand visible to people who are actively looking for a specific product or service in search engine results pages or SERPs. 

That said, SEO is one of the things that can help your small business thrive and expand if you are able to execute your SEO strategy properly. And you have to do so quickly because Google announced that it would double down on providing answers to top questions in immediate SERPs

For that, let’s take a look at a few important components that add value to your brand’s searchability:

1. Extensive Keyword Research

First, we have to understand that SEO is all about effective use of keywords. People use keywords in order to search for the products or services they need. You want to rank for these keywords so your brand gets a favorable position in the search results pages. 

For this, it’s important that you spend time coming up with a list of the terms you want to compete for. It’s not just a matter of picking random keywords, you need to analyze each one based on the amount of clicks they generate and their ranking difficulty. You can use tools like SpyFu and BuzzSumo to find high-value key terms to include in the content of your website.

2. Quality Content

And speaking of content, you also need to provide information that’s relevant to your target audience. You have to give something fresh and highly engaging. This could be a challenge since the online world is currently saturated by too much content. One way you can get around this is to analyze blogs that rank for certain keywords and see if you can improve upon them.

As you create content for your website, it’s important to include the terms and phrases from your keyword list to the verbiage. Make sure that the keywords integrate seamlessly with the rest of the text. It’s also important not to stuff your content with too many of the same keywords. This practice will get you penalized by most search engines, especially Google.

3. Target Audience

Of course you can’t have content without a target audience and you can’t have an effective SEO strategy without a target audience either. That said, it’s important to consider the kind of customers who would be interested in your product or service. You need to find out the keywords they use in order to search for such offers and how you can formulate an SEO strategy that aligns with their behaviors when they search online.

When determining your target audience, you must review the goals you have set for your small business in the first place. What are your products good for? What specific problems can they help solve? What benefits can they provide in the long term? Answering these questions should help you enrich your keyword list. 

4. Rich Snippets

Users are more likely to click on search results that display more information. These are called rich snippets and they usually provide information such as a business’s contact numbers and links to other pages of a website. Rich snippets are known for their quality, so it’s not surprising that they give small businesses a better position to generate organic traffic.

How do you create rich snippets? For this, you will need to include a schema markup to your website. This allows you to tag each component of a webpage to reflect the way they appear on the SERPs. You can have someone help you generate microdata to add to the backend of your website. One you have added the schema markup, you can test it out and see if the results provide ample information about your products and services. 

SEO is not only for big players anymore. Small businesses can get in on the action, as long as they include these important components in their strategy.