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Elena Terenteva

SEMrush SEO Tips and Tricks for Small Business

Elena Terenteva

Sometimes it’s not easy for SEO beginners to prioritize SEO tasks, or know which practices are more effective for small business. That’s why we asked our contributors – specialists in small and medium enterprises (SME) – to give you advice on getting started the right way.

Don’t forget to save this presentation with summarized tips for future reference! Please share your tips and tricks for SME in the comments – we’d love to add them later!


Nick Stamoulis, President of Brick Marketing

I think the word "tactic" in SEO is actually a little misleading. It leads you to believe that it's the same process and set of steps for every website, or maybe some kind of trick to make SEO success happen faster.

To me, the best SEO "tactic" is to commit for the long haul and focus on building great content that will earn links and social shares over time. Even small businesses can devote a few hours each week to creating content that gets attention in the long run. The key is to not over think it and always focus on creating something that helps your audience.

Jason Hawkins

Jason Hawkins, President & Co-Founder of NoRiskSEO.com and TheMiamiSEOCompany.com 

Gaining organic traffic does not happen overnight. Therefore, while working on the important aspects of generating additional unique visitors via organic search, one should be equally concerned about conversion rate optimization.

Utilize A/B testing to test different call to actions, specials, sales, free shipping offers, etc. Change colors of your call to action. Make it standout. Make it unbeatable. This is how you convert targeted visitors.

Conduct multivariate testing by trying a different amount of form fields (generally the shorter the better for successful submissions), different text in your button (get rid of Submit!), button color, etc. Be extremely creative. Think to yourself, "If I had the potential chance to get in front of hundreds of eyeballs interested in my service/product, what could I offer to take them off the market?" Conducting conversion rate optimization will help you monetize your current existing traffic and new traffic in the future.

Barrie Smith

Barrie Smith, SEO consultant at Receptional Ltd

Every business collects data, or at least, every business should collect data. Sharing your data with others means they can publish their own conclusions, and still credit you with a link to the original source.

Amanda E. Clark

Amanda E. Clark, CEO and Editor in Chief at Grammar Chic, Inc.

I will always swear by how important maintaining a blog is for any company. Not only is this great for use on your own website, but it is such a powerful asset to have when it comes to forming relationships with other professionals and thought leaders online.

Blogs, if used wisely, should be syndicated via platforms like Business2Community, Ragan, etc. And new tools, such as those offered by OutBrain, offer immediate traffic generating solutions. However, you can’t participate in any of those platforms without a blog that constantly features new material that is valuable to readers.

Ryan Robinson

Ryan Robinson, content marketing consultant, Ryrob.com.

Create epic content. When you invest in creating the absolute best possible free content for your audience—whether it's in the form of written blog posts, tutorial videos, in-depth courses or otherwise—what you're really doing is showing your readers that you're willing to invest in the relationship they have with you. Getting your regular readers and new website visitors to immediately feel that you're investing in their success rather than trying to sell them something right away is the first step towards creating a meaningful relationship that can eventually be turned into a profitable one.

To come up with the right content ideas for your audience, start by asking them about their biggest challenges. Build a spreadsheet to track the most common responses and work on content that helps solve the most popular challenges your audience is telling you they're facing. For example, on my personal blog about starting and growing a side business, my readers would frequently email me and comment asking for advice on how to find the right business idea. After answering hundreds of these individual emails, I decided to invest in writing an epic blog post that chronicles more than 100 business ideas including criteria on how to decide which one will be best for you. In less than a year of that post being live, it's gotten over 63,000 social shares and has created a regular flow of new email subscribers (and customers) for my business.

Ian Cleary

Ian Cleary, Founder of RazorSocial

Last month we did an infographic focused on social media tools. It took us a long time and money to produce, but it was so worth it. The purpose of the infographic was to increase awareness of our brand, but also rank for a highly competitive term: “marketing tools.” We optimized the content for this term and every time the content was embedded there was a link back to our site. To avoid over-optimization of the term “marketing tools,” we used “RazorSocial” as the anchor text.

