SEO Tips for Small Businesses

SEO Keyboard

It isn’t always possible for small businesses to have the resources available to employ an SEO agency to take care of their search engine visibility.

However, there are some steps which SMEs can take to ensure their DIY SEO campaigns are as effective as possible.

 

Keyword Research

The first stage of any SEO campaign is keyword research. At this stage, the company needs to create a list of relevant search terms which they feel will be most searched by users trying to find their service or product. From this, statistics can to be gathered on the number of people searching for these terms and the competitiveness of each keyword. These statistics will give a clear indication of how likely it will be for the company to rank highly for a particular search term. As a general rule, the best keywords will be those that have the greatest traffic and the lowest competitiveness.

 

On-Site Optimisation

While on-site optimisation can be a complicated process, there are some simple steps that can be taken to make sure a website is SEO friendly. Firstly, it is important to use top tier keywords in the pages copy and meta-information of each page as these elements will help Google read and rank the page for the terms. Furthermore, keywords can be used in page URLs and image tags. Remember though, overuse of keywords may have a negative effect on search rankings, as Google may flag the site as spammy. Essentially, pages should first and foremost be useful to the user rather than search engine spiders.

 

Social Media Share Buttons

Most modern websites utilise social signposting in order to drive traffic to their social media pages, however the value of these functions for SEO should not be underestimated. As well increasing visibility of the brand through social media, share buttons are also a way of building vital backlinks to your site and therefore a valuable asset for boosting SEO efficiency.

 

Content marketing and Backlinking

It is generally thought that backlinks, which are created through SEO PR and content marketing activities, account for 80 per cent of what Google takes into account when ranking search results as well as relevant online directories and partnership agreements. Therefore, it is important for organisations of any size to ensure they are creating links back to their sites from quality online sources. This need not be an expensive process, but it is an activity that requires resource and careful planning.

 

Additional Tips…

Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms in order to provide users with the most relevant information and as such SEO best practice evolves over time. Therefore, it is important for brands to wholeheartedly jump into SEO and stay up to date with the latest updates and rumours to ensure that they aren’t left behind in the wake of any major developments. Additionally, it is important to be aware that Google’s spiders are clever and they will easily spot spammy or ‘black hat’ SEO activities, penalising these sites accordingly; so with that in mind it is important to focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to search engine optimisation.

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Rob Alcock

Rob Alcock is an account executive at integrated PR, social media and SEO agency, Punch Communications. Punch specialises in areas such as social search, crisis PR and digital PR. For more information please visit www.punchcomms.com or call on 01858 411 600

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