The SEO (search engine optimisation) basics for small businesses
Let me set the scene for you, you're on your way to work in the morning and walk to the car to be met with a punctured tyre. You know the normal garage you go to won't be open so you Google 'nearest tyre repair garage' and Google saves the day with a list of garages.
The statistics say it all, Google is the world's largest directory in the world and you can Google near enough everything. It's not only the mother of all information but the father of answers.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. If you've heard sales people call or email you questioning if you've 'optimised your site' they basically mean, 'have you taken the steps to get your website at the top of search engine like Google, so that when your target audience search or uses any search engine such as, Yahoo or Bing to find a product you may offer you come up top'.
Why they ask is because being top is crucial to your business being successful, as it's more luckily consumers will see the introduction of what you offer and click on the link to get on to your website. An ideal example would be, imagine Google being the world's biggest supermarket, you want to have a good spot in the aisle of the Supermarket with the best shelf space for your customer's to see you - eye level to be able to spot you for a chance of them seeing your products and hopefully popping it in their baskets.
It’s a simple process used in connection with your website. You may be thinking, "Sarah, what steps?" Essentially, in its simplest form first some research but don't worry Google has a tool to help find the best keywords for your type of business to writing some descriptions about your pages and publishing new content such asblogs for your target audience.
SEO shouldn’t be confused with SEM (search engine marketing), PPC (Pay-Per-Click) that Google offer as Adwords, which is Google's paid search advertising services. You have to pay for the ads yet SEO is free!
Why businesses need to be doing SEO?
- It's free to optimise your website. Yes, agencies, web designers and freelancers offer to do the work for you but you can do it for free. You need a website or once you in the process of making one or have one this is very important.
- I touched on the stats of people using Google and “Google it”, so why would you not use all the free online presence you can create to give you a chance of earning new business.
- If you've created a great website without a way of getting traffic to allow others to find you (like a directory), you are wasting your time not utilising SEO.
When should I be doing SEO for my small business?
As soon as they have a website, it should be done before launch and if you’re working with someone they should be an expert not only in writing but understands your business, your services, unique selling point and tone of voice are key.
If your website or landing page is optimised, you may find you're not doing well to gain traffic to your website but not to worry you can improve. And l am here to help you.
Where do I optimise my website?
- To optimise your website, first, you need to establish who manages it. Most mircrobusinesses manage their website themselves with platforms like Wordpress. If you're one have a quick search once you logged in WordPress there will be a section. If it’s a company site managed by someone else, ask your web development team but usually, when you log in to what is called a CMS (content management system), it allows you to move things around and put new stock in a shop without having to paint store again or move large technical machinery. Web developers build the shop, foundations (website) as you asked and make it look sexy, including decorating, your team manages and within this area you will find all the fields such as Meta Tags, Meta Data and URL to optimise your website.
- Getting Tesco to put you best store location shelf, Tesco may say the packaging isn’t great as they have their standards. Just as Tesco, Google have their own and it’s all around, people finding what they are looking for quicker, easier and fast!
- If you have an agency or freelancer who created or manages your website they should all provide these services. Just be aware they aren't experts when it comes to talking to you, they need to represent your business as if they are you, so get them to send you a copy of any SEO work they do that involves content.
How do I optimise my website & how much does it cost?
How much does it cost? The agency, freelancer or business that offer vary but be careful you don’t get ripped off. The steps aren't as complicated as people may make out. You may think it's easy for me as a marketing practitioner to say but trust me if you're dedicated to making your business successful the basics can be learned without spending £600 to £1200. Who better to write about what your business means and understand their consumers than you. You know your business best, you just need the tools to finish the job.
As always, please feel free to get in touch if you have nay questions about search engine optimisation for your business website.