Small Business SEO – Think Like A Small Business Owner!

Affordable small business SEO is not about attacking huge competitors for major keyword phrases. It is about finding keyword variations and long tail keywords.

You have a huge advantage because you know your customers, their needs and the questions they regularly ask. The people doing SEO for big companies have probably never met a customer.

Chris Anderson wrote The Long Tail in 2006. Here’s how he summarized the long tail (

The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.

The long tail is your advantage. That’s were your internet marketing can make you the most money.

Big Company Weakness – Your Opportunity

Service is the weakness of big companies and big brands. It’s expensive for them and the people making decision often haven’t talk with a real customers in years. You know when companies are trying to figure out how long a caller will wait on hold without getting angry, there’s an opportunity for real people doing business with real people.

You frustrate and anger your customers when you act like a big business. Small business SEO is about small business and you need to think that way. I hate it, yes really hate it, when a small businesses starts telling that something is against their policy. That’s a big business cost control response. Why would a small business do that?

Who Are You?

You’re not this:

McDonalds Store Phote

You’re more like this:

Paris Cafe Small Business

Be A Small Business – Act Your Size

Acting like McDonalds when you own a cafe, it just plain not going to work. Acting like McDonalds in small business SEO is not going to work either. Big companies have national brands and lots of locations or outlets. You have service, flexibility, speed and local knowledge.

You cannot compete with a national brand on their terms, but they can’t compete with you on your terms. You can be finished with making a change or pursuing a market opportunity before they even have their first meeting.

Small Business is Beautiful

You can pursue market opportunities profitably where your big competitors can’t even afford to analyze the market. They need big numbers to cover big costs. You don’t. You can dominate smaller market niches and segments where the cost of entry for them is too high.

Leverage your advantages and don’t compete against big competitor strengths. Small is beautiful and keep that in mind when you approach local SEO and small business SEO.

Local SEO Tips – Using Internal Links

Local SEOIf you look at your site, are you inter-linking between your own pages and posts? A big part of local SEO involves long-tail keywords and you have the power to support your own pages.

I analyze a lot of small business SEO sites. On many of these sites, I see content without links to other pages or posts on the site. This is a big mistake. Your own pages on your site carry PageRank, just like external pages, that can be sent to your other pages.

I read in Fast Company this week that the average American eats 34 donuts a year. So, let’s use a local bakery as an example. I’m going to pick a resort area because they get a lot of visitors from outside of the area who will search for everything, including donuts.

The business that we’ll use is the fictitious Tony’s Bakery in Cape May, NJ. Let’s say that Tony has done a good job creating content. He has 100 pages on his site. He uses images of donuts, bread, cakes and bagels on his site. Let’s say he has 10 pages on donuts.

From within the text of those pages, he should link to the other donuts pages.

Here’s the idea:

Internal Linking

You can be more creative with how you link so that it flows more naturally, but you get the idea. Also make sure that a link to the home page is coming from within the text with anchor text like “Tony’s Cape May Bakery.” Each page would be titled like this – “Glazed Donuts | Tony’s Cape May NJ Bakery.”

If you have a site that’s in the top 30 in the search engine rankings for your terms, making these changes can be enough to move you to the first page.

SEO for local businesses is different from targeting national markets. Tony would not be targeting bakeries in the US, New Jersey or Trenton. He is targeting Cape May and must give the search engines enough information to make that clear.

If you’re targeting locally, you need to focus on your locale. When I started with local SEO, I couldn’t really find anyone who could tell me what I needed to do. My real estate business in Daytona Beach was how I learned to effectively rank my pages for Daytona Beach Real Estate and other competitive terms. I spent several years and over $30,000 figuring it out.

Obviously there’s more to ranking for local geographically targeted terms than what is presented in this article. But, what I shown is very powerful and effective.

I am a Daytona Beach SEO specialist, but I server small businesses throughout the US and Canada. Give Mike Byrne a call at 386-295-2049 or use my contact page with any questions. Of course you could always leave a comment or ask a question below.

Small Business SEO – Long-Tail Keyword Opportunities

Long-tail keywords get over half the keyword searches in Google and the other search engines. Here’s a classic example where no one seems to be paying attention to that fact.

What if you arrived at your vacation home on a Sunday morning only to find it infested with fleas? Who would you call? Well, in our real estate business, we often get calls from people asking for recommendations. We tried a few numbers for pest control companies we normally work with, but no one was answering. I then sat down in front of my computer and did a Google search on “emergency pest control daytona beach” (searched without the quotes).

Local Small Business SEO – Asleep At The Wheel

The results for the emergency pest control search show that long-tail keyword terms such as “emergency pest control daytona beach” are being ignored by small business marketers and most SEO companies. Looking at the results, I see that no one, not even the pages that are ranking, are targeting this keyword. Take a look at the results:

Emergency Pest Control SEO SERP

The first five SERP (Search Engine Result Page) results are shown from Google. Notice that of the five pages, only one page has an external link to it, the third listing. None of the top five sites have the search term in the title or in the URL. These sites are ranking because no one has optimized for the term “emergency pest control daytona beach.”

A quick way to find out if anyone is targeting a phrase is to check the title using the ALLINTITLE: command in Google. When I type in allintitle:emergency pest control daytona beach, we see zero results. A further check using the ALLINURL:emergency pest control daytona beach, shows zero results.

Is Long-Tail Keyword SEO Worth It?

If you attempt to find monthly keyword counts for our example keyword, you won’t find any. According to Google counts, there is zero traffic. On the other hand, half of all search queries show no traffic. I am amazed at the traffic I see on my websites for search queries that show no Google counts. Of 2,742 keywords that brought traffic to one of our real estate sites in May, 2,701 came from keywords with a count of less than 10. Over 1/2 of the traffic on this site is from long-tail keywords.

Back to our example. If you offer a service such as an emergency service, why keep it a secret? This is why blogs are so important. To rank for this keyword, here’s what you should do:

  1. Create a page or blog post with “Emergency Pest Control Your City” (or whatever your service is)
  2. Write about 300-400 words in the post. Mention “emergency pest control your city” 2-3 times. Talk about how solving your customers problem is important and describe the process. Tell them to call you now! They wouldn’t be looking if they weren’t in need.
  3. Make the page URL – emergency-pest-control-your-city.
  4. Make sure the page or post title, description and keyword meta data is targeted to your service. If your WordPress Theme doesn’t show a place for this meta data, install the All-In-One-SEO plugin and activate it.
  5. Publish the page or post
  6. Link from 5-10 of your internal pages/posts to this page
  7. Send 5-10 external links to the new page/post

For phrases like emergency pest control, where no competitor has optimized for SEO, you or your Daytona Beach SEO specialist should be able to get a first page ranking fast and a top ranking in a few months. If you don’t see that, add more external links.

Do this with 100 pages and your phone will be ringing. This is what small business SEO is about. Your traffic will come from hundreds of keywords, not one or two.

If these steps seem confusing to you, keep coming back to learn more. If you need help, call Michael at 386-295-2049.