SEO is one of those things that sounds really fancy and complicated, but is actually pretty simple once you get down to it.
So what exactly is SEO, and why is it relevant for my business?
Essentially, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of getting more traffic to your site through organic (free!) search listings.
It can help you stay ahead of your competiton, reach more of your ideal clients, and rank higher in Google search results - all for free.
You might have heard the joke: ‘the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google’ (because no-one clicks past page 1...). As a business owner you’ll want to get more traffic to your website, and a good way to achieve this is through improving your website ranking, so that when people type something to do with your business into Google, your website will appear.
We spoke to Alice Rath, founder of Pippins Digital Marketing, to get some top tips on SEO.
Sort out your Keywords
Use Google Keyword planner to research what keywords you can use - it will tell you the average search volume and competition level for each keywords.
Use Google search console to see what users are searching before visiting your website.
Use a mixture of short-tail and long-tail keywords, (ie. Hair Salon vs. Boutique hair salon in Shoreditch). Shorter keywords are going to have higher search volume but more competition whereas longer keywords will have less competition but less searches. Got it?
Use keywords in all parts of your website: body copy, image captions, headers, meta description....
Your keywords should make up about 1-3% of your copy on the page.
Align your content
Google recommends a minimum of 300 words on a page, so ensure you've added detail to product descriptions, services you offer etc. We don't want the page looking too naked.
Format your content with headers and subheaders, to make it easier for users to scan.
The more content, the better the chance you have on increasing website traffic. Research trending keywords on Google Keyword planner to find the best ones to use in blogs or case studies.
Make sure you're actually creating content with the aim of it being 'found' through Google searches. Once you've got a list of keywords you know are right for your brand, create some blog posts using those words.
Plan in some backlinks
Google needs to see your website as an authority, so having more websites linking to yours will help this.
You can do this by guest blogging, PR activity, asking a friend / colleague / client to link to your website if it's relevant for your business. They could write a case study on your business, or a guest blog post on something that's relevant for both of you.
If your link is relevant to your business that's even better -- Google wants to see there's a reason for the link. For example if you're a wedding planner and a wedding photographer links to your website, this makes sense!