Genuine DIY SEO Guide & Tips for Small Businesses & Startups

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50 Useful SEO Tips & Tricks Guide for Small Local Businesses & Start-ups

If you are a start-up or a small business and do not have enough budget to hire an SEO agency or SEO freelance professional to carry out your website online promotion or marketing, you need not worry as you can do most of the SEO work yourself in-house and improve your website online visibility, traffic, sales and conversion rate dramatically.

  1. Introduction

  2. On-Site SEO

  3. Off-Site SEO

  4. Meta Tags

  5. Competitors Analysis

  6. Content Writing

  7. Google My Business

  8. Header Tags

  9. Avoid Black Hat SEO

  10. Avoid Spam Link Building

  11. Submit Website to Local Listings

  12. Avoid Keyword Stuffing

  13. Avoid Duplicate Content

  14. WWW and Non-WWW

  15. HTTP:// and HTTPS://:

  16. Google Tag Manager

  17. Avoid Large Size Images & Videos

  18. Keyword Research

  19. Social Networking Websites

  20. Reduce Bounce Rate

  21. Manual Link Building

  22. Results & Reporting

  23. Google Analytics Tracking

  24. Header & Footer Section

  25. Blogger Outreach

  26. Google Search Console

  27. Keep Watch on Google Algorithmic Changes

  28. Deals/Offers/Sales/Promotional Code

  29. Google Adwords

  30. Genuine Contact Details

  31. Focus on Quality

  32. Use Third Party Apps to Boost Website Traffic

  33. Engage Your Audience

  34. Dedicated Pages

  35. Optimise Images

  36. Avoid Flash

  37. Improve Internal Navigation & Linking Structure

  38. Fix Broken Links

  39. Ensure Website is Mobile Friendly

  40. SEO Friendly Domain & URL’s

  41. Improve Website Speed

  42. Https Protocol

  43. Add Call to Action Buttons

  44. Live Chat Software

  45. Blog

  46. Reliable Hosting Provider

  47. Email Marketing

  48. Google Reviews & Third Party Websites Reviews

  49. Use Rich Snippets

  50. Use 301 Re-direct

  51. FAQ Section

  52. Conclusion

Introduction 

 

Whether you are a small business or corporate entity, your website is your platform to communicate with the wider online community. Improving your website visibility and traffic on search engines can sharply improve your leads and sales. SEO is the robust base required for small businesses to achieve online victory. Running a small business means you may have a lower marketing budget and cannot afford to spend on PPC Adwords. Therefore a simple cost effective alternative is organic search results. If you can achieve top rankings for your main business related target keywords on Google organic results, it means you do not need to pay a penny for PPC and at the same time attract enormous online traffic to your website and take your business to new heights. You can have an amazing website with innovative products and services but if your website doesn’t appear in Google or other search engine results pages then it is worthless. 

We have compiled a list of simple and effective genuine SEO strategies to boost your website traffic, leads, sales and conversion rate.

On-Site SEO

 

On-site optimisation is the process of optimising the internal elements of your website to gain high rankings for your target keywords on Google, and to improve your website visibility and attract more traffic from the search engines. The on-site internal elements of your website that you should improve are:

 

  • Meta tags (title tag, description tag, keyword tag)

  • Keywords

  • Internal Navigation

  • Internal & External Links

  • Images

  • Header Tags H1-H6

  • Page Content

  • Page URL’s

  • Alt Text for Images

  • Mobile Friendliness

  • Website Loading Speed

  • Broken Links

Off-Site SEO

 

Off-site optimisation refers to the actions that you can take outside of your website to improve your website rankings for your business relevant keywords on search engines. The two most common off-site optimisation practises that you can use to promote your small business on search engines are:

 

  • Link Building

  • Social Media Marketing SEO

Meta Tags

Optimising Meta tags can be very useful for your website especially if you are a start-up or local small business and have just launched a new website. Meta tags provide information about a website’s pages to Google and other search engines. Meta tags are placed in the HTML head section of your website. Meta tags are very important because if they are well written, they can encourage searchers to click on your website through search engines. You should write your website Meta tags properly for each page to improve your website rankings for your business relevant keywords on Google and other search engines.

