A good SEM strategy is essential not only for large companies, but also for small and medium-sized businesses. With SEMrush, today you will see how to structure it starting from the basics.
The importance acquired by SEO in recent years has led many people to dress up an almost “mystical” aura that, in Italian, translates as search engine optimization. It is not by chance that some consider that its understanding is the prerogative of SEO agencies and webmasters.
In fact, it is possible for even small businesses to develop an effective SEO strategy, without necessarily having to resort to outside help.
For small business owners, relying on an SEO strategy means enjoying certain undeniable advantages. First of all, it is possible to expand the customer base, give a new vigor to the brand, ensure more traffic to the site, generate public interest and create a “buzz” around an activity.
Similarly for start-ups, SEO can also represent a great opportunity for growth over time. SEO for SMEs: where to focus? When planning an SEO strategy, the most difficult part is the sequence of actions to be taken. Establishing an action plan, a workflow, can be very helpful.
Optimizing the site for organic search: the most common mistakes
What does it mean to optimize a website? First of all, try to avoid the most common mistakes. Particularly common are those concerning the management of internal links. Only when the links are useful, that is to say, they represent a significant depth, do the engines get complete information on the topics present between the pages of a site.
Therefore, paying special attention to internal links will create a well-organized structure in which Google’s spiders, which enter a site to gather information – will be able to move easily, giving the engine a positive signal for positioning purposes. At the same time, the user experience will also benefit as it will create a relevant and easy to follow path.
On-page positioning factors
There are certain elements that the owner of a website can optimize directly because they are on the page, hence the definition of positioning factors on the page or site. You will see that in brief:
Url: an optimized url respects first of all the tree structure on which the site has been built, showing the hierarchical path that allows access to the required resource (eg www.sitoscarpe/woman-shoes/gloves/). The url has a semantic value, so you must include the significant keywords for the page it refers to. At the user level, the advice is that the url must be “speaking” (ie it allows to understand what content will be displayed) and compact.
Page title: very important for Google, is the title of the page that appears in the browser. It must contain the main keyword of the page. The semantic weight goes from left to right (the keywords must be entered at the beginning). It is the title that appears in SERP.
Metadescription : it’s the description of the page content ; it doesn’t affect the positioning directly (it’s not a ranking factor) but it’s relevant for the CTR in SERP (if the description is interesting, the user will click on the result).
H1: this is the title of the page, not to be confused with the Title of the page. Often these two elements coincide, and this is not a mistake, but the best way to take full advantage of them is to make sure they are related but not identical. The page title has a much more pronounced SEO value, while the H1 can be used by good copy to grab the reader’s attention (it’s actually the title that is shared by default when posting to Facebook).
Images: image optimization is also important to position a page well. The fields to work on are the name of the image, the Alt and the Title. If possible, always compress the image before uploading it (making sure that the quality of the image is not affected) as this will ensure a good loading speed of the site, a factor that Google considers more and more crucial for the positioning of a page.
Page formatting: to ensure a good user experience and therefore high and low bounce rates, the content of a page must be visually pleasing: a wall of text, for example, cannot be inviting for those looking for information on a site (especially if it is viewed from a cell phone). It is therefore advisable to structure the text in paragraphs, use bold and italics to highlight points of interest on the page, and break up the text with images, quotes, multimedia content such as videos, etc.
Duplication of content and the HTTPS protocol
In terms of content, it is important to avoid that different pages present the same text: this is a very common mistake, especially in e-commerce, which has a strong impact on the positioning of a page in search engine results.
Proper implementation of HTTPS protocol, used by a growing number of companies and highly recommended by Google, and optimization of content for mobile devices, as data confirms that the number of views on mobile devices is constantly increasing and has already surpassed that of views on desktops.
Building the image with Backlink, Influencer and PR
After seeing what on-page factors affect a site’s ranking, you need to look at how a small or medium-sized business can improve their site’s search engine rankings through off-page SEO. A company that is just entering the market needs the combined input of backlinks, PR and social signals.
On the importance of digital PR, you need to take into account that more than 80 and consumers consider word of mouth as an effective promotion tool, so being able to convince opinion leaders to promote a business can be a winning strategy.
As for signals from social networks, many people think that direct ranking factors can’t be taken into account (yet), but what you can’t underestimate is that even here, Google can monitor a buzz around a brand or site, which it will take into account when it needs to establish the authority of a page.
As far as link building is concerned, it is important to know that for Google, links are signals of esteem: if many sites link to a page. This means that this resource is considered valuable by the community, so the SERPs will reflect this appreciation, giving the page a visibility proportional to the positive signals received.
Do all links have the same weight? No. That’s why off-page optimization also comes into play. An optimal link building strategy, or better. Link gain should be as natural as possible.
Good keyword research is the basis of any positioning strategy
Keyword research will help you in two ways: by improving the content already on the site and by giving you ideas for future texts. It is essential to identify your company’s target keywords and the keywords your competitors are working on.
A company starting from scratch should avoid immediately focusing on the most competitive keywords, those with the highest search volumes but also the highest keyword difficulty. SEMrush’s Keyword Magic tool shows precisely this value to make the SEO aware of how difficult it is to get a better ranking than the competitors for that keyword.
The best thing to do is to try to rank for long-tail or long-tail keywords (those with more than 3 words) that have a lower search volume but are easier to win over. Of course, the traffic brought by these keywords will be lower but consider that they are more specific and can bring a more niche target.
What about a snippet in the foreground?
Having a “zero position” means taking advantage of a good opportunity to appear in the search engine results before your competitors. For a small or medium-sized business, success could be linked to the SERP characteristics.
To get a top snippet, you need to know how to optimize your site. If your content specifically answers a question, your page can appear in position zero, which is at the top of the SERP. You should also pay attention to formatting, take advantage of bulleted lists and paragraph headings.
Well, it may sound complicated and somewhat abstract (the effects of a good optimization strategy sometimes take months before you see results in the SERP), SEO has the potential to help your business grow in the most fragile and crucial phases of its development.
By following a few basic steps and taking care to create useful content for users, always accompanied by a good user experience, even a small and medium-sized business can get a good ranking in Google’s search pages and then gain traffic in target conversion.