Are you doing everything you can to be found by potential customers?
As part of our Boost My Business initiative Fiona Alston asked SEO expert Peter O’Neill to give us some simple tips on how to improve our visibility in Google Search.
O'Neill is co-founder of SEO & Grow a specialist search engine marketing agency who we manage SEO and PPC campaigns for brands of all sizes, in all industries.
What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a means of optimising your website in order to improve its visibility within Google search. The goal is to make your website readily available to potential customers anytime they search for a term related to your product or service.
Build some links to your website - not only will they act as a source of potential referral traffic and get eyes on your website but it will also improve your domain authority, which is your trustworthiness in the eyes of Google. Have you links in directories like Golden Pages or Yelp? You should also check out the list of free directories Boost My Business put together here.
Get your Google My Business account set up - This is the platform you use to set up a Google Maps listing and get it verified. Fill out as much information as possible in the listing – add photos, business information, opening hours, product categories and don’t forget to ask previous customers for their reviews. You should reply to your reviews and be active on it.
Set up your Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts – these free tools allow you to see the traffic coming to your website and the source of the traffic. Was it Search? An Ad? Social media? Did it convert to a sale? You’ll get a tracking code which you will add to your website. This is easily done as most content management systems (Wordpress, Wix) will guide you through it.
Check out your competition – Who is your nearest competitor and what does their website look like? Check out the content and the structure of their pages. What information are they giving? Have they used many images? Pay particular attention to the words they use to describe their products or service – what key words are they using?
Carry out some keyword research of your own – based on your own ideas (and your competitor’s ideas) head over to Google Trends and input the keywords or search terms you think might be good to use for your product or service. Don’t forget to select the country or area you are in or where your target audience are situated. You will be able to see the search volume of each word/search term.
Disperse the high-volume keywords across your page – make sure you have that keyword all across the page where relevant. Have it in the title tag, the header tag, image tags and throughout the text or subheading. Indicate to Google that your page is relevant to that keyword.
Make sure your website is https secure – this is the secure lock icon that you will see in your browser beside your page name or domain name. This is relevant to all websites, not just ones which are handling payments. Install an SSL Cert onto your website as it has become a ranking factor for SEO.
Check your page’s load time – if it’s slow it will have a serious impact on your ability to rank highly. You can check your page speed on Google PageSpeed Insights on both desktop and mobile. You want to be scoring at least 50 on their scale, any lower then you need to be checking what is hindering it. Remove any unused plugins and consider reducing the size of the images you use.
Ensure there are no broken links on your website – check your website regularly and click though all the different pages and links to make sure everything is in perfect working order.