Do you feel like you should be paying more attention to SEO?
Do you want to make your small business more visible in searches but feel you’re lacking the SEO knowledge or resources to make it happen?
Today’s blog is all about helping you to feel empowered.
SEO is a huge topic, and it can be hard to know where to start, so below I’ve put together 10 SEO actions you can take today as a small business owner to help your website rank higher in searches.
1. Get super clear about your target audience
Before you do anything else, I recommend identifying and then getting to know the target audience you want your website to reach and serve. Too many businesses lose sight of this when they think about SEO.
Your website can’t appeal to everyone. What it can do is appeal to anyone who is making a search to find the products or services that you offer.
The secret is to think about what is driving your audience to make a specific search.
- Are they grappling with a problem in their life?
- What solution are they looking for?
- Do they need information, support or a product or service they can use immediately?
- What would they most like to find when they land on your website?
The more you understand what motivates your ideal customer, the more you can focus on creating a website that’s built to meet their needs. This will help you to pinpoint the right keywords, the best lead magnets and offers, the perfect pictures to use, how to phrase your messaging and so much more.
Better still, when your website is built for your ideal customers, you’ll find that they stay on your site for longer, visit more pages, come back frequently, leave positive reviews and share your content.
These are all positive signals to Google that your site deserves to rank higher up in searches made by people who need what you sell.
2. Focus on giving your audience genuinely helpful content
Once you understand who your website is for, you will find it much easier to know what content they would like to find on your site. This covers everything from your product descriptions or service pages to the topics you cover on your blog.
People may not have the budget to work with you instantly or you may have a couple of different target audiences. Think about how you can offer genuinely helpful content for people at different stages in the buying journey.
Blog posts, for example, are often an effective way to give people helpful information even if they haven’t got any money to spend right now. They’re also a great way for you to show your expertise or to start building trust, so that, when someone is ready to buy, your business is at the front of their mind.
This is all good for SEO because it will give people a reason to stay on your website and to come back to it. These are signs that your website provides helpful content that meets the searchers’ needs.
3. Audit your content
If your website has been up and running for a while, when was the last time you audited the content?
- Do any of your web pages or blog articles contain out-of-date information? If so, it’s time to update them!
- Do you have links between related content on your website? (You’ll notice throughout this article, for example, that I’ve added links to content that will tell you more about something I’ve mentioned.)
- Is there content on your site that doesn’t fit with your business or help your customers anymore? You might want to delete it and redirect the URL to a destination that’s more helpful or replace the old content with refreshed, helpful content.
- Are there gaps in your content? Maybe there’s something people ask about a lot when they make an enquiry that you don’t yet cover on your site but should.
Auditing the existing content on your site can help you to pinpoint opportunities for new content, and also give you a push to promote and get more mileage out of the content you already have.
4. Start blogging (or restart if you already blog)
You might not automatically equate blogging with SEO, but regularly publishing articles on your website can work wonders for your visibility in searches.
There are many reasons why.
Every new blog article is a fresh piece of content for Google to index and return in search results. This gives you a greater chance of your content appearing in a greater number of searches.
Also, each blog you write is an opportunity to target a keyword or phrase beyond the main keywords on which your site already centres.
Every new blog you publish represents an opportunity to show people that you are an expert in your field and that your advice can be trusted. This can help to build your professional reputation and authority.
In turn, people may want to connect with you in your capacity as an expert. This could include writing guest blogs, appearing as a podcast guest, speaking at a conference or online summit, or being quoted in the press – all opportunities to reach a wider audience.
You should also find that people engage with your blogs on social media, sharing them from your website to their networks or liking and commenting on your content from your business’s social media pages.
5. Update your meta descriptions
Many people who come to your website won’t know anything about your business beyond the information that was in the search result that led them there. This is why having clear and compelling title tags and meta descriptions is so important – they’re often your chance to make a good first impression!
Have a look through the meta descriptions for each of your pages and blog posts.
- Do they accurately reflect what the page is about?
- Do they act as a call to action, motivating people to click through to your site?
- How much do they reflect the personality of your brand?
