SEO is one of those topics that, as a small business owner, you’re aware you need to do something about, but you’re not quite sure what. It’s bandied about by people at your networking events; you hear about it from your web agency and you read about it in online articles, but what can you actually do about it? For a small business, SEO that’s done properly can be a great thing. Even better, it can be done without too much cost or hassle, if you know what to do.
Getting your act together
SEO is really just about being organised and structured. Follow these quick and easy tips and you can improve your SEO straight away – and then you will have time to consider whether you want an SEO service that can provide ongoing support.
Tip 1: Research your keywords.
SEO is about being found online for the right things. In order to get this right, you need to work backwards and understand what your customers might be typing into their search engines when they’re looking for products or services like yours.
You might just have a simple list to begin with – one that covers the main aspects of what you do. As you improve your SEO and increase your offering, you can widen your list of keywords, giving people more opportunity to find you. Keywords that are directly related to individual products or services are potentially more valuable than those related generally to your business.
Look also for ‘long-tail’ keywords. This is likely to be a sentence or query that is a much more specific search term. For example, instead of searching for ‘accountant in London’, someone might search for ‘help with bookkeeping for small businesses’ – if that’s where your business wants to be, that’s a good long-tail keyword to select.
Tip 2: Use your keywords wisely
SEO is about people finding you online. And without going into the complexities of the way a search engine works, you need to have useful, relevant content in order to appear in the search results. Search engines are sophisticated and can tell if you are deliberately over-using keywords to try and get noticed – be warned: they will ignore you and possibly penalise you.
Instead, as any organic SEO services professional will tell you, use your keywords sparingly. There are certain places your keywords should go – in the title and opening paragraph of your content, for example, and at the end, possibly as part of your call to action. You can also use them in picture or video captions and in sub-headings. But keep it to a minimum. What search engines want to see is content that most accurately matches the initial query.
Tip 3: Link within your site
This is beneficial in a couple of ways: first, it keeps the user on your site. So, if they are reading a blog article, you can link to the relevant service you offer, making it easy for your reader to move to that page. This is something that search engines can track, and they will assume that your user is spending more time on your site because your site is interesting and useful.
Additionally, If you make your link keyword related, rather than just ‘click here’, you’ve added another reason for the search engines to think your content is relevant. So you might use ‘find out about our bookkeeping for small businesses’ as your link test. Useful, keyword-driven and compelling.
Tip 4: Look at your meta data
You can do this yourself, if you have access to your website, or you can get your web designer to check it out for you. This is just making sure that the parts of your website that search engines look at most closely have the keywords and information needed to get you noticed. You can also write specific content to appear in the search engine results, helping you to be more persuasive at this point in the customer’s journey, engaging with them and driving them towards clicking your result rather than any other.
If you choose to outsource SEO services, your provider can do this work for you, and keep it up-to-date, changing it when you have special deals or offers, or have added a new product or service to your business.
Tip 5: Always keep your SEO under review
SEO is a constantly-changing area of online marketing. Search engines change their algorithms; competitors come onto the market who challenge your business and want your visitors; your business itself changes and offers new or different products and services. All this means that your SEO needs to be under regular review to make sure it’s still working hard for you.
This doesn’t have to be time-consuming and you don’t even have to do it yourself. There are plenty of affordable small business SEO services available, where experienced people will work with you on an ongoing basis to make sure everything is relevant and organised. They will also give you recommendations about content, other organic SEO tasks you can manage and advise when it might be worth doing some paid search campaigns.
For any small business, SEO done well is a great way of driving new business to your site, and can be done for far less cost than you think. If you’re short on time and need help with SEO amin, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above.