You may have heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but what is it and what could it mean for your business?
123-Reg give their advice on what steps to follow to optimise your new website and maximise traffic for success on the web. Implement their tips and advice and you’ll soon be the proud owner of a website that works properly, loads quickly, and with great content that people enjoy reading and sharing online.
SEO from scratch – how to maximise traffic to your small business website
Getting started with a new website and getting it at the top of the search results is hard work. You’re not just dealing with a lot of competition, but also with search engine giants that are constantly changing and updating their search algorithms.
But here’s the thing – optimising a new website is less about keeping up with the latest SEO changes and updates, and more about about learning the fundamentals to optimise your site properly and maximise traffic from the search engines.
Follow the key steps below to increase your chances of ranking higher than your competitors in the search results:
1. Register a good domain name
This is one first step that you don’t want to rush. Make sure the name you choose is short, easy to spell and memorable. You also want to go with a name that both reflects your small business and helps you build your brand.
Avoid a domain like your-keyword-keyword.uk (keywords are words or phrases that describe the content of your Web page), which may sound untrustworthy. Instead, your web address should be your company name or something that fits with your brand.
2. Find the right keywords for your specific business
Before you start writing the content for your website, you first need to do keyword research to see which words your potential customers are using when searching for your business.
The most important piece of advice we can give you is to stay away from keywords that are too broad or generic like “plumber”, especially if you’re in a highly competitive industry. Instead, choose relevant long-tail keywords like “emergency plumber in London”, which have a high search volume and lower competition.
The more of these relevant long-tail keywords you can identify and optimise for, the more relevant, qualified traffic you will see land on your site.
3. Create content based around your keyword research
Great content is what can help your small business website to get to the top of the search results. This refers to all the content on your website and on your blog, in whichever format, including videos, infographics and images.
When writing your content, don’t just focus on adding keywords throughout your copy. While adding relevant keywords in your copy helps search engines understand your business and where to include your site within the search engine results pages, you should write for your visitors first, and for search engines second. This means crafting content that’s original, useful and interesting as that’s the only way you to convert your visitors into customers.
4. Optimise your new website’s code
Your content needs to be optimised for search engines too, and not just for your visitors.
Some things to consider are:
- A SEO-friendly URL structure. This means restricting dynamic URLs like www.example.co.uk/?p=335765765. Instead, use static URLs like www.example.co.uk/service-name
- Unique title tags and meta description tags for every page on your site – these tags appear in the HTML code of the webpage and tell search engines what the page is about
- Adding ALT tags to images so search engines understand what your images are all about
- Interlinking, meaning linking between different pages on your site, whenever relevant
- Consolidating your www and non-www domain versions
- Creating a sitemap and submitting it to Google Search Console to allow search engines to more easily crawl and index your site.
5. Don’t forget the technical setup
These are two of the most important tools you’ll need to use to not only find out more about your visitors, what they’re looking at on your site and where they’ve come from, but also how to improve your site to ensure the best possible user experience.
6. Earning links for your new site
Now that you’re all set up, you’re ready to start creating great content that experts and influencers in your industry will find interesting and will want to link to. Promoting your content and earning links from authority sites is an important step as it tells search engines that your content is popular enough to share. So they’ll want to place it at the top so it’s easily found by potential customers searching for your keywords.
7. Test your new website
Once you’ve followed all these steps for your new website, you’ll also want to do a final check to ensure everything works properly. We recommend asking a few friends to go on your site and browse around as if they were customers. Then ask them what problems they’ve encountered along the way and fix them quickly.
We know this seems like a lot of work, and the truth is it is. But if you do it properly, it’ll be worth it in the long term when you see your site at the top of the search results.
Want even more great tips and tricks on how to optimise your website?