6. Claim or update your Google Business Profile
Have you claimed the Google Business Profile for your business yet (previously known as Google My Business)? Even if you have, when was the last time you checked it or added any updates?
Having a verified listing and control over the content that’s displayed on the branded Knowledge Panel when people search for your business is another way to gain visibility. It also shows that your business is responsive to enquiries.
People can ask questions, leave reviews, find your website, discover new articles, check out offers, see your opening times and even phone you direct from a Google search – you’ll have much more control over this if you regularly update your Google Business Profile.
7. Get social
Social media marketing can help to support your SEO efforts in various ways. Your social media profiles – for example, your LinkedIn profile – may appear in Google search results and offer another way for people to find you via a search engine.
In addition, you can use social media to build a relationship with your audience and signpost them to your website, creating multiple sources of traffic. People may share your content on social media, and you can use your business’s social media pages/profiles as a platform for circulating content too.
While gaining thousands of followers on social media may not automatically guarantee you the number one spot on Google for your most competitive search terms, it does help with reputation building and indirect signals to search engines about your authority.
8. Make sure your website is user friendly
How confident are you that your website is user-friendly? Although there are various tools to help you check this, a good starting point is simply navigating through your site to see whether there are any glaring issues.
Better yet, ask someone you trust but who doesn’t know your site as well as you do to look through it on your behalf.
It’s also a good idea to view your site on a few different devices.
You may find, for example, that call-to-action buttons that look fine on a desktop screen sit too close together on a mobile device. Or maybe that pictures don’t position properly on a mobile screen.
- How quickly does each page load? You can test this with Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Are the colours, fonts and images consistent, and do they reflect your brand?
- Are there calls to action on each page? Would someone visiting the page know what to do next once they finish reading it?
- Does content jump around as the page loads?
- Do all the links work?
These and other issues can all affect the user experience (UX). If a searcher lands on a site with a bad UX, there’s a very real danger that they will leave the site straight away.
On the other hand, if you can offer a great UX, people will enjoy browsing your website and stay on it for longer, as well as revisiting it in the future. A good UX can boost your bookings and sales, increase customer loyalty, and enhance your credibility.
Google takes each interaction from web users as a vote of confidence about your website. If people love your site, your rankings should go up.
9. Track your SEO
You need to track your SEO to know it’s working, even if you just monitor the number of website visitors who turn into customers or who sign up to your mailing list.
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool to show you how people are behaving once they’re on your website. Google Search Console gives you some powerful insights into how search engines view your web pages in searches and the kinds of keywords people are using to find your content.
Tracking your SEO will help you to notice search trends and to spot when your SEO efforts start making a difference. For example, if you’ve rewritten the meta descriptions for certain pages, do you notice their clickthrough rates going up or down? If you’ve linked from a new blog to an old blog, does the old blog suddenly start appearing in more searches?
Personally, I think seeing that you are influencing search results with your efforts is a great motivator.
10. Join the Website Sales Booster
If you want to step your SEO up to the next level, but you’re not currently in the position to outsource it, then how about a supported, self-study course?
My Website Sales Booster course teaches you the simple way to get Google to send a regular stream of ideal paying customers to your website, on autopilot – without giving up half your life to social media or hiring an agency on a monthly retainer.
It’s ideal for coaches, consultants, service providers and small business owners.
Getting more clients or customers via Google search has never been simpler.
If you want a completely done-for-you SEO solution you can find out about our SEO Services here.
SEO is a long game. The small actions you take today to make your business more visible in searches may take a few months to bear fruit, but if you put strong roots in place, it will pay dividends in the future.
There are many benefits to prioritising SEO now
All of the steps above can and will make a difference. My advice? Pick one and start there 😊.
Hazel Jarrett, director of SEO at SEO+, is well-known in the SEO space, has won many awards during her 20-year career and has been published on various well-known sites. Through her services and training programs, her SEO strategies have generated 10s of millions of sales for her clients, earning her a big reputation for delivering the results that matter.
Want to follow Hazel on social media? You’ll find her via the icons below.