An Introduction to SEO for Small Businesses

Despite dramatic changes in recent years, the basics for SEO remain the same. Read on to find out the core steps you need to know...

An Introduction to SEO for Small Businesses

Pretty much everyone now knows that having a search engine-friendly website leads to increased web traffic and more leads. But the process of optimising a website has changed dramatically over the past few years. Anyone hoping to optimise a site will have to keep pace with the increasingly sophisticated search engines that use a wide variety of variables to rank websites and pages.

While it’s important that businesses stay as up to date as possible with the latest developments in Google’s ever-changing algorithm, there are a few simple steps that will always be relevant.

Keep your content fresh

The most significant aspect of Google’s latest update was its focus on the quality and recency of content.

That means if you update your content regularly with the latest news, insights and information on your business and associated industries, you will be favoured by the search engine. HTML literacy counts for little by comparison to the ability to produce fresh, engaging and widely read content.

Don’t go keyword crazy

Gone are the days where you can spam your website with as many keywords as possible in order to get picked up by the search engines; Google cottoned on to this long ago and could actually now punish you for doing this.

Include relevant keywords throughout your website content, but in a natural way. Write for the purpose of benefitting or informing your reader, rather than for the search engines. Your keywords density will develop naturally that way.

Start building links

Building high quality links to your website has become an intrinsic element of any successful SEO campaign. This often comes in the form of guest blogs or contributed articles. If you’ve got something interesting to say, there will be websites and blogs out there who want to hear it!

Go social

Make your social media campaign part of your wider SEO strategy as social bookmarking and social sharing have also become contributors to search ranking. And this comes as no surprise given that there are 900 million Facebook users worldwide, LinkedIn has reached 150 million, and 140 million people are on Twitter.

That means you need to be sure that your website is socially optimised, and that users can share content over their own social networks. Not only will this increase engagement with existing contacts but it will also help attract visitors.

These SEO tactics may seem simple, but they will add huge value to your business if executed properly. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort in to making them a success, you’ll soon enjoy the benefits of your website climbing to the top of those all important search rankings!


Heather Baker is managing director of digital communications agency TopLine Communications.

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