For small businesses, optimising your website for search engines and the SEO methods that come with it can be daunting – but there’s a number of steps and points to keep in mind.
We’ve highlighted some top SEO tips specifically for smaller businesses, to ensure your search engine rankings are the best they can be.
1) Start ASAP
The longer you avoid doing SEO, the more time you are giving your competitors to get ahead.
2) Look at the competition
Who are your competitors, and where are they ranking? If they’re ranking well, assess how they’ve achieved this, and how can could outrank them.
3) Be patient
SEO work takes time, but it will be worthwhile. You will never see results overnight – but if you do things right, you’ll be sure to see your rankings rise soon enough.
4) Keep on top on algorithm updates
If you’re serious about attracting new customers through organic search, keep an eye on what Google is up to. Subscribe to our blog to be sure you know the latest Google news.
5) Utilise Google Analytics and Search Console
You may have these set-up, but if you never use them, it’s a waste. Search Console allows you to find out what you’re ranking for, and who is linking to you. Analytics helps you analyse your visitors, and what pages they visit.
Using these tools allows you to gather important data, and understand exactly where your traffic is coming from, in order to further improve the performance of your website in the future.
6) Optimise business information on your site
Incorporate your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) information on every page of your website – not just the contact and the home page, essentially.
7) Encourage and engage with online reviews
Entice your customers to leave reviews when they are satisfied with what you have to offer. Whether this is through Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, or wherever else – reviews are a great way to differentiate your business from the competition.
Also ensure you are proactive in responding to any reviews. If it’s positive, give a thanks! If negative, you can respond and deal with the points accordingly, and hopefully turn that negative opinion into a positive one.
8) Research keywords
Use Google’s Keyword Tool to ensure you have a decent list of keywords and key phrases for your website to rank for. Choosing the wrong keywords means any visitors you do get, may not be the best audience for your business.
You can then target these keywords with specific web pages or pieces of content.
9) Create high-quality content on a regular basis
Maintaining a blog is a great way to provide high-quality content your audience will find useful. If you can lay out (and stick to) a content marketing strategy, then you’re sure to attract more visitors to your website.
10) Write evergreen content
You can generate high-quality content that is relevant right now, but will your news article be relevant in a month or two? By writing evergreen content that’s useful now, next month, and even next year, can be a huge help in generating traffic both now and in the future.
11) Don’t forget to market your content
Whether it’s through social media, paid ads, or other forms of digital marketing – make sure people find your content through any relevant means. Having amazing content on your website is no good unless people are reading and engaging with it.
12) Ensure all pages have descriptive and unique title tags and meta descriptions
For the title tag, ensure you describe the topic of the page in question within 160 characters – which also entices people to click on your website in the search results. Also, do not forget to utilise keywords for the page in question.
For meta descriptions, expand on the title tag, and describe the page in more detail so anyone searching on Google knows what they will find.
13) Reach out to relevant blogs or websites
Backlinks are very important in SEO – so ensuring you have inbound links from credible, trusted sources is a great help.
However, avoid buying links, or any other more link building techniques. Good quality content should attract links – but reaching out can be a good idea when it works.
14) Set up social media profiles and update them
Building a presence on social media is a great way to gain an audience that engages with your brand.
At least set-up profiles with your contact details and a link through to your web address – and keep them updated with your blog content or other relevant content from around the web. Don’t forget to share or engage with other profiles, too!
15) Add sharing icons to your content or website
You need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to share your content or web pages – and links from social networks also helps slightly on the SEO front.
16) Optimise images
Ensure images within your content features keywords in your alt tags and file names.
17) Get a mobile-friendly web design
Google now ranks mobile-friendly websites higher on mobile devices – so if your audience is searching on mobiles, and your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you may be missing out on traffic to your competitors.
18) Write your own product descriptions
If you’re in the ecommerce world, don’t use generic product descriptions. By writing your own, and not copying the descriptions from the manufacturer or elsewhere on the web, you’ll stand a better chance in ranking your product higher.
19) Stay close with your SEO consultant or agency
To keep up to date with the latest SEO news in order to stay ahead of the competition, partnering up with an agency which knows all about SEO can be a huge help.
Your results will be better if you have a helping hand and a partner who will happily discuss how you can improve your SEO efforts.
If you need help with your SEO efforts, get in touch with the team here at Xanthos, who will be happy to discuss how we can help getting your business found online.