“I need SEO help!”
Nearly every small business owner brings up SEO and wants to know how to make it work for them. The advice I give fits most small business situations. Wondering if it’ll work for you? It just may.
The Low-Down on SEO for Small Business
In my years of experience, there’s a certain level of SEO work that’s necessary for small businesses (under $1,000,000 gross annually) which is the SEO that’s not truly helping a small business. Typically, this is the SEO that’s intensive and expensive to research, implement, and maintain.
There is another level for SEO that’s a better fit for most small businesses and that’s what I’ll share in this post. The best candidates for this type of work know:
- Exactly who they’re targeting and can describe that person
- The specific language of their ideal clients
- The terms their ideal clients use to describe their service/product
- Where their ideal clients live (this isn’t always necessary but good to know)
Although this may seem like a short list of criteria, here’s how it works for narrowing down which sites need some SEO work.
Know Exactly Who You’re Targeting
Who is your ideal client? If you’re marketing your service or product to everyone, you’re likely seeing true success with no one since your copy won’t be specific enough to inspire a sale. In short, attempting to appeal to everyone waters down messaging until it’s too thin to be effective.
Watered-down messaging makes it very difficult to get SEO-specific without knowing who you sell to along with why your service/product matters to them.
For example, if you offer services that help mothers of small children who aren’t sleeping well then you won’t simply say that you work with womxn, moms, or that you help children. You’ll say that you’re working with all three and then share the specific results they’ll get from that work with you.
The Specific Language of Your Ideal Clients
Your ideal clients use language that’s unique to them. Whether they’ve picked it up from peers, the literature they’ve read, or content they’ve consumed elsewhere like on social media or television, knowing the words they use are crucial to what they’re searching for online.
Let’s continue with the example from the last section of a business that works with moms of small children with sleep difficulties. Looking at the language they use:
- How do the womxn you work with describe themselves?
- What do they share about their difficulties with sleep, for themselves and for their child/children?
- What words do they say when they talk about what they need to make this situation better?
You could likely fill in the answers above with any of the following:
Moms of small children with sleep difficulties.
Or this: Mums of young children with sleep difficulties
Or: Mothers of toddlers with sleep interruptions
Or: Parents of infants with inconsistent sleep schedules
Or, none of the above if they use different words.
In short, there are many words to describe the specific person and problem they’re facing. It is important to choose the words your ideal clients are searching for in order to create the SEO that fits their queries.
The Words They Use for Your Service or Product
Related to the words your ideal clients use to describe themselves is how they describe what they want or need to fix their struggle/issue/pain point. Using exactly the same words that they use can be the difference between 100 site visits a month and 10,000 site visits a month.
Once you get to the exact words they use to describe the service or product they feel they need, that’s what you’ll want to use in your metadata.
Where Your Ideal Clients Live
If your business only works for people within a certain geographic area, you’ll need to consider this detail and include your location on your website and/or your location in your site’s metadata.
Why? Search engines will pull from either terms related to location (like your state, province, city) or from the “near me” option that considers your business location as listed for your site.
If your site’s metadata has neither one, it will not be considered in the search results that include your location or “near me”.
Now, to make this work for your small business you’ll need to start to collect all of the specific words of your ideal clients then add them to your site’s metadata along with integrating into your site’s copy.
For more on how to update your website copy, check out my Small Business Copy Guide. You’ll get tips on how to organize your copy for efficient updates that support your growing business.