7 Free SEO tips for your small business website
SEO can be a complex subject but it’s vital to your business! A good SEO strategy can account for a large amount of organic traffic, especially if you rank first for a search. Getting your website in front of the right people is paramount to reaching customers that find value from your products and services. Organic leads from search engines have an 8.5x higher chance of converting. Google is, at its heart, a way to organise and search through the content on the internet. So SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation is simply following the set of rules that Google and other search providers use to find content.
However, despite how important it is many small businesses and website owners ignore the very basics. So below I wanted to outline 7 Free SEO tips that you can use to boost your SEO ranking. Most of these are not hard and could take you a couple of hours.
A need for speed
How often have you been frustrated because something would not load? Deciding to backtrack and try a different web page? Well Google takes this into account. If you can not provide information as quickly as one of your competitors, you will lose out to them. There are many tools you can use to help test the speed of your website. Including this great one from Google. Your page should load quickly, within 1 to 2 seconds, and Google is really looking for anything under a second. A quick way to help speed up your website load times would be to use smaller images, clear out unused content or, if you’re using WordPress, using a caching plugin.
One great way to really save on loading time is to change your images from PNG to JPG. PNG images typically look better and scale better on different devices. The down side is PNG images are much larger and take longer to load.
Dead links, dead site
It is always important to go through the web pages on your website and look for links that no longer work! Sometimes websites move, pages stop working, or companies call it quits. When this happens the links you use may no longer work. Have you ever had a time you found exactly what you were looking for, clicked the link, and it lead you to nowhere? This is frustrating, and as you might have guessed, if your competitor can offer a working link they rank higher.
There are many free tools and most of them work the same. I ran this tool on the 705 Creative Blog and it found a typo on a social link! Another good reason to check every once and awhile. Little things like this can add up.
Loco for local
When you search, ‘hairdresser’, you don’t want to find someone in the next town over, you want someone local. Search providers look for information that tells them whether the content you are offering is related to a local area. This is especially important if you are a company with a physical location!
While there are many ways to tell search providers where your location is, the easiest is to make sure you reference the name of your city on the text of your website. As well as setting up a Google Business Account and linking your website!
It is even more important with the advent of voice search. When you search something on say, your Google Home, google pulls content from the first website that pops up. If someone says something like ‘Hey Google, I’m Hungry’ it will list the closest restaurants.
Mobile matters more than ever
Statistica recently mentioned that over 51% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Gone are the days of focusing on your users desktop experience. Now it is increasingly important to focus on the mobile experience first.
Load up your website on your phone. Do the images scale properly? Is it easy to use? Is text readable? Is it usable at all? If not you may need to think about a redesign in order to capture more mobile users. Not only will you rank higher, your current users will thank you by coming back again.
Interested in having your website spruced up? Why not contact us, all our websites are mobile responsive. Contact us to learn how we can help.
Put the key back in keywords
Keywords are just that, the words that are key to describing what the page is about. When users search something, for example: ‘Professional Carpenters’ search providers compare that text to what they have stored from your site. So it is important to find out what people are searching in your area.
Something as simple as changing a word, or phrase can get you in front of a whole new group of users. Plus language changes over time, last year people may have searched ‘Professional Barbers’ and this year it might have changed to ‘Highly Rated Barbers’. It is important to check and make sure your content is following search trends. This way you never miss out on new customers and users. Remember never remove old content if it ranks well or is generating results, instead make new content to capitalize on new searches.
Describe yourself in 60 + 160 characters
When people search for you or happen across your link on Google, you want to capture their attention. The title of your site, which shows up as your link, is how you first grab their attention. Based on the keywords you’re targeting you want to create a title that is relevant to the search, and captures the user attention. After is the 160 character meta description, this helps confirm to the user what you are trying to communicate with the title while providing more details.
When writing a meta description it is important to remain consistent. When a user clicks through your link, they should see consistent information. The goal is to avoid misleading users, if people leave as soon as they see your website (called bounce rate) Google and other search engines will lower your search rank.
Create irresistible content!
The number one key to ranking higher and bringing in more organic traffic is great content! Like a sugar addict in a candy store, Google’s users can’t consume enough content. The better the content the more we want, and the higher you will rank. On the flip side, now with the advent of machine learning, Google and other search engines have the ability to understand content on the internet.
When writing an article more is more, longer articles rank higher. Longer articles typically have more social shares, more engagement, and rank higher in search engines. However, it is important not to fill articles with useless content. Good content is typically longer.
It is important to keep SEO in mind when thinking of your digital marketing strategy. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when thinking about SEO, including some things I haven’t talked about here. However, by keeping in mind some of the tips above hopefully you can boost your SEO. Remember to keep your site fast and accessible. Keep content and links relevant and up to date. Lastly keep your content focused on what you’re trying to convey to your customers. That way they keep coming back for more.