Beginners guide to SEO – 5 must have factors for small business websites

You may have an all singing all dancing website created, with great content and excellent images – but that isn’t enough on its own to bring people to your site. These days, every site needs to be optimised for search engines like Google, in order to rank when people search terms related to your business. For that reason, we have put together our beginners guide to SEO for small business sites.

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Depending on the term, this can be easy or very difficult. A very specific term, related to a location, say “Chinese restaurant in Penarth”, may be easy to appear in the top results for, due to the lack of competition. On the other hand, “low rate Mortgages”, which have a high value for each potential conversion on comparison and bank sites, may require the owner of the website to spend tens of thousands per month to compete.

Probably, as a small business owner, you are somewhere in between. So the first step for you is to ensure you have the key factors necessary to begin ranking in the search engines – here is our beginners guide to SEO:

1. Content

Ok this is a common suggestion, but for good reason. When Google crawls your website, it needs to find out about what you do, and if there is’t much content on there, it finds that difficult. What’s more, it wants to know that you are an important resource for your audience – and how many websites of just a few sparse pages do you visit regularly – probably not very many.

So first off to describe the services your business offers, you should create multiple pages that you will link from your navigation bar, each with 400+ words of content describing the service that you offer.

There are only so many pages for services you can create, so making a blog, and posting every 3 days with a 400+ article that is good quality and shareable is a great plan.

2. Keywords, Titles and Tags

So first off you need to know what words best describe the service you offer, yet which you still have a chance for ranking for. Make it not too specific, for example “Financial adviser in Cardiff” is better than “Financial adviser”, for which there will be many competitors.

Then for your site, assuming you are using WordPress like we do, install a Yoast plugin, and set your homepage title to include your keywords. “Drew Stephens – Expert Financial Adviser in Cardiff”.

Make sure you include your keywords for each page, within the content of that page – and here is another tip – use that keyword in your page title too. If the keyword is present in your article title (under H1 html tags), it will boost the importance Google gives the page.

3. Add your address

As a small business, this one is important. Not only does it help give your website authority as the user can clearly see where to find you, but Google is looking for these trust factors too.

You can include these in the footer, or on the contact us page, while it’s also a good idea to use Google My Business, and register your business so that it appears on Google Maps when you are a search..

4. Backlinks

Since the early days of Google, links towards your website have always been a key ranking factor, showing that your site is a valuable resource and as such, other websites and business are pushing their followers to you for your service or expertise.

Having great content on your site, by sharing your industry knowledge or offering information that is difficult to find elsewhere, is a good way to get links into your site.

Failing that, you can also ask other related websites if you can create a blog for them for free, in exchange for including a link in the article back to your website. For example, Drew Stephens, our Financial adviser mentioned above, could write a blog for Moneywise.co.uk, giving his views on the best ISAs on the market in 2019. Great content for Moneywise, and a link back to Drew’s website.

5. Get Social

Having social media accounts is a great way for potential customers to get to know your brand better, as well as good way to bring new customers to your site. But for SEO, there is an additional bonus.

Having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and potentially other social media accounts, with your link in the profile, and updated on a regular basis (that part is important), are key social ranking factors that Google takes into consideration. So don’t forget to make use of this free method to give your site a boost in Google.

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Summary

These are 5 free ways to give your site a great basis to rank well on Google, all they need are time and in some cases, a small amount of research. If you need help with any or all of these factors on your website, get in touch with gingercat.digital today.

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