5 Simple Ways to Get Your Business Noticed by Google*
*and other search engines
Smart business owners know they need a website to be seen as an authentic trader. Recent research shows that a staggering 84% of UK consumers look online before making a purchase. When was the last time you bought something from a business that didn’t have a website?
You’ve probably heard of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) but do you know what it is or what’s involved? There’s an overwhelming amount of confusing and sometimes contradictory information out there, so here’s our quick guide to basic SEO and why you need it for your business.
What is SEO?
SEO is how you get your website noticed among all the others out there clamouring for your customer’s attention. It’s different from PPC (Pay Per Click – where you bid to be seen in search engines’ sponsored results at the top of the page) in that SEO costs nothing – except your time and resources.
So how do you manage SEO?
1. Actively manage your website It’s no good publishing a website then sitting back waiting for the business to roll in. For your site to appear at or near the top in natural (unpaid or organic) online search results, you have to work on it every day. This means publishing new content, which can be anything from writing a blog, to adding new information, products, photos or customer testimonials. This shows search engines that you are an authority in your industry and that you always have new and useful information to share.
2. Build links Search engines find new web pages by following links from other web pages. You should include links on every page of your website. This can be as simple as making sure that each page on your site links to at least one other page, creating a useful and logical journey for your site visitors. You can also add links to other, external and relevant websites (e.g. partners, associates, trade bodies, etc). But don’t be tempted to join a link affiliate scheme (sometimes called “link farms”), as search engines will discard these as poor quality, which will have an impact on your page rankings.
3. Use keywords What is a keyword? Imagine if you were a potential customer of your business, and you were searching online for a business like yours. What would you type into a search engine? Those are your keywords. Keywords are the words, phrases, ideas and topics that define what you, your business, product, service or proposition is about. And you should use them wherever your business appears online, and especially on your website. Your keywords should appear on every page of your site. But don’t shoe-horn them into every line, sentence or paragraph in a way that makes the content feel forced (called “keyword stuffing”) as, again, this creates a poor user experience and search engines will discount you.
4. Get Social Love it or hate it, social media is good for your SEO. Social media platforms are a great way to get your key business and promotional messages in front of your target audience. They are also perfect for promoting your brand, your products, your services and your special offers. Plus you can use them to drive traffic to your website by including links to the relevant pages or content. Also, make sure you have the relevant social media plug-ins (icons) embedded on every page of your website so that your visitors have plenty of opportunities to follow and “like” you. Search engines see a business active on social media as being viable, which all helps with your page ranking authority.
5. Offline SEO You should include the address of your website on all of your marketing materials. This means posters, banners, brochures, flyers, magazines and adverts, such as those published in Local Directory. In fact, anywhere your brand is visible you should be including your website URL. Use it to encourage your target customers to get more information about your business, your products and your services. In other words – take every opportunity to drive traffic to your website. Remember, the vast majority of UK consumers want to look online before committing themselves to a purchase. And the more site visitors you get, the better for your SEO. At Local Directory we can advise you on the best way to advertise your website and business in any one of our 12 editions. Give us a call today.