As a business owner it’s of paramount importance that you stay ahead of the game in all areas of your industry, and ensuring that your website is optimised for organic search falls under that category. To be confident that your site, whether new or old, is getting the traffic you desire, it must have a solid SEO foundation in place.
With any building work, you would expect to see a certain level of preparation before the heavy lifting begins. Without the proper foundations in place, any structure would be worthless. Your website is no different.
Creating a beautifully branded site is an incredible achievement, but with little or no traffic, it becomes ineffective. Doing that all important initial preparation allows you to attract the right customers, and to take your potential client on a journey then to ensure they have a positive website experience and discover valuable content.
Prioritise your SEO
Prioritising those SEO foundations from the start of any website build needs to take precedence over branding and logos. Avoiding this stage will have a more significant impact on the amount of traffic you achieve, leaving your website invisible to your target audience. It doesn’t matter how much content you share if you haven’t got a search engine optimised platform.
With a new business it’s easy to focus on and tackle the SEO foundations from the outset. However, what if your business and website have been running for several years?
Are you seeing significant sales or connections coming through your site? If not, then your website isn’t achieving its objectives. It might be time to give your website an overhaul. As with a new site, the starting point would always be to focus on the SEO foundations; this is no different for an established site. Having an SEO analysis will give you the statistics you need to prioritise your tasks, but what can you do today to help build, or update, a website that works?
Practical steps to take for Search Engine Optimisation
- Research, research, research! Understanding your ideal client is of paramount importance if you ever hope to find and work with them. Think about the times you asked Google for information, such as hotel suggestions in Cornwall. You’ll be immediately inundated with hotel ads in your social media feeds as the search engines work to find you relevant content. They are giving you more of what you asked for, which is the core purpose of SEO content. You need to understand who your target audience is, and how they think to be able to speak to them in a language they know and give them what they want. The more detailed profile you can create of your target audience, the better. Where do they live? How old are they? Are they male or female? What are they interested in? Where do they spend their hard-earned cash? What other platforms/websites are they following? It’s worth understanding who you are as a small business too, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. This way, your business will attract the right audience.
- How can you help your ideal client? If you were a hotelier in Cornwall, then you would be helping us in our search for a holiday venue by sharing your availability, competitive price, and unique setting. Research what your potential clients are searching for in their efforts to find you by putting yourself in their shoes. What information are they looking for? What questions are they asking? It also helps to take note of what your competitors are talking about. Refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ) you get from customers. What do they want to learn about? What resonates with them? Think about your industry or niche in general and what you want your potential customers to know. Don’t guess, gather the relevant information and statistics.
- Use keywords for optimised content. Research optimum keywords and phrases that your clients use and that are associated with your business or industry. Keywords are the words and phrases our customers’ type into their search engine when they want to learn more about what you offer. However, be mindful when using them in your content. The task is to include relevant keywords into your headings and body of your text in an authentic manner, not to cram as many keywords in without thought or context.
- Prepare a content plan. Adding regular content to your site that is keyword rich, valuable to the reader, and written for your target audience allows you more opportunities to be found by your ideal client as they search for what you are writing about. It’s your job to create inspiring and educational content that adds value to the life or business of your potential client. Offer them solutions, how-to options, case studies, etc., remembering the core issue they have from your research and FAQs. Preparing a plan of action allows you to see the long-term goals of your business and avoid those moments when you’re staring at a blank screen with no idea what to say. Pre-planning keeps you organised and able to provide useful content that drives your web visibility.
Keep these tips in mind when working on the core foundations of your website, or if you are working with an established site, go back and check that the site and content are fully search engine optimised for your audience.
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