How important is search engine optimization (aka SEO) to your small business?
SEO is important because it makes your website more attractive to Google. The more attractive your website is to Google, the higher it will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs) and the easier it will be for people to find. The more people (traffic) your website attracts the better your chances of selling them your product or them using a service you provide.
Using an agency is one way to implement SEO on your website, but if you don’t have a large budget for marketing you may want a cheaper alternative.
Luckily there are some simple ways you can use SEO to help improve your rankings today. Let’s take a look!
1. Add Meta Titles and Descriptions
Each page of your website needs a dedicated meta title and meta description so when Google crawls the page for indexing it knows what it’s all about. This meta information will appear in SERPs so you need to make descriptions catchy and clickable, and keep them to a word limit of 120-150 characters.
The easiest way to add meta info if you have a WordPress site, is to download the free Yoast plug-in tool.
2. Use Keywords
Keywords are arguably even more important than meta info for SEO because this is what searchers input into Google. Think of it like a question and answer service. Google brings up relevant pages to answer a searcher’s keyword questions. Google is a lot smarter these days so you shouldn’t need to stuff keywords in but you still need 1-3% density for optimal results.
Inserting relevant keywords into your copy, meta titles and descriptions, therefore, should be a high priority for your SEO.
Interesting content + striking visuals = killer combination!
3. Write great content
Google penalizes sites with pages of thin or spammy content, so ensuring you’re posting useful and fresh content on your blog is a great way to improve your SEO. ‘Content’ doesn’t have to mean just words either, adding photos, videos or an infographic can turn a static blog post into an eye catching piece.
Remember you want your content to attract visitors so they stay on the page and read it to the end, so think interesting content + striking visuals = killer combination!
4. Look under the hood
Your website might look great on the outside but if you have technical issues ‘under the hood’ then Google will penalize your ranking. Some technical SEO problems that could hinder your site being properly crawled and indexed include:
- Site speed – check loading speed and remove big images, unnecessary files or move to a faster provider
- Duplicate content – check for duplicate content and remove
- Broken links – check for broken links and fix or remove.
Do a site audit to discover your site’s technical issues.
5. Make it mobile friendly
Many small business owners focus on how their websites look on desktop computers but forget to check their appearance on mobile. In 2018 over 52% of web traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones. So this figure should be a good motivation to make sure your website is mobile friendly.
Not sure if your website is mobile friendly? Do a Google Mobile Friendly Test.
6. Get Google reviews
More and more consumers look up reviews before making a purchase. Positive reviews are not only important for your small business’s reputation but also for local search ranking factors. In fact, reviews are no.#3 on Google’s local ranking factors list.
One of the easiest ways to collect positive reviews is to set up a Review Funnel. Read more about how to do this.
7. Get backlinks from local websites
Positive reviews aren’t the only way you can improve your business’s reputation and increase your search engine ranking. Other local business owners linking to your site can also help. The more inbound links (aka backlinks) you have, the greater your online search presence will be.
This article has some great ideas on how to get local links.
Ready to SEO?
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of things you can do to improve your SEO, it gives you a starting point of manageable tasks. If you’re struggling to find time to implement these, then check out our post on time management tips, and see if any of the techniques we talk about can help you manage your workload.