Just over a month after producing this infographic, we now rank number 5 for Marketing Tools. There were over 5,000 shares of the post and over 100 websites included the infographic on their blog.Because we rank for “marketing tools,” we get recurring traffic every single day for that term and probably will for a long time to come.

My advice is to keep producing your regular content, but if you want to rank for a competitive term, produce an amazing piece of content and promote heavily.

Shawn Cohen

Shawn Cohen, SEO Director at Standing Dog Interactive

Site owners should install Google Tag Manager ASAP (and for WordPress sites, there’s a plugin that makes installation super easy).

Since SEO is becoming increasingly about measuring the effectiveness of content vs. the effectiveness of keywords, I’m obsessed with tying the goals of the website to the content I’m creating.

Knowing that Google rewards content that users engage with deeply, installing event and/or goal tracking from Google Analytics is imperative to measure that engagement. And installing tag manager makes it easy to add the code snippets to track those goals. This tactic is both actionable and important.

Todd Butcher

Todd Butcher, Founder & President of LSEO

Start collecting customer reviews and testimonials on various sites (Google, Yelp, Merchant Circle, etc). There is no question that reviews help businesses rank higher in local listings and add authority/trust to their listing. They also tend to be one of the toughest hurdles the business is likely to encounter. People love to leave negative reviews, but rarely think to leave positive reviews.

It's imperative that the business make it as easy as possible for the customer. Give the customer a handout that outlines exactly how to leave the review or reach out to an email list of past customers with a step-by-step guide to leaving a review. Just make sure you don't offer incentives for the review. That's a sure fire way to land yourself and your business in a heap of trouble.

Chris Boggs

Chris Boggs, COO & CMO at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Be timely! As many SMBs progress through SEO programs, one common effort includes a long list of optimized content to be added to the website(s). With limited time and resources to write/approve/publish the content, it is easy to fall into a schedule that dictates the "new" content to be added or updated for months ahead.

Tip: keep some "wild card" time/resources to be able to create and publish topics that are timely based on industry buzz. News and change happens regularly in most industries, but not all sites successfully publish relevant content - especially in blogs or education directories - to capitalize on "real time" relevance. This will lead to rapid albeit temporary visibility for popular terms. Based on the content's performance in satisfying searcher intent, it can lead to improved domain credibility.

Paul Bliss Paul BlissContent Strategist and Senior Search & Social Manager at EDMC

Make sure your Google Plus profile is accurately filled out. The first picture you upload is what will be used to display on Google maps. Make sure it's the best image you have for your company.

Always use the USPS listing of your company address - this is what Google looks at when trying to verify NAP. Get 10 links from websites that are only about the region you serve. You'd be amazed at the impact this has on getting found locally.

Kristopher Jones

My #1 tip for getting more traffic from Google is to unlock and optimize your Google+ Business Page. It's not enough to simply unlock the listing; you also need to optimize content, upload no less than five interesting pictures, upload no less than two "how to" or "here's why we are interesting" videos, and, arguably the most important of all, get your most supportive customers to write reviews about your business and submit them to Google+.

Shayne Tilley

Shayne Tilley, online marketing expert & author

Understand that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Win a game in the minors (less competitive keywords) before you step up to the majors. The broader the keyword, the broader the context to what people are looking for. Smaller, more specific keywords might have more bang for your buck. Lastly, SEO without social is, these days, a hard slog.

Phil Byrne

Phil Byrne, Internet marketing specialist, blogger & author

Ensure keyword targets for SEO are localized keywords (e.g. "accountant in YOUR CITY"). SEO takes a little time to deliver, but we can use Google's Display Network to market to our local area while our SEO takes time to blossom.

First, we can use SEMrush to see if any of the sites currently ranking high for our target keywords also publish Google Ads. If they do, the next best thing to rank on page 1 is to claim advertising space on sites that already do. Secondly, through Google's Display Network, we can place advertisements for our business on the websites of local newspapers, local radio stations, business directories, business groups and all kinds of community sites relevant to our area and to our products and services.