Meta tags best practises are:

 

  • Make them unique, compelling and relevant

  • Avoid keyword stuffing

  • Avoid duplicate Meta tags

  • Stick to Meta tag character limit

Meta tags are:

 

  • Title Meta Tag - Title tag is an HTML tag used to define the title of a page; it is the text in the top line of search results in many search engines. Use business related main key-words in the title tag; avoid keyword stuffing. We recommend using a title somewhere between 60 to 70 characters including spaces. 

  • Description Meta Tag - The Meta description can be 155 characters. Search engines show the Meta description in search result snippets. Properly describe your webpage in the description tag: make it relevant, use webpage related keywords, and avoid keyword stuffing. 

  • Keyword Meta Tag - Use webpage related keywords/content in this tag. Use different keywords on each page, and avoid keyword stuffing. You can use anything between 100 to 255 characters in the keywords tag. 

Competitors Analysis

 

Competitor analysis is a very useful technique in evaluating the strong points and flaws of your online rival businesses. Competitor analysis can be helpful to give a new direction to your online marketing methodology, a chance to improve on the areas that your rival businesses are missing, and also to discover the marketing strategy that is benefiting your competitors’ businesses.

Using competitor analysis you can also find additional comprehensive information about your rival businesses such as their:

 

  • Pricing Structure

  • Target Keywords

  • Search analytics

  • Back-link Analysis

  • Content Marketing

  • Customer Care Techniques

  • Business Structure

  • Distribution

  • Social Media Engagement

  • Website Performance

  • Earning Reports

  • Share Prices

  • Market Intelligence

  • Organic Visibility

  • Brand Management

 

There are several free and paid online marketing tools and platforms that you can use to perform a simple and sophisticated competitor analysis with a click of your mouse, such as:

 

  • SEMRush

  • Quick Search

  • WooRank

  • Moz

  • Ahrefs

  • Buzzsumo

  • Sprout Social

  • SpyFu

Content Writing

 

Contents are extremely important to explain your products and services, and to deliver your business message to the online community. If you have a website then you need content for the search engines to index and rank your website in their search results.  We strongly recommend to put at least 300-400 words of genuine, high quality, fresh, engaging, informative and SEO friendly article on each page of your website. You should add keywords into the article based on target keywords of that landing page.  It is extremely important that the content is written for people and not for search engines.

The main benefits of content writing are:

 

  • Boosts search engine rankings of your website

  • Engages your website visitors

  • Boosts sales, leads and conversion rate

  • Explains your brand, products, services and business

  • Improves customer relationship, credibility, authority and trustworthiness of your domain

  • Reduces website bounce rate

Google My Business

 

For local businesses, using Google My Business is a must. It is free to use and has numerous benefits for your local business. Google My Business can put a massive positive impact on your local foot traffic, web traffic, leads, sales and conversion rate if used properly. We would strongly recommend, especially to small local businesses and start-ups, to setup a free GMB account with Google, verify it and complete your business profile with as much information as possible. Once your GMB profile is ready and verified, ask your existing and new customers to review your business. GMB can be a game changer for your local business as the majority of online surfers check reviews of local businesses on GMB when looking for local tradesmen, plumbers, electricians, corner shops, restaurants, hairdressers, opticians etc.

Benefits of Google My Business:

 

  • It is free to use

  • Free marketing service to improve your website online visibility

  • Make your website visible on Google Maps

  • GMB profile makes a very positive impression of your business on customers

  • Promote your offers, events, news through Google Posts within GMB

  • Add images and videos of your staff, office and business for free

  • Improves your website SEO rankings and sales

  • Gather customer reviews to win the trust of your future potential customers

Header Tags

 

Header tags too play some role in improving your website rankings on search engines and help to establish keyword relevance. Header tags range from H1-H6. Header tags make content easier to read and help to engage your customers on your website. We highly advise to use H1 and H2 header tags on each page of your website. Try to make them interesting and catchy. Write header tags for people, not search engines. Write the main topic of your page in H1 and H2 tags and try to include your main target page relevant keywords in the header tags but in a readable format.

