Search Engine Optimisation or SEO may seem like a daunting task to a small business, or may even seem out of reach. However, there are many things you can do to improve your ranking massively with a bit of organisation.
1 – Your Website
Before you do anything else, your website needs to fit the bill. With the majority of your audience viewing your site on a mobile phone or tablet, your website needs to be ‘responsive’, meaning that it looks right regardless of the device your visitor is using. This is sometimes referred to as ‘mobile friendly’, and is now a critical part of SEO
Designing your site to be as simple to navigate as possible is also very important. Search engines have advanced algorithms to check how efficient your site navigation is.
Keeping your website up to date is very important. However, constantly adding new pages, or updating existing ones, can be very time consuming. A better approach to this is to have a ‘blog’ on your site, where you can easily post snippets of news about your business, or items that you think your clients maybe interested in. There are many simple tools available for adding a blog to your website, for example ‘Wordpress’.
2 – Google My Business
Google is arguably the dominating presence on The Internet today. If you do not take advantage of its free services, you are missing out – FACT! Make sure that once you have your website sorted out, you get yourself a Google My business local listing. This will show all the relevant information about your business, such as contact information, opening times and website address, if anyone ‘Googles’ your business name.
Once you register your local listing with Google, they will ask you to verify your account. You must do this to make your listing visible, and to ensure that Google knows that your listing actually belongs to your business.
Lastly, you need to ensure that the information Google holds about you, remains consistent anywhere you post your business information across The Internet. Remember to update all of your information if anything changes, such as your business name or address.
3 – Social Media
Social Media has been a whirlwind across the search engines in the last 3 years. Google themselves now place MASSIVE importance on your standing within social media networks, and this now has a direct influence on your ranking.
Embarking on a social media strategy is therefore time consuming, and your investing plenty of time in making your initial choices of which social media platforms to become involved in, can save you time and money in the long run.
Facebook dominates at the current time, and therefore we would always recommend getting a business page on Facebook for your business. Like your blog, however, it needs to be kept up to date. In order to get a Facebook business page, you first must have a personal profile, but don’t worry, just because you have a Facebook page, doesn’t mean you need to post your whole life there – you don’t! Once you have your business page, that is what you want to focus on, and initially you need to get all of your ‘local’ network, to comment on your Facebook business page, and ‘like’ your posts, and comment where relevant.
4 – Keyword Research
Getting your keywords right is still very important. Think hard about what you think your potential customers will be typing into a search engine to find a business like yours, then enter those phrases into various search engines, and see which companies come up. If they are your competitors, then you know which keywords you need to be targeting.
Remember that you will often have much more success by localising your keywords. For example, ‘Northampton plumbers’ will have much less competition than ‘Plumbers’.
Again, Google provides many tools for assisting you with your SEO ranking. Google Search Console can give you pointers on website performance and visitor analysis, and Google Analytics can show you what visitors are doing on your website and how long they are staying for.
5 – Online Reviews
If you receive favourable online reviews for your products or services, not only does it have the advantage of publicizing your brand and website online (which in turn will help your search engine ranking), but is also a powerful tool for converting visitors into customers.
90% of consumers admit that positive reviews influence their buying decisions, and 80% trust reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
It is worth dedicating some time to reading reviews people may have left about your business online. It can provide a genuine insight into what you may be doing right or wrong, but more importantly it gives you an opportunity to respond to any bad reviews. Bad reviews are a very powerful dissuader for potential customers, and you should always respond to them, and address concerns publically where appropriate.
If you want to delve in a little deeper to specific SEO advice, in particular for improving your Google ranking, there are many resources online, but www.howipromotemywebsite.com is a good place to start