Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your business for a while, good visibility on search engines like Google is critical to your commercial success, writes Yellow Online’s executive general manager, James Ciuffetelli.
Increasing your website traffic through effective search engine optimisation (SEO) matters for businesses of all sizes. But we understand that for small business owners with limited resources, SEO comes with a host of questions. How much time and money do you need to invest in it? Where should you start?To help, here’s a guide on four ways you can boost your SEO.
Boost your website visibility with keywords
Think about how you get information of any kind – chances are you will run a Google search using a keyword. Adding keywords to your website helps search engines understand what your website can offer to someone who is searching and will ultimately bring you more qualified traffic.
However, nearly one in three small businesses have yet to incorporate keywords on their website, according to findings from the inaugural edition of Yellow Small Business Quarterly report.
If you don’t currently feature keywords on your business website, here’s what you can do:
- Investigate which relevant keywords your customers are using. You can do this using free tools such as Google’s Keywords Planner or Ubersuggest.
- Incorporate these keywords naturally through your website content. It’s key that it doesn’t look spammy, otherwise search engines will penalise you by moving your business page down the search results rank.
- Ensure your page title and meta description incorporate the keywords. Most website builders allow you to customise this in a ‘website SEO’ tab. If you’re using WordPress, you can access this using the Yoast plugin.
What if you already feature keywords on your website? Here’s a couple of ways you can further optimise them:
- Include long tail keywords (phrases with three to four words) in your planning. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for because they’re more specific to a location or specialised services that a business offers. For example, instead of “carpet cleaner”, a long tail option could be “professional carpet cleaning Tasmania”.
- Use keywords in your headings and format headings with header tags in order of importance.
Local search matters
Local search is crucial to help put your business on the map in your area, especially if you operate in a highly competitive area.
The past two years has seen a 500% increase in “near me” searches on Google and more than 98% of small businesses Yellow surveyed recently say local area marketing boosts their business.
Here are three tips to appear in local search:
- Claim your Google My Business page. This provides Google with essential information about your business, including your address, contact details, and business category, so you show up when users conduct relevant searches in the area.
- Get an online business page listing. There are a few online business listing sites around – Yellow Online is Australia’s largest online business directory. Listing a consistent business name, physical address and phone number on a reputable online business platform is a critical ranking factor for local searches on Google. It also serves as an additional traffic source and lead gen for your business.
- When optimising for local search, don’t forget to include as much local-focused keywords and information on your website as this will determine your ranking for local searches on Google.
Building authority through social media
Having a strong professional social media presence is just as important as having well-managed SEO for small businesses. It helps you build your traffic, which search engines use to determine the effectiveness of your website.
Google also looks at the authority of an author associated with a post by screening through your social media channels, such as on Twitter and LinkedIn.
If your social media profile has a lot of followers and your posts are frequently shared, Google views you as more credible on that subject and will push your content higher in search results.
Optimising your website for mobile
SEO isn’t only about optimising your website for the search engines – it’s also about providing a better user experience, for example in terms of accessibility. Yellow’s recent report shows that 91% of small businesses agree that it is important to have a mobile-friendly website.
Well-presented, accessible and clean websites compel visitors to stick around and scroll through longer, which then decreases your bounce rate and increases your number of page views.
Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to see how they rank the mobile-friendliness of your website.
Links to free SEO resources
Here are some resources to help improve your understanding of and increase the visibility of your website: