Updated: Jul 30
Small business clients come to me because they want their website to perform better and they know I can help. So I am starting this guide to help small businesses make website changes that are real SEO wins. And the best part is that you can do them yourself.
Get noticed by Google
Getting noticed on the Internet can make or break a small business. If you've put your heart and soul into being great at what you do, it can be disheartening when no-one calls, no-one comes to your door, and no-one visits your website. You know your products and services are amazing. So why doesn't anyone else?
This series will give you lots of small concrete steps that will help improve your search engine ranking and get more visitors to your website. Many of the steps will also make people more likely to want to buy from you. If that sounds good, sign up to get alerts when I post something new.
How do I improve my search engine ranking?
There are lots and lots of things you can do to appear higher in searches on the Internet. And they are not always obvious. Like the first topic in this guide: becoming an authority.
Make yourself an Internet authority
Have you ever wondered how Brian Cox became the modern face of science? Or why people buy Mary Berry's cookbooks? There are plenty of science professors out there at universities up and down the country who can capture people's imaginations. There are many amazing bakers willing to share their secrets. So why did these two become the popular authorities in their field?
People listen to them because they stepped forward and put themselves in the spotlight. You can do the same. And it will work wonders for your SEO.
I'm not telling you to get an agent and pitch for a TV series. I'm not even saying you should start a YouTube channel (though that can be a successful strategy). But it is a good idea to share your knowledge about your business on your website. By giving away insights into what you do and sharing your expertise, people can see you know what you are talking about. They will start to see you as an authority. And they will start to trust you.
We only buy from people and businesses we trust.
3 ways to share authority and boost SEO
The added win behind giving away your expertise on your website is that you have to write about what you do. If you're a plumber and you write about how to fix a leaking tap, the search engines crawler bots scanning that page are going to get a really good idea about what you do too. And that means the search engine will list that page when people ask them how to fix that problem.
The more you share, the better Google and other search engines like DuckDuckGo or Bing understand how you help people. Here are three ways you can share your knowledge with your website visitors.
1. Make a Tutorial Video
Take your business to the next level with a brief tutorial video. A quick look at YouTube will show you that simple tutorials rack up millions of views. The businesses that make them get a tonne of authority (and website visitors) from those videos. Hamish the Plumber from Salisbury has over 300k views on this one video.
One problem small business owners have with video is that even a simple-looking video is a lot of work.
I used to work in BBC drama. You wouldn't believe how long it takes to make 1 minute of television. But remember the pay off could make it worth your while. Once your video is finished and out there, it will continue working for you day after day search after search.
Before I became a copywriter and learned how to make successful websites, my degree was originally in Professional Broadcasting. So here are a few tips for beginners.
Plan the shoot in detail before you start.
Think about what shots you need. What should be a close up etc?
Check the lighting. Don't have your back to a window unless the curtains are closed.
Have you got a suitable microphone?
Remember subtitles in the edit (these help SEO)
2. Make a Step-by-Step Guide
If that all sounds too difficult, then maybe you could get handy with your phone's camera and make a short illustrated step-by-step article. A picture says a thousand words, after all.
Website visitors love pages with useful images as they help people understand the topic quickly and easily. Plus if you remember to write an alt-description for each image and use descriptive file names, search engines and sight-challenged people really appreciate it. It helps them both understand what the page is about.
To make a useful picture guide, think about problems your customers have that they could fix themselves. Whip out your camera and show them each step. Then put it together with some nice plain English text in your website blog. And voila - you'll be found on picture searches as well as text.
3. Blog About Your Business
By far the quickest and easiest way to start building authority is to write regular blog posts. Videos and pictorials are brilliant, but they are too much work to produce frequently unless you have a dedicated team. You can write a blog post on the train.
To get started with your own blog series, brainstorm the questions your customers have when they first start working with you. Make a big list and keep it handy. It helps to pay attention when you start working with new clients and add more questions as they come in. This list will become the heart of your blog content.
Now all you have to do is turn each question into a blog post and put it out there. Your SEO will start to improve for lots of keyword related to your products and services. Plus, website visitors will see that you know your stuff, so they are more likely to make the next step and buy from you.
Remember to post a new blog of at least 250 words (up to around 2000 words) at least once a month to have the biggest impact on your search engine ranking. And include some pictures to break up the text. It does make a difference.
I hope this was helpful. I'll be sharing a lot more about other aspects of SEO best practice later in the series so subscribe on the blog home page to get an email alert when I do.
What should you do if you are busy to blog?
If you want to improve your search engine ranking, but you're too busy to blog for yourself, why not let me help? I offer a range of fixed price blog packages for small businesses as part of my internet marketing services. Most of them take an hour of your time or less per month.
Ask me about your website
If you have a question about SEO, websites, blogging, social media or business emails and you can't find the answer on my site, I would love to know!
I want to answer YOUR question in a blog post.