SEO Tips For SMEs
SEO is an essential part of any marketing strategy. It helps increase visibility in organic listings in search engines, which is where you need to be to drive traffic to your website and entice new customers. This is different to paid search engine advertising, and research shows that the majority of searchers click on the natural search results rather than the paid for listings, so it’s more likely to increase awareness and drive sales.
There are many different elements that will help improve your rankings. Google engineers claim there are over 200 factors! We have cut this down into a few of the most important ones to consider as part of your SEO strategy. This is a quick start guide to introduce you to some of the key things you need to look into in order to start your SEO journey.
1. Review & set goals
- Look at key words your customers are using
- Do keyword analysis for your market
- Review competitor keywords
- Assess your market share for different key phrases
- There are some great apps out there that will help you to do this audit – click here for our guide on digital marketing apps
- Use Google Analytics reports to review the impact of SEO on your business in terms of site visits and conversions
2. Ensure content is findable by search engines
- Do an audit for indexing and visibility
- Include Google’s quality guidelines
- Avoid poor quality links which may mean your site is penalised by Google’s Panda or Penguin anti-spam filters
- Look to increase visits from non-text listings (images and video)
- Remove duplicate content
- Ensure your mobile site is effective as Google will penalise if not
- If your business has a local presence it’s crucial to have good visibility on Google+ Local and ensure you have good reviews on there
3. On-page SEO
- Follow best practice for on-page SEO such as defining primary, secondary and tertiary key phrases for your page. Also look at the URL, page title, H1 tag, keyword inclusion in body copy, internal links and image titles. There are apps you can get to help with this – see our guide to the best apps to help your digital marketing strategy.
- Ensure your brand messages are clear and succinct in the natural listings – if these couple of lines are a customer’s first experience of your business, then make them count.
4. Content strategy
- Ensure you have a strategy to develop interesting and shareable content that attracts links
- Create a blog section of your site that you regularly update. Google likes engaging content which attracts links
- And Google also penalises content which doesn’t engage users via its Panda filter – don’t be a victim of this
5. Content marketing
- The most important factor in a successful SEO strategy is to improve link quality via content quality – the better your content, the more people will link to it and this increases SEO. Also, the link quality needs to be good – how well does the site linking your content rank?
- Blogger outreach, partnering and syndication will all help with this. Target the best quality blogs and sites and encourage sharing of original content
- Avoid being victim to the Penguin webspam filter with quality links
- Include Social Media Optimisation (SMO) – social media signals play a part in search engine algorithms
6. Refine internal links
- Often overlooked but very important are your own internal links within your website – which you control so it’s easy to do
- You can use Advanced Segments in Google Analytics to review success
We hope that this whistle-stop introduction to SEO basics is helpful. Please get in touch if you have any comments or questions.