Four ways to jump start your own search engine optimisation (SEO)

Monday 10 April, 2017 | By: Default Admin | Tags: small business, smart business, digital marketing, seo

Search engine optimisation known as SEO, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results - often referred to as “organic” or “earned” results.

Organic search results are what Google returns to someone’s enquiry. In general, the higher ranked and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. The theory is that the more visitors to your website, the more customers you’ll get.

There’s a joke that the best place to hide a dead body is in the second page of Google search results – with good reason. Very few people click past the first page, which is why it’s so important for your website to appear on the first page of someone’s search.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, and what people search for in relation to your industry.

1. High Quality Content

Google places a major emphasis on high-quality content across websites and it’s important to adhere to these expectations. Publishing consistent, high-quality, original content is one of the best ways to move up the Google search rankings.

Spelling errors and grammatical errors will harm your chances of ranking well. Engage a professional if you need to because this is non-negotiable.

Ways in which you can create content include:
• Writing blogs or articles consistently.
• Creating short videos using your smart phone.
• Creating images or infographics.
• Sharing photos or images.

Let’s take an imaginary small business, Hinterland Coffee Beans and Roasting. Their business is selling coffee beans to cafes and the public. Ideas for their content might consist of a blog post about the importance of coffee rituals in Western culture; a series of photos of their commercial space; a short video of their CEO explaining why he loves coffee and an infographic detailing where they source their coffee from, and why sourcing it locally is important to them.

2. Keywords

Keywords should sum up your business in several key phrases. It is important to understand how your potential customer will search for your product and/or service. You can do your own keyword research to find this out for yourself.

Brainstorm ideas and come up with around a dozen likely words or terms. You can research which ones receive the most online searches with a free tool such as Google Keyword Planner. Enter your keywords and the tool will provide you with the average monthly searches for your selection. It will also provide a list of alternative keywords that may be more effective. You use the best performing keywords to inform the way you write content on your website.

Hinterland Coffee Beans might use the keywords “fair trade coffee beans”, “quality coffee beans” and “locally sourced coffee beans” as their foundation keywords.

3. SEO and Social Media

Search engines like Google use social media to determine your credibility: if you are active on social media and people are talking about you, Google views this favourably when determining the rank of your website. Don’t underestimate the power of social media.

Hinterland Coffee Beans is primarily active on Facebook and Instagram, where they show lots of pictures of their product.

4. Google My Business

Google My Business or GMB for short, is an incredible marketing platform for small businesses and it’s free. It only takes your time to write up your own listing.

Here are some advantages to using Google My Business:
• Manage and update how Google displays your business information.
• Access insights on how users find your business.
• Be found on Google Maps and help customers find directions to your business.
• Respond to customer reviews.

To list your business, go to Google My Business and type in your business name and address into the search bar.

Hinterland Coffee Beans have filled out their listing, keeping their foundation keywords in mind.

There’s nothing stopping you starting your own SEO strategy by using the free tools listed here.

Have you started SEO for your small business and what have you learned about it so far?

Speak to an expert about your digital marketing through CCIQ Experts on Demand - a free independent advice service available only to CCIQ Members

Julie Cave

About the contributor:

Julie Cave is the director of the digital marketing agency, Write My Website, which specializes in website design, content development, social media marketing, and communication. She has a background in business banking and finance, and understands the pressures faced by small business. She is committed to working with small business to help them grow and succeed by utilizing the power of the online environment. Website: Website: 

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