Our top SEO tips for small businesses

Whether you’re starting out or an established SME that’s had a website for a number of years, the world of SEO can be daunting, as can the time needed to focus on this. However, with our tips below, hopefully you can start to rank well on Google’s natural search listings (the ones you don’t have to pay for).

It’s all about the content

At A-Plan, we offer so many different insurance products, so we’ve had to focus on where we spend our time to develop content that is going to help us improve our position for certain google search terms.

So think about and research what people are searching for, related to your business. Then you need to make sure your pages are rich in relevant content – from product information, FAQ’s etc. Don’t cram in key words for the sake of it, remember that your customer or client is going to be reading it, so make it digestible.

Articles, guides and blogs

If it’s relevant to your business, you could create a section on your website to host articles and guides, for example if you’re in the housing industry, you could create a guide around the ins and outs of buying your first home and what first time buyers need to know. Guides are known as ‘evergreen’ content and will keep customers coming to your site on a long term basis.

Articles can be more topical and serve as interest pieces. Where possible, try to keep it relevant to your business to ensure that Google doesn’t penalise you, as they have a matrix scoring system on the relevancy of your site and its content.

Blogs allow you to share news and information with your audience and can help you become an authority within your industry. The posts will be displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent blog first. Ideally, blogs should be short, conversational style pieces about your industry – for example, if you’re in beauty industry, this could be about views on the latest beauty trends.

Blogs can be created in a subsection of your website and many businesses use WordPress because it’s easy to use and offers a lot of features such as the content editing tool, page layouts and themes.

Set up a Google local listing

It’s free to set up a local listing on Google and it will help increase your presence in your area. Google My Business can give the search engine information such as location of your business, your opening hours, contact details and link to a website. These are particularly relevant for mobile users as they’ll appear under the paid ads first, as Google knows that mobile searches tend to be for more local purposes – whether you’re searching for a taxi company or somewhere to eat, for example.

You can set this up directly in the Google My Business webpage by clicking ‘Manage now’ and adding your business name, sector, add your location, address and contact information. You’ll be able to see how customers are connecting with your business within your ‘Manage My Business’ profile.

Natural, trusted links.

Understand who is linking to your site and build your own relevant links within your articles, guides and blogs. These will be used to determine the quality of your site. If you can get links to your site from high authority sites, this will help your site rankings.

Think about trusted sources like major media publications. You may need to start small and local, so if you can get links from your local news website, that will be helpful, but you’ll likely needs some engaging PR for that.

It’s important that link building is kept relevant and associate them with great content. Build it naturally (don’t stuff in lots of links for the sake of it) as Google’s algorithm will conclude that you’re trying to manipulate the search.