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This is the small business search engine optimization (SEO) process used at B-SeenOnTop. The process used by other companies is likely to be similar but certainly not identical.

While SEO companies all pretty much agree on WHAT needs to be done as part of the SEO process, we sometimes differ on the HOWs. This SEO process is very similar to what you’re going to see on other company sites. It differs in that it is geared toward satisfying the needs and objectives of small businesses – businesses that tend to be very resource and time-constrained.

SEO is a Process

The other important thing to understand is that SEO is a process. It is not a project or a one-time event. It is a holistic, collaborative process that takes time to produce results.

SEO involves understanding your business – its products and services, customers, goals, constraints, website, and competitors – from the perspective of a first-time visitor, existing customer, and search engine. It ensures your website is structured, designed, and built in a way that computer programs used by search engines can quickly find, navigate, and unambiguously understand. It identifies and then crafts the content your search audience is seeking while, at the same time, showcasing your differentiators. SEO builds trust and confidence so website visitors are encouraged to come back, tell others about you, and want to transact with you. You become their trusted, go-to resource, and they, in turn, willingly advocate on your behalf.

SEO is a lot like building your reputation – but online. It takes time to build trust and authority. SEO is a process because the market, competition, and search engine algorithms are constantly changing and you must continuously improve to keep up and stand out from the competition.

Small Business SEO Process |

Our Small Business SEO Process

Our process has four phases:

  • Learn: We start by getting to know your business and website. We do a manual website review and competitive analysis to identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Plan: We present findings and recommendations including a proposed approach, budget, and timeline for increasing online visibility and leads.
  • Implement: We implement the plan, keeping you abreast of progress, issues, and obstacles along the way.
  • Measure: Outcomes are measured and the plan adjusted, as needed, to changes in the business, marketplace, and search environment.

The process leverages the best SEO tools for small businesses on the market. It is continuously refined to maximize efficiency, affordability, and effectiveness.

We adhere to Google guidelines and industry-sanctioned best practices.

1. Learn

This phase of the process helps us understand what we need to know to get you to the top of search results and compel visitors to take action. It is our opportunity to learn about your business and market, how best to serve you, and for us to begin to set expectations around what we will need from you and how long it will take to begin to see results.

At this stage, we dig deep into the structure, design, build, and content of your existing website. Search engines are not human. They’re computer programs that need things spelled out very clearly for them to understand. Human visitors also want to quickly and easily understand what it is you have to offer and why they should consider choosing you instead of the competition.

Rankings are competitive. We look at your top competitors to determine their differentiators, strengths, and weaknesses. We identify where there are opportunities for you to stand out and get noticed. The results of our analyses feed into the next phase of SEO – strategizing and planning.

Small Business SEO Process |
Small Business SEO Process |

2. Plan

This is the phase where we determine the best approach for moving forward.

There are different types of search engine marketing to accomplish different objectives, and within that, different tactics can be taken based on your unique circumstances. For example, the approach to ranking well on Google maps when your best prospects and customers live and work within a few miles of your physical business is different than that used to help an international company rank well all around the world. The location of your best prospects and customers, the objectives you want to achieve, the strength of the competition, the health of your existing website, and your budget and constraints – all play a part in determining the best approach and plan for your business.

We share our findings and recommendations. You let us know what you want to do and we move forward from there with a detailed plan for execution. Together we set a deadline and goals for our next checkpoint.

3. Implement

In the third phase, we execute the agreed-upon plan.

Typical activities undertaken in this phase include:

  • structuring your website for SEO;
  • installing and configuring tools to help search engines better understand your content and us measure progress toward completion of agreed-upon plans;
  • researching and embedding the language your search audience uses (keywords) throughout your website so it will be relevant and increase your chances of ranking;
  • establishing a presence for you and/or your business on agreed-upon channels that help increase your visibility and exposure;
  • determining a strategy for producing the content your search audience is after;
  • creating and optimizing content, and then promoting it on the venues where your audience is most likely going to encounter it; and
  • building a baseline of backlinks that begin to establish your online credibility and authority.

This is a collaborative process. We are not experts in your business. Website visitors want to hear from experts. If you do not have the time, interest, or skillset to write your own content, we will pair you up with an experienced writer who can assist in this endeavor.

Small Business SEO Process - Implement Phase | 4 interconnected rectangles |
Small Business SEO Process - Measure Phase | 4 interconnected rectangles |

4. Measure

This phase serves as a check and balance to ensure we are meeting your objectives.

We measure and report progress toward the completion of agreed-upon goals and plans. We raise any issues or obstacles that we need your assistance in resolving. We highlight any areas where adjustments are needed. You, in turn, let us know of any changes to your business plan, budget, constraints, or priorities so we can continue to operate efficiently and effectively.

We adjust the plan and continue executing.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, SEO is another form of digital marketing that needs continuous effort to sustain and improve your rankings and conversions. It is common and expected that businesses routinely cycle through these phases to fine-tune goals and plans. Each time through the process we gain new insight and become more efficient. Over time, SEO benefits begin to compound and grow.

If you’re a small business in a non-competitive, self-contained, or relatively static market you might not feel compelled – or even need – to cycle through this small business SEO process, over and over again. You might get away with taking a break once in a while. In my opinion, these instances are uncommon but not rare. It really depends on the nature and health of your existing business.

So that’s it. It’s high-level and over-simplified but should give you a general sense of what’s involved. If you want to learn more about how SEO works, this post gives you a high-level explanation.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I usually get to people within a few days.

Last updated: 03/14/22

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