Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are highly sought after by every type of business regardless its size and establishment. This is particularly true of small and new businesses which struggle against bigger players in the market. Hence, these businesses need to adopt sound and effective SEO strategies to attract the attention of top search engines like Google to enjoy higher rankings on their sites for better business growth.

It is well known that SEO is rapidly changing the market landscape with its dynamic evolution of features which businesses are eager to pick up. It should be no surprise to find more businesses getting on the bandwagon of SEO with its new features that set the pace and trends of the market. It is to the business’s advantage to adopt the right standards in SEO for a definite success in 2018.

1) Define the Audience

A successful business starts off with knowing its target audience. This is crucial because the business must have strong and loyal supporters in the form of customers. SEO comes in with its drive on relevant traffic to the business website. But the traffic flow must comprise relevant potential business leads that would benefit the bottom line of the business.

Hence, the business owner or marketer needs to identify their preferred groups of audience or targeted niche markets before implementing any marketing campaigns. Knowing the right audience beforehand helps the business owner or marketer develop the best of marketing strategies and campaigns that would succeed readily and quickly.

2) Targeted Audience First

Every small business owner or marketer must realize the importance of their targeted audiences. Every business lead generated is a potential customer to the business; hence, it is right to convey the best of services to each potential business lead that could be converted into a paying customer.

It is also possible for the satisfied customer to be a loyal brand ambassador over time. Every marketing campaign must be developed with the right focus – targeted audiences. Every blog produced must have the right readership in mind. Every product created must have the right customers in focus. A successful small business starts with the right consumer-first mentality. After all, they are the ones that would establish the brand or company in the marketplace.

3) Never Assume No Direct Competitors

Every business would have competitors; the question is “how many?” There would be some competition in the choice of products or services as well as keywords and marketing strategies which a business may wish to market or deploy. Wise business owners and marketers should research the market on existing and potential competitors before they can develop a unique and effective SEO strategy that would bring about results.

4) Improve Page Speed

Happy consumers want what they are looking for quickly. Time is a precious commodity which even Google supports by insisting on faster page speeds in downloading files and visuals. Better page speed boosts site visibility in the marketplace where online users talk and share content freely.

Delays in loading time could cause customer dissatisfaction which turns them away to competitors. Small businesses could gain an advantage by downloading smaller portions of information to gain customer favor.

5) Use Long Tail Keywords

With the rise of small businesses on the Internet this decade, better marketing strategies must be exercised for a more effective advertising of brands and products/services. This includes the use of long-tail keywords in the marketing strategy where such keywords are more likely to generate successful searches by target consumers on the Internet.

Moreover, such a marketing strategy augurs well with search engines like Google for better rankings as online users gain better online experiences in their searches.

6) Local SEO

A small business’s track to success usually begins with small steps; this includes being seen in local markets via local searches and platforms. The rankings of small businesses in the local markets could improve when they are well acknowledged by the local market authorities such as their industry peers and business experts.

Local SEO is very crucial to local brick-to-brick small businesses where mobile users today could visit when searching information online. The rise of mobile technology devices and apps is particularly beneficial to small businesses whose local consumers are able to locate them easily and quickly.

7) Mobile Friendly Website

Market researches show that more and more web traffic is generated through mobile devices that are becoming more and more advanced or sophisticated with interesting and dynamic features. But business owners and marketers need to ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

This would encourage more mobile users to get on the Internet on their mobile devices. A mobile friendly website is favored by Google with higher ranks awarded to sites.

8) Voice Search

As voice technology improves over time, the use of voice would be increased in online searches. Small businesses that allow voice search to their websites would most likely get more traffic as busy consumers could get to their website from anywhere without typing in their website URL.

Voice searches would also allow a wider group of consumers such as the physically handicapped who can use their voice to activate online searches. Many online users find that voice search queries are faster and more convenient.

9) Be Authentic

Although SEO is advantageous to small business marketing, some business owners or marketers may try to circumvent the process through shady tactics to hoodwink search engines indexing and evaluation.

Businesses that do not practice white-hat SEO could be misconstrued as unreliable and unauthentic in the marketplace. This is detrimental to the reputation of the company in the market as well as risk being blacklisted by search engines.

10) Quality over Quantity

Link building is an essential SEO tactic, but quality must always precede over quantity for a successful marketing escapade. Too many links may cause confusion to web visitors and more update inconveniences to the web master. Good links help web visitors make a definite decision on the company’s offering quickly to benefit the bottom line of the company.