Regular SEO Tasks for Small Businesses

In this article we cover some of the most common SEO tasks that small businesses can conduct to improve their presence online and present an SEO Task Plan that any small business should consider.

There are only so many hours in the day and budgets can often be tight, but if you need to focus on SEO, knowing what you can achieve is tough.

If you have read a lot of SEO content, there can be a dizzying number of different tasks that you feel will need your attention. As with all tasks, knowing when you need to conduct each task and how frequently can be beneficial.

How to use this SEO Task Plan

All businesses are different, and much of these tasks will be impacted by your size and how much traffic/business you receive from search engines already. This plan covers the common tasks that are applicable to most – if not all businesses. 

Use the different tasks below as a guide to focus your, or your staff’s, attention. These will not be the only SEO tasks you need to consider, however, if you can conduct the following tasks with the regularity stated (or close to), you will be succeeding where many other small businesses don’t.

SEO Tasks for Small Businesses by frequency
Check Google My BusinessFor Small businesses Google My business is a hugely important traffic-driver, it’s also most likely the first thing people will see of your business online. You need to ensure that the page is up-to-date, any reviews are responded to, check no one has tried to edit/change your details and post new content/product information or relevant events.
Tools for achieving this: Google My Business
Check Google Search ConsoleIf you are not a technical SEO or you don’t have the time/funds to invest in SEO tools, Google Search Console is extremely important. When in Google Search Console you should frequently check new errors (to see if there are any), as well as your performance in search. 
Checking any keywords (queries) which are rising/falling is highly important, but also keeping an eye on your CTR (Click Through Rate) to ensure that people are still clicking on your results.
It is worth noting that Google should email you any important notifications, so you will also be alerted to key changes via email which can be checked ad hoc.
Tools for achieving this: Google Search Console
Bi - Weekly
Check Google AnalyticsGoogle Analytics needs to be something you become very familiar with - if only if it is a handful of reports. You should look at organic traffic and landing pages - to understand whether your SEO efforts are working (or not) as well as using Google Analytics to also check for 404 errors (by viewing pages with the title including “404” or “not found”). In a similar sense as Google Search Console this will mean you are on-top of what is working well and if anything has broken or is performing badly.
If you check this weekly, this should only take 5-10mins.
Tools for achieving this: Google Analytics
Content WritingWriting content is likely one of the most important things you can do if you are a small business looking to take advantage of SEO. Most small businesses struggle here because finding the time is difficult - but this means you’re likely to gain even more if you can achieve what others can’t.
The types of content you need to be writing vary wildly. But there’s a good chance that most Small Businesses need to be continuously writing one of the following types of content:
Service/Product page contentKnowledge/Information contentFAQsNews and or blogs
If you do not have content which strongly represents your services and product pages you need to make time to contribute to this at least 1 day a week if not more. The other forms of content should be added to at least once or twice a month in order to keep a steady flow of content.
Tools for achieving this:
Google Keyword Planner Google Trends
At least monthly - but ideally bi-weekly or more.
Partnerships & Relationship BuildingBuilding relationships is often not considered an SEO task by some, but a really critical element in building a business which is trusted and authoritative. In reality, if you are building relationships you are building link opportunities as well.
It’s easy to forget the benefit behind this activity is far more than just a link - relationships can lead to direct business, joint-ventures additional PR and more.
Equally, building relationships with the press is also exceedingly important. Start local, but also keep pace with journalists/bloggers who cover your industry too. Hashtags like #PRrequest & #JournoRequest on twitter will show you when journalists are looking for help, keep an eye on these and reach out to them when the opportunity arises.
If you are unsure of where to start, building relationships with colleagues, universities, charities, local chambers of commerce and industry associations are most often worthwhile. Look to help out and collaborate on something mutually beneficial. 
Tools for achieving this:
Google Alerts #PRrequest #JournoRequest hashtags on twitter Google Search Console (links report)
At least 4 days per month
Keyword ResearchIn keyword research we look for two things - identifying the terms your customers are most likely to use to find your key services and looking at the difference in search trends.
If you have not done any detailed keyword research for your products/services and questions most asked in your industry you are likely to struggle here - so conduct this and revisit periodically 3-6 months, to ensure your data is accurate. Use tools such as Google’s keyword planner to understand what are the most-searched for keywords and what other related terms are there which you could be looking for.
In addition you need to look at the questions people are asking and the general search trends in your key services/products. One area to observe is Google’s “People also asked” boxes, which appear in search results, these provide related questions to that search term. When Google displays related questions, it is telling you what the content users are often looking for - aim to understand this and provide that content.
Tools for achieving this:
Google Keyword Planner Google Trends
Competition AnalysisWatching how your competition performs in search results is key - but watching and copying your competition alone is not enough to succeed in SEO.
Periodic (quarterly) reviews of 4-5 key competitors can be a good way to ensure you’re competing with products/services, but you are understanding what works/doesn’t work within Google.
If you run searches for your most important keywords, take note of where your competition ranks, what their search results look like and what the content on their landing pages contains.
Do not change your content/copy your competition just because they are outranking you (rankings change over time), but if you notice that some competitors do better with different tactics to yourself, then try those out too.
Just remember, to beat your competition, you need to aim to be better than them, not just “as good” as them.
Tools for achieving this:
Google search results
Third-party Rank tracking tools
Third-party Backlink checking software

Closing Thoughts

The more familiar you become with these tasks/processes, you will find your requirements grow and what you are looking for becomes more sophisticated. There are many other moderate/advanced SEO tasks which you can do regularly to get even further value from your efforts when you have strong foundations to build on.

The most important thing is that you are patient with the above tasks, and give yourself time to learn, become effective and for the benefit of your activities to be felt. SEO takes time, 6+ months for the benefits to be really noticeable, so plan your actions, establish a sustainable level to work at, and stick to that plan.