Having a website for your small business may be a cost-effective way to sell to customers.
According to Statista, in June 2023, the value of internet retail sales in Great Britain was over 2.22 billion British pounds, so it may be worth considering making your website opens in new window more visible to potential customers.
Having a website to showcase your business can bring many benefits.
You can sell your products or services through e-commerce opens in new window, promote your brand and image opens in new window, build customer relationships opens in new window, and learn about customer behaviours opens in new window via data analytics.
If your website isn’t visible in internet search engines, then your website might not get many visitors from potential customers.
Ensuring your website is visible is important for catching attention and bringing new customers to your site.
Customers who aren’t aware of your brand opens in new window may not know you exist unless your website ranks highly on search results pages of internet search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.
To boost your website’s position on search engine results pages, you can use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help your website become more visible.
Discover the personal aspects of starting a new business with our free Entrepreneurial behaviour course opens in new window
As part of our Learn with Start Up Loans opens in new window partnership with The Open University, our online course is free to join, delivered by experts and includes a free statement of participation on completion.
What is SEO, and how can it help website visibility?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the basis for improving website visibility, so it appears higher up on search engine results.
The more visible a website is on a search engine’s results page; the more likely customers will click through and visit it.
SEO consists of several activities that work together to boost your website’s rankings.
Technical SEO includes elements such as:
- how quickly your website appears in a web browser
- the number of links people can click between pages on your website
- how easily a search engine can crawl your website
- how secure your website is opens in new window
- the number of links from other websites to your website.
On-page SEO can include:
- targeting search keywords – the phrases and words users type into search engines
- using a clear content structure, such as titles, lists, tables, and graphics
- well-written, high-quality content opens in new window that answers the needs and questions of users
- ensuring the site is accessible to everyone, such as using images with descriptions (known as ‘alt tags’) to work with screen reader technology.
Implementing even a few of these elements may help improve where your website appears in search results – known as ‘ranking’ – and you don’t need to be a technical expert.
6 ways to boost your website’s visibility
Here are some of the simpler ways you can boost your website’s visibility.
1. Keyword research
Keyword research involves finding out what your customers are searching for when they type a query into Google or another search engine.
By including that keyword in your content, your webpage may rank higher on search engines.
You can include keywords naturally in the content you create for your website, such as blog articles opens in new window, and add them to other elements, such as page titles.
There are several tools to help with keyword research, though some may involve paying a monthly/annual fee.
- Google Search Console opens in new window (free)
- Semrush opens in new window
- Keyword surfer opens in new window
- WordStream opens in new window
2. Write quality content
Search engines are becoming more advanced and value high-quality content.
They prefer content that helps readers and provides valuable guidance and information.
This type of content typically ranks higher as it aims to solve reader/customer problems.
A page written with relevant, appropriate information that is clear and engaging to read can help search engines rank it higher for the target keyword.
3. Become verified by Google
Verifying your start-up with Google and creating a Google My Business Listing can help customers more easily find your business and contact information.
Customers searching for a business similar to yours are more likely to come across it if you’ve set up a business listing.
For example, if you own a mobile hairdressing opens in new window business, customers can search ‘mobile hairdressing’ and potentially see your website among the options.
You can also claim your business on Google Maps, allowing your website to show in results when someone searches on a map using terms such as ‘hairdressers near me’.
4. Better website hosting
Slow-loading websites put off search engines and customers opens in new window.
Slow website speeds can lower your ranking, and customers are less likely to return to your site via mobile opens in new window if they don’t have a good experience.
If your website is loading slowly, it may be time to change where it is hosted opens in new window.
5. Be link friendly
Links connect the pages of your website.
Internal links are essential as they allow users to navigate your website easily.
Links also help search engines understand your website and get a better idea of the pages and content it houses.
Links from other websites – known as ‘backlinks’ – can also help raise your ranking in search results, increasing your domain authority opens in new window.
Backlinks from reputable websites, such as the BBC or Wikipedia, can demonstrate that your web page’s content is trustworthy and accurate.
Gaining backlinks to your pages may help increase your ranking and generate more traffic.
Metadata helps users and search engines understand the structure and nature of your web page.
Metadata refers to information and data that describes your webpage, such as a review or a recipe, in more detail.
Optimising metadata can deliver a better user experience and helps your webpage rank higher on search engine results pages.
Examples of metadata include:
- Title tags – This is the text search engines display on the search results page. Titles should also be short and encourage people to click them. It is best to include the keyword you’re targeting for the page.
- Alt tags – Search engines can’t ‘see’ images, so alt tags come in handy as they describe the image in text for search engines and users who use screen readers.
- Meta descriptions – A summary of the web page content often displayed on search engine results. It informs the user about what to expect on the page.
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Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.