Having a powerful internet presence is key for any business these days. A great looking website is a non-negotiable, of course – but is it enough? In the cut and thrust of online competition, your website needs to perform better than the rest, and that means Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
Briefly, SEO is all about pushing your website up the Google rankings, so that when potential customers search for a keyword associated with your company’s activity, your website will pop up near the top of the search results. SEO improves your business visibility, driving more traffic to your website – which is what you want.
If you’re not particularly web literate, don’t worry too much. The good news is that there are a few simple things you can do yourself that will boost your website ranking without the need for an expensive SEO guru to deliver a comprehensive internet marketing business strategy to you.
Here, Mike James – an independent blogger and business commentator that sought information from various news sources and authorities, including Planday.com – has compiled 5 easy peasy SEO tips that any small business owner can implement straight away, and with minimal IT knowledge.
Start a Regular Blog
Google’s algorithms are programmed to favour websites with relevant content that is regularly updated. The easiest way to improve your Google rankings is by having a regular blog on your site. Whether you choose to write daily, weekly or monthly posts, the important thing is that it’s fresh and unique.
In addition to helping your site to rank well, a blog is also a golden opportunity for you to engage with your customers. Share useful and engaging information based around your products and services and establish yourself as an authority in the field. From product advice and ‘how to’ guides to industry news and product updates, it gives your company a chance to communicate directly with your target audience.
What’s more, blog posts are perfect for sharing via social media, broadening your reach even further.
State Your Location
You can boost your local SEO by frequently listing your company’s location (address, town, county) throughout your website, as well as in blog posts and articles. No need to overdo it, but mentions of your geographical location can influence Google to favour your website in local search results.
If you have the time and technical know-how, do include geographical information in your meta tags, home page header and throughout the content too – or get your web developer to help.
Also, add your business address through Schema.org formats.
Use Google My Business
A Google My Business (GMB) profile takes minutes to set up, it’s free to use and it can really boost your local SEO. It literally puts your business on the map – the local Google ‘maps’ result, that is – which is hugely beneficial for local queries and footfall. Without a GMB page, you simply don’t exist!
All you need is your business details, a category and some basic information, including a business description, photos, opening hours, parking info and other useful info, as well as some nice customer reviews.
Backlinks are hyperlinks pointing to your website from other sites, and they can help establish your business as an authority in its field – which translates into a higher search ranking. So, how do you go about building these?
The easiest way to start building backlinks is by creating little business profiles on sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor and Check-A-Trade. Set up a LinkedIn company page, a Facebook business page and create a YouTube channel. Boost your SEO efforts by listing your business information exactly as it appears on GMB.
Get Customer Reviews
Positive customer feedback is always great for small business SEO, especially at the local level. There’s a review section on the GMB page, or a number of other online platforms and directories including the ones mentioned above.
Make it a standard policy to always ask your customers to post a review on any online review or social media site that you are a member of. Make sure your name, address and phone number on all sites match with your GMB profile, for added SEO benefit.