Along with the rise in people leaving their day jobs to follow their dreams and become entrepreneurs has come a rise for the need of ecommerce businesses, as well as many people faced with the dilemma of taking care of their online presence, to ensure that their website is accessible to potential customers.
Every marketing channel and traffic source has value to bring to the table. In this article we want to cover SEO, to guide you through the basic steps you can take to ensure your online business is a success.
What is SEO?
SEO is an abbreviation for search engine optimisation. This is a marketing practice that allows you to be found online by your potential customers. Following best practices for SEO will help your website be indexed and ranked by search engines, making sure that you’re able to grow your brand organically.
What is organic traffic?
Your website has various channels that contribute to the traffic that access your website. Organic traffic refers to users that access your website as a result of search results.
For example, if someone goes to Google and enters the search phrase “digital marketing agency london” and they click on the website in the second position of the search results (below the first paid ad results), that would be a user that enters the website organically. There was no influence from paid advertising. Your SEO efforts are responsible for the quality as well as quantity of organic traffic entering your website on a monthly basis.
To be successful in your SEO efforts for your small business, we have compiled some fundamental tips that will help you place your website traffic on a steady growth trend.
1.Local SEO is important
This is often an underrated Google product but Google my Business is extremely important for your local relevance.
Location matters. According to Think with Google, nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location.
Claim your Google My Business account and make sure that your NAP (name, address and phone number) details are consistent with your website. This will give google the relevant location information for your website so that people are able to find your business locally.
Google My Business has many great features.
- Posts – these are like free adverts that appear on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). You can increase views to your listing by regularly posting updates about your products and services.
- Reviews – a great advantage of having a listing is that people can be encouraged to leave reviews for your business. You are also leaving people with a platform to share experiences and feedback, to which you can respond. Having positive reviews on your website serves as trust signals to Google about your business.
- Questions and answers – Potential customers are able to ask questions on the platform before visiting your store or making an online purchase. You can also proactively add and answer questions that might come up so that your potential customers will have a seamless experience.
2.Do your keyword research
Part of SEO is improving your online copy so that search engines are able to understand what your business is about and rank your web pages for the relevant search phrases.
Why is keyword research important?
This process is important because it will determine whether your website is discoverable for the right phrases. You need to tailor your website copy to include these phrases that have the relevant intent for your products or services.
There are various tools available that can give you monthly estimates of how many people are searching for a phrase and its related phrases. In essence, these tools give you insight into the demand for your product or service because you’re able to see how many people are searching for your target keywords on a monthly basis.
3. On-page SEO
This refers to optimising on-page elements, making sure that your content is relevant and understood by search engines as well as users on your website.
Basics elements that you need to focus on:
- Optimise page titles
The title tag is one of the most important tags on your website. This determines what people see when your website appears in the SERP results, which also influences the click through rate to your website. Make sure that your titles include your target keywords and are appealing to your customers.
- Use proper heading tags in your content
Make sure that your content is easily digestible by containing headings relevant to the content. Making sure that your headings are optimised with your target keywords will not only boost your SEO but also other important on site metrics like time spent on site, bounce rate or average session duration.
- Make sure that your meta descriptions are optimised.
Along with your page title, the meta descriptions are the first elements of your site that users will see in the search engine results. Make sure that these are appealing and the content is relevant to your products and services.
4. Optimise internal linking
What is an internal link? This is a link from one webpage to another on the same domain.
Making sure that all your pages are linked to, and accessible to users, as well as search engines, is important. From a user perspective, you will try to guide the user’s actions and influence where you want them to go next on the website.
For search engines, internal linking is important for making sure that crawlers are able to access every page on the website.
When adding relevant internal links to your content, make sure that you choose the correct anchor text to convey the intent and context of the page that you are linking to.
5. Build website authority with backlinks
Don’t underestimate the importance of backlinks. Having an external website link to your site improves your position in search engines. This is a signal that indicates to Google the importance and value of your website, so your website will rank higher in the SERPS. See a backlink as an endorsement from other sites.
6. Focus on technical SEO
The technical aspect of SEO is making sure that your website is optimised for crawlers to access and index. You want to make sure that your website architecture is easy to crawl by search engines. Even if you have great content, if your technical SEO is not taken care of, your website will not be ranked.
Here are some important factors that will need ongoing maintenance:
- Resolve 404 pages. Sometimes pages get deleted or moved and if not done correctly, it will result in a 404 page. If someone lands on this page, it can contribute to a bad user experience. Make sure that all broken pages are redirected to the next best relevant page on your website so that you do not lose potential customers because of 404 errors.
- Declutter your website. In some cases, less is more. If you have pages on your website that are not ranking, not bringing in traffic and have no real value or relevance, it is best to delete these pages. Having these deadweight pages will only use your crawl budget and not yield any results in the long run.
- Improve site speed. Since 2010, Google has made it clear that site speed is an important ranking factor. Even more important? Mobile page speed.
This is important because a fast loading website provides a good user experience. Research has shown that if a site takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 53% of users will abandon the site. You do not want a controllable factor such as page speed to be the reason that your website fails.
7. Blog as often as possible
Many small businesses use not having enough time to blog as an excuse for not getting around to it but you will reap the benefits of blogging. Regularly blogging about industry updates, announcements, and ’how to’ articles is a great way for your audience to become familiar with your business and what you’re about. This will also fuel your SEO value and diversify the content you have to share on your social platforms.
Blogging is a great way to keep your website updated with fresh new content and targeting keywords related to your industry that might not fit in other areas of your onsite content.
8. Measure results
When you’re constantly making changes to your website to improve your organic presence, it is also important to track the results to be sure the changes are yielding positive results. A large part of SEO involves trial and error testing, and to be sure you’re on the right track is important to measure your progress to see what works and what doesn’t.
9. Take advantage of social media
Make sure that you have a social media presence to feed into your SEO efforts. Many users will make use of social media platforms to search for brands, so once they find your social profiles, you can lead them to your website and capture them as leads.
10. Be patient
Don’t go into SEO with the expectation of yielding fast results. SEO should form part of your long-term strategy to build your organic presence. Don’t give up if results aren’t visible in the first few months. Review your strategy, do your research and try again!
The few tips that we provided, is only the tip of the iceberg, but once you have these basics covered, your website will be ready for organic growth. If you have any questions about the best way to move forward with your SEO strategy, don’t hesitate to contact Lilo for SEO consultation.