As small business owners, getting found online has to be a priority. There are over 100 billion Google searches every month. We know that people are looking for our businesses online and yet so many sites are still launched with no thought to search engine optimisation and marketing.
Staying Sane in the Digital World – SEO Edition
To get more targeted visitors to your site, SEO has to be in your playbook. Here’s where to start.
- Who is your audience and what are your goals of your site – Do you want people to buy items from your store, book an appointment, or perhaps fill your contact form. It’s good to know this up front and take this into consideration when crafting your navigation and META tags.
- Be selective when it comes to the words you use – SEO tactics that worked 5 years ago can be bad now (like keyword stuffing). It’s hard to rank for narrow term words (like social media for example – you’re competing with over a billion other results) so choose longer ones that your specific audience are more likely to use. Include location, your niche services, or other terms that differentiate your offering.
- Ask to your customers which words they would use to Google you (write them down!). Keyword tools will help you further determine if these are the right words given volume and competition.
- Google’s alogorithms change regularly and it is good check in with your site a few times a year to see how you are doing on to make any changes that might be required. Google Search Console is a great tool to diagnose any issues.
- Your site should work on mobile devices – more people search using their phone or tablet so plan to make your site responsive as soon as you can.
- Content – dynamic websites sites that share valuable content tend to rank higher. Add new content regularly – a blog is a great way to do this.
- The more links back to your site the better but these have to be from trusted sites that are pertinent to your industry or location. Internal links are valuable too – make sure these are logical and make sense to the reader.
- SEO is one online marketing strategy and should line up with your over digital plan. Words you use in META tags should be similar to the words you use in your social feeds. This is especially true when posting to sites that show up in Google search, like Twitter or Google+.
- Track the traffic to your site. Google Analytics is free to install and helps you to tell how much traffic you are getting, where it is coming from, which pages people read and how long they stay.
- If you don’t know what you are doing then it’s best to work with someone who does. SEO can be a minefield and there are lots of people out there who will promise you the world (first page ranking guaranteed!). Take that with a pinch of salt. SEO is a long term commitment and a tricky discipline to get right.