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Why you should start applying SEO techniques to your SME

19 April 2018 No Comment

It is no question that for a small business to succeed, it would require good branding. The initial plan would be to create an eye catching website and generate unique content. However, you might realise soon that despite your hardest work, the site isn’t growing like you expected it to. There is a reason for this, and you can fix the problem yourself.

Attracting Site Visitors: A quick SEO guide

In order to attract visitors, you need to improve how you are appearing on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), this way when a potential visitor makes a search relevant to your business, you will show up as one of their results.

Your visitors will most likely be making their searches on Google as it is the biggest search engine out there. If you want your website clicked on rather than your competitors, you will have to rank highly within Google’s organic search results. The higher you are ranked, the more likely your website will be selected.

The results are determined by Google’s algorithm which was put into place in order to guarantee organic (rather than paid) results. Its purpose is to sift through millions of websites to find those that are most relevant to the search term alongside its high quality content.

Google’s algorithm is processed by crawlers, which are only able to ‘read’ written content. The process of adapting a website to enable Google’s algorithm to recognise and rank it is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), which this what this SEO guide is all about.

Ranking higher on SERPs

As a starting point for your business’ SEO journey, note that it is an ongoing process that you will have to maintain in order to see its effects maintain your website’s status on Google’s search results. Here are some tips to help you start:

1. XML Sitemap

Remember that crawlers can’t process complicated information, so in order for them to find the most important information ensure that your site’s structure is clear. This would also be beneficial to your users as well.

You would require an XML sitemap to help the crawlers understand your site, which can be explained as a version of a table of contents. It not only reveals the hierarchy of your pages and allows the crawlers to identify essential information from your web page, therefore indexing your site clearly.

You can obtain an XML sitemap from the SEO yoast plugin and submit it to Google via the Google search Console and your website will immediately start seeing improvements in its ranking.

2. User experience (HTML Sitemap)

Besides the XML sitemap, you would want an HTML sitemap as well. This helps the crawlers determine if your site is user friendly.

Rather than the structure, the HTML sitemap focuses on the content instead. It lists all the relevant pages in an easily readable format and acts as a guide to clarify your titles, headlines and contents. Another helpful element would be to use ‘breadcrumbs’.

Customising the <Title> and <Description> tags on your web pages helps the crawlers to identify its keywords. And the more relevant these keywords are to your users’ search term, the higher the page will rank.

3. Mobile Readability

There is a greater preference for people to browse on their phones rather than on a computer these days. Unfortunately the two interfaces are very different to each each other. This means using a ‘responsive’ theme that can adapt your content onto both interfaces is crucial.

If your website doesn’t accommodate mobile readers, you could be inadvertently turning away potential visitors.

Standing out from the crowd

This SEO guide is not only for optimising your rank on SERPs, but also to allow Google to identify your content as resourceful. Some actionable tips that you can apply include:

1. Writing High Quality Content

This may be considered as a given, but what qualifies as high quality content? Google completes several checks, some of which include it being error free, it having accurate grammar and spelling. Your stylistic approach should also be legible and easy to read. The length of your post can also impact the favorability of your blog by Google’s algorithm.

2. Heading tags

Besides the content, structuring your content is highly important. Make sure you label them using tags. The H1 tag should be reserved for the main title as it marks it as highest important. H2 descending to H6 are usually used for subheadings, with H2 having a higher status than and H6 being the lowest status.

3. Images

Images are important for your blog as it can keep the readers attracted to your blog page for a longer period of time. However, crawlers can only read texts, so your images may not be benefitting your blog in SEO terms. In order for Google’s algorithm to recognise what it is, make sure you add alt-text to image so it can pick up on the relevant keywords.

Executing SEO on your site

The more emphasis you apply to the SEO aspect of your blog, the better it will perform. There are various resources that you can use to help your website perform better.

However, if you’re looking to explore SEO to a greater extent, reach out to search agencies like click.co.uk, they are experts who can provide an in-depth analysis on what you should be targeting.

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