To put it simply, Search Engine Optimisation is just a term for all the tricks and tools you can use to ensure that your Website is as visible as possible on Search Engine results pages, such as Google. And who doesn’t want to appear higher on Google, right?
Think about the well-known brands that dominate the first page of Google results whenever you search for general phrases, like “men’s runners” or “women’s workout gear”. Chances are, you will have heard of almost all of the brands that populate Google’s first page of results. What you may not know however, is just how much work these companies have put into achieving these results.
Whilst the resources available to Small and Medium Business Owners probably won’t be quite up to the same level as, say, Nike, there are still a number of simple things you can be doing to make sure your SEO Campaign is attracting as many eyeballs as possible.
So, if you believed it was only the big Businesses who could make it onto the first page of Google, think again! Follow the three pointers below and you’ll be going a long way towards drastically improving your SEO success.
Have a Good, Hard Think about Your Keywords
Although SEO offers Small and Medium Businesses just like yours a great opportunity to compete with Organisations with much larger budgets and reach, it’s important to remember that you probably aren’t the only Business in your industry running an SEO Campaign. You’ll likely be faced with a good deal of competition and, as a result, a dose of realism is needed when it comes time to consider the Keywords or phrases that you’re going to target.
Have a think about what sets your Business apart from others within your field and try to build your Keywords around these ideas. Although you might very well be an Australian plumber, setting out to try and reach the number one spot in Search Engine results for the phrase “plumber Australia” could very well be a lost cause. Given that as of December 2017 there were 24,700 registered Australian plumbing Businesses, you’re going to be up against a lot of competition.
Additionally, there’s no guarantee that the people who end up on your Site after searching the phrase will actually be looking for the services you provide. If you are ranking highly for the phrase “plumber Australia”, what use is that if all of the clicks you’re winning come from people looking specifically for a plumber in their suburb who offer 24-hour emergency call-outs? You may not service their suburb, and you might not offer this service! As a result, these people will immediately leave you Site, increasing your Bounce Rate and harming your SEO score.
You’ve shown that you’re keen to invest in a Digital Marketing strategy for your Small Business – and that’s great! So don’t let that investment go to waste: make sure put aside enough time to create an effective Keyword strategy that’ll work best for you.
For example, if you’re a plumber who works in Melbourne’s South Eastern Suburbs and wants to specifically target people wanting 24-hour emergency call-outs, you could use phrases such as “plumber in Melbourne’s south”, and “emergency 24-hour plumbing Toorak”.
By refining your search terms and highlighting your uniqueness as a Business, you not only reduce the amount of competition you’re up against, but you also give yourself the best possible chance of being seen by people who are actually looking for exactly what you offer. It’s these people who are going to be most easily converted into customers.
Put Yourself in the Customer's Shoes
It’s ALWAYS useful to try to imagine what your potential customers will be searching for or needing when they search for a Business like yours. Try to paint a picture of who your average customer is and consider how they might typically search Online for the products or services you offer.
A common trap Small Business Owners fall into when strategising their SEO Keywords is being too technical. Instead, try to avoid industry jargon and choose phrases that your potential customers are likely to be typing into Google.
For instance, if you own a business that provides pool cleaning chemicals directly to retail customers, make sure your Keywords aren’t so specific that you exclude the average pool owner from being able to find you. Is your average customer searching for “2.5kg Soda Ash pH Increaser” or are they searching for “buy cheap pool chemicals West Perth”?
Use this as a starting point, and you should be well on your way to building a potent Keyword List.
Fresh Content for Fresh Customers
Although the finer points of how Search Engine Rankings work can get a little complicated – indeed, the giants like Google don’t even fully disclose how they rank Sites – one thing is an absolute certain: Search Engines love fresh content.
This means that one of the best thing you can do to ensure you’re giving yourself the best chance of ranking highly is to regularly update your Site’s content. This will demonstrate that your Site is well maintained and is more likely to offer searchers up-to-date, relevant information.
The easiest way to inject new content into your Site is with a blog. Besides the benefits to your SEO Campaign, you’re also likely to start the development of a deeper relationship with those who read your posts. By getting your voice heard more often, you can begin to build a voice of authority in your industry, while also showing your readers the human aspect of your Business.
If a blog doesn’t take your fancy, you should be considering the content of your pages at the very least. While that Home Page description you wrote three years ago might still make sense, adding a few new paragraphs or replacing a couple of sections will help to ensure that your Site reflects any developments in your Business, while also showing the Search Engines that your Business is still alive and kicking.
By nailing your Keywords, understanding the searching habit of your customers, and dressing your Site in fresh content, you can go a long way to giving your SEO Campaign every chance of success. However, one thing you should always remember when running any kind of Digital Campaign is that there will be a limit to what you yourself are able to do. Any time you feel lost or as if you’ve hit the wall, don’t be afraid to ask for help from people with experience in the field.