Note if you want to watch this rather than read it, see my video below or subscribe to my Autom8 Now YouTube Channel
You’ve started your website and wanting it to generate new clients for you but then … nothing. You’ll hear people talk about SEO, SERP, traffic and improving those so you can get some client and it all goes over your head. So I’ve started this series on SEO for Small Businesses and what you need to know.
In this first blog we’ll just go through an overview and you can decide if you want to do the work or get a professional like myself to help you with your SEO but at least you are going to learn a couple of things so you talk with them about what you need. And at the end I’ll point out a quick website that can do a basic SEO audit for free.
So why are we doing this in the first place. You need people that are searching to find your website, to click through and then hopefully contact you for your products or services. And that is what this is all about, being up the top of the list.
Why is the top 1 or the first 10 so important?
Well you can see from this graph from a study done by Advanced Web Rankings that out of 100 searches, about 31 of the people will click on the first place one, but only 1 will click if you are on position 10 or further down the list. That is 30 times more traffic to your site, so getting the top positions makes a difference to your prospecting.
Let’s talk about some acronyms and words that get used:
SEO – means search engine optimisation, in other words getting your website to the top of the list in a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo! or as far up as you can. Google has about 76% of the market in May 2019, so it is the one to focus on. Each search engine has a lot of factors that they use to determine what ranking order it will give the links. Google has more than 200 factors, some we know, some are secret, some are being worked out know by AI, and it changes all the time. Which also means your position changes, you might be position 3 this month and position 10 next month. So keep an eye on it.
SERP – search engine results page, so that just means the page that is returned when someone searches for a phrase.
CTR – is the click through rate, that means they actually click on your link and go to your page, I mentioned it earlier. Obviously the more clicks you get the better. That earlier graphs were interesting in that you get some differences between mobile and desktop searches. It is a ratio or percentage so if someone says a CTR of 3 then that means 3% of people that see that search will click through.
Keywords – these are basically words or phrases that people use in searches.
Improve your rankings
To improve your ranking there are 3 area that you can focus on:
- Technical work on your website – I’m not going to get into that one too much, I suggest you really leave that bit to the consultants.
- Secondly applying some SEO techniques to your content and you can do a lot of this.
- And thirdly a really important one that we know makes a big difference on Google and that is backlinks. Backlinks are links from someone else’s site to your site. And this is one that a non technical person can really work on because it is about getting relationships.
In the next blogs in this series I will go into how to apply some of those SEO techniques, how to think about your content for blogs and products with SEO in mind by doing Keyword and competitor research, and methods to get backlinks in place.
There are many dodgy people out there with quick scam ways of getting your numbers up, be wary of them as you may get penalised by Google in the end. And there are lots of things you can do to improve without having to go down that dark path.
First steps in SEO
So you are starting in this process and as always you need to know what your starting point is, and take note of these so you can track them over time and see the improvement. The first thing is to pick a couple of words or phrases that you think your typical customer would search for to find your business. For example, a bakery might put “buy bread”, or “bakery”, or “sweet bakery”. And then go into google and put each in and find out which page your site shows on, you might be going through many pages, and after the first 3 I would just note that it was page 3+. Try to have a couple of phrases and include one that make it more local with your suburb or “near me” at the end. Then set up a monthly task to repeat this and track your changes.
At this point I’ll point out that the search engines crawl through all the new pages and index them for the searching and sometimes this can take from 1 to 10 days. So changes you make need to be checked after 2 weeks. They might have taken effect before that but you know by then any effect should be in place.
At the start of the blog I mentioned a site to help with SEO audits. So to help with your starting point on optimising your site then I suggest this link, which allows you to get a report on 1 website a day, and it will point out what you have right and what you need to improve. So then you have some items you can either focus on, or you can get a consultant to review. And then after they’ve done their work you can get the report again to confirm that there is improvement, as well as checking your ranking again on those keywords that you are tracking. The link is SEO Site Checkup.
Read the next blog in the series or watch it on my YouTube Channel.