At Clever Business Websites we’re very aware that many of the companies we work with don’t have the resources to spend on maximising their internet presence. But being a small business doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of your website. It’s all about finding the channels that work best for you, to maximise your exposure.
There is still a large number of businesses in the UK that don’t have a website – currently estimated to be just under 50%. And with businesses that do make use of the web expected to grow 40% faster than those who don’t, it makes sense for smaller businesses to harness the potential of going online for their future success.
In this blog post, we’re looking at ten easy SEO tips for beginners to help you increase your web visibility by using some DIY search engine optimisation (SEO) know-how. These are designed to be beneficial in the longer term, not just a quick-fix.
1. Sign up for a Google Analytics account
Google Analytics can provide you with more information than you can possibly deal with, but it captures such vital information such as:
- Where your web traffic is coming from
- Which keywords people are using to find your website
- The most popular landing pages
- The most commonly visited pages
This is a tool that tells you how users interact with your website, so you can see where you need to improve content or offer a better user experience.
2. Set up a Google/Bing Webmaster tools account
A Webmaster tools account on Google and Bing tells search engines about your site and gives you an insight into how search engines view and rate you.
You can submit sitemaps to start indexing your site, ensure the search engines are finding you using the right domain name and you can also check for any crawl errors, monitor your page-loading speed or delete any URLs that are no longer relevant. If you set up email alerts, you’ll be notified of any changes in status to your website.
3. Make sure you’re on Google Places for business
You want to make it easier for people to find you on the web, and Google Places for business just does that. By registering your business for free you can take advantage of all of Google’s local SEO by having it show up in search results. Even if you don’t yet have a website, you can still be on Google Places as well as on Google Maps. There is a nice interactive feature whereby customers can leave reviews of your business, and as a business owner you can then respond.
4. Check the titles and descriptions of your homepage and internal pages
It might seem a bit obvious, but it’s really important to have proper titles and descriptions for your home page and any other pages on your site. By having a good title and description you can change what a visitor knows about your website before even landing on there.
5. Good internal links
As a smaller business you will have a few important keywords or terms that you need to rank well on Google for. Your audience might be more of a niche one than that of a large e-commerce store, but you still want to be found online! You can help your search visibility by using your chosen keywords as anchor text in your internal links. For instance, if you are a law company, you would probably have a page describing your services. On your homepage you would then link the services page with text such as ‘you can find out more about our legal services..’. Legal services in this context is the anchor text for the link and is a signal to search engines that this is a referenced page for those keywords.
6. Use social media, but do it properly
We’ve given you tips on using social media for business before but it’s always worth mentioning again. Social media can be a great way to promote your business, to engage with your customers and wider audience. As a small business with limited resources, you might want to consider choosing just one or two of the social media platforms to focus your resources. This way you can participate in discussions relating to your industry, connect with your users, and point them in the direction of your website. All of this is good for SEO.
7. Great content, done well
Your website should first and foremost always be about creating a place that connects with your users. And this means having great content that is engaging. But you can combine well-written content with an eye to search engines as well. By using the Google keyword tool, you can tailor your content (whether in audio, visual or text form) to what users will want to see. Bear in mind that usability is key, so if a page is too slow to load because there are too many graphics, or your site has complicated navigation, this will count against you in SEO terms.
8. Google authorship
“Not another social media platform” we can hear you say! But this is something you won’t want to ignore. If you have a Google account, you’ll automatically have a Google+ account (which is Google’s social media sharing site). A relatively new feature is ‘Google authorship’ which, in a nutshell, binds your personal Google+ profile with any content you publish online. Set up a Google+ business page from your personal profile, and your business website is then connected too. This is great for your site’s SEO and increases click-through rates from search pages, as people are more likely to click a link if there is a verified author attached.
9. Why do you have a website?
It’s good to think about what you want visitors to do once they’ve landed on your site. By having an answer to this you can tailor your website to achieve more conversions. So if the objective is for people to sign up to your newsletter, have the subscribe button in a prominent place in your header, making it visible from all pages.
10. If it’s all too much…
We want your business to grow, so if you think you could benefit from some support with SEO as you don’t have the time, then contact us for advice today.