Even the most IT illiterate small business owner is beginning to realise the importance of optimizing their company’s website. An increasing number are taking advantage of free website SEO analysis by professional SEO agencies to establish where they can improve, in order to increase their search engine rankings, enhance their customers’ buying experience and gain a bigger share of the market.
But learning even the basics of SEO can be complicated, and trying to establish how effective your efforts have been even more complicated still! Knowing what the search engines are looking for, what your key ‘search terms’ should be, and how to improve your profits via this medium are just some of the skills you will need to acquire before attempting to optimize your website.
Optimizing your website for the search engines is essential for anyone wanting their customers to actually be able to find them amongst the one hundred million other active sites online at the moment!
Here are our top five essential hints and tips to help get you started:
1. Good things come to those that wait
You should know now that however good your efforts to optimize your site are, you are not going to see results overnight. Even if you decide to use a professional agency you should be very sceptical of those claiming to be able to make you number one in Google within a week.
Good SEO is a long game, and when done properly could mean you have to wait a few months before you see a return on your efforts. However, I promise it will be worth the wait.
In addition, Google searches are generated via an ever-changing complicated algorithm, which means you will have to apply yourself to the process, continually changing your approach in order to stay ahead of the game.
2. Understand what search engines are looking for
Before you start to optimize your site, you should have a clear understanding what you are optimizing for. In a nutshell, a search engine attempts to point users to the site most relevant to what the user is looking for.
Relevance is determined by:
Site Speed – How quickly your site works, and whether it works properly.
Look and feel – What your site looks like, how easy it is to navigate, whether it looks safe and how long people stick on the site once they arrive there.
Content – What is written on the pages, the titles and descriptions the pages are given.
Authority – Whether your site has links with any other relevant sites.
3. Know your business AND your customers
It sounds obvious, but having a solid understanding of your business model and the customers you are hoping to attract will help you establish your main goals and how you’ll achieve them through site optimization.
Create three in-depth personas who represent your key customers and learn as much about them as you can; what blogs they read, where they work, whether they’re married, etc. By understanding as much as you can about your customers, you will quickly realise where you should be focussing your attention and efforts.