For a bricks and mortar business today we know that to have a website is as important as having a billboard outside your office, or getting out there networking. Websites undisputably provide visibility to your business, services and products. The key to growing your business is to increase the traffic to your site, and with the right content and calls to action thereby improving enquiries, sales leads and conversions. All this can be made possible by search engine optimization.
SEO has evolved over the last few years. It has proven to be an excellent marketing tool that can actively promote your business, as well as what you are offering, especially small and medium business websites. However, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Competing in this ever evolving world of search requires strong commitment and constant effort. You can hire a professional to do this job for you or you can try some simple DIY tricks. Below are a few SEO tips you can do yourself.
- Prioritize People Over Crawlers – Write GOOD Content! Design your website and content for your visitors, not for search engines. One big mistake small business owners tend to make is designing a ‘search friendly’ website that marginalizes humans. The main mission of search engines like Bing and Google is to provide a great user experience. Google updates its algorithms more than 500 times each year. They do so because they are constantly trying to figure out how to provide better list of sites. If people just spend seconds in your website and then leave immediately, Google will know this. Therefore make sure your site is useful to people first and then search engine programs will follow.
- Use the Right Keyword in the Page Title The keywords you use in the HTML for your web page are very important. Do not leave a page title as simply your business name – if you have it’s no wonder the site isn’t ranking. Use your keywords correctly, avoid prepositions and ‘stop words’ if possible (and, for, the, with, e.t.c) and watch your punctuations within the titles. Dashes between phrases in your title can be helpful. Try to weave into a page title a couple of key words or phrases that you expect your potential customers to be using to find you. Remember you have 70 characters up there…
- Use the Keyword Text in the Links The text you use to anchor a link is extremely important and needs to be related to your keyword. For example, link the text, ‘vanilla cakes’ to your ‘fresh-vanilla cakes’ page, instead of using ‘click here’. You need to take care not to go over board, however search engines will find this information helpful in determining how you’re assisting web visitors to find information on your website – and you can benefit greatly.
- Build Some Links to Your Page Many owners always engage in reciprocal-linking strategies, agreeing to exchange their links with other websites. While this trick is quite helpful if only you reciprocate with the related, high-value sites, it isn’t as valuable as securing one-way-links coming to your own site. Getting listing from a good and frequently consulted web-directory is effective even if you will pay for this listing. When doing this, make sure you request your listings from the right category for your site.
- Ensure You have Social Media Sharing Buttons on Your Website OK you may need a web developer to do this quickly for you, however it’s in your power to do this and you certainly will get a boost for having it. Even if you have the most boring of businesses at least try a Facebook page and get all your friends and family to like you via the website or via a news item you’ve posted. Social Signals absolutely are gaining importance as part of the SEO ranking calculation.