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SEO can be a challenge, especially if you’re a small business owner. You’ve got to do almost everything yourself, and that takes time.
No matter how busy you are, you should never ignore SEO. SEO determines whether your website will be at the top or buried in the depths of Google’s 25th page.
Without proper optimisation, you won’t be ranking at all. You’ll be invisible to search engines and your customers will not be able to find you on Google.
Why should you even care about SEO and why is it so important? What can you do to catapult your pages to the top of the search results? Keep reading to find out all about it.
Why Does it Matter?
You’ve got so many things you need to take care of and think about. SEO just doesn’t seem like a top priority at the moment. You can just work on your business and website now and invest in SEO later, right? Well…
SEO takes time and the sooner you start working on optimising your website, the sooner you’ll be ranking on Google. That sounds great, but what does it mean exactly?
Ranking high will:
- Drive more traffic to your site. Good SEO increases your visibility as you appear higher and higher on people’s SERPs.
- Increase your sales. More people making it to your website means more people are viewing your products and services. In turn, this translates to higher sales without having to spend a tremendous amount of money on traditional marketing methods.
- Improve user experience. Google’s goal is to provide its users with the best user experience possible. SEO practices are the best practices for building websites, meaning that by optimising your website, you’ll also be improving the user experience.
Knowing what your audience needs and what they’re searching for is key to successful SEO. How do people usually find small businesses like yours? What keywords bring the most traffic to your competitor’s websites?
Understanding what works and what doesn’t will put you ahead of the competition. But, how do you even perform keyword research?
- Create a list of the terms you think people use to find you,
- Use online tools and resources to find out which of these keywords rank high,
- Find more keywords that your competitors are ranking for but you aren’t. Use tools such as Spyfu or SEMRush to find out what keys you could add or exclude.
Once you’ve got some keywords, it’s time to analyse them and figure out if they’re actually going to do your business any good. Some keywords may rank high but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are aligned with your brand’s goals.
You don’t want to be targeting keywords that will completely shift your business and marketing plans. You also don’t want to invest in keywords with low or no financial return.
Remember to make use of long tail keywords in your content. These convert better because they target niche audiences and catch buyers later in the buying/conversion cycle.
Being more specific and avoiding super-generic keywords will help your pages show up on users’ SERPs at the perfect moment: when buyers are ready to make a purchase.
Google strives to provide users with the best user experience. As a small business owner, you should always be putting your customers’ needs first. Good user experience is usually the result of many things but a lot of it has to do with the content of a website.
All your copy needs to be checked for grammar mistakes and spelling errors. Keep things nice and simple so that everyone understands and can easily navigate through your website.
Many small businesses do not post regularly. If you want users to choose you over your competitors, then you need to somehow prove that you have authority, are credible and reliable. You’ll have to create new content.
Good content is original and fresh. It should always be written with your reader in mind and structured appropriately. Try to provide your readers with content that they’ll find valuable; content that they’ll want to return to your website for.
Design & Technical SEO
Good content doesn’t mean much if your users have a hard time accessing it. As a small business owner, you may not be interested in the technical side of things and may want to keep out.
Technical SEO is quite complicated and we don’t recommend you perform it yourself unless you have a solid technical background and know how web pages work. Technical SEO is better left to professionals.
You may not be able to do much to improve the technical aspects of your website, but you should never forget to add title tags and meta descriptions.
Include all the important keywords in your titles and meta descriptions, but always make sure the end text sounds natural and makes sense.
Your title should be short and to the point (no more than 65 characters). It should entice and intrigue users, but don’t go overboard (no one likes clickbait).
Your meta description should be informative and engaging; a few sentences should do the trick. Use words to your advance to evoke different emotions and guide the user’s actions. Use strong calls to action (CTA) to lure people in.
Don’t forget the links! Remember to link to authoritative websites when you can. If you don’t have anything to link and need some inspiration, then take a look at what your competitors are linking.
If you’re focused on the local market, then you may have heard of local SEO strategies.
Focus on location. Mention your city in your titles, meta descriptions and content. You want people in the area to be coming to you so make sure they know you are the best and most convenient solution in the area.
Consider including an embedded Google Map on your contact page and don’t forget to verify your business and location.
When linking, you should pay more attention to local papers and websites. If people are visiting those local websites, then it’s important you create strong links with them, rather than with industry giants.
Just getting started with your new business? Get the name right! Check out our easy 2019 guide here!