Search Engine Optimisation, known as SEO, in layman’s terms is modifying a website, using a range of effective, unpaid techniques to improve ranking results in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. For those who enjoy instant gratification, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many SEO tips and tricks to promote your website in 2017 that small businesses can apply for a speedy surge in rankings. However if you want to improve you results to reach the first page of a Google search for a range of searches and maintain a high position, SEO takes time and dedication. According to Content Marketing Institute, it takes a company 12 to 24 months of organic content marketing to achieve great results.
But is it a worthwhile investment? Most definitely!
Implement SEO Essentials
Whether you’re building your website on WordPress, the world’s most popular Content Management System (CMS), an eCommerce solution such as Shopify Australia, or a drag and drop website building platform such as Wix or Weebly – there will either be built in search engine optimisation functionality, or supplementary SEO software components (known as plugins) that can easily be added and integrated to promote your website to search engines. See Image below of Weebly’s built in SEO function (Image source: Weebly)
Website building platforms are designed for small business, so that you don’t need to be SEO experts to implement basic optimisation. Although the SEO Function can sometimes be tricky to find, a tip is to look under the Settings menu, or occasionally it’s hidden at the bottom of each individual page, in the backend of your website. Typically there will be a space to write keywords, a page title and page description, and would display what this would look like in a Google search.
Some CMS and eCommerce platforms work a little differently, requiring you to add a software component specifically designed to help with search engine optimisation. To add a plugin, you generally either need to find Plugins under the main menu (this is the case with WordPress) or with eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify Australia they are found in their App store.
One of the best WordPress SEO plugins for beginners in 2017 is Yoast SEO. Currently boasting a 4.8 star rating with over three million active installs, Yoast SEO measures your SEO implementation through a traffic light system, where red requires significant improvement; amber needs a small adjustment; and green is giving you the thumbs up for your page optimisation. Not only this, but the novice designed plugin provides valuable advice on how to enhance the items it gave red or amber. How handy is that!? (See example image below. Source: Yoast SEO).
The tactic known as Local SEO, is adding specific locations into your keywords to increase the probability of your business being listed on the first page of a Google search result. For example, in a highly competitive industry such as Digital Marketing, we at Socially Savvy need to use Local SEO in order to gain a high position on a Search Engine Ranking Page (SERP). Users browsing and researching the industry for knowledge are likely to use search terms such as “What is SEO?” or “How to do search engine optimisation” and come up with dozens of large US digital marketing companies in their results. We are not here to compete with these million dollar international companies, but to meet the needs of our local prospective customers in Melbourne and surrounding suburbs. Just in the same way your business is.
Therefore, instead of having these types of generic head term keywords, we need to add localities and include them in highly specific keywords that are searched when a prospect is almost at the purchasing stage of the buying cycle, known as long tail keywords. In fact, a recent study showed that 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within 8km (Wordstream, 2016) proving the magnitude of local SEO. To clarify here are some specific local keyword examples we could have used for this blog, to try to replicate user search terms;
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A business blog, is not just about creating valuable content that people want to read, or building reader trust by showing off your knowledge and expertise. Content marketing is a lot more than that. I’m sure you’ve heard the old SEO saying ‘Content is King’. Although some now disagree with this statement because content marketing, or business blogging, has become such a saturated market. Research based marketing company, Ascend2, found that 57% of marketing influences believe content creation is the most effective SEO tactic. So if not king, surely content is at least the prince!
Each piece of content produced and published to your website provides another opportunity for your site to be indexed and found on Google. For example, if you decide to undertake a monthly blog, this delivers 12 more opportunities for your site to be discovered by a prospective customer online. Not only this, but each blog post written can be shared on your business social media platforms.
Linking from a social media platform, such as Facebook and Google Plus, to your website, assists in off page SEO by generating backlinks to your website. For those who don’t know, backlinks (where another page has a hyperlink to your website) are one of the most important factors in search engine optimisation. Although not near as significant as a backlink from a relevant authoritative website, it is suggested that backlinks from social media sites are still influential. If nothing else, sharing your business blog on social media gives you something else to post about, increases website traffic and provides yet another result in search listings.
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SEO is an important component of digital marketing and vital to small businesses being found online in 2017. If you utilise these SEO tips and tricks to promote your website in search engines, you are sure to gain an increase in website traffic. Its then up to you, your valuable keyword-rich content and clean, intuitive website design to convert these leads into sales.
Socially Savvy are a website marketing company offering services in search engine optimisation, content marketing, social media and small business website design, in and around Melbourne. For assistance in building your online presence, contact Socially Savvy on 03 9702 2441 or via our online contact form.