With offline advertising expensive and difficult to track, PPC loaded with hefty initial expenses, and media buying an expensive exercise in frustration for most, there’s no shortage of reasons for small businesses – particularly those with small advertising budgets – to invest heavily in SEO.
As one of the few forms of online marketing that can generate massive returns from a relatively small investment, SEO is the perfect option for startups and independent businesses. Read on to learn five simple tips for starting your small business’s SEO campaign without stretching your budget.
1. Look for high quality guest blogging opportunities
One of the best ways to establish your business as a thought leader – and score a few nice links in the process – is to guest blog. Pick leading blogs in your industry and let them know you’re willing to contribute engaging, relevant content for their readers.
Bloggers love guest posts from industry experts, and if you can offer an insightful look at your industry – whether it’s lawn care or investment banking – you’ll gain online credibility and a powerful link pointing towards your company’s website.
2. Network with other local businesses
Do you run a clothing tailor shop? Think about the type of businesses that you could network with for optimum SEO. From dry cleaners to fabric dealers, there’s always a range of small, complementary businesses that you can network with for SEO.
Contact potential partners and offer to link to them from your website in exchange for your own inbound link. Since your services complement each other’s, it makes a lot of sense to exchange traffic.
3. Find local industry directories
Every city, no matter how big or small, has an online directory website listing all of its small businesses. If you’re searching for an SEO opportunity that also brings in a wide range of organic customers, a directory listing is a great choice.
Search for business directories in your city using a local key phrase such as ‘Los Angeles business directory’ and you’ll discover hundreds of high-value local link building opportunities for your business.
4. Network with local PR influencers
Some of the best local link building opportunities can be found in local newspapers and online magazines. If your business has an interesting new product, service, or a launch event, use local media to build links and raise awareness.
There’s no need to invest in an expensive PR firm to handle your news media link building. Instead, connect with news media influencers on Twitter and LinkedIn to brainstorm story ideas and inspire positive press coverage.
5. Develop resources for local consumers and businesses
One of the best ways to attract high quality inbound links is to turn your website into a resource center for local consumers and businesses. Calculators, directory listings, and other useful information is ideal for attracting great local links.
Ask a developer or local journalist to piece together a useful guide to your area for customers and business owners. Afterwards, email business owners to encourage them to link to your website in the interest of helping local consumers.