SEO Marketing for your small business - What is SEO Marketing?

SEO Marketing for small business

We’re here to help you with SEO marketing for your small business.

At LYF Solutions® we work with small business owners to grow online.

Using search engine optimisation is a great way for many business owners to drive more traffic to their website.

It’s also useful for when trying to be found online at key stages of your customer journey.

Find out why and how SEO marketing services can make a difference to your bottom line.

SEO Marketing for small business by LYF Solutions

What is SEO Marketing?

Search engine optimisation involves setting up your site for the benefit of search engines.

All search engines – including Google, Bing and Yahoo – have robots that crawl through websites to collect data, such as meta keywords and descriptions.

The data captured enables the search engine to determine where your site sits compared to others on the web.

By placing the right information in the right spaces, and following a number of search engine rules and processes, you can better present yourself to these search engines. This means you’ll rank better when someone searches for your product, service, or organisation.

How does an SEO Marketing Strategy work?

An SEO Marketing Strategy is a plan that works out what your target market is, and how to attract it.

With many forms of social media and internet advertising available, this plan can grab your target market’s attention and place yourself in the right place at the right time.

Interestingly, unlike other forms of digital marketing, ‘organic search’ sits at every phase of the love (sales) funnel. This is because people will use search engines like Google to answer their questions at each stage.

Often, a lot of the focus goes on to the action phase, when really a lot of businesses are missing out on the key terms people will use that relate to a purchase decision earlier on.

How do you perform SEO optimisation?

At LYF, we put our attention to technical, on-page, and off-page search engine optimisation. Our focus is to get your site right first, then work with you to deliver external search engine results.

In reality, for a small business, you can’t expect traffic unless your website is set-up for search engine robots.

We use a number of tools for search engine optimisation including directory listings, submissions, Google blacklist check. We also determine whether your website has any broken links. This all comes together to form part of a visitor’s experience.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is about ensuring your website can be seen by search engines.

If you imagine the World Wide Web as a subway with trains, search engines use their trains to travel through your site to determine what your content is trying to tell people.

This allows Google (and other search engines) to sort the information and index you – basically they discover you by arriving at your destination and look through your site for relevant content.

On-site SEO

This step – often referred to as on-page SEO – involves optimising your current website content to meet the needs of your target audience, and balance this with search engines needs.

An example of on-page SEO would be to change your meta title to include a key search term.

We might even advise you to update your website copy so it includes the key questions your audience are using when they are looking for a given topic.

Off your website SEO

Once you have taken care of your on-page SEO, it’s time to drive traffic to your amazing content.

To do this, we often use a technique called backlink building. In essence, this step involves getting other credible websites to link to your content.

In return, it can drive greater traffic back to your brand or business, and also send a positive signal back to search engines like Google that your site is trustworthy.

Types of SEO marketing

Often people get confused between SEO and paid search ads.

When you type a term into Google, such as “order Chinese takeaway” you may see several results.

Usually, at the top, you will see paid ads. In Google, these are called Google Ads and are paid advertisements from businesses. This tactic is referred to as search engine marketing (SEM).

A search engine result page shows a Google Ads listing to order Chinese takeaway online. The word “Ad” is circled to differentiate it from an organic result.

SEO, on the other hand, are those results which are not paid for. They are considered organic because the content is being ranked by Google and its algorithm.

A user does not pay Google to rank organically. However, if you want to rank higher in these search results, you can engage with a search engine optimisation consultant or firm (like us) to help you to rank for key terms your audience may use.

How to do local SEO Marketing

Another form of SEO marketing is local search engine optimisation. This is a process that helps to rank your website or business based on local terms.

Around 46% of searches on Google are said to be local-based. 78% of local searches are even reported to end up in an offline purchase.

Local search engine optimisation marketing often comes down to how easy it is for search engines to understand where you are located, and what product or service you have to offer.

Common features of local SEO can include the use of a tool called Google My Business, and listing your business on local directory websites.

Our Do Good Marketing SEO services

At LYF Solutions®, we are committed to our Do Good ethical business practices. For this reason, we aim to do things differently when it comes to search engine optimisation work.

1. Transparency

We are not afraid to share what work we’ve done to get your site or content to rank higher.

We are transparent about what links we have gained for you, where we make updates, the amount of time spent, and other tactics we use to help your small business grow.

2. Quality, not quantity

We create high-quality content that your users want to read and engage with, not just blogs or content that meets short-term search engine criteria.

At the end of the day, we know that in order to drive real, long-term results, we have to balance the needs of your target market and the search engine.

3. White-hat (Ethical) SEO

We follow search engine rules. Other providers may ignore this but face being penalised, which in turn could mean short-term wins for long-term pain to your business.

That could mean fewer leads and sales for you long-term. We simply don’t think that it’s worth the risk.

FAQ on SEO

Select a common query below.

In an SEO marketing costs analysis done in 2020, the typical hourly rate for most providers ranged from $75 to $200 an hour.

Since good search engine optimisation processes take time, you should expect to pay most providers from $1000 to $5000 per month for a small business.

The actual cost of your SEO marketing will vary based on how well your website is performing to date, how well your competitors are doing, and the volume of competition your audience key search terms have.

It may also depend on how much content your site has, as well as your conversion goals.

A professional SEO consultant will first look to understand the technical aspects of your website.

That’s a process whereby they can use their experience, and or a tool to examine how your website scores against key criteria that search engines look for in order to rank content.

Once there’s an understanding of your technical SEO requirements, keyword research is essential to delivering the next few steps. There are many forms of keyword research, however, the best type of research is where you go into greater depth around your target audience.

Keyword research is an essential piece of work and if done correctly, will guide you on what key terms you will need to use on your website and what content you may need to produce to answer your customer queries.

Good keyword research isn’t about volume. Instead, it considers how competitive a keyword is, and also what intent a person has when using that keyword or term.

After keyword research, an SEO professional will map the key terms across your website and identify opportunities. From here, you will need to implement the changes to your website also known as “on-page” SEO.

Once you have completed on-page SEO, you are likely to move to “off-page” SEO which will help to drive more traffic to your site, and support your ranking results in a search engine result page (SERP).

SEO (an acronym that stands for search engine optimisation) is simply a process whereby you optimise your website so search engines can place your website as a top result for a relevant search query.

For example, if you are a local hair salon that is cruelty-free, you’ll likely want to be found online when someone in your service area is looking for a cruelty-free haircut or treatment.

However, as there are many websites on the world wide web, search engines need certain signals in order for them to consider ranking you as a business they would recommend to a person or not.

Remember, it’s important to understand that a search engine wants the best experience for the person. Hence, they are looking for a result that matches the intent and need of that individual.

If your content is not relevant, you will likely not rank well for that term over time.

The role of SEO is to optimise your website for key search terms and questions your target audience is using at each stage of the love (sales) funnel.

The idea is that in search, users have a higher intent and thus will be interested in reading relevant content from you that matches their query or question.

If we create content that adds value to a person, we can then create a relationship with them. This relationship over time could result in a lead or sales opportunity.

Organic SEO is cost-effective, as it saves you from paying for that result. If you want to understand your return on investment from SEO, a good way to do this is to base it on the average cost per click a business would pay if they had to advertise to achieve that traffic. You can use this free SEO keyword tool to understand this.

Wordstream free keyword tool to understand saving of organic SEO from cpc chart

As noted above the “CPC” (average cost per click) tells us that if we achieve free traffic for a keyword like “sunglasses for men” then we are essentially saving $0.79 per free result we receive. Whilst that may not seem like a lot, over time it adds up depending on the volume (how much) traffic you receive.

Even though local SEO is about getting your business location on the web, it’s still worthwhile creating content that meets your user questions.

This can help when engaging with them online and build up your customer relationship.

In addition, you could create content that is localised which could support other local businesses or touch on key tips only suitable to those in the local area.

An example of this would be a driving instructor informing their audience of key routes to go to practice their driving skills in Melbourne.

The business goal of SEO in digital marketing is to drive more conversions or leads for your business.

If you are attracting low-quality traffic then you are unlikely to get the most benefit from your SEO marketing strategy.

From an SEO point of view, the goal is to increase your visibility so you can be found online.

It is then up to your website’s content to engage with your target audience and encourage an action from them, which could include purchasing something from you or signing up to an email list.

No, it’s not true that WordPress websites can rank better on Google.

We touched on this recently in a blog with Kate Toon on Wix which often attracts a heated debate from people using this platform.

There’s not enough evidence to suggest that one platform is ranked better by search engines over others.

However, there is definitely evidence to say that self-hosted WordPress websites can make the process easier. That’s because WordPress is an open content management system and tools like Yoast SEO can make it easier for SEO consultants like us to make technical or on-page SEO changes on your website.

We can provide SEO training for those businesses or teams who are looking to learn more about search engine optimisation.

