We’ve developed a beginner’s guide to SEO for your small business.  So, here goes!

 

Does SEO overwhelm you?  You’re running your business, ticked the box of getting your business a website and now you hear about SEO!  Don’t panic!  We’ll explain in brief what SEO is and how you can make some small changes to help with it.

 

What is SEO?

 

SEO, otherwise known as Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results (Moz.com).

 

What goes into SEO?

 

Let’s take the above definition and break it down a bit.

 

Quantity of traffic is the number of people clicking through from search engine results pages to your website.  The more traffic, the better.  But then you have to think of quality.

 

Quality of traffic means that you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.

 

Organic traffic is the best for any business as it’s the traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

 

What are the SEO ranking factors in 2019?

 

Good question!  Google has 200+ ranking factors, but we’ve broken it down to our top 11:

 

1. High quality and relevant content

 

2. Site authority – EAT – Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness

 

3. Site structure and UX – navigation and good user experience

 

4. Mobile Friendliness – mobile first is so important

 

5. Site speed – Google’s site speed (compressing images helps improve site speed)

 

6. High quality LINKS – helps build authority, but make sure it’s relevant and not just random links to other sites

 

7. Domain Security – having an SSL certificate provides trust to your website visitors, particularly on an ecommerce site

 

8. Metadata – Make sure to write a descriptive meta title and descriptions, including keywords and make the user want to click through to your site.

 

9. Business Listings – Google my business listing set up and optimized, and that your business information is listed correctly in relevant local directories.

 

10. Featured snippets – Web pages that have featured snippets offer the information searchers are looking for without even having to click through from the search engine result pages.

  

11. Key Words – use in web domain, title tags, descriptions, H1 tags, in content, etc.

 

 

So 11 are still too many to focus on.  What are the top 3?

 

If your business was to concentrate on just 3 things, this is what we suggest.

 

1. Content

 

Fresh and good quality content will always win in search rankings, particularly with Google.  We’re always saying to our customers that content they create themselves ranks so much higher than just sharing articles they like.  Lots of businesses we work with are thought leaders in their niche areas.  It’s just a matter of marking some time in the diary each week or fortnight and writing!  If you don’t have time, then outsource this or other elements of your marketing. Too many small and medium businesses (SMEs) in Ireland are guilty of having a blog section on their website and not maintaining it.  Remove it if you’re not going to upload fresh content regularly.

 

2. Key Words

 

Admittedly, this can be a minefield and can scare off most people!  However, think logically.  Ask your customers what they are looking for when they are searching for a business like yours.  Let’s take an example.  If you’re an electrician and you received a call from a new customer following a Google search.  Why not ask the customer how they found you?  What did they search for?  You’ll find that customers will happily share their search entry criteria – e.g. “electrician in Dublin” or “emergency call out electrician”.  By collating some of this knowledge from your customers, you then know what words (i.e. key words) you should be using on your website. Don’t get over excited by using the Key Words too often.  This is referred to as “key word stuffing” and is not looked upon favourably by Google.

 

3. Security and Mobile First

 

Ok, so we cheated and have really chosen 4!  However, it is kind of 2-in-1! There’s no excuse to not invest in an SSL certificate for your website.  Your web hosting provider normally charges a nominal fee per year and will add it to your website overnight.  Simple!  Google now sees your site as secure.

 

Mobile First is also an unforgiveable mistake.  If your website is not deemed mobile friendly or render easily on a mobile device, it’s time to rebuild that website.  Think of how many of your customers are searching for your business from their mobile device.  There is still a high percentage of businesses that haven’t thought about having a website that works perfectly on mobile.  

 

SEO can be too much to consider.  We’re here to help, so do get in touch.

 


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