In this article, I’ll share some secrets giving you 10 tips to SEO success for small business. These 10 tips will give you the focus and clarity on what to prioritise so you can see an increase in search engine results for your business.
First things first, what is this SEO that you hear so often and what does it mean for your business??
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimisation:
‘… is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”Source: MOZ.com
There are 2 main categories of SEO, being on-page (aka on-site) and off-page (aka off-site). On-site SEO encapsulates all the optimisation techniques that you can apply to your website ‘on-site’ whereas off-site SEO refers to the actions that you take to optimise your website ‘off-site’ in the world wide web, external to your website.
I’ve pulled together 10 simple and effective ways of on-site and off-site tactics that you can use to increase the visibility of your business in search engine results.
10 Tips to SEO Success for Small Business:
ON-SITE SEO TACTICS:
1. Optimise Information on your website
Sounds obvious, but let’s get specific. What you want to do here is ensure each page of your website has a title, URL and description that relate to the keywords of your business. You need to align these with the page content to ensure you are maximising optimisation. For example, your About page would include keywords for what your business offers, your location/market you serve and contact details (or link to contact page). Your Services page outlines each of your services, once again using keywords that align to your Title & description and so on.
Note- if you have a wordpress site, there is a great free plugin that will assist you with optimising each page of your website. It is called YOAST – you can find out more here
You also want to ensure your Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) is on each page of your website. You can do this by putting your phone number or email (whichever is your primary contact channel) in your header and place your address in your footer.
2. Create compelling content
There’s more than one reason to justify creating compelling content for your site:
- if written well it will answer the searcher’s query
- it provides you with content to share on your social media channels that will drive traffic to your website
- you are regularly providing your website with fresh content which increases the opportunity for your content to show up in the Search Engine Results (SERP)
- it helps position your business as the authority of what you’re selling
3. Optimise your site for mobile use
Most businesses today are aware of the importance of having a mobile friendly website however just incase you haven’t already taken this step, you MUST do this. Google now penalises websites, by the way of not displaying your business in the search results, if your site is not mobile friendly and secondly, you want to provide your visitor with the optimal experience. If a user has to pinch and reduce their screen or zoom in to find what they’re looking for it is highly likely that they’ll ‘bounce’ off your site and go to the next search result. Side note, a high bounce rate is not great for your website and is considered by Google when serving up search results.
4. User Experience
You may have started to hear these words more frequently over the last few years as we see the digital sphere progress from just having a website to now more focused being placed on how to create optimal experiences for people online. When designing your website you need to consider what that experience is for you customer. What is the information that they are going to be seeking out and how does this influence your site navigation; are your contact details prominent, are you encouraging them to join your community by subscribing to your newsletter or following you on your socials. What is your colour scheme and font family like – are they easy on the eye, easy to digest and logical in their flow. Do your pages load quickly and are your images optimised.
OFF-SITE SEO TACTICS
5. List your business on directory sites
Google and other search engines constantly scan these sites to develop a stronger understanding of the local web and your business. You can use a blend of national and more local directory sites. Some example directory sites include:
6. Link Strategy
A link strategy is identifying what related websites would make sense for you to link to and have a link back to your website from. For example, if your business is in the wedding industry you could look to list on bridal directory sites. Some of these may be owned by a publication and there may be a listing fee however it’s worthwhile having a look. Another example is that you should consider your industry association website which will require you to become a member however it is also a great endorsement for your business to be on the peak industry body website.
You also want to ensure that when you’re posting on your social media channels that you link back to your website and if your content is shared on other sites, that there is a link back to your website.
7. Create a Google My Business page
Creating a Google My Business page is free and provides another opportunity for your business to be displayed in the search engine results. You can also share your content on this listing, add photos, write a description that helps communicate and sell your products/services AND you can set up and manage google reviews through here
It is another great opportunity to increase the digital footprint for your business.
8. Online Reviews
As mentioned above, you can use Google reviews to drive visibility and credibility of your business. You can also choose to add a third party review tool such as Feefo or Facebook provides review functionality. You can look to encourage reviews to customers through the various customer touchpoints on the post-purchase path, and give your customers a choice of options as to where to review eg Facebook or Google. Remember, there’s no need to be afraid of reviews. If you are providing a great service/product the majority of the time then your reviews will reflect this. Should you receive a negative review, be sure to acknowledge, investigate and respond.
9. Social Media
I highly recommend using one or two social media platforms to drive brand awareness, engagement and lead generation. The use of social media platform(s) will also aid your SEO efforts as their domain authority will always be better than yours (unless you’re a major global brand… and even then…) so you can leverage this. A great example is quite often if I am searching for a business or person, their Facebook or Linkedin profile will display higher in the search results than their own website so make sure you are on a social media channel and that your contact information is up to date (including trading hours if applicable), and share content regularly. Not only will it help keep you top of mind, it will continue to build you up as an expert in your field.
10. Power of local or niche media
Identify which media outlets can assist your business and take the time to build relationships with them. Give them positive reasons to share information about your business services or products. Seek out and offer to be a contributor to a segment of their newspaper, magazine, blog, radio show or podcast. Share your product or services with them in the right context. Remember, content creators whether journalists or bloggers are on the hunt for news worthy content every minute of the day so if you can create an angle that is unique, it is very likely to pique their interest. Some pitch ideas include:
- you’re sponsoring a charity event
- you’ve won an award
- you have the exclusive distribution of a new product/service
- you’re the first business in your area to introduce product/service X
- a team member is doing X to raise money for charity Y
You are now armed with 10 Tips to SEO Success for your business. By reviewing and actioning each of these 10 tips you can be confident that you are going to have a positive impact of the search engine optimisation of our website.
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