Even adding in quick SEO fixes to your busy schedule is daunting. Prioritising your strategic activities is difficult if not overwhelming, especially for a small business. That’s why the task of Search Engine Optimisation for your website is often the task found on the bottom of your ‘To Do’ list.
Whatever time or money you have spent on your website can be completely wasted if you are not investing in the ongoing optimisation of your site. If your potential customers can’t find your site easily in search engines (such as the ubiquitous Google), they won’t find you.
Whilst there are many ways to improve the visibility of your website in search engines, here are 5 quick SEO affordable fixes which you can implement easily.
1. Keep Your Content Fresh
You don’t need to be a Hemingway or Shakespeare to keep your content alive, relevant and fresh. Making small regular updates, adding information or even just re-sharing social media updates allows your users to enjoy having a regular relationship with your site. An added benefit, is the more often you update your site, the more often the search engine spiders will return to crawl your site, thus ensuring all of your content is getting indexed for those engines.
2. Think about your keyword phrases
Each page could be focussed on only one or two keyword phrases for content. Decide if you will be looking to attract a small ratio of visitors for a short and highly competitive keyword, or maybe carve out a profitable niche by controlling a large ratio of targeted users with a long tailed keyword phrase. For example, would you like 1% of the traffic from ‘fashion’ (who may or may not be ready to buy) or could you make better use of 70% of the traffic from ‘online plus size fashion race carnival Melbourne’? Just remember to do keyword research before committing.
3. Site maps and Search Engines
Once you have your website complete, prepare two site maps. One is for users to find each page on your site if they are lost, and the second, is a specific site map which you can create using Google Webmaster Tools and submit to Google (and other search engines) which makes it much easier for the search engine spiders to find all of your pages. This is especially true when your site contains quantities of flash and script.
4. Make the effort to create understandable URLs
Whilst Google appears to not attach much weight to well described keyword rich URLs, many other search engines do. Importantly also, your human users will benefit from well designed URLs. So, rather than having code-like names for your URL pages (eg www.COL.com/W12/T157), consider a self explanatory URL convention. For example you may be an online clothing store called ‘clothes online’, with one URL something like: ‘www.clothesonline.com.au/winter/tops’. Not only is this clear to search engines, it makes sense to a user, who could safely expect to find tops suitable for winter wear on this page. Never underestimate the power of a clear URL when it comes to users choosing a page from the search engine selection. When presented with a page of results from a search, if the URL is unreadable or looks ‘dodgy’, visitors are far less likely to click on it.
5. Be clean and mean
Do a full spring clean of your site. Check all links that they work properly, try and look at the site as an outsider. Is it logical, connected and clear? Have someone else look over the pages for readability and errors. It is important to ensure everything works, as you want the search engine robots to view and index all of your content. Don’t give them an excuse to drop off your site without being finished.
As a small business owner, search engine optimisation can appear intimidating, it will take time, and it does take regular administration (such as loading new content often), but once you follow these quick SEO simple steps you will be able to maintain an affordable basic SEO program. If nothing else, you will know the right questions to ask your Web site manager or Trainer should you take the next step and complete a quality Search Engine Optimisation course.