Avoid Black Hat SEO

 

Being a start-up or small business owner, you may have a desire to attract more traffic and sales towards your business website quickly, and may end up using black hat SEO practises for quick results. Sometimes an unprofessional SEO agency can carry out such practises to show quick results to their client for the sake of keeping the client as a paying customer. We would highly recommend avoiding any sort of black hat SEO methodologies, such as:

  • Paid Spam Links

  • Keyword Stuffing

  • Duplicate Content

  • Cloaking

  • Link Farms

  • Redirects 

Google is very strict about black hat SEO techniques and Google algorithms can easily detect such activities and penalise websites swiftly. We strongly believe it is better to be on the lower pages 2 or 3 of Google with white hat methods instead of being nowhere, as you may have the chance to come up to page 1 if you continue to put in genuine efforts to improve your website rankings - otherwise if your website gets penalised, it will vanish from the search results. SEO is a time consuming process and top results requires high quality and genuine efforts.

Avoid Spam Link Building

 

Agencies encourage businesses to buy hundreds of links to improve their search rankings on Google. Buying spam links may give a quick boost to your website rankings for a very short period of time but ultimately Google algorithms will detect such bad practises and penalise your website. It is highly advisable to stay away from gathering spam inbound links for your website to influence your rankings.

Submit Website to Local Listings

 

Local listing websites such as Google, Yelp, Yell, Facebook, Manta, Yahoo Local and City Search are free to use online websites/directories that allow you to create your business profile page on their interface. In your business profile page, you can add information about your business name, address, phone, hours, category, photos, videos etc. It is advisable to setup your business profile on reputed local listing websites, as doing so will help to positively impact your website rankings, and make your business more trustworthy and reliable. You can also gather your customer reviews on major local listing websites such as Google My Business and Yell to further improve your brand image.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

 

Keyword stuffing is a black hat spam SEO technique used to excessively pack keywords into the Meta tags, page body content, and anchor text of links to improve website rankings wrongly on the search engines.  We would strongly recommend avoiding the keyword stuffing technique. We highly advise to target 3-4 keywords per page professionally, and to write body content relevant to the target keywords and Meta tags of the webpage. It is not good practise to hide content or keywords on the webpage; all of the text information should be visible on your webpages for both search engines and your web audience.

 

 

Avoid Duplicate Content

 

Whether you have duplicate content within your website (i.e. the same content on multiple pages) or you are copying content from other websites, in both cases duplicate content can be very harmful for your website rankings and traffic. We would strongly recommend keeping your content original, engaging, informative and SEO friendly to improve your business website’s rankings on search engines. If you have a duplicate content issue, you can fix the problem using Canonical tags, 301 redirects, and check the individual search engine policy on duplicate content.

Some common reasons for duplicate content could be:

 

  • Pagination

  • HTTPS and HTTP Protocol

  • Session IDs

  • Parameters

  • Trailing Slashes

  • Printer Friendly Pages

  • Index Pages

  • Hosting Environment

  • www and non-www URL’s

  • Scrapers and Content Syndication

WWW and Non-WWW

 

To avoid confusion for both customers and search engines and to make your website more consistent, we would very strongly recommend choosing one version (either www or non-www) for your website. The biggest problem is that if your website has two versions, www and non-www, and you have the same content on both versions, it will be considered a duplicate content issue by search engines and could result in some negative impacts on your website rankings.

 

HTTP:// and HTTPS://

HTTPS refers to Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and is used for secure communication over the internet. To avoid confusion for both visitors and search engines, and to make your website more consistent, we would strongly recommend choosing one protocol (either http:// or https://) for your website. The biggest problem is that if your website has two versions http:// and https:// and you have the same content on both protocols, it will be considered a duplicate content issue by search engines and could result in some negative impacts on your website rankings.

 

Google Tag Manager

 

Google tag manager is a free tool and a modern way to manage tags on your website without having to modify your website code.  You can manage all marketing tags such as Google analytics tracking code, webmaster code, Facebook pixels and adwords codes on GTM without having to access your website code. Using GTM in the right way can help speed up your website.

