This is an article we originally wrote for for the website Business Inspired Growth ahead of their Pop Up Business Cafe in Skipton on 17th March. You can find our more about the Pop Up Cafes at www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/popup
We hope you find these tips useful and do remember we offer a range of SEO services and are always on hand to offer support and guidance.
Getting a high ranking on Google and other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo is important for any website and is particularly important for small businesses that do not have the brand name recognition that larger companies may have. Following the steps below will help you to start moving up the rankings and increase your potential customer base.
Below are our six top SEO tips for small businesses.
- Your website. The starting point should be with a visually attractive website that is built with standards in mind and is developed using good, clean code. Your pages should all have sensible headings, titles and clear and concise content that can be indexed by search engines as well as understood by the potential customers using your website.
- Keywords. Spend some time thinking about what your users will be typing in to Google to find your website. Google AdWords provides a useful keyword checking tool that can help you with this. We would recommend coming up with a list of ten keywords that can be used in your page copy and in the page titles and page descriptions on your site.
- Include a sitemap. Including an XML Sitemap on your website is really important. This is technical file that allows search engines to see the structure of your site and when the page was last updated. At Dales.Net we always include this file on our websites and most web designers will do this for you.
- Keep your website up to date. Search engines like regularly updated content and the more your site is updated the more likely it is they will visit your site and index that new content. An easy way for site owners to do this is to have a blog page. Keeping your website up to date is also important for your users, for instance if your address or telephone numbers change.
- Links. Once your website is established the search engines will essentially try to judge its trustworthiness and credibility and one important way they do this is by looking at what other websites link to yours. One way you can increase links to your site is by signing up to industry specific directory websites i.e. if a site is selling wedding invitations the owner may decide to sign up to a website promoting wedding related services in the local area. It is really important that any links to your website are genuine and relevant to your industry as Google can and will penalise websites for spammy links.
- Ongoing. An initial burst of work on your SEO will give you a good start but to maximise your websites’ potential you must monitor your search engine rankings regularly. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tolls are really useful to see how many hits your site is achieving and where your users are coming from. This data will give you the information you need to tweak your SEO over a longer period. At Dales.Net we can do this for you and provide regular reports on your rankings with Google.
We hope these tips prove useful for improving your SEO strategy but if you need help we provide a whole range of services from website design through to online marketing and SEO.