SEO is an effective low cost way of increasing the number of visitors to your website and in particular SEO for your businessgetting “targeted” customers to your website by matching your content to the things people are searching for.
When people talk about SEO the word “Google” usually comes up, Google is usually the first place people go to find products and services, rightly or wrongly people trust Google and if your website comes up high in the search results people will tend to trust your site.
But what is SEO and as a small business how can I improve my website SEO without paying a fortune. There is quite a lot you can do yourself and is worth doing before deciding whether to pay an agency for SEO.
This article offers some tips and ideas you can do yourself.
The Web Designer or Admin
Your web designer or admin should be able to advise you on site structure and internal linking, internal linking allows users to easily navigate your website and find what they are looking for. Internal linking also allows the search engines to crawl your website to index the pages that show when a user searches.
You can see how well your website is linked by using a tool such as https://moz.com/link-explorer (You will need to register for a free account) without internal linking the search engines will find it more difficult to crawl your website which may result in lower ranking.
Your internal linking structure should ideally be hierarchically ordered.
This has to be done at an early stage as this will highlight what people are actually searching for and the search terms they are using, this is important when you come to write but also to make sure that what you plan to sell is actually in demand. Another use is that this information will give you plenty of ideas for the shareable content for blog posts, social media posts, advertising etc. There are plenty of free browser plugins available to help with this or you can use Google AdWords to assess your chosen keywords.
Another approach is to see what keywords your top competitors are focusing on, this should be done as part of your competitor analysis.
Wouldn’t you want to know if thousands of people are searching for “Black Shoes” and you only stock brown shoes?
Another one for the web designer if you have one, but easy to fix if your website is a self-build.
The Meta description for a page should contain a brief synopsis of the pages content and is also the place to add keywords into the description that are related to the pages content.
This Meta data is used by search engines to categorise your content whilst being indexed so that a user searching for information will find the relevant page.
This shows how activwebdesignhull.co.uk shows up in SERP, it shows the Meta description, title and URL.
It is important to remember that the Meta description should attract your target audience, it is ultimately what compels the user to click through and visit your website.
Analytics & Webmaster Tools
If your web designer hasn’t done this you need to register with a service like Google Search Console. GSC will allow you to optimise your website and content by using the analytics tools. You will be able to see which pages and content are popular and if there are any problems with the site, you can also check how Google has indexed the site.
Google MyBusiness Page
It is essential to setup your Google MyBusiness page (after all it’s Google).
You may have seen Google MyBusiness when searching for something, it gives a direct link to your business showing content and images, links to your website, information about your business, opening times, reviews and much more.
A screenshot of how Activ Web Design displays in the Google MyBusiness links.
Optimise Your Images
When you optimise your website images you reduce the size of the file whilst keeping the quality. The larger the file the longer it takes to load (and cost if you are paying for mobile data usage), in fact a page that is slow to load will not only be penalised by Google but will probably prompt the user to click away from the site before it loads.
On average images count for 21% of a websites “weight” so it is vital that you optimise to save the site being penalised and dropping the ranking.
A tip is to use “.jpg” files for really colourful images and “.png” for simpler images. There is no shortage of good file compression programs
After all “Content is King” it is becoming more important to make sure your website content is both high quality and relevant to what the user is searching for. Google searches based on “User Intent” so if your page content doesn’t fall within what Google determines the user is looking for you simply won’t show up. Content is of course searchable so make sure you also use relevant keywords which are in context with the content.
Content has to be engaging and of course informative so pasting sections out of a technical reference document just won’t do.
Google Answer Boxes
Google Answer Boxes are Google’s way of trying to answer a question related to the SERPs, it is the boxed results you sometimes see on the results page.
A great way to get there is to see who in your industry is showing up in the answer box and working from there.