Here are my top 7 tips for improving your SEO on a small-business budget…
1. Use Google’s keyword tool to find the right keywords
Ranking for the right key phrases is super important for the success of your website. By researching your what your audience are actually tapping into Google to find you is super important.
Using Google’s Keyword Tool to research what key phrases people type to find your products and services is easy: just submit a keyword or URL and choose relevant and high-ranking words from the results. Once the tool has generated some initial ideas, you can then enter the best words and phrases to generate even more specific ideas.
You’re much more likely to rank higher for these highly specific key phrases than generic terms that receive high-volume searches. So have a think about what your clients ask you when they call you and think about their problems and fears (they usually turn to Google for solutions).
2. Avoid keyword stuffing
Repeating your keywords over and over will give your content a spammy feel; this is not appealing to your visitors and even less so to search engines. Concentrate on building a page that has the keyword as its focus rather than cramming repetitions of the keyword into the content.
You may not want to hear this, but blogging is one of the best ways to grow the organic reach of your website. Every time you publish a new blog post, you are increasing your indexable and searchable pages. But quality really does count; providing a blog post which is compelling and valuable to your readers will make your website far more likely to attract links naturally. If you’re struggling for ideas, think about the problems your audience might be facing and offer advice, tips and guidance to help them. Focus on well-written, interesting ideas that people will genuinely enjoy reading and want to share. To help you get started, have a read of our post on blogging for small businesses.
4. Link up!
Getting links from other websites to yours is a great way to increase your online visibility. Some SEO companies use “link building” tactics, purchasing cheap links which will eventually crush your site. Google won’t be fooled by these back links, and they won’t work in the long run. Instead what you need to do is aim for reputable links: the more reputable the source the more weight it carries with the search engines. Brainstorm to come up with ideas – think about relationships you already have with associates, friends, suppliers, trade organisations, suppliers, clients etc. and see if they could link back to your site. Check for any mentions of your brand online and follow up with a request for a link if you haven’t been credited. Take the time to make sure you are linked to any press releases, local directories and local news sites that are relevant, it’s worth the effort!
5. Create content for people, not search engines
There’s no point creating content that ranks well if it doesn’t engage people, help them, or persuade them to buy from you. Make sure your focus is always on providing quality content that is interesting and relevant. Write for your audience and you will be rewarded by people returning to your site again and again.
6. Engage regularly via social media
Your social media presence can play a considerable role in increasing your visibility in search results. The more proactive your social media strategy, the higher are the chances that your pages will attract followers and, in turn, appear within search. So if you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram or Pinterest account for your business, get one! Focus on 2 or 3 platforms that will best serve your brand and get engaging! The more followers and engagement you receive, the higher your pages will appear in search engines. Be proactive, be friendly, be authentic and be consistent for the best results.
7. Measure performance with analytics and webmaster tools
Use Google and Bing webmaster tools and Google Analytics to find out where your most important traffic is coming from, how people and search engines navigate your site, and what’s working and what’s not. These valuable insights give you a baseline from which you can measure your performance and help you to determine where you should be focusing your efforts for improvements.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to improving your small business’s SEO is that there are no quick-fixes, no cutting corners and no overnight successes. It takes time and effort to grow your online presence and to increase the organic reach of your brand. Focus on providing fresh, quality content, and on consistent engagement with your audience and you will create an engaging brand, create a buzz, get people talking, and, ultimately, improve your SEO.
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