Not all of us have the money to spend on an SEO package, which can be a bit disheartening for any business owner. After all, unless you’re lucky enough to have very little competition, getting your website to rank well for relevant search terms can be a tall order.
But what many people don’t realise is that SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) isn’t rocket science. Once you’ve identified the right keywords for your website, the rest is simply down to hard work: taking the time to add new content and always keeping an eye out for the right keywords.
For any of you who are unsure about what SEO is, it's simply the process by which you get your website ranked on Google for relevant search terms, like 'Builder London' or 'Accountants Glasgow'.
There’s no denying that SEO can be time-consuming, especially if you’re an overworked small business owner. But by taking just one or two of the following steps and then sticking to them, you really can make a difference to how your site performs in the search engines.
And at the risk of banging the old ‘content is king’ gong...err...I’m afraid it is!
1. Start blogging – Post regular items with your thoughts and views on topics that relate to your industry. Just like we have. Keep to what you know, aim for between 300 and 500 words (long enough to be picked up by Google but short enough to give you time to write it), and make sure you post regularly.
Integrate your blog into other forms of social media, like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, to increase the chances of people reading your blog and visiting your website.
2. Write some articles – Blogging is good way to gradually drip feed new content into your site, but if you have a bit more to say, then why not write a whitepaper? A whitepaper is typically a bit longer than a blog and is your chance to really go to town on issues that you’re particularly knowledgeable about. Whitepapers don’t need to be added on as regularly, but try and aim for a new piece at least once a quarter, so that you can start building up a library. Not only will this help with attracting visitors to your website, but it will also position you as an authority in your industry and thereby help to convert visitors into leads when they get there.
You may even be able to get your whitepapers featured on industry websites that will then link back to your own small business website.
3. Add on news items – Have you just delivered a really big project that you want to shout about? Are your employees up to something interesting? Tell the world about it. News items are the overworked small business owner’s dream ticket to adding regular content. Keep them nice and brief – around 300 words – and add them as often as you can.
Again, be sure to post news items on social media pages and PR sites like this one – www.onlineprnews.com
4. Get backlinking – Google thinks highly of backlinks (as long as they’re legitimate ones), so try and build these up where you can. Ask business partners if they can link to your small business website, get listed in as many directories as you can and get commenting in forums. It’s quick and easy and costs nothing. Of course we can help with structured campaigns if you need a bit of assistance.
5. Use a keyword-rich domain – It’s by no means a silver bullet, but using a web address that has relevant keywords can make all the difference to how your site performs. Just check out some of our websites that use keywords in their domain names and then search in Google for them using the same keywords. Bingo!
How well a keyword-rich domain performs does depend on how competitive your industry is and how well you’ve SEO-ed the rest of your website, so please be mindful of this if you do opt for a new domain.
Just ask us if you’d like help with finding one.
Of course if you simply don’t have time for SEO, then just give us a call and we’ll see what we can do to help. We have a full range of SEO packages and online marketing services suited to start-ups and small businesses.
The author – Rosie Heptonstall, Marketing Manager for Clever Business Websites