If you are a small business owner, the chances are that you are responsible for managing and maintaining your own website, including ways to improve SEO. Businesses large and small compete for consumer and business-to-business (B2B) attention and with 70% of all business transactions starting on Google, your ranking will be fundamental to your customers finding you.
So, you want to rank higher on Google?
In this WOI 101, we have put together some simple tips to help you improve SEO and increase organic search traffic to your website.
1: Remove aggressive pop-ups!
Google has made it noticeably clear that user experience is everything when it comes to your website and how it will be ranked in the algorithm. Google knows that users dislike large, annoying, repeated pop-ups on websites and if you are a culprit of having one, remove it. Pop-ups should be discreet, appearing after 45 seconds or so, only appear once, and should not impact the customer experience. Think of this like being at a networking event, if someone shoved their business card in your face after 3 seconds, chances are, they would not make a great impression. Your website is no different. You need to tempt your audience with your content, so they want to stay.
2: Content marketing vs. SEO
It can be tempting to get right on with your social media sharing before attending to your website. The situation here is rather nuanced. Whilst we recommend in What is Marketing to get started with imperfect action before having a perfect website, your SEO will need your attention if you hope to obtain organic leads. Keep in mind that improving SEO requires an initial investment, however, when your website is optimised, you will continue to receive leads for years to come. In contrast, your beautiful post on Instagram will be lost in the feed after a day or so. Again, this is nuanced, because your feed on Instagram is your portfolio, you can read more about this in 6 ways to improve your communication on Instagram.
3: Wordpres, Wix, or Shopify, which is best to improve SEO?
There is no right answer to this question. The decision should be weighted in considering who will be maintaining the website, their level of technical skill, appetite for learning and applying SEO, and time to do so. WordPress is a steeper learning curve but is more powerful than Wix or Shopify. That said, there is a lot to be said for the latter two options, which have in-built support that is ideal for small business owners and beginners.
4: That plug-in life
You can lean on plug-ins to deliver a lot of the technical heavy lifting for your site. Take a look at Yoast.com, or Rank Math to get started. There are a multitude of plug-ins out there to enable you to do everything you need to do with your website. We recommend working with a reputable web designer on your plug-ins to ensure your site is stable, secure, and working as it should.
5: How do I know if my website has “good” SEO?
There are lots of paid and free tools that you can utilise to improve SEO and understand how your website is performing. Knowing that Google prioritises sites that load in 3-5 seconds or less, you should be checking your speed falls within this range. SEMrush offers a sophisticated, but expensive service. Some of our favourite free tools include: https://web.dev/, Pingdom.com, and Google Data Studio.
Thank you for reading this WOI 101. You may also be interested in reading 6 Ways to Improve Communication with your Audience