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Including this blog, how long have you spent researching, reading, saving for ‘later’ and watching content about SEO tips for your small business? 

As a small business owner myself, before deciding to tackle the SEO beast and later specialize in it, I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent devouring SEO content. It’s frustrating to spend hours of your time on something only to walk away feeling as if you’re still missing a key component. 

I get it. 

The most important thing to remember is SEO takes time. You can watch all the instant hacks you want I can almost guarantee it will take 4-6 months (minimum) to see an impact in your rankings. 

With that disclaimer out of the way, there are of course things you can do to optimize your website and position yourself for success with or without an SEO specialist!

Take 10 minutes today to devote to SEO and let’s talk SEO tools. Plan to take 10 minutes to read this post today and carve out 10 minutes for the next 3 days to set up each one of these tools.  And if you’re unsure if you even need SEO, I have a blog for that.

3 SEO Small Business Tips

1. Day one – set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is your guide to how your website is performing, how people are getting to your website, and how people are interacting with your website. It’s everything about your website and how it’s working. 

An all-in-one free tool! 

Why Google Analytics Is Important

It doesn’t matter if your website is 2 minutes old or 5 years old. Your Google Analytics account is active and tracking only from the moment you create it. See why it’s so important? 

Looking at your Google Analytics account can totally induce a panic attack. But put down that paper bag and step away from the YouTube search bar. This is Level 1, we’re only gonna look at the absolute need-to-know.

You only need to look at a few things to get your money’s worth (lol get it?).

  • Audience 
    • Who’s visiting your site? What does your audience look like? 
    • Reports → User → User Attributes → Overview
  • Engagement
    • What is your audience doing? How many pages are they clicking through, and how long are they staying on a page? 
    • Reports → Engagement → Engagement Overview
  • Acquisition 
    • How is your audience finding you? Organic traffic, keywords, referrals, social media, etc.? 
    • Reports → Acquisition → Overview 
  • Tech
    • What devices is your audience using? 
    • Reports → Tech → Tech Overview

How To:

  1. Log into Google Analytics
    1. If you use Google Workspace use your business Gmail
    2. If you don’t, create a Google email or link your email to Google
  2. Follow the prompts and fill out your information
  3. If you need more assistance, watch this 10-minute video from Mariah Magazine

2. Day two: set up Google Search Console

When I was creating my business, I was nervous as hell to hit publish on my website. Like actual knots in my stomach. I had myself convinced that my life was going to hit change once I hit publish. My website would immediately be in front of Patagonia, Pact, and all of Chicagoland to see! 

So when I finally hit publish I felt… underwhelmed. 

Nothing happened. 

Patagonia didn’t email me, the City of Chicago didn’t ask me to come work on their sustainability committee. 

BECAUSE — this is def the only reason — hitting publish does not mean Google has indexed your website. 

Wait, what? 

The internet is called the ‘web’ for a reason. Everything is interconnected. Google has crawlers whose main function is to scan publicly accessible sites and follow the links. 

Hint: This is one of the reasons having backlinks is so incredibly important. But more on that another day.

Google has to find you to be able to index you and that can happen in a few different ways. 

  • Through high-quality backlinks from someone else’s (authoritative) site to yours. (like this blog I wrote for Eco Club!)
  • From submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console to let them know you have content available to crawl (does not guarantee a crawl).
  • From manually requesting Google to crawl new pages and content.

Google Search Console helps with the last two points.

Why Google Search Console Is Important

Google Analytics tells you everything about your website and how it’s working but Google Search Console tells you how your website is performing on Google Search

It allows you to see what keywords and links are performing well, make sure your site is being crawled, and probably most importantly, look at how usable your website is. 

  • ‘Search Results’ tell us what content is performing well, how you can optimize moving forward, and how you can elaborate for future content. 
  • ‘Indexing’ allows you to manually request for Google to crawl your website and new content. It also allows you to fix and validate any errors. 
  • ‘Experience’ lets you look at how usable your website is across desktop and mobile, and core web vitals tell you everything you need to know about the speed and performance of your website. 

How To: 

  1. Go to Google Search Console to begin
  1. Select ‘Start Now’
    1. Sign in with the SAME email you use for your business and you used for Google Analytics
  2. A prompt will appear asking you to enter your website
    1. Domain — you’ll need to log into your domain host and add a TXT file to your DNS records
    2. URL Prefix — put in your exact domain and it should auto-verify you
  3. For video instructions, here’s an 8-minute video from Mariah Magazine. Plan on this taking much longer than 8 minutes. 😃

3. Day three: set up Google My Business Profile

Have you ever Googled a business (or a keyword) and a little square shows up on the right-hand side of your search with the business’s info? It’s super convenient, and it has pictures, hours, contact info, and a bunch more stuff. 

That’s a Google My Business profile now called Google Business Profile!

Why Google My Business Is Important

Have you ever searched for something and then added ‘near me’? 

  • ‘Sustainability Copywriter Near Me
  • ‘Antique Store Near Me
  • ‘Vegan Ice Cream Near Me

A Google Business Profile helps your business show up in relevant ‘near me’ searches when your target audience is making them.

It’s important to note that it assists with local searches. Even if you serve companies Nationwide, set up your profile for the physical location you’re based in

First, why wouldn’t you want to optimize for local traffic? 

Second, fully setting up your account to include a keyword-rich profile description helps with your SEO performance. 

As a bonus, you can ask for reviews directly in a Google Business Profile which also helps with your SEO and your authority. 

How to: 

  1. Sign in to your (same) Google account
  2. Click ‘Create Profile’
  3. Enter the name of your business and its category
  4. Follow the rest of the steps to complete all the info. Yes, upload some pictures.

Setting up an account is fairly easy but I cannot stress enough how important it is to fill out all the information

You get 750 characters for your description, use every character! 

Make your description keyword rich (not stuffed, rich). A copywriter, SEO specialist, or even an SEO website designer can help you with that. 😁3 

  • Make sure you’re using your actual business location.
  • List your offerings and their searchable keywords
  • Include any attributes about your business (female-owned, etc)
  • Include a few pictures — preferably not of an empty lot creepily overgrown with weeds
  • Ask for reviews directly on your profile (helps with SEO)
  • Bonus: Include posts about your business such as events, news, product launches, a new blog post, and more.

Once done, head over to Bing to set up your Bing Places profile (which you can pull right in from your completed Google Business Profile). Google might make up a majority of the search but you never know what kind of qualified clients could be coming from Bing!

Wrapping It Up

SEO is an ongoing process that takes time, consistent effort, and a strategy to help your small business establish a strong online presence, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately boost your revenue. 

By implementing these SEO tips for small businesses, you gain valuable insights into your website traffic, user behavior, and search engine performance. This will empower you as a small business owner to make informed decisions about your online marketing strategies, and take control of your future growth — or at least understand the plan your SEO specialist/copywriter comes up with 🤓!

3 tips to help small businesses do the SEO stuff: 10 minutes and free tools