SEO for Small Businesses

So what is SEO, I may hear you ask?

It stands for search engine optimisation and is a key strategy in improving your visibility and getting your product, business or service noticed on online and in google rankings , in turn drives more traffic to your website while increasing the chances for more conversions.

In Short SEO drives two things rankings and visibility.

The truth is that without some presence in Google your business is unlikely to last long. Most people will head straight over to google or another search engine when they are looking for something so you need to be visible right?

There is so much info on the subject of SEO while there is a lot to take in, some of it may not be relevant or accurate.

In this post we we will provide some useful SEO tips that you can put into action straight away and increase the visibility of your small business, the process of an efficient SEO strategy won’t happen overnight but with a structured plan and consistency you will notice real results.

Research & Preparation

Before diving into the optimisation our first tip would be to do your research, we need to know what potential customers search for this includes Keywords (Something we will talk about in depth another time) visit various blogs and follow expert’s on SEO. Here are a few of our favourite resource and people to follow.

Google Webmaster Guidelines – 

We need to understand what google wants and to use those as guidelines to ensure we work with search engines to deliver an amazing website experience that google and search engines will love.

Moz Beginners Guide to SEO – 

An excellent resource for help and guidance on SEO.

Neil Patel

Somewhat the Bruce Lee of the SEO world and a total SEO ninja who is constantly helping small and more established businesses with new SEO tactics and strategies.

Ahref’s 

Help with keyword research and lots of resources to help you grow your traffic.

There are also valuable source to be found online places such as Linkedin Training  and skillshare are worth a look at.

Getting Started

To make sure search engines can understand your website, you will need certain tools provided by search engines, these tools provides data which can help to improve your optimisation.

Register with Google Search Console 

Is a free service which helps you monitor the health of your website, from how well search engines can access and crawl your site to how your pages are indexed, also helping with recommendations for basic improvements of the HTML of your website.

 

Get to know Google Search console by exploring all sections and implementing any changes suggested.

Google my business is a digital representation of your physical business, make sure the information is 100% accurate is essential, claim your listing if not already done so, create a listing if one doesn’t exist or make sure the information provided is up to date.

Try to put some real effort into your google listing, adding images, making sure your in the correct categories, building up reviews and being seen as active on your listing can really help boost your local business SEO.

Optimise your website - Mobile

Testing your website’s speed is critical when getting started with SEO, especially mobile optimisation.

People spend more time on their phones every year which means we can’t ignore SEO strategies that focus on mobile optimisation, which goes way beyond website speeds of your site and is about understanding mobile users searching habits and as consumers.

3 valuable sources for testing your website’s optimisation are pingdom website speed test and GTMetrix and  not forgetting google's very own speed insights

Every website will have its own issues some are easily fixable others may be more complex and require somebody more experienced.

Before making any changes to your website optimisation make sure to back everything up. 

There are plenty of plugins to choose from but our particular favourite is Updraft. 

Image Optimisation

Image optimisation is paramount in website speeds, huge files will bloat and slow down your website, there are several plugins to help with this and depending on how many images you want to optimise most likely you will find some free options out there.

Check out these wordpress optimization plugins

Best plugins for image compression

 

Optimise page page title & meta descriptions

Page titles are what’s shown in search results so we need to be clear what the page is about to get a click through to our website.

What needs to be included here are keywords within your industry, your location along with business name ideally placing the keywords at the beginning of the title to potentially help with rankings. We need to do this in a natural way as possible and not cram as many keywords as possible.

Example –

Mechanics in Huddersfield – Fox Garage

We could adapt this to other pages such as

MOT Centre – FREE MOT Check – Fox Garage, Huddersfield

Service Centre – Free vehicle collection – Fox Garage, Huddersfield

Think of a search engine listing as an advertisement so to include any marketing elements will increase the likelihood of getting someone to click on your listing, write descriptive titles and descriptions will help improve your organic traffic and rankings.

There are several plugins to help with the title and meta descriptions 2 of our personal favourites are Yoast and another firm favourite is Jetpack.

Optimise page content

Page’s are divided into various components with the elements being

Header tags – H1,H2,H3 etc

Body – Paragraphs and the text on your page

Images – Images used on your website

Headings can be optimised to include keywords and should have a hierarchy with H1 being used most across the site and so on, the ‘body’ and text should accurately describe and promotes your business and use keywords in a naturally written way.

Images should also be optimised with the name of the image, the alt text and description this will all work together to make your page more visible to a wider array of search terms and audience which in turn will generate more leads and sales from your website.

is a vital element in building visibility online we need to get the right links pointing to your website, this helps google and other search engines determine your importance in order to rank you on the search results.

Link building can be one of the hardest parts of SEO and people often get stuck, there are however several strategies you can use to obtain some high quality backlinks to help you improve your online visibility.

High Ranking Online Directories

Any established business will be featured on the highest ranking business directories search for your relevant keywords and topics and find out who is listed on the top of the pages, some you will have heard of others maybe not, places such as Yelp, Yell, Thomson LocalScoot are all worth getting listed on if you’re not already, there are countless more so get searching and add your business details on there.

Reviews

Offering to write testimonials for companies, suppliers or customers you work with will have a high likelihood that people will want to feature it on their website, will be of local relevance and generate a link to your website, speak with people within your network and find out if there’s anyway you can add a link to their websites, building links takes time and patience but definitely worth the long term rewards.

We will delve into link building a little further another time.

Final word

Here we have just the tip of the iceberg of SEO strategies that will increase online visibility and drive more traffic to your website and help small business owners who may want to create an SEO campaign themselves.

Things to remember:

  • Research and Preparation
  • Optimise titles, meta descriptions and page content
  • Build relevant links

That’s it a basic introduction into SEO strategies for small business owners, feel free to leave any comments or contact us to ask any questions regarding SEO.

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