Unearthing the Power of SEO for Small Businesses in Nigeria

Owning a small business in Nigeria is all about hustle, right? You put your heart and soul into your product or service, but with so much competition, getting customers can be a real challenge.  

The world is going digital and you also don’t want to be left behind. You are looking for ways to increase your brand’s visibility and get more customers walking through those doors (virtual or physical!) without blowing your budget. 

Well, let me introduce you to a powerful strategy that can help with that – SEO (search engine optimization).

 What does SEO Mean?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, it is a digital marketing strategy that helps businesses enhance their organic visibility on search engines and bring more relevant traffic to their website through organic search results in order to increase revenue and generate more leads

In simple terms, SEO makes it easier for your potential customers to find your business online.

Is SEO expensive in Nigeria?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not necessarily expensive. There are quite a number of things you can do yourself for free or with minimal cost to improve your website’s visibility in search engines like Google. 

Some basic SEO tasks like keyword research (you can learn how to conduct effective keyword research using this link), Google business profile creation, page titles, building backlinks, and content creation, image optimization, can be done without spending much money. 

However, hiring an SEO professional or agency can be expensive, especially for complex websites that need advanced SEO strategies. But even as a small business, you can benefit from doing some simple, low-cost SEO task yourself.

Free SEO Tools For Nigerian Small Businesses 

  • Google Search Console: This free tool from Google allows you to monitor your site’s performance in Google Search and fix any issues. It provides data on impressions, clicks, and positions for your website.


  • Google Analytics: Another free offering from Google that tracks website traffic and user behaviour, helping you understand how users find and interact with your site.


  • Keyword Planner (Google Ads): While part of Google’s paid advertising platform, the Keyword Planner tool is free to use for keyword research and finding new keyword ideas.


  • Answer The Public: This tool visualizes search queries as visually browsable “mind maps” to help you identify relevant keywords.


  • Open Site Explorer (Moz): Moz’s free tool allows you to research backlinks and see some website authority metrics.


  • Screaming Frog SEO Spider: A website crawler that analyzes on-page elements for technical SEO issues on a limited number of URLs for free.


  • PageSpeed Insights (Google): This tool from Google analyzes your website’s speed performance on desktop and mobile. Now replaced with Lighthouse Chrome extension.


  • Detailed SEO Chrome Extension: This free SEO tool can be used to perform some quick SEO audits. With the Detailed SEO Chrome extension tool, you can get access to a lot of your competitor’s ranking factors; backlinks, title and meta tags,

What Are The Advantages of SEO Over Paid Search Approach?

SEO (search engine optimization) can be a more budget-friendly marketing approach compared to paid advertising

Although hiring an SEO expert or using paid SEO tools (optional) may involve some initial investment, the organic (free) traffic you get from SEO can provide a steady stream of leads without ongoing costs. 

Paid advertising or Search engine marketing or Paid SEO requires you to continually pay for each click or impression, but with SEO, once you rank well in search engines, you can continue to get free visitors to your website as long as you maintain your ranking. 

This makes SEO a potentially more budget-friendly option in the long run for businesses looking to attract more website visitors and customers.

organic seo vs paid seo

How Long Does SEO Take to Work?

No cap! SEO is a strategy of time and patience because you might not see results right away. Most of the time, you will need to wait between three and six months before SEO starts paying off. And this depends on factors like domain age, backlinks, and website speed.

In some situations, especially for very competitive keywords, it can even take up to one full year to see good improvements in your website’s search rankings and traffic.

The reason why SEO doesn’t work instantly is because search engines like Google need time to:

  • Crawl and understand all the new content and changes on your business website.
  • Build trust that your site has high-quality, relevant content.
  • See consistent efforts at optimization and link-building over months.

Many other factors search engines look at before ranking a website, such as content quality, site performance, external links, and how users interact with the site. All of these things take time to get right.

What are The Key Benefits of SEO for Small Businesses in Nigeria?

  • Cost-Effective – SEO brings free organic traffic, unlike paid ads. This lowers the cost of customer acquisition.
  • Increased Trust & Credibility – As people see your content more often for relevant searches, it builds authority and trustworthiness.
  • More Business Revenues – By bringing you more qualified visitors, SEO ultimately drives more business growth and revenues.

Key SEO Success Factors

  • Content Relevance – They say content is king, and the key to that reign is relevance. Your content must closely match what searchers are looking for. Tailor it to answer their questions.


  • Keyword Optimization – Keyword is the heartbeat of SEO because it pumps life and visibility into an effective SEO strategy. Your content must Include relevant keywords in strategic places to help search bots understand your content’s theme. You don’t want to optimize your content for keywords people are not looking out for.


  • Technical Site Optimization – As a business owner or SEO specialist, you want to ensure your website has fast loading times, proper keyword usage, descriptive alt text for images, and follows Google’s best practices. This helps Google search engines to easily crawl, index, and rank your site in relevant search results.

Search engines like Google are an integral part of our daily lives. At some point, you may have wondered how they work behind the scenes. Here’s a succinct explanation.

SEO Tips For Small Businesses in Nigeria

According to a report from Smart Insight, Google makes up 78% of all online search behaviour today. The big question is; How are businesses benefitting from increased search behavior?

This is why I will be sharing with you some SEO tips for small business owners.

1. Build a mobile-friendly website

Another report shows that about 80% of search activities are done using a mobile phone. This means that a site that is not mobile-responsive will get less traffic. The mobile responsiveness of a website is one of the important ranking factors for Google’s search engine.

2. Have a local listing for your business

Even though you’re yet to have a website. You must have a Google My Business page (formerly called). When you have an optimized Google Business Profile, your business can be shown in maps and local directories and this can transform into having an influx of new customers to visit your store or company. Do not forget that positive reviews are important for your business also.

3. Internal linking strategy

Have a good internal linking strategy to link between relevant pages within your site. This strategy can help to improve your rankings when you link pages with high URL ratings to lesser ones.

4. Build Quality Backlinks

Gone are the days when backlinks are cheaper to get. Nowadays, businesses that have put in a lot of work to improve organic rankings now sell links at higher prices depending on the Domain rating. As a small business, you can start from the usual way of building backlinks by getting your brand listed on business directories.

It is advisable to build links from high-authority websites to increase your ranking. One tip have used in the past is building a few links from the high-authority site before launching a new website.

5. Create quality content

I am sure you’ve heard many times that content is king. Yes, it is, for every business owner to succeed online it is high time they put into consideration quality content. By quality content, I mean well-researched content that can be linked to. Not the kind of content that you write with ChatGPT or any AI tool that could be flagged later in the future.

I am not saying you can’t use ChatGPT but you have to be strategic with it. Instances; you can use ChatGPT or other AI tools to gain insight into the topic you want to write about. Not publishing AI-generated content on your blog.

How Do Search Engines Work?

How seo work

You might have read about it somewhere else but talking from a practical and theoretical approach. Search engines like Google have automated bots that continuously crawl the internet looking for new and updated content. These bots are known as “Crawlers” and they scan web pages in seconds. During the scanning process, the texts, images, and videos are scanned by Web crawlers.

This scanned content gets indexed by storing it in Google’s database and organized by the search engine algorithm. This process is known as Indexing.

So when someone searches for something, the engine scans its database and serves the most relevant content to the searcher.


In essence, SEO makes your business discoverable to your ideal customers. The right SEO strategy can deliver sustainable organic traffic and revenues for your business. Also, follow the right SEO practices to avoid any algorithm penalty.

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