If you’re a small business owner reading this, you’ll know this already: Running your business mirrors life… it’s all about finding your priorities. You’ve put your heart and soul into nurturing your brand to life, and it’s no secret that working on your website’s SEO brings benefits to your business – but without immediate measurable gains it’s hard to find time to invest in the research and execution of effective SEO tactics. Fortunately DittonDGM is here to help with a handy guide outlining our five principles of SEO for small business owners.
There are myriad site builders available to small business owners out there – WordPress, Wix, Squarespace… the list goes on (don’t yet have a website? Check out this great post by startups.co.uk about the best website builders for small business owners). Their functionality varies but most will provide you with some basic control over how your website displays on search engines, including the title and description.
You’ll also want to ensure your site links to Google Analytics and Google Search Console, so you have some data available if you or anyone you ask to help with your marketing (how about us? 😇) wants it. There are so many useful insights to gain from these two platforms – check back on our resources page to find an article about this in the near future!
Google loves it when you use their products, and rewards you in the competitive world of SEO for so doing. Even if you don’t have a bricks and mortar store front, Google will look to its My Business service for indicators of what it is you do and where you operate – so be sure to fill everything out.
Crucially, Google loves it when people leave you a review and trusts what they say… the more positive comments you have, the better you’ll rank.
Your Google search ranking depends on a great many factors, but they boil down to its opinion of your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – EAT, for short. And what’s a great way to show you’re trustworthy? Encourage other organisations who Google already trusts to link to your site.
As a minimum you should list your business on as many relevant directory sites as you can find (for example Yelp, 192.com, or Checkatrade), but beyond that think about who you already know (or don’t yet know) who might link to your business – friends and past clients, or perhaps other companies in your local small business support network?
Remember, this is a mutually beneficial process so don’t be afraid to reach out, and be prepared to repay the favour on your own site!
Structuring content to promote SEO is an exercise in the art of balancing the needs of Google’s crawler bots with traditional sentence structure. Get it wrong and human visitors will be put off by the apparent ‘keyword stuffing’ of your website’s posts (unsure how this might come across? Check out the video opposite for a silly example of what keyword stuffing would sound like if you read it aloud!), but get it right and both prospective clients and virtual fact-finders will digest your content with ease… Just like on this page, we hope!
Our final principle of SEO for small business owners is by no means the least important: Don’t set and forget!
If Google’s crawlers visit your site and find nothing’s changed, they’ll just leave it longer until they next return. To increase the frequency of their visits, ensure that you are posting regular content on your website that’s relevant to your brand and the needs of your customers. You’ll also want to do some keyword research to keep on top of trends in your industry and the wider world – we can help with that.
The best thing about this final principle of SEO for small business owners is that it’s not just to the benefit of your website – it’s a great way to increase brand awareness through reaching out to current and past customers via your mailing list, and to drive traffic to your website through your social media channels. What’s not to like 😎
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