More and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of search engine optimisation, or SEO. There is a lot of unclear information online, however, and without a lot of SEO experience or high-level consulting, it can be hard to determine what is worth implementing on your site SEO-wise.
There are two kinds of SEO: organic and mechanical. Organic SEO relies on natural, manual ways of optimising your website, and offers long-lasting results. Mechanical SEO is using software to optimise your website. Although this might be quicker, the results tend not to last so long. However, both types are worth knowing more about.
Remember your top competitors have been investing in their websites and marketing strategies for years, so discovering more about SEO can allow you to figure out where they rank, track new emerging opportunities and find the best keywords. Are you ready to get started? Let’s take a look at some basic SEO tips for your website.
1) Your Domain Name is Very Important
If you’re starting at the very beginning, and you have yet to choose a domain name, consider that your first foray into the world of SEO. Choosing a good domain name (www.domainname.com) will give your business a good start. You will want something catchy, memorable and unique. It must make sense, not be too close to an existing brand name, and preferably be hyphen-free.
LightweightCoats.com might be a good domain name if you’re selling coats, but CoatsLightweight.com doesn’t offer the same professional feel. If your business is local or regional, consider .hk instead of .com although remember many people will type .com at the end without thinking, so make your choice carefully as to which is best for your business. A killer domain name is your first step on the SEO ladder so take your time and ensure you make a good choice.
2) Optimise URLs, Titles and Meta Descriptions
The URL or name of your page (for example www.LightweightCoats.com/red-ladies-coats) adds SEO value while using proper titles and meta descriptions do the same. A meta description is a 160-word (approximately) character snippet, or HTML tag, summarising the content of a web page. A search engine will usually show the meta description in search results if the searched-for phrase appears in the description, so optimise each page’s meta description to help with SEO. They might not help with ranking but they will show up on search engine results pages, so it’s worth ensuring your pages have these.
Ensure your images are properly named. For example, “red-ladies-summer-coat-from-coatworld-kowloon.jpg” is much better than “dsc004.jpg” or “image2.jpg”. Remember people search for photos online as well as websites and written information. Once they find the photo of the coat they want, they can click through to your website.
Standard software is helpful because you can find compatible SEO tools more easily. If you stick to standard software such as WordPress, you will find there are plenty of standard small business SEO tools to choose from. If a designer or programmer does too much customization, you might find a lot of standard tools won’t work. Yoast SEO plugin is one example of great search engine optimisation software. The free version does a lot and it’s easy to use. Schema.org and JSON-LD are also worth considering. These are more technical but perhaps something you will want to investigate in the future.
3) Keep Your Content Fresh and Update Regularly
Fresh and interesting content is vital to small business SEO because it helps you build an audience, attract new customers and keep your existing customers happy. Content can be articles, slideshows, reviews, videos or anything suited to your particular niche. Out of date or static content is a turn-off. Updating didn’t use to be as important for SEO as it is these days, due to increased competition and changes in Google’s algorithms. Daily updates are not required, but adding fresh content whenever possible is recommended.
Not only will the search engines be able to find you better, but fresh content also shows your customers and potential customers that your company is busy. If your last post is dated 2013 they might assume your company has either gone out of business or not done much since them. The more unique and interesting content you have on your website, the more people are going to notice and share or discuss it on social media or their own blogs and websites. Keeping the content fresh is a win-win.
4) Free SEO Options to Try
There are basic, free tools you can use to improve your search engine optimisation. Consider Bing Webmaster Tools or Google Search Console to identify SEO issues. There are competitive research tools, Google algorithm updates, page loading time tools, and on-page SEO audits you can try. Try Google Analytics for tracking all the traffic on your website and showing you keyword insights so you can see which search terms people typed in to find your website.
The free version of SEMrush.com can also be useful. Once you have fixed any errors you find, your site should be clean and ready for further SEO. Some of these tools are free to try, and then you have the option of swapping the demo version for a paid one which can do more for your website. It is always a good idea to use a demo version first, to check it’s a tool you like to use and that works well.
5) Consider a Marketing Package to Really Climb the SEO Ladder
Online marketing packages for business can help to get you started since proper SEO can really impact how successful your company is. There are various kinds of SEO tools you can use such as meta tag optimisation, link popularity checks, keyword suggestions, search engine ranking and so on. In competitive industries, it is often worth considering online marketing packages to get your company ranking well on search engines, which of course translates into more visitors to your website and therefore more business coming your way.
The tips above are some basic concepts to start with. Why not try our SEO workshop in house? Base on your business goals and marketing strategy, we will assess your staff’s digital marketing skills level and tailor made an online marketing workshop in your office. It’s useful both for practising marketing in-house or be more equipped and knowledgeable when talking to your SEO vendors.