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Search Engine Optimization

3 Ways Small Businesses Can Adapt to the New SEO Landscape

By February 13, 2024No Comments

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of any online marketing strategy. But SEO today is very different from what it used to be.

Today’s SEO success relies on:

  • An understanding of search engine results pages (SERPs)
  • How to optimize your content for a variety of user needs
  • Providing genuine value to your audience

So how can small businesses keep up with this new trend?

In this blog, we will explain how the SEO landscape has changed and what small business owners can do to adapt and thrive in this new environment.

Why the SERP Shift?

Google prioritizes user experience. Instead of simply listing websites, they curate diverse SERP elements. These are the results after a user submits a search query.

SERPs can include things like local results, shopping carousels, and “people also ask” lists. For example, when searching for “spray foam insulation”, the Shopping results SERP displays first:

A Shopping SERP on Google for "spray foam installation"

But if you search for something like “custom kitchen cabinets” local Google Ads display first:

These types of results are designed to answer the searcher’s query quickly and effectively, without requiring them to click on a website. This means that ranking on the first page of Google isn’t just about targeting the right keywords. That’s only one piece of the SEO puzzle.

You also need to optimize your website and content for the different types of results that Google displays for your audience, related searches, and industry. This is what we call SERP optimization, and it is one of the biggest keys to successful small business SEO in 2024.

The Goal: Get Featured in More Places Than Just Page One

SERP optimization can seem daunting and complex, but it is not impossible. There are some simple and effective strategies that small businesses can implement to improve their visibility and performance in SERPs.

  • Leverage Google My Business
  • Get reviews from clients (and leave a response)
  • Set up a direct method of outreach that doesn’t rely on an algorithm

Tapping Into Google My Business

Your Google My Business is essential for local SEO. Not only does it let your customers know that you are active and relevant but Google recognizes this too the more you use it.

That being said, it can only work for you if it’s optimized for the type of business you run.

We recently had a new client reach out to us about a challenge they were facing – they were struggling to increase in-store food purchases. After we analyzed their current marketing strategy, we discovered their Google My Business lacked a menu option. Many of their customers didn’t realize they even offered food.

It’s details like these that can make a significant difference in how efficiently your GMB works for you.

Focus On Getting Reviews From Clients

Reviews aren’t just testimonials; they’re trust signals.

Plus, Google loves them: positive reviews boost your local rankings. Encourage happy customers to share their experiences and respond to reviews promptly – even negative ones. And remember, authenticity matters more than perfection.

Direct Outreach: Going Beyond Algorithms

While SEO is important, it is not the only way to reach your audience online.

TheSkimm, a daily newsletter, put it perfectly when they said “In a media landscape that’s losing trust, the inbox reigns supreme.”

Thought leaders like Chris Penn at Trust Insights have said similarly – he recommends having at least one way to connect with your clients that doesn’t rely on an algorithm. He suggests channels like:

Channels like these offer an easy way to consistently engage with your audience without worrying about being beaten out by an algorithm (or a bigger brand that can afford a full marketing department).

Next Steps For Improving Your Small Businesses SEO

As you can see, small business SEO is not a clean-cut, one-time task. It is an ongoing process that requires constant monitoring, analysis, and optimization. It’s essential to stay up to date on how SEO is trending too so you don’t get stuck implementing an old method.

That’s where Sweet Rose Studios comes in. We can help you evaluate your current SEO strategy and identify the gaps and opportunities you might be missing.

We can also help you implement the best practices and techniques for SERP optimization and ensure that your content is optimized for the different types of results that Google displays. If you want to take your small business SEO to the next level and achieve your online marketing goals, contact us today to get started.