Small businesses should love SEO. If you own a website for your business, chances are at some stage you’ve wondered ‘Why can’t I find my site on Google’. Or if you can find it, ‘Why is my website so far down the results’. It can be frustrating having paid for a beautiful website only to find no one is using it.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process behind getting your site higher up the page on search engine results and encouraging people to use it. Unlike other marketing methods, SEO is a long term tactic that lets you see results (customers) long after the work has stopped.
If you want to get started improving your website and getting a boost on search engines there are 3 simple things you can do:
#1 Optimize Page Titles
The page title is in the <head> and has <title></title> around it (if you use a Content Management System you probably won’t need to change any HTML). Titles appear in the tab of your browser and in search results.
When Writing a <title> you should describe the page content, what you want users to do once they get there and who you are. Don’t be afraid to play with your titles, but try sticking to this basic outline. We also recommend you check out this awesome keyword preview tool, if for no other reason than to confuse your friends and family.
For more information on title tag best practices you can read this article on SEOmoz.
#2 Say Something Interesting
In order for Google and other search engines to find your site and display it in results you need something on your website to read. If your page has lots of images but no text, search engines won’t know what your website is about. This can easily be solved by writing a description of what’s on the page. For example, if you’re selling beer and have lots of photos of the different varieties, it would be worth while explaining a bit about them on the page.
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By including this kind of text you’re letting search engines (and humans) know the page is about beer. You’re also letting them know what they should do whilst there on the page.
A few tips for writing some descriptive text are:
- Try and include the category of your product and terms related to it
- Include some words like buy online, for sale, delivered. These help people find you when they are looking to buy
- Tell people what to do. Once on your page they need to know what to do next. For example: “Add To Cart”, “Order Now”, “Call Us Today”
#3 Likes and Links
One of the most important aspects of SEO is other people liking and linking to your website. This might sound simple but it is often one of the more challenging tasks. The best way to achieve this is to create good content on your website. Once you have good content people are more likely to share it with friends, family and co-workers.
Having said this, there are a few less scrupulous methods of link building that you should watch out for:
- Paid Links: Outlawed by Google, if you get caught you could be facing a penalty, leaving you bottom of the results
- Directories: Some websites let you post a link for free, but this method often results in low quality links, taking a long time to implement and running the risk of penalization by search engines.
- Blog networks: A favourite of less thorough SEO companies, Google is catching up with this tactic and devaluing the links, costing small businesses time, money and customers.
Getting It Right
Getting your websites SEO right can take time, but the effects last much longer than traditional marketing. Not only that but the people who find you though online search are more likely to buy from you. Investing time in promoting your website is a great way to increase business whilst reducing costs over time.
What do you need to change on your site? Tell us on our Google Plus Page.