Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
Establishing a business in the 21st Century can seem like a daunting task. From global supply chains to multinational competitors, small business owners have a laundry list of risks to keep tabs on, and digital marketing demands to be added to the mix. It seems easier to give up before that first sale.
That is why focusing energy on the small details like search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever. Businesses that tackle this hurdle earlier on are much more likely to have a smoother ride as their operations expand. Put simply, SEO refers to the process of getting the most out of a firm’s website content so as to bolster organic or unpaid traffic from search engines like Google. When done well, SEO increases both the quality and quantity of traffic to a business’ website. (Google PR Firm and tell me what you find!)
In practice, this can mean making changes to a website’s content and design so as to improve its ranking on different search engine results pages. Given that most internet users begin their online experience through platforms like Google, it is vital that firms are savvy about staying relevant in the eyes of a search engine. Here are three ways small businesses can boost their SEO:
1) Content Marketing
Google and Bing both employ similar metrics, including clicks, page views and time spent on a website, to measure the levels of user engagement with the site. This engagement is then taken as an indication of how satisfied users are with the information found on a website.
The more quality, and more relevant, content that a business is able to include in its website, the higher these pages are likely to be ranked by search engines. Ultimately, content marketing comes down to common sense: interesting and useful content improves users’ overall experience of the website, and helps draw in more users over time.
Another way that search engines assess a website’s relevance is by tracking the number of backlinks that external sites use to direct traffic to that site. The quality of these backlinks is just as important as the quantity; search engines can be expected to ban sites that seek to spam backlinks.
A great way small businesses can boost backlinks is to build good relationships with the community. Satisfied customers and happy business partners will link back to a firm’s website when they write about it, and make mentions of the business on social media. This a great way to build an organic network of backlinks and boost a brand’s SEO.
All website designs include space in the coding for metadata information, or a description of the contents of a page. Title metadata oversees the page titles at the top of a browser window, while description metadata is the text that a browser may use in a page’s search return. Few firms know how to utilise their metadata to boost their online presence, so this is a great way for firms to get an edge over their competitors.
For the time-poor business owner, SEO can seem like a lot of effort and investment to set up properly. Even so, a well-designed website with quality content and backlinks should never be underestimated; a steady stream of organic leads and traffic to a site is an invaluable tool for any small business owner.