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SEO challenges that small businesses often face

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Many can say that SEO has an important role in today's e-commerce. However, with little or no experience in the field, understanding basic SEO principles or setting SEO goals can be difficult. Small businesses with small teams and limited resources often face a lack of experience or competence. How to get started, where to look for the necessary information or what tools to use in order to improve the visibility of the website - below we will try to answer these and other questions that most often arise for small business representatives. So what are the most common SEO challenges small businesses face and how can you solve them?


Insufficient knowledge


It is clear that in order to successfully carry out website SEO, relevant knowledge and skills are required. In many cases, small business owners and their small teams lack this knowledge, but this is completely normal - we cannot be professionals in all areas. Knowing about SEO is not necessary exclusively in cases where you want to do SEO work on your website yourself: even when looking for external SEO partners, it is useful to understand the essential components of SEO, so that you know what to expect from partners and what goals to set for them.


Undoubtedly, one should start with personal education. Where can I find information about what SEO is and what are the essential principles of SEO?


  • Blogs. Information in the digital space is endless, so choosing the most suitable sources may not always be easy. For beginners, we recommend starting with the information provided by the big SEO platforms or tools: there you will find structured, visual and easily communicated training material. We recommend:



SEO guide cover for beginner's

  • Online courses. If you are in the mood to learn in more detail, we recommend searching for courses that best suit your needs on platforms such as Udemy or Coursera. You can choose theoretical level courses or training with practical tasks. One of the most important advantages of such courses is the low price and the opportunity to learn at your own pace. For example:



  • Comprehensive SEO training. If you've decided to learn SEO in depth (or would like to train one of your team members), we recommend checking out the programs offered by Code Academy or Atomic Garden.


Small budgets


A small budget means that we have fewer resources for full-scale SEO activities (both technical work and content creation) and limited opportunities to use professional paid SEO tools for day-to-day work. How to get the best result on a limited budget?

 

  • Focus on the easy wins. Prioritize SEO tasks that you can easily do yourself: writing meta titles, descriptions of visual elements, checking image sizes and weights, implementing a clear and user-friendly website structure, and similar tasks are of great importance to compete in organic search and can be perfectly done by yourself without additional investments. Of course, if you've never done these things directly, it will require a bit of self-education.

  • Take advantage of free or low-cost SEO tools. There are countless tools for doing SEO work or tracking results, but the vast majority of them are expensive and difficult for small businesses. We suggest starting with:


o   For keyword analysis, you can try the free Google Ads tool Keyword Planner or use the free plans of the popular SEO tools Semrush or Ahrefs. In the latter tools, you can also test other important functionalities for free (technical page audit or position tracking), but you will face limitations such as the number of scanned pages, the number of tracked keywords and other limitations of the free version.


keyword analysis with the Google Keyword Planner tool

o   Less popular, less functional, but much cheaper tools like Ubersuggest can become an inexpensive alternative to SEO tools loved by professionals. With their help, you will be able to perform not only keyword analysis, but also a technical scan of your website, competitor analysis and follow the position of your website in organic search.


o  For Wordpress content management system users, we recommend trying the free or low-cost paid version of the Yoast SEO plugin. With the help of the tool, you will be able to easily optimize the pages of your website for the keywords you want.


o Use the free tools like GA4 and Google Search Console to track your results. These tools will be useful not only for monitoring organic results, but also for assessing the profitability of purchased advertising or for monitoring the indexing of website pages.


Time consumption


SEO requires a long-term commitment, which can be extremely difficult for small business owners or their small teams. How to properly plan SEO work next to other responsibilities and not lose motivation in the process?


  • Clearly identify where you will direct your SEO efforts and work consistently and with focus. With limited resources, it is very important to use them purposefully. This means that it is necessary to clearly identify what goals you will work on in the near future and do it without jumping to the side. If you've decided that a change to your website's structure will be a priority in the near future, focus on that instead of jumping into blogging when a good idea for an in-house article pops into your head. Jot down these ideas and come back to them after completing your priority tasks.

  • Make a plan and stick to it. SEO requires consistency, so episodic approaches to these tasks will definitely not bring the desired result. If the volume is large, plan the work in stages - realistic planning of work is more likely to stick to that plan. For example, if you want to update the meta descriptions for all categories on your website, and there are a lot of categories, plan to update 5 or 10 descriptions per week. Consistency is important for SEO - it's better to do it in small amounts, but to do the job confidently in full.

  • Don't try to cover too much. Again, limited resources are best directed in a concentrated manner. For example, if you have 10 product categories on your website and you start working on the visibility of all of them in organic search at the same time, it can be difficult to allocate the necessary time resources to all of them. In this case, you can devote a lot of time to SEO work, but distribute it very unfocused and ineffectively, so it will be difficult to see the result. Without seeing the result, motivation will also disappear. We recommend starting with one main category or topic and focusing your efforts there. In this way, you will see the result faster, and therefore it will be more fun to work.


Technical SEO


If the texts of the website can still be updated with your own resources, the correction of technical errors and the technical improvement of the website usually require much more knowledge and skills. Small business owners or their teams often work with content management systems within the framework of very clear daily tasks - uploading products to the online store, updating texts, adjusting visual elements or the like - so the competences to perform technical SEO work are lacking. For technical work, we recommend finding professionals with these competencies – even if you are a small business, after assessing your needs, professional partners will be able to offer you the right SEO pricing.


We invite you to familiarize yourself with the SEO services provided by Reprise Media and contact us - our specialists will offer you the most suitable solution.



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