Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a big deal when it comes to digital marketing and is growing as the primary means by which businesses market themselves online. Naturally, a business of any size stands to benefit greatly from the kind of online exposure that only effective SEO work can bring.
However, for many smaller businesses and start-ups, SEO can seem like a cumbersome and expensive exercise without any guaranteed results. It can be particularly daunting to try and take a stab at SEO when you have little to no experience in digital marketing or anyone to help you.
That’s why it’s always recommended to buy consultancy from a professional SEO agency that knows how to optimise your online presence and bring you more traffic. However, there are some rudimentary SEO steps you can take in the meantime to help improve your search rankings.
Let’s take a look at some basic SEO tips that beginners can use for their small business.
Find and use keywords relevant to your audience
Keywords are the basic signals by which search engines like Google filter through web content and are considered the bread and butter of any effective SEO strategy. Think about what search queries your target audience would use to find a business like yours and check how competitive they are by using Googles’ free keyword planner.
Some of the most basic keyword combinations are a mixture of what you do and where you do it. For example, “plumber in Liverpool” would be the ideal keywords for a plumber who operated in and around the Liverpool area.
Make sure you always group keywords by their intent. For example, “SEO beginner tips” and “SEO small business guide” are functionally searching for the same thing, so their intent is considered identical.
Use keywords that share the same intent in your sales copy and in the blogs you publish to your website. This helps your pages rank for the broadest possible range of related key terms, making them more discoverable in search engines.
Optimise your meta and heading tags
Meta tags are special parts of a webpage where you describe the content of the webpage for the benefit of search engine indexers and users. Meta tags include your page title, description and any formatted subheadings.
These special fields inform search engines what the subject matter of the page is and are therefore are an ideal place to use your best keywords. This is because as the search engine crawls the page, it will analyse the meta tags and compare their relevancy to what your page actually discusses.
To optimise your meta tags, try and include your keywords close to the beginning of the field. The earlier your keywords appear in a meta tag, the more relevant the search engine will assume they are to your page.
Meta titles are also what search engines display to users in their search results, so naturally, you would want them to be as enticing as possible. This is where you need to apply basic advertising principles in order to demonstrate a clear benefit to the consumer for clicking on the link.
Create highly shareable content
One of the most powerful SEO strategies is generating links on other domains that point users back to your website. These ‘backlinks’ are extremely valuable as they act as a vote of confidence in your website that is recognised and rewarded by search engine algorithms.
One of the easiest ways to generate backlinks is to create viral or highly shareable content that’s hosted on your domain. It could be an interesting visualisation of some industry data or it could be a video that explains a process in an easy to understand way.
This kind of content is designed to appeal as broadly as possible so that a link to your domain is shared voluntarily by people who find it genuinely useful. Infographics are a great example of this kind of content.