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Words Nicola Phillips
5 min read
I recently asked a large group of small business owners their biggest challenge when it comes to their existing website and 65% said SEO. When I drilled down into the heart of the issue, it was very clear that there was a lack of clarity on what SEO actually meant.
Therefore, we’ve created this article to help demystify SEO and provide some clarity to help identify which areas may require further attention.
Let’s start with the basics so we are all on starting from the same point:
Ok, don’t cry, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Bite-size chunks are much more digestible and easier to action. So I’m going to discuss SEO for these three key areas:
1. On-site SEO
2. Technical SEO
3. Off-site SEO
But first, let’s start with the ‘why’. Why should you invest your time, energy and focus on SEO?
SEO can help you:
Some great wins, I’m sure you will agree. I will endeavour to demystify the three key areas of SEO below, but I just wanted to say don’t be too hard on yourself to get this 100% right. SEO is big business. In fact, you could exit this article right now, Google ‘the best SEO companies’ and employ them to look after this for you. On average you would need to pay between £400 – £5,000 a month for this service. But what it does show, is the weighting companies give SEO and why it’s important for all companies to have an SEO strategy.
Before you dash off to employ an SEO expert, start to address the following three areas and see if you can create an SEO strategy for your future growth.
What does this mean? On-Site SEO relates to the content on your site.
Search engines need to find you in a sea of information. Make sure you use words that clearly represent your business allowing you to be easily connected to your customers. These words need to be consistent across your site. You need to have the right quantity and quality to be valued by search engines. In short, your words matter in the world of SEO.
What does this mean? Technical SEO relates to the elements on your website (except content).
The best way to understand the technical side of SEO was to first learn the terms and then what they do. So this is how I’m going to explain it to you. I visualise the Technical SEO as an orchestra. They all have their own role to play but all are needed to make the music! OK, there are a couple of key players in the mix, but I guarantee you if you aim to address all of the below it will make a difference.
This is the order in which Google will search your page for information. These three items need to be undertaken for every page on your website, not just the home page.
Technical elements that can affect the user experience but are also items Google use as part of its algorithm to rate your site:
What does this mean? Off-site SEO is all about the activity you can do to increase conversations and traffic to your Website. Your aim is to strengthen the relationship that your website has with other sites.
Word of warning here – only connect with another website that is part of your community, has relevance to your offering, or is connected to your niche or trend. Google likes to be able to see good strong connections that fit together, so don’t have a scattergun approach to these connections; make sure they have a purpose.
Off-site SEO will take time to build up and nurture, but there are great wins to be had once you get going. Here are the basics to consider:
Backlinks – these are any inbound links to your website. Links to your website can drive traffic, build credibility and help your brand rank higher on search engines. As mentioned they need to be relevant to your business but importantly try and connect to as many sites with authority. An authority website is a site that is trusted. It’s trusted by its users, trusted by industry experts, trusted by other websites, and trusted by search engines.
Social Media – links & conversations. Use social media platforms that work for your business, make sure you understand your audience on each platform, and share relevant content. Create the links to your site, this will boost your brand’s SEO.
Social bookmarking – sharing website links on social media drives traffic back to your site (it’s a backlink). Also join Social bookmarking sites - Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr, Digg to increase traffic to your site. Be active on these sites, make comments, share information and be present and you will increase your following.
Blogs – Fresh new content on your website is of interest to Google and helps with your ranking. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your site and bring back previous visitors.
Events & Newsletter promotion – a great way to create really natural SEO that Google views highly.
Look, I did say you could just hire someone to do this for you!
It’s all doable, just make a plan for each section and chip away at it. You might find you have one area completely nailed and need some professional help on the other two. Either way, we agreed in the introduction that you needed to address SEO, so I hope this has helped demystify the world of SEO for you.
Here at Canvass, we ensure that the Technical SEO is looked after for our client’s websites and advise on the other two areas. Please drop us a line if you would like to connect with companies that can help you with your general SEO, content writing, or photography and we can happily point you in the right direction.
Good luck with your SEO journey.