Consider this scenario. You’ve recently launched your new website, eagerly anticipating that wave of fresh online customers. Days and weeks go by without any sales or inquiries, and you’re left wondering why “Is there something wrong with my website?”. In this article, I will explain why this might be happening and give you my top 5 SEO tips to help you succeed online.
A quick introduction to SEO
Many small businesses fail to consider how their website ranks in search engines such as Google and Bing. The fact is, most new customers will find you this way and if your website doesn’t rank very high in search results you may not be reaching as many people as you could. The good news is there are some easy ways to make sure your business is being seen more often on Google. This is called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. Here’s a quick example to explain how SEO impacts the traffic to your website. Sarah lives in Stocksbridge. She is looking to buy some flowers for her mum, so she searches for ‘Florist near me’. Google shows Sarah all of the florists listed on Google near her location, as well as the most relevant search results.
Notice that each search result contains keywords relevant to what Sarah searched for. The first one, ‘Floral Magic Florist in Stocksbridge’ contains the name of the business, business type, and location in the title. The other 2 results also follow a similar pattern. By including these types of keywords in the title of your website, it will appear to people looking for what you offer. If you’re a florist and you include keywords such as ‘chocolatier’, potential customers will never find you. This is the essence of SEO.
Read on for my top 10 SEO tips to boost your organic traffic.
TIP 1: Google My Business
Arguably the most important of these SEO tips. An easy thing you can do as a small business is to get yourself listed on Google. This is essential if you want customers to be able to see information such as opening hours, contact number, location, and so on. By doing this, when someone searches for your business all of this information is listed in one place right on the front page. Here’s what that looks like:
You can easily register by visiting https://www.google.com/business/
Tip 2: Setup Google ANALYTICS FOR YOUR WEBSITE
An extremely powerful tool to help you better understand your customers. It’s also FREE!
Whilst setting up Google Analytics won’t actively boost your SEO, it will give you valuable insight into how many people visit your website. It also shows you their location and what kind of things they searched for to find your business. This can help you make informed decisions about changes you need to make in the future. Setting up Google Analytics takes a little patience, but it’s well worth it.
I suggest this tutorial to get you started.
Tip 3: Research the competition
Another useful thing you can do is look at businesses similar to yours that rank high in search results. Get a pen and paper, and make a list of keywords that they are using in their title and description. Are all the top results using similar keywords?
When refining your SEO you want keywords that are relevant to your business. If they are too broad, you’ll be buried under thousands of other results. Similarly, if they are too niche, not many people will search for them. You want to find keywords somewhere in the middle. Try picking something unusual or more specific to your USP. If you specialise in something, choose keywords that highlight this.
TIP 4: Get on social media
Your website is important, but it’s not the only place customers will look for your information. Many people use social media to find local businesses, so make sure your information is listed on at least one of these. Ideally you want it listed on Facebook, Twitter and Yell for broad coverage. These websites tend to rank well in search results and adding your information on them can be an easy way to boost your traffic.
TOP TIP: Make sure your branding is consistent across all social media pages. Include as much detailed information about your business as you can and don’t forget to include contact information.
TIP 5: Create quality content
Another great way to improve your SEO is by creating quality content on your website and social media platforms. This is the most involved of all the SEO tips in this article, but it has the potential to greatly increase your reach. Search engines favour results that add value to their platform, through informative and entertaining content. The most important thing is to make sure your content is easily readable. Add a mix of photos, videos and text to your pages to keep things interesting and varied.
You could also consider writing a blog by sharing information relevant to your industry. This is a good way to demonstrate to potential customers that you know your stuff. It might even persuade them to purchase your services or products.