Any small business owner in 2016 knows it is important to gain as much online visibility as possible as consumers continue to switch their attention from desktop to mobile. There are quick wins in Google’s search engine if Adwords is implemented and managed effectively but you can gain long-term impact with strong organic results via effective search engine optimisation. SEO can be a very confusing world for those who aren’t tech savvy or simply haven’t had the opportunity to learn about Google best practices for optimising their site.
I have a few tips for small business owners to kick off their SEO activity.
Install and monitor Google Analytics:
Google analytics is great for gathering data and understanding where your traffic is coming from to help measure your performance. At Red Alien, we find many small businesses haven’t implemented Google analytics across their website and some incorrectly use ‘search engine ranking pages’ (SERP’s) for their chosen keywords as an indicator of traffic activity and the website key performance indicators (KPI’s).
Google analytics is free and easy to install.
Create regular and relevant content:
Every website owner needs to create regular, good quality content for both visitors and search engines. A great way to do this is through creating and maintaining a blog section on your site. This is important because Google assigns a “freshness” score to each website, which is improved and maintained by posting high quality content on a regular basis, I would recommend aiming to release a new blog post each week where possible. It is also important to remember that the content remains relevant to your website. For example, if you were running a website about a local café, a blog post about a trip to your favourite football club is unlikely to be seen as useful by Google, however talking about what’s new on the menu would be perfect.
Implement Meta Data:
One of the basic SEO steps that is often missed is utilising meta data across a website. You should aim to have unique and descriptive meta titles and descriptions which make the best use of the character limit possible. Meta titles are included in the Google algorithm but descriptions are no longer ranking factors however they can be manipulated to help improve click through rates (CTR) to your website. For example, you would use the page title to catch the eye of your page or post and then use your Meta Description to sell it to them. There are lots of plugins and add-on’s for CMS systems, one I often use on WordPress is Yoast SEO.
Use Schema Data:
There is currently no conclusive evidence that this type of mark-up improves rankings however it is being more and more talked about amongst SEO’s and in Google circles. This is used to help search engines find and understand your content, increased visibility and CTR. There are a variety of tools and plugins for websites that can help you make the process of adding schema data a lot easier. Google’s John Mueller said that it is of benefit for website to take advantage of schema data and in time this is likely to impact rankings, with only around 1% of websites having implemented this, it is your chance to stand out from the competition.
Small business owners considering a website redesign or digital investment in 2016 should make sure that they have a fully responsive mobile website. Back in April 2015 the “mobilegeddon” algorithm update may have alluded many but it had a big impact on how Google ranked and displayed mobile search results. It is not only important to have a responsive platform available for ranking in mobile search, but also for users as mobile responsive sites see far higher levels of engagement from their visitors.
You can test your site out via Google’s “mobile-friendly test” to see how Google see it. Remember, mobile is on the rise, businesses who choose not to jump on board could be missing out on potential customers, may drop in ranking and could be left behind by their competitors.
I hope you find these tips useful and you are able to implement them to assist you in the coming year.
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