WHY IS SEO SO IMPORTANT FOR ME AND MY SMALL BUSINESS?
For so many small business owners, SEO is still a confusing concept, despite it being a trending topic for so many years now.
This post will explain:
- The basics of SEO
- The importance of SEO and how it affects your small business and
- How you can DIY your own website SEO
Exactly what is SEO?
“SEO” is short for Search Engine Optimization. In simple terms, it involves optimising your website pages and content for the purpose of appearing in organic (unpaid) search results of Search Engines.
In an online search engine, information is gathered from databases based on the user’s inquiries. The system then displays the results that best match the user’s query.
Hundreds of different search engines are available, but Google is the most popular and biggest. Statistically, Google controls 90.46% of the global search engine market.
In other words, when people talk about SEO, they’re probably talking about Google SEO.
What does it do?
Whenever you type a search query into Google, it is reported that the search engine takes over 200 factors into account before returning the most relevant results to you (in a fraction of a second).
Based on these factors, search engine results are displayed in a particular order or ranked according to their relevance.
Paid ads often appear as the first results, but are not included in this calculation. We usually refer to ‘organic’ or unpaid search results when we talk about SEO.
Ideally, you want to be ranked #1, but anything in the top 20 is great, and anything in the top 10 is wonderful.
Google Search results typically display 10 organic (non-ad) results per page. This means that a ranking of less than 10 would likely put you on the first page of a search for that term.
What is the significance of it?
Once your website has indexable content, Google will begin placing your site under more authority and start ranking you higher for the particular keyword that you are targeting.
People who have never heard of your business will come to your site for the first time. If you optimize your SEO for your local city or region, you will appear in the searches of people in your area.
Furthermore, those searching through Google have already browsed your product and are often ready to purchase.
This is one of the cheapest methods of marketing yourself. You can attract new traffic to your site with the right content years from now.
By using long-tail keywords, you can target specific niches or search terms. Generally, these are easier to rank for and have higher conversion rates.
What are the basic factors of SEO?
As mentioned earlier, Google reportedly considers over 200 factors when delivering the best possible results for a certain query. Despite not releasing an exact list, there are many factors known to affect the results.
If you have read this far, congratulations!
Here are some SEO Factors you must know (in no particular order)
Do you have good-quality content?
You need high-quality content on your website. There are a number of factors to consider, but in short, it must be:
- Coherent and Clear – The copy on your website is clear and easy to read.
- Make sure blogs are not too thin – by including pictures and other media in blog posts.
- Relevant to the entire website – The more conflicting topics on your site, the harder it is for Google to determine what you are actually about.
Do you perform keyword research?
What keywords are people searching for? If you want your website to rank for a specific keyword, do extensive research on it. It is more likely for businesses to rank higher if they take advantage of niche keywords or keywords that are less difficult to rank for.
Is the website well-built?
Your website should have clear and easy-to-navigate information. Google can tell if users are having difficulty with certain sections of your website. Make sure the web page is easy to navigate by providing next steps, buttons and links.
Ensure that the information is search engine-friendly. The correct use of heading tags, having a clear category structure on your blog back end, and submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console will help. This can be a bit more technical at times, so if you’re serious about growing your SEO, consider consulting a web designer or hiring an SEO expert! We’re always here to help 😉
ARE YOUR EXTERNAL LINKS OF QUALITY?
What kind of links do you include in your articles? Include links to other sources as you write. Google perceives that what you are saying is more credible when you link your website to another website. Generally, the bigger and more reputable the website you link to, the better.
If you include external links, make sure that they open in a new tab so your visitors do not leave your website.
ARE PEOPLE LINKING TO YOUR WEBSITE?
The act of linking back to a page on your website is called a backlink. Linking to your website is similar to external links in that it tells Google that you are trustworthy. The more authority the person sharing your website has, eg. Forbes, then the more authority you will gain from them.
ARE YOU USING MULTIMEDIA?
Images on the website.
Be sure to use as many images as possible! The use of Alt tags and descriptions is a fantastic way to tell Google what the images are about, even though Google is not yet able to read images. Furthermore, you will have more opportunities to use your keyword.
Audio & Video
Since YouTube is owned by Google, it’s no surprise that Google loves to display multimedia in its search results. When searching for ‘Showit tutorials,’ the first results are a handful of videos. You can also search directly for videos or podcasts on Google. Using this to generate more traffic to your website can be incredibly powerful.
Multimedia is an excellent way to draw more traffic to your website!
By combining multimedia with your content, you will hold your audience’s attention for longer. It will enhance your SEO and increase your customer’s know, like, and trust factors.
DO YOU SHARE RELEVANT TOPICS?
By sharing relevant content, you let Google know that your content is current and therefore relevant.
In the same way, once you have your website, make sure you keep it updated. Creating a monthly or bi-monthly blog, updating timetables or text, or fixing broken links can all fall under this category. If Google believes you do not have an active user base, you will lose credibility.
HOW ENGAGED ARE YOUR VISITORS?
Does your website have a high bounce rate or do visitors spend more time on your site? Using Google Analytics, you can track how long users spend on your website – and at what point they leave. Your authority will grow the longer Google sees people are engaged with your content, reading multiple pages and even returning to your website.
IS YOUR SITE SECURE?
Sites that do not have an SSL certificate on their website have been penalized by Google since 2016. Since July 2018, some browsers display a lock icon next to secure URLs … and a red unlocked padlock next to those that aren’t.
SSL certificates are included with some domain purchases, while some cheaper websites require you to purchase them as an additional cost. When you purchase a domain, make sure to check whether an SSL certificate is included if you are using a web builder such as Weebly or WordPress.
If you build with Showit, they include an SSL certificate with your membership.
DO YOU USE KEYWORDS IN YOUR SLUG?
What are you talking about??? Actually, the slug is just a little part of your URL that corresponds with the page you are on. Although it usually does so automatically, be sure you include the key words you want to rank for in your slug.
HOW FAST DOES YOUR WEBSITE LOAD?
Google’s ranking of websites is heavily influenced by how fast they load. Upload only web-optimised images to your website to ensure a fast loading time.
In addition, try not to upload too many videos directly onto the site – instead, upload them to YouTube and embed them with their URLs!
IS YOUR SITE MOBILE-FRIENDLY?
A mobile-friendly website has a better chance of ranking higher. Showit offers you the possibility of designing the mobile site completely independently from the desktop version.
NOTES ON NEGATIVE SEO FACTORS
Trying to ‘cheat the system’ with Google isn’t possible because it is one of the most advanced search engines in the world. Spam comments, plagiarism, and keyword stuffing will actually hurt your site.
As you now know what SEO can do for your site, look at your own and see what you can do to improve it! If you need any assistance, we’re always here to help – click HERE to contact us.