Ahmad Raza, Founder of ARWebZone

The first thing that comes to mind is the choice of appropriate (low competition and long-tail) keywords. Then, the proper usage of those keywords in the title, article body and meta description with variation. These are two factors I consider most important regarding on-page SEO.

Then comes link building. This is the most crucial part of SEO, as it may also impact your rankings in a bad manner. If link building is done properly, it will boost your website ranking. The most recommended method for link building is to occasionally do quality guest posts on relevant blogs.


Aaron Agius, General Manager of Louder Online

Many small businesses focus on a specific local market and try to attract visitors with a specific local intent. For this reason, follow a local SEO plan that involves ensuring the site itself and the content is developed around geotargeted keywords. Make sure the name, address and phone number (NAP) is consistent across the website and any local listing services, and work toward increasing the numbers of citations and reviews for the business.Also, use a tool like KnowEm to ensure all social profiles are created, and then use a service like Yext to ensure your Google Local profile is syndicated across other local listing services.

For small businesses not focused on a local market, focus on creating engaging content that is of interest to your target audience. Answer questions being asked by people within the industry, create helpful, insightful content on a company blog, and then spend time distributing it to as many places as possible.

Adam Dince

Adam Dince, Director of Earned Media at Deluxe Corp

To ensure customers are easily found in search engine results, spend a lot of time listing and accurately citing your small businesses across the major Web directories. Citations include name, address, phone number and hyperlinked URL. Furthermore, ensure each page of our customer's websites are optimized for organic search, including geo-specific information in the key HTML elements.

Jayson DeMers Jayson DeMers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom

List your business on all relevant local listing providers (such as Yelp, MerchantCircle, SuperPages.com, etc.). This is a quick and super-easy win because there are providers that will do this for you, automatically, for an annual fee. Yext.com is my personal favorite. The resulting inbound links and citations will give you a quick boost in the search results (especially local search results).

Amanda DiSilvestro Amanda DiSilvestro, content editor and writer at HigherVisibility

As a writer, I try to always connect with a company or - even better - a person from that company, on a social network before I pitch them an article. In most cases we'll make that connection because we're in similar industries (even if we've never spoken). When my email goes through, I find it’s more likely to be opened. This also gives me a good opening statement about how we just connected on LinkedIn, etc., which I think gives me an edge over other bloggers (something we all need!).

I’ve found this earns me more responses than I was getting in the past. Most writers will tell you that sometimes it seems their emails never get opened because emails about guest posting are so often spam. It's not exactly an SEO tactic, but it's a stepping stone to getting there!

Julie Cloutier

A good ranking in search engines is the guarantee of a regular traffic. How your content is written directly influences the quality of your listing.

The algorithms of search engines are complex, constantly changing and are never publicly disclosed. However, using an empirical approach, we can identify their behavior relatively well.

The main parameters:

The URL of the page: Your domain name should preferably contain a proper or common name that may be sought by users. Note that the URL is not limited to your domain name: the names of files and directories are also very important. Please provide names of keyword rich pages. Like: http://www.blog.com/get_good_seo_ranking/an_easy_method.htm.

The Title: The contents of the tag TITLE of a web page display on a single line at the top of the browser, regardless of the title provided in the body of the page. The keywords in this tag influence the positioning, especially Google. It is advisable to never exceed 100 characters.

META tags: The information hidden in the source code of web pages are designed to help the search engines reference your website. Predominant a few years ago, they have lost their influence greatly.

The content itself is also taken into account by search engines. With a priority for the titles (H1 tag, H2, ...), the first words on the page and hyperlinks.

A good ranking in search engines is the guarantee of a regular traffic. How your content is written directly influences the quality of your listing.

Elena Terenteva

SEMrush employee.

Elena Terenteva, Product Marketing Manager at SEMrush. Elena has eight years public relations and journalism experience, working as a broadcasting journalist, PR/Content manager for IT and finance companies.
Bookworm, poker player, good swimmer.
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