You’ve built a website for your small business, and you’re justifiably proud of how professional it looks, how well it tells your brand story, and how wonderfully it showcases your products and services. Now, the next step is to get as many people as possible to visit it so that you can start engaging with them and grow your business.
This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in. Put simply, this is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website by getting people to discover you through ‘organic’ search engine results. By ‘organic’, we mean that your website is coming out near the top of the results of a search engine like Google or Bing, as opposed to you paying for a search ad.
Though SEO is often seen as an art requiring a deep understanding of the mysterious algorithms driving the search engines, there are some quick and straightforward ways to help improve your search results. And many of these tips can help you to improve the quality of your online customer experience.
Let’s take a closer look:
Start a blog
Building up a reservoir of relevant, high-quality content is one of the surest ways to improve your search rankings. Creating a blog is a great way to fill your site with valuable content that keeps people coming back. You can write blog posts about the things that are on your customers’ minds or trending topics in your industry, giving search engines frequent content to index on your site.
As a bonus, linking to your blog posts in your social media channels can also improve your chances of appearing in natural search results. This should not be about cramming as many keywords into a post as you can, but creating genuinely engaging and helpful content. Start with the reader in mind, and everything else can then fall into place.
Set up a Google My Business account
If you’ve ever Googled to find a local plumber or vet, you may have noticed how a list of neighbourhood businesses show up on a map with their contact details in the search results. The key to getting your business to show up in these local search results is to create your Google My Business Page (GMB). Here, you can connect with customers via search and maps – a strong presence here is a must for any local business.
You can post photos and offers to your profile to show what makes your business unique, and customers can post reviews and click the relevant icons to visit your website, get directions or call you. For the best results, regularly update your GMB profile. One tip is to use the GMB Listing feature in GoDaddy Websites + Marketing to easily create and manage your GMB.
Do a basic audit
A well-structured site with clean metadata and working links will rank better on the search engines. You can use simple tools such as Screaming Frog to run some basic checks on your website – for example, finding broken links, duplicated content, URLs that search engine spiders cannot read, and meta descriptions that are missing, too long or too short. Many of these issues can be quickly fixed, with near-immediate benefits for your site’s SEO.
Optimise your images
Ensure that your images are as search-friendly as your text. Use keywords in your image file name, alt tag, title, description and a caption to help improve searchability.
Focus on the reader, not the keywords
When people spend time reading and engaging with your website after discovering it, that sends a strong signal to the search engines that you are producing quality content. Write and format your webpages for people rather than search engine algorithms. Some SEO tips and considerations to bear in mind:
- Use font types, size and colours that are easy to read.
- Make use of bold and italics to draw attention to important snippets of information.
- Use headings and sub-headings to make it easy for people to scan the webpage.
- Write short paragraphs and consider using bullets and lists to break up your content.
- If you have a longer page, ensure the most important content is above the fold and let people navigate the document through links.
- Write clear and understandable copy that the reader will understand – this is far more effective than keyword stuffing.