Small Business SEO India - Selecting Website, Keyword Research, Content Optimization, On-Page and Google Business Profile

By: Joseph de Souza

Small Businesses Have a Need of Online Marketing

Right now, even more than ever before small businesses in India as well as in other countries worldwide have an acute need for online marketing as it is the cheapest as well as the most cost effective way to get customers for their products and services. More visitors to your website mean greater visibilty for your products or services and more sales.   

Advertising on Top of the Search Results

If you opt for advertising on the top of the search results you will have to pay the stated amount every time someone clicks on your ad and visits your website.
   For example if you advertise on the words "paper wristbands uk", your advertisement will appear along side the said search and every time someone clicks on your ad you will have to pay UK £2.48 (Rs248.26). So for just 100 visits to your website you will have to pay UK £248 (Rs24,826).
  
Keyword analysis and research

Your small business will benefit greatly by having a effective website that fully answers the searchers query. You can achieve this with proper keyword research, great content and an effective Google my business profile.

An affordable SEO service for your small business is also available in case you want to develop and implement an SEO strategy to increase sales. All the sites I have worked with have had a huge increase of visits per month soon after optimization.

Examples of small businesses include Dog Walking, Pet Sitting, Photographer, Interior Designer, Landscape Design, Clothing Boutique, Event Planner, Florist, Plant Nursery, Handicraft Store, Bakery, Lawn Care Service, Wedding Planner, Decorator, Cooking Classes, Driving School, Food Catering, Sweet Shop, Tailoring, Fast Food Parlour, Garage, Plumbing Firm, Freelance Plumber, Electrician, Dentist Operating Solo, Small Dental Clinic etc.
These businesses usually target a small geographical area like a town, a small state (example Goa with a population of only 1.5 million) or part of a big city.
  

Small Businesses Targeting Customers Nationwide or from Several Countries

There will be several small businesses that target customers across the country or even multiple countries. For example the E-commerce company from Denmark targets several countries using 14 websites and the German motorcycle tour company also targets several countries through websites in German and English. These businesses will require lots of additional effort and lots of other considerations are also involved - careful content customisation as per country, hreflang tags, technical issues and several other issues some of which are mentioned in the Denmark E-Commerce Company SEO case study.
Even in the case of a single language website if the aim is to attract customers from across the country or from several countries, much more effort in terms of content is required and your website has also to be much bigger than a small single location business.

Selecting the Type of Website for a Small Business Targeting Customers in a Small Geographical Area

It is best for a small business to have their self hosted website on their own domain. Not only will you have more credibility, you will also own everything and can shift to another web host at will.
Secondly having your own self hosted website coupled with good on page SEO will prove to be even more cost effective than opting for an online presence from a software as a service provider who provides a readymade website where you just have to enter your content.
These providers charge around $500 a year (Indian Rs 35,000) Plus taxes for a single location small business like a restaurant and provide you with a subdomain on their domain like yourbusiness.serviceprovider.com for this price.

Of course it has a lot of features, but some of the advice is outright bad like advising to put irrelevant tags on posts and making blog posts of a few lines as updates. Besides that the second great disadvantage is the big price that you have to pay year after year. The third disadvantage is you have to start from scratch if you decide to drop that platform after one or more years.
Compare this with good shared hosting $120 a year (Rs 8,500 all inclusive) that includes web hosting, SSL (Security) certificate and domain registration charges which will be very suitable for a small business. In case you have a small static website you can even get by $40 a year (Rs 3,000 all inclusive) that includes web hosting, Free SSL (Security) certificate and domain registration charges. These packages also have at least 2 free email ids on your domain name.

In case you are prepared to spend on maintenence and want more features like wanting to update your website by yourself you can go in for a WordPress based website. This will enable you to add and update content by yourself. You can also use a content management system called Joomla
A WordPress app is also available in case you want to manage your website on the go.
  
Wordpress App

  

Website Structure

Since a small business website targeting a small geographical area will be below 50 pages and at most stretch to 100 or so pages it is best to have a flat structure or at most a few categories in case your website exceeds 25 pages. Of course certain small businesses that run E-Commerce stores or are in travel or similar sectors will have much larger websites and more complex structures.

Technical SEO

This is not much of a problem with a small business website, but if using a content management system (CMS), you must ensure that duplicate content (same content - Two or more URLS) is not created by the CMS. There are also technical problems that could arise in case several country code top-level domains (ccTLD) are used to target customers in several countries as in the case of the Denmark E-Commerce company.
Secondly thin content like category and tag pages created automatically by the content management system like WordPress must be noindexed. This usually can be achieved by the use of a suitable plugin and setting noindex, follow in the robots meta tag in the head of the page to get them deindexed. Also noindex thin content pages like listing of manufacturers, login pages, pages for loggedin customers, and in general pages that have very little value.

Also the page speed or how quickly the page is rendered by the web browser must be checked with tools like Lighthouse, Google PageSpeed Insights and several other online tools.
Here again, the exception being websites having hundreds of pages or E-Commerce websites will require more consideration about technical SEO. They include issues like website structure, thin content, no indexing search, tag and category pages, test sites being indexed, wrong redirects, proper use of H tags, sitemap errors, Hreflang issues, keyword cannibalization etc.
  

Website Content

First of all concentrate on writing content for your homepage and at least 4 to 5 inner pages that cover your main products or services. You have to use good photographs along with the detailed text that should answer your prospective customers query in full.
For a travel website or a business targeting customers nationwide or customers in several countries the requirements are much higher.

The content should cover all keywords and questions that customers use to search for that particular product or service as well as related information.These keywords can be found by keyword research using various keyword research tools. You could also aim to answer questions which your customers ask the frontline staff regarding your products.
Wordpress App

  

Wordpress App

  
The approximate length of your indepth content should be around 1,500 to 2,000 words. Note that the words for each page is just a guideline as it will normally take upwards of 1,000 words to cover a topic properly.
Here again, the exception being websites having hundreds of pages, small businesses targeting customers Nationwide or Worldwide (as in the travel sector) or E-Commerce websites which will require a different content strategy.
  

Keyword Analysis and Research Relevant To Your Site

   Keyword analysis and research plays a very important in organic search engine optimisation. Organic search engine optimization is optimizing the content, metatags, site structure of your site so that your website will naturally be placed high enough in the Search Results of the major search engines when the keywords appropriate to your website are searched for.
   Keyword Research is extremely important in SEO. Unless the web page that you are trying to rank for has the keywords that the visitors use to search, your site will never appear in the search results for those words.. The only exception to this being if you get a link with the anchor text having the words being searched for from a high domain authority website like BBC, CNN etc. which is extremely rare.

Importance of Title Tag, Description and Canonical Tags in Search Engine Optimisation

   If you select View Page source when viewing any web page in your browser, you can view the meta tags as well as the Title Tag. The title tag is very important in search engine optimisation as search engines use it as the primary means of determining the topic of your web page.
   The description meta tag is also displayed very often below the title in the search result and the internet searchers may use it to determine whether they wish to visit your site. The page descriptions have to be written so that the keywords are included, and it properly reflects the content on the page, and is enticing to the visitor who searches for the query that your page is providing the required information.
   The meta keywords tag now has no importance to search engines like Google and Bing. In addition, the other major search engine Yahoo uses Bing's search index to display results. In the US, Google had 88% market share whereas Bing & Yahoo combined had 10% in February 2022. When it comes to India, Google holds almost 99% marketshare.
   Besides these another important tag, specially for content management systems that are prone to have multiple urls displaying the same content is the Canonical tag. This tag is also included in the header of the web page. For example:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.infosolutionsgoa.com/projects/computer-integrations-tracking.html" />
The canonical tag specifies the preferred url from among the group of urls that display the same or nearly same content. Websites having multiple copies of the same content on many urls could be penalised for duplicate content.

Display in search results

Below is a screenshot displaying the description, keywords and canonical tags along with the title tag. View of Meta Tags and Title Tag

Contact Us and About Us Pages

On the contact page include the name of the business, address, email id and telephone numbers. You could also include directions and a map.
The about us page should consist of a write up of why selecting you will benefit the customer and brief details of the key members of your team.

  

Use of Google Analytics To Track Your Web Site Traffic

   An excellent package to track your website statistics is Google Analytics. It offers various reports like referring keywords both paid as well as organic, referring websites, page views, visits (sessions), unique visitors, pages viewed, operating systems, browsers and monitor resolutions, desktop and mobile visits, the countries to which the site visitors belong as well as several other reports.

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

It is very beneficial for a small business to create a business profile on Google as it can appear on Google products like Maps and Search, when people search for the keywords associated with your products and services. In addition it will also appear when people search for your business.

If you run a business that serves customers at a particular location, or you serve customers within a designated service area, your Business Profile on Google can help people find you. Business Profiles on Google Business Profile can only be created for businesses that either have a physical location that customers can visit, or that travel to visit customers where they are.
According to Google's guidelines, you cannot display residential addresses on Google My Business profiles. For example, if you are a plumber and run your business from your residential address, clear the address from your Business Profile.

Your name on Google Business Profile should reflect your business real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Use a precise, accurate address and/or service area to describe your business location. P.O. boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable.
Provide your hours, website, phone number, and location (a street address, service area, or place marker, depending on your business) on your Google My Business profile. Use a local phone number that is under your direct control and additionally you can provide one website that represents your individual business location. Premium-rate telephone numbers are not allowed.

Use as few categories as possible to describe your overall core business from the provided list. You can select a maximum of 10 categories. Below is an example of the search "pizza near me" when done from London, UK. Local pack displayed for pizza near me in London, UK


  

Affordable SEO Services for Small Business of all Types in India and across the World

I provide affordable SEO services for small businesses of all types as well as for E-Commerce websites, Hotels and resorts, Dental clinic websites, travel websites and all other types of websites in India and across the World.

The SEO service provided includes a SEO Audit, Keyword Research, advice for content writing and keyword mapping, content rewriting for proper targeting and suggestions regarding missing content, writing the title, meta descriptions, headings and complete On-page and Technical SEO.

Small Business SEO Checklist

  • Selecting the Type of Website for a Small Business
  • Website Structure
  • Technical SEO
  • Checking Page Speed
  • Noindexing Thin Content
  • Correcting Sitemap Errors
  • Solving Duplicate Content Issues
  • Website Content
  • Revising the Content after Keyword Research and Creating Appropriate Content targeting the Keywords
  • Optimising Title and Meta Description Tags
  • Optimising H Tags
  • Solving Keyword Cannibalisation Issues
  • Creating a Business Profile on Google Business Profile

About The Author

Joseph de Souza is a leading Freelance SEO consultant and Web developer in Goa, India with more than 14 years of experience in internet marketing.
He has a proven track record and has has helped several companies increase their traffic many times over and thereby increase their revenue and profits.
Besides English, Joseph has also successfully optimized a German language website and a Danish language website and obtained outstanding results.