SEO. Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a phrase that’s thrown around a lot these days, especially when it comes to businesses, but what does it actually mean? If your business is just beginning to get off the ground, then getting nitty gritty with the world of SEO can make a whole world of difference.
Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation means exactly what you’d expect it to – it’s the art of making your website friendlier for search engines (though primarily Google, if we’re honest.) This helps your website rank higher in search engine results, meaning that more people discover it. More people discover your website and more people are likely to discover your business – meaning more customers. If you’re running a dog grooming business, you’d ideally want to be one of the top results when someone from your area Google’s ‘dog grooming’ – right? In a nutshell, that’s what SEO is all about.
Of course, you don’t need to be an absolute SEO wizard to make your website – and business – more search engine optimised. Even a simple awareness of how it works can make an incredible amount of difference. Below we’ve compiled some introductory guidelines when it comes to the world of SEO. We’ll admit it, we’re just scratching the surface, and so we’ve listed some handy resources later on if you want to go further down that rabbit hole. But for now, here are some things to bear in mind when getting into the world of SEO.
Simple And Straightforward
Our first tip when it comes to SEO? Don’t overcomplicate things. Looking online, you’re bound to find a wild amount of advice on search engine optimisation – lots of it outdated. So, to start things off, we’re going to give a piece of advice that we’re pretty certain is never going to go out of date: keep your website straightforward. Don’t bloat it out and fill it up with tons of unnecessary information.
Of course, how many pages your website needs is going to depend largely on what sort of business you’re running. Perhaps you’re trying to put together some sort of online encyclopedia – in which case you’re probably going to need lots of pages. All we’re saying is, make every one of them count. If your website is hard to navigate and full of unnecessary and repetitious information, then it’s just going to make it harder for search engines like Google to crawl it. Keeping things uncomplicated will make sure that they can reach the important stuff easily. And, to be honest, this isn’t just a good habit to get into for SEO reasons – keeping things straightforward also makes it easier for customers to navigate your website when they stumble upon it. They want to be able to find what they need as easily as possible – so why hinder them?
Remember when we mentioned that there’s a lot of old SEO advice floating around that’s no longer relevant? This is another example of that. Once upon a time, the key to good SEO was thought to be stuffing in as many relevant keywords as possible – even it if it made the text on your website unreadable in the process. While keywords are definitely important – if you’ve started up a social media company, it’s only sensible to use the term ‘social media’ frequently – spamming them is more likely to do damage than good. Google has gotten smarter, it reads pages as a human would and it’ll know if you’re just spamming relevant words for the sake of it.
Instead, focus on quality keywords. Whether it’s on your business’s main site or perhaps a side blog, it can be helpful to go for key phrases that people are likely to Google but might be slightly less obvious… Less popular keywords are easier to rank highly for on search engines, meaning that you have a higher chance of success. Returning to the social media company example, while ‘social media’ is an incredibly relevant key word, you have to take into account the fact that you’re never going to outrank a site like Facebook or Twitter for it on Google. It’s important to stay realistic, y’know?
Referring back to a point we made in our last blog post, making connections is an incredibly valuable thing to do. Connecting with other businesses is not only a great way to expand your audience in a traditional sense, but it can also be a great way to up your SEO game.
Backlinks – links from other websites to your own – are an important part of search engine optimisation, and so it’s always a great idea to get good, relevant ones whenever you can. This is where the idea of cross pollination comes in. We mentioned in that last post that exchanging guest posts with another business’s blog and your own can be a great way to expand your audience – but it can also be a great way to improve your SEO, with it being an opportunity for you to share a link to your business on their website and vice versa. You both get something out of it – with the backlinks strengthening your respective rankings – and both your audiences get exposed to new businesses. Everyone wins, right?
High Quality Content
It may sound incredibly simple, but one of the best ways to make your business search engine optimised is to provide high quality and original content. That’s it. With all the SEO advice floating around out there, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that Google rewards content that is original and well-written – not trying to pander to search engines through keyword spamming or other tricks. Make sure all the writing on your website is well-written – and the posts on any blogs interesting – and it’s certain to help with your website’s ranking.
And honestly, like most of the points we’ve made here, this one can be applied to any business as a whole. Provide something that’s original and high quality and you’ll have a better chance of success. If you have a business that stands out from the crowd with its originality – and reflect that through your website – then more people are likely to engage with it. Simple stuff maybe, but we thought it was worth saying.
As we mentioned before, there are a staggering amount of resources out there on the web when it comes to SEO. If this blog post has whet your appetite and you think you’d like to go even further when it comes to optimizing your site, we’ve compiled a list of some resources you might find helpful.
Moz: Moz is a fantastic SEO resource, featuring a number of solid tools as well as great guide to search engine optimisation (which is the perfect stepping stone from our guide here.) If you’re interested in learning more, check it out.
Google Trends: A fantastic way to see what’s popular at the moment in your business area. It can be a great way to tailor blog posts to specific topics or decide what to share on your business’s social media feeds for maximum SEO impact.
Google Keyword Planner: Another great tool from Google. This one is great for helping you decide which keywords to use when writing text for your business’s website. It’s a great way to seek out those lesser-known key terms.
SEMrush: SEMrush is another invaluable research tool, much like Google Trends, which we definitely recommend taking a look at.
So there you have it – our top ways to Do More when it comes to SEO. Be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your own advice when it comes to optimising your business’s website!