What is SEO or Search engine optimisation….
Well if you are already in the know, then its something that you’ll have been doing for some time now. However, it can still be new for some people so here is a handy run down of the 10(ish) top SEO tips for SMEs.
1. SEO Keywords
Write down the half dozen or so keywords that you think will be the main ones that users search for to find your website online. A “keyword” could be a word or a short phrase – short phrases are easier to optimise for search engines than single words. Utilising “long tail” keywords can also good as the competition for these is less onerous, although the traffic will also be less but on the plus side will be more tightly targeted.
2. Page titles or Title Tag
Page titles or the Title Tag are the words that appear in the tab of your internet browser and are particularly important for SEO purposes. Ensure your keywords or phrase is first, this is also the link that displayed in the search engine is quite often the link anchor text in social media links or on other external websites.
Page titles should generally be no longer than 50-60 characters long to be displayed properly in the SERPS as an ellipsis “…” will be used to show that the end has been truncated.
3. Page Meta Description
This is the section of text that appears under the link in the search engine results pages (serps) and gives the context for the link. This 150-160 character section should be different for every page on your website and is a VIP section as this is your sales banner for your website page and needs to present a compelling reason to click on it – so should always display a positive message about your website and the page in general.
H1, H2, H3 etc Are you using them correctly? H1 should come first and then in order of importance. Again these are important for SEO to provide an information hierarchy for the page, if the H1 main heading is not about the keywords or phrase then what really is the page about.. The amount of people who use the heading tags when they should have just increased the font size…
5. Images, Videos and alt text
Search engines cannot see pictures or videos so they need telling what they are, use the alt text attributes and the file names to assist in the search engine rankings (Google images…) Give height and widths to all images and videos – nothing worse that text jumping up and down when sliders are displaying incorrectly sized images. Smaller sizes or lower resolution images and videos mean that the website loads faster also which is becoming something else that the Search Engines look for.
Are they current? Do they work? Well defined anchor text helps with SEO and the general usability of your website. Try not to use “click here” as a text link unless something else would look stupid. Don’t use under_score as a word separator in any URL Google doesn’t recognise them as a word separator but it does recognise a dash or hyphen to split words up.
7. Content Marketing and Blogs
If you last added some content back in 2012 then its probably about time to have a refresh… Regularly updating your website increases the number of times that the Search Engines will crawl and index your website, it will also increase the number of times a reader/potential customer (remember SEO is not just about the Search Engines) will return back to your website too! Content Marketing has been on going in the SEO industry for a number of years now and doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. Well written content is always a major plus point for SEO as all of the Search Engines want to link to quality websites that people want to read and engage with.
If you are struggling to write something why not get a special guest to write something for you in exchange for a link to their website or blog?
8. XML Sitemaps
XML sitemaps are indexed by all the major Search Engines as it does half their job for them, No seriously it does – it tells them all the URLs on your website, the last time you updated your website, frequency of the changes. Google loves them! Therefore you should love them too.
9. SEO is NOT a quick fix
There are no “tricks” to guarantee #1 or #2 on Google (anyone telling you otherwise is a Liar Liar pants on fire), all of the above is just a starting point of top SEO tips for SME’s and as such is a basic guide. SEO is not about tricking the search engines or blagging your way onto the front page of Google for a few weeks, it is all about helping the search engines discover what you got, help your advert (website) stand out from the crowd and to help your businesses overall marketing goals while delivering a sales funnel of new contacts or customers. SEO on a small website for a small local one man band type business can be a simple straight forwards affair, for a larger corporate website or an online shop it can be a near enough full time job.
10. Nice round number to finish on.
I could have gone more , but I didn’t want to scare you. All of this list and more is needed to be done on a regular basis to stay ahead of the curve in relation to SEO and keeping ahead of the competition to ensure the success of your business and advertising on the internet. If you don’t have the time or organisation to do it yourself then get someone else to do it as if you don’t keep on top then you can very quickly find yourself tumbling down the rankings with your competitors picking up your potential clients. It can take months to get up the greasy pole of the SERPS but you can tumble out of them very quickly without that little bit of effort.
Thanks for reading