How to get found online – Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
DIY your SEO for small business
While Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – seems overwhelming and daunting, Guess what? YOU TOO CAN DIY SEO. It makes a lot of sense to understand what SEO is; not only if you want to DIY, but also if you want to outsource.
If your inbox is anything like most small business owners, its full of emails from search engine optimisation gurus, who have ohso kindly checked out your site and have a free report for you detailing all the areas where your website is underperforming and how to quickly fix it, to rocket your business to the top of Google search results.
Whilst it’s likely 1 or 2 of these emails are from professional SEO companies, the vast majority will be from an unidentified SEO company who will run a quick analysis of your site (which, by the way you can do yourself – details later) and try to sell you a half-baked SEO plan, which will bring you little to no value.
These ‘easy fix’ types of SEO companies have undermined the business of SEO and distracted business owners from sensible strategies, but if you have some best practice SEO insights and you educate yourself on some of the basics, not only will you be able to call out the self-professed-SEO gurus with their magic fairy dust methodologies, but you will also be able to master the basics for yourself and ultimately save money!
At the end of the day SEO done right is time consuming and really there are no easy quick fixes, but there are some good fundamental SEO practices which you, as a business owner, should have some understanding of.
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO is a consistent practice used to develop, build and update our digital presence (particularly our website) so we show up on Page 1 of Google.
- build an informative, content rich and visually interesting website that is easy to navigate
- pay attention to the need for your website to be crawled and indexed by the search engines so they can interpret and index your website easily and quickly
- make information about your business available online with business and organic google listings
- update your social media with quality content that is relevant and engaging to your audience
You are officially SEO winning!
The ultimate goal of SEO is to make finding your website through search engines as easy as possible.
‘The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results.’
Why? Because no one ever looks there (unless they’re incredibly thorough). As business owners, we are always aiming for our digital assets to reach Page 1 of search engine results.
While there are a few search engines out there with Bing, Yahoo and more, Google is the world’s #1 search engine: more than 44,000 search queries processed per second on Google alone. So…make Google happy and you’ll make all the other search engines happy too.
Google’s goal is to present relevant information to their users’ questions and searches. If the information is presented in such a way that they want to stay, read or watch, Google considers this a “pleasing user experience”. So, when it comes to your online channels, always aim for a “pleasing user experience.”
A pleasing user experience largely means:
- a visually appealing site that is easy to navigate, features clear call to actions and buttons that lead to easy-to-read, information-based and sales-focused landing pages
- engaging social media posts
- posting a video to youtube, social media or your website
- an interesting blog post or LinkedIn article
HOW TO SEO
Now we know what SEO is and aims for, the next step is How To SEO – this starts from understanding our current SEO situation: How good is your SEO now? What improvements are needed?
The Hoth has one of the best and free online tools that analyses your website for SEO
https://www.thehoth.com/seo-audit-tool/ – you can even compare your site to your competition.
The Hoth’s report is so in depth, it provides you with a list of tasks for you to steadily work through to be SEO Awesome.
Overall, when it comes to SEO, your website needs to be responsive and optimised for desktop, devices and mobile, and secure with an HTTPS (secure certificate) and have:
Strong URLs (the address of a resource on the internet)
SEO loves Keywords – whatever form they take. This also includes using your keywords in your URLs for your landing pages, images and where possible for your blogs.
Just as tags in social media mean greater social reach, links from other sites pointing to yours push you up on google too. These are known as Backlinks.
- ask partners, suppliers, customers and friends to link your site from theirs – and you can do the same for them too
- focus on producing quality blogs to encourage others sharing it across social media, their own sites and e-newsletters.
- include relevant backlinks in your blogs
Optimise your images for web so they don’t slow your website down – google rewards efficient working websites.
Create Alternate Tags and label images to also include your brand and service.
While it takes a little time to understand SEO, for a small business owner it is definitely worth the effort, as armed with the knowledge and experience to improve your website ranking will result in improved visibility and website traffic and ultimately help your business to be found!
If you are keen to learn more about all things SEO check out the Realise Business Expert Member Webinar: Basics of SEO for Small Local Business
– This article was written by Sara Berry. To know more about Sara Berry please click here.