For small to medium sized business (SMB) owners, SEO – or search engine optimisation – is essential for building a successful online brand. Many SMBs ignore this low-cost digital marketing strategy, which helps raise a website’s ranking in online searches, this in turn brings in more visitors, resulting in increased business opportunities.
“While we all use search engines to find the information, businesses and services we need, many SMBs neglect SEO because they don’t understand it. Think of it as an exercise in imagining what people will search for when looking for your company,” says internet entrepreneur and head of local hosting company 1-grid, Thomas Vollrath. With a focus on the SMB market, 1-grid provides a range of tools and packages to encourage small businesses to get online, be secure and market themselves more effectively.
For those who want to give do-it-yourself SEO a try, Vollrath shares five useful tips:
- Set up Google Analytics – This free tool is useful for tracking your website’s statistics, from the number of organic searches for your brand to your most popular keywords; enabling you to measure return on your SEO efforts.
- Write a list of keywords – Compile keyword clusters based on specific themes, products or services related to your business. Include these keywords in the content that you publish on your website, but don’t overdo it. This should flow naturally within your marketing content.
- Quality not quantity – Google’s 2018 search algorithm update shifted focus to high quality, trusted content. Write content that appeals to your audience and offers them valuable insight into your areas of expertise.
- Use social media – Sharing your business content across multiple social media platforms encourages conversations around your brand to a wider audience. Engaging with more diverse target markets will help drive the right traffic to your website, improving your SEO.
- Follow the trends – With the rise of voice search technology like Siri, Google Home and Alexa, integrating voice-search optimised keywords into your SEO strategy is becoming increasingly important. These keywords are often shorter and take the form of commands or questions.
SEO requires constant upkeep, so don’t just stop here. “Google is always changing their search engine algorithms, so it’s important to stay informed with the latest SEO marketing trends in 2019,” advises Vollrath. “If your SEO strategy isn’t working, then you need to look at how it can be improved. Don’t stick to something that isn’t yielding results.”