SEO Best Practices for Small Businesses in the UK
When you’re trying to generate traction in those early days as a small business owner, many of the marketing calls you make will feel like a nerve-wracking gamble. Your time and resources are stretched thinner than thin, and with limited audience data, your paid advertising will take a lot of trial and error before it really starts paying off.
With a pressing need to promote your brand and limited power to do it, small business owners need to be looking to low-cost, organic options to bolster their paid marketing efforts. This is why a good understanding of SEO is essential for any small business looking to put themselves in front of the right people.
In this post, we’ll go over four of the most effective SEO best practices for small businesses in the UK.
Constantly Educate Yourself
Though a lot of SEO can be expressed as fairly simple concepts and summaries, it’s a hugely complex marketing discipline with more than 200 different factors that can govern a campaign’s chances of success.
You don’t have to be an industry-standard SEO expert to execute a successful organic marketing campaign. However, the more you can learn about SEO from trusted sources, the better you’ll be at making the right calls and planning your SEO campaigns going forward.
Like many things, the best of your SEO education is going to come from real-world experience, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and actioning what you’ve learned for stronger campaigns. On the more theory-based side, however, the internet is full of great resources you can utilise to expand your SEO knowledge for free.
The blogs of SEO agencies like KAU Media Group, thought leader content like the Search Engine Land, and courses like those on Hubspot Academy, are just some of the highly accessible and vetted learning resources out there.
Whether you can spare several hours a night or half an hour a week, developing an attitude of constant improvement will help massively in the early days of your SEO journey.
Invest In Intent-Based Search Terms and Quality Content
Producing regular, high-value content on your website is one of the most fundamental best practices any business can adopt for the sake of their SEO.
Content is an essential pillar for building trust and authority among your target audience, and for naturally generating backlinks that point to your site, which are both major factors that Google will take into account when ranking your site.
Though consistency in building your content is certainly important, it’s even more important to prioritise the quality of content over the quantity of posts you publish when you’re setting out to develop your SEO strategy.
With SEO being such a high-value marketing strategy, along with the recent explosion in AI-generated content, the web is full of thin, low-effort posts churned out en masse. Investing the maximum possible resources into your content to stand out from the noise is essential for SEO success, especially as a fledgling small business.
Focus your content calendar on showcasing your industry expertise, and presenting your brand as one that your audience can trust, and you’ll soon build a stronger foundation for organic marketing than your competitors who go all-in on quantity.
Focus on Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keywords that people tend to use when they’re in a later stage of the purchase decision process, or when they’re looking for a more specific piece of information.
Though they tend to get a lower search volume than more general keywords from the top of the funnel, they’re much less competitive than some of the search terms that might seem like a no-brainer at first glance.
When you’re fleshing out your search marketing strategy, it’s important to bear in mind that SEO takes time. Those sites that are sitting comfortably at position 1 for some of the most popular terms in their niche have got there through months if not years of creating great content, building their authority, and developing a healthy backlink profile. Though you may want to rank for something as high-volume as say, “scented candles”, when you’re just starting out you should try to focus on more realistic targets, like “how to make scented candles at home”.
As a small business, focussing on long-tail keywords when you’re creating content will give you a fighting chance on the SERPs that your larger competitors may be neglecting, and also maximise your chances of earning featured snippets, a great way to increase your authority and organic click-through rate.
By focusing your attention on long-tail keywords, you’ll help to move the needle on your fledgling organic profile, and see results from your SEO efforts sooner rather than later.
Keep An Eye On Emerging Search Trends
In recent years, Google has been refining its algorithm to better understand what its users are actually looking for with each search. This factor is known as “search intent”, which you can learn more about through this great guide by Semrush.
Though building up your status as an authoritative source of information can take time, small businesses can still make some big early wins by keeping their finger on emerging online trends and looking for gaps where they can create content around intent-based search terms, aiming to answer the specific questions that are being asked by their audience.
The way you do this will vary heavily depending on the kind of business you’re running. If you’re in eCommerce, your best source might be the questions section of Amazon listing pages or discussion forums about competitor products.
If you’re in a B2B niche, then you may want to spend more time analysing LinkedIn comment sections or following industry journals. Whichever way you go about it, keeping an eye on trends that are pertinent to your business will go a long way in helping you position your content for greater relevance and success.
SEO can have huge potential for small businesses that are just finding their feet, but like any marketing discipline, the right approach makes all the difference.
By tailoring your content strategy to your audience, constantly improving, and walking before you run, you’ll soon be able to figure out the mysteries surrounding SEO and start making your site work for you!