If you are a beginner and would like to DIY SEO for your business or have a restricted budget, you may like to check out Kate Toon’s Recipe for SEO Success course. We are not an affiliate but do love their work.

Although some digital marketers may argue that SEO and content marketing are not connected, we believe together they can be very useful and an effective way to produce content of good value.

Content marketing is a type of marketing where we create content like free guides, checklists, and webinars to add value to our target market.

It’s a way for us to communicate with our audience without it feeling like a traditional sales pitch.

Using search engine optimisation techniques, we can create content marketing resources based on what people are searching for, compared to using our gut instinct.

It also means that we can optimise our content marketing efforts so the content can be found online through key search terms at different stages of the purchase pathway.

For example, if we know a term like “When is it okay to start swimming lessons” is gaining traction, we could create content based around this topic and add value to our audience.

Whilst not everyone will end up purchasing swimming lessons, this increases our reach and the chance of someone considering our services.

Although search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimisation (SEO) differ in their marketing efforts, they can often be used to complement each other.

Both types of marketing are used when a person searches for key terms or a question in search engines. Some people may select paid ads, over organic results for instance.

Paid ads (like Google Ads) can also be useful for those key terms which have too much competition to rank.

An example of this would be “Medicines on Medicare”, which as a term is hard to rank for organically because most of the websites on search results are government-based sites. So in order to show up on the first page of Google, you’d use Google search Ads.

The best way to do content marketing based on SEO is to understand what people are searching for.

By performing keyword research, you can identify groups of topics, questions or key terms that people are using.

Based on this research, you can create content that directly or indirectly relates to these questions and terms.

Even if the content cannot be ranked on a search engine, you are likely to still have a valuable item to use in other channels like your social media and email marketing.

We recommend that anyone who invests in SEO should get a basic understanding of what it involves. This understanding SEO article we have written may help.

To understand the techniques or tactics that we’d recommend, we would suggest you read our top 12 essential ranking factors article.

SEO is likely to be very important for most small businesses online.

As most people are searching for a product, service or content using search engines, it’s important that your business considers organic search opportunities.

That said, SEO marketing may be too costly for a start-up or hobby. You may want to explore only keyword research with us, and take a DIY course elsewhere to save costs before you can afford more hours for search engine optimisation.

The typical hourly rate for an SEO consultant can range from $75 per hour up and exceed to over the $200 mark. This can equate to a monthly figure of over $1000, which may not be suitable for some business owners. Be wary if the figure you have been given is much less than this!

Typically it can take three to six months for a business to see results.

The timeframe it takes for your website to rank on page #1 will depend on how well your website has followed key search engine techniques for optimisation.

In addition, some other factors can come into play, such as how competitive it is to rank for that term, how many competitors there are, and whether your website is actually relevant to this term or not.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is commonly seen as Google Ads and Bing Ads. This tactic allows you to pay to gain traffic for key search queries or to attract people to your website through banner ads.

These banner ads are usually referred to as display or remarketing ads.

SEM is very useful for key terms that are hard to rank for, or too competitive. They are also a great option if you cannot afford search engine optimisation services.

That said, if you want to invest in SEO, know that it can pay off long-term, and is definitely worth considering.

Yes. Google has indicated that the time it takes for your pages to load can have some impact on your ranking.

However, please note that it’s one of many things Google uses in its algorithm to determine whether to rank your website. We don’t know how exactly much weight Google applies to this factor over some others.

However, typically a website should load on average 5 seconds or less. Pages that load longer than this can lead to people leaving your website before it loads, and is also said to impact on conversions (add to carts and purchases).

Yes. There are plenty of websites you can learn SEO on. Some great resources include the Moz Blog, Neil Patel and Search Engine Land.

Here are some of our key tips to good SEO marketing:

INFOGRAPHIC: Do's and Don'ts of SEO marketing and what to look out for

Do:

  • Understand the foundations of SEO
  • Research important ranking factors
  • Undertake a detailed keyword research
  • Play by search engine guidelines using white-hat SEO techniques
  • Invest in SEO & digital marketing
  • Create relevant content
  • Create fresh and unique content

Don’t:

  • Trust providers who only focus on keyword volume
  • Rely on SEO providers to get you on Page 1 in weeks
  • Stuff keywords in your content
  • Use black-hat SEO techniques that could get you penalised
  • Copy and paste other website’s content
  • Favour search engine robots over a good user experience

Talk to us about your SEO needs