If you're a small or start-up business, then having a top quality website designed and built is only the start. You may have the best product or service around and even have the best looking website on the internet, but if you don't have the right SEO strategy or even have an SEO strategy at all, you can't expect your website to rank on search engines above your competition.
Many small businesses or start-ups are not in a position to throw lots of money at a professional SEO campaign, as getting a website built is an investment in itself. But that doesn't mean that there arn't some things you can do yourself to get your SEO underway.
We are about to share with you 25 of our hottest SEO tips. But first it's crucial you understand how SEO works.
So, chances are that at some point in your life you have applied for credit, whether it be a credit card, car finance or even a mortgage and eagerly waited to see if you have been approved or declined. Even if you're approved, there is then the matter of how much credit you are eligible for.
Well, when it comes to ranking your website, search engines use a point scoring system that is actually not that much different to how banks or finance companies would determine the amount of credit they will lend you.
Search engines have a list of criteria, all of which they will score your website on. No one knows the exact criteria or how their scoring works (as this is a closely guarded secret), but there are many well known factors that will influence their scoring. The criteria is exhaustive, however key things include; how well the website is built, if it's responsive, the quality of your content, how regularly the site is updated, how many external sites link to you and even your social media coverage.
The days of being able to trick or easily sway search engines in your favour are long gone! Search engines these days are savvy creatures and trying to stuff your websites with keywords or using underhand techniques can get your 'ranking score' reduced or even have your website blacklisted.
Remember that every website is different and each business will require its own unique SEO strategy. But there are many things you can do, many of which are simple best practices, to get your SEO off to the best start.
If you would like to talk to us about your SEO strategy for a new or existing website, call us today. We would be happy to discuss a strategy for you.
1. Less is more, keep it simple
On average users will spend less than 2 minutes on your website. It's your job to present the information they need so your users can quickly find what they need.
2. Use bullet points
The use of bullet points in content is 3 times as effective in getting your messages across than blocks of text.
3. Post with an image
Posts on social media with an image are proven to be 10 times more effective than those without.
4. Know your audience
Each of your social media channels have different audiences. Are you tailoring your content for each audience?
5. Content is king
Search engines are savvy creatures! There is no substitute or short cut to having great content.
6. It's not all about keywords
Keywords are still part of your optimisation, but the focus is more on the content and its relevance, rather than exact keywords.
7. It's about quality, not quantity
Not every page gets indexed and quality is crucial to increase your site’s visibility, so keep that in mind next time you feel inclined to create new (pointless) pages.
8. The 3 second rule
You get 3 seconds before a visitor decides to stay or leave your website. Does your homepage convey the right message to a user in 3 seconds?
9. Keep it local
94% of searches have local intent. You don't have to own a local business to benefit from local SEO.
10. Blogs are great for fresh content
Even if your business doesn't have regular newsworthy things to write about. Adding industry related news to your blog is a great way for creating fresh content with your keywords.
11. Know your competition
Even if you have a better product or service, you can't expect to be higher in searches than your competitors if your website is inferior.
12. Engage with your audience
Don't just talk at your audience on social media, engage with them.
13. Put the keyword in your page title
This should be a no-brainer, but we'll say it anyway: Your page title should contain your keyword.
14. Use internal links in your website
If you aren't talking about your best content, why should anyone else care? It's important that your best SEO content be linked to internally by other pages on your website.
15. External links
Google relies heavily on external links to determine how good your website is. But be careful, google will know if the source is good quality or not.
16. Speed is crucial
40% of visitors will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. 80% of those visitors will never return.
17. Never consider your website to be finished
If you want your site to continue to rank higher, attract more visitors and make more sales, then you should always be adding to and improving it.
18. Set-up a Google+ page for your business
Doing so builds trust with Google and improves rankings for localised searches
19. Remove, merge or add to pages with little content on them
Having lots of content-light pages, with short page view times, can result in search engines downgrading all of your site’s keyword rankings.
20. Ensure your content is good enough to be on the 1st page
If your content isn’t better than the content already on the 1st page for a keyword then your site doesn’t deserve to rank.
21. Create stats/charts/graphs/infographics
People are more likely to share and link to these types of content than plain written content.
22. Get keyword ideas from other people
They (customers, suppliers, partners, friends, etc.) see your business differently to you and may associate different words and phrases with it.
23. Existing relationships are an instant source of backlinks
Some of your suppliers, partners and customers will link to your site if you ask them to do so.
24. Remove unnecessary outbound links.
Only link to pages on other sites that you think visitors to your site would find helpful and/or interesting.
25. Get listed in industry and local directories.
Most directories are worthless, however, there should be at least 10 that are relevant to your area or industry.