Search engine optimisation is the practice of making changes or alterations to your company website, with the aim of improving your page rankings and searchability on the likes of Google and Yahoo.
Changes made with SEO in mind can give you the online advantage over your competitors, while also improving the browsing experience of any visitors to your website.
Most small business owners will not have the time or resources to spend money unless it’s absolutely necessary, and as such a commitment to an intangible practice like search engine optimisation may be a difficult decision to make.
However, the effects of good SEO can be both an increase in sales and greater online visibility for your brand, two metrics which are both measurable and extremely valuable.
So how exactly does SEO improve a small business website, and just why is it worth investing in?
SEO for small business websites
To begin with, let’s imagine you are a customer who is interested in a new product or service, either for personal use or for your own company.
Unless you’re already familiar with a particular supplier, the chances are you will need to do some research.
More often than not, this research would begin with a Google search.
With increased broadband speeds and ever-growing smartphone technologies, it would appear that the search engine will remain the dominating force for those seeking the right business for the job at hand.
Google processes over 5 billion search queries every single day, with over 250 million here in the United Kingdom. A good page ranking will mean potential customers see your business name first, giving you the edge over your competitors.
Statistics suggest that 88% of search engine users will visit a website from the first page of results, so it’s important that your small business is as high up the list as possible.
Using a combination of keywords and general website optimisation, the ideal scenario is that your website will appear when potential customers search for businesses of your type in your area.
Even if your competitors offer better prices or a wider variety of products, a higher page ranking generally means visitors will visit your website first.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of search engine optimisation is its affordability.
There is no need to print off thousands of flyers for handing out or door dropping, you can simply make minor changes to your website to improve your online visibility.
What’s more, you’ll be catering directly to those who are interested in your products or services, leading to a far greater cost-per-lead than other traditional marketing techniques.
What’s more, good SEO implementation is extremely affordable.
Tips for doing SEO
Below are some of our top SEO tips for small businesses:
- On-page Search Engine Optimisation is the first part and relatively simple part of SEO. However, if carried out correctly – results can follow - even without any off-page SEO.
- If you’re relatively new to the game, reading blogs from MOZ are a must before you get started.
- SEO never stops, if the Search Engines see you as stagnant, your rankings will affect this.
- GET BUSY – blogging, guest blogging, social media are all parts of Google’s hundreds of algorithm and just by ‘being busy’ - you’ll see results.
- Low quality backlinks means risk and risk means penalties!
- Create content for people & not Search Engines. The Google Hummingbird update mainly states “Content is King”.
About the author
Bulldog Digital Media