 

 

Avoid Large Size Images & Videos

 

Images and videos look good on your website and can give a professional look to your website. However, excessive use of images and videos or very large sized images and videos can have a very negative impact on your website rankings because if your website takes longer to load, your customers may leave your website and jump to your competitor’s website. This will cause your website bounce rate to increase and Google algorithms will consider your website is less important if people are not staying on your website, and this will ultimately cause rankings to drop. We highly recommend using a low number of images or videos on your webpages, and making sure they are not large in size and are not putting any impact on your website loading time.

 

 

Keyword Research

 

Keyword research is a very important part of SEO. If you select and target the most competitive and relevant keywords on your website, it can dramatically improve your website’s online rankings and traffic. We would recommend using both short tail and long tail keywords to promote your business on search engines. There are several free and paid keyword research tools in the market and you can use them depending on your business requirements. 

Some automated keyword research tools are:

 

  • Google Keyword Planner

  • Ubersuggest

  • SEMrush

  • Soovle

  • Kwfinder

  • Answerthepublic

  • Keywordseverywhere

  • Spyfu Keyword Research

  • Explodingtopics

  • Ahrefs

  • Wordtracker

  • Google Search Console

While deciding keywords you should consider some factors such as:

 

  • Search Volume

  • Organic CTR

  • Cost Per Click Analysis

  • Google Keyword Trends

  • Keyword Difficulty

  • Return Rate

Social Networking Websites

 

Although social media is not a direct rankings factor, it does have some indirect positive impact on improving a website’s presence on search engines if there is traffic from social media coming to your website, content sharing and inbound links etc. Marketing on social media websites is a good way to maximise your business reach. Our advice for small businesses is to setup your business profile on popular social networking websites; it is free and can be beneficial for your business. You should setup a genuine profile and maintain your profile by regularly updating information, posting articles and engaging with your audience for the maximum positive impact.

Some popular social networking websites are:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Tumblr

  • YouTube

  • Twitter

  • LinkedIn

  • Viber

  • Reddit

  • QZone

  • Pinterest

  • Medium

  • Foursquare

  • Buzznet

  • Tagged

  • StumbleUpon

  • Xing

  • ReverbNation

  • DeviantArt

  • Ravelry

  • Ask

  • Flickr

  • LiveJournal

  • Meetup

  • Quora

Do you want to improve your website sales & traffic! Get in touch

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Reduce Bounce Rate

 

In layman’s terms, if your website bounce rate is high it means that people are leaving your website quickly without exploring, and it puts a negative impact on your website rankings. On the other hand, if your website bounce rate is low it means that people are staying on your website, spending more time reading about your products and services ,and it helps to improve your website rankings. As a small business website owner you can take some of the necessary steps below to reduce your website bounce rate.

 

  • Improve your website loading time

  • Improve your website visitors’ interaction with your website

  • Make the upper section of each page engaging

  • Optimise your website, improve your rankings

  • Improve your website navigation

  • Lure your customers with special offers

  • Avoid pop-ups and unnecessary advertisements

  • Fix broken links

  • Setup Live Chat on your website to engage customers

  • Write blog articles and content

  • Make your webpages informative and engaging

  • Write attractive Meta tags

  • Make your images eye-catching

  • Optimise your website for mobile devices

  • Make your Call to Action appear when it is required

  • Show your existing work in terms of testimonials, reviews

  • Use bold text

  • Use small sized images and videos

Manual Link Building

 

Link building is significant part of an SEO strategy. High quality inbound links can dramatically improve your small business website domain authority, credibility, trustworthiness and reliability online, which in turn helps to improve your website rankings on search engines. Manual link building is different from blogger outreach program. Using manual link building, you can gather inbound links for your website free of charge with some effort, as explained below:

 

  • Set up a new links page on your website; this is the page where you can post links of external websites in return of a link to your website.

  • Contact other website owners operating in a business area similar to yours and ask for a link exchange. 

  • Post external website links on your website links page and get back links to your website from their websites.

  • Continue this process steadily and you will see a positive impact on your website rankings as the number of quality inbound links grow for your website. Note- Make sure you only exchange links with high domain authority, high page authority and high Alexa rank websites, otherwise gaining inbound links from poor quality spam websites will be of no use and can in fact put a negative impact on your rankings.

Results & Reporting

 

Keeping a close watch on your results is equally important as running the SEO campaign for your small business. Gathering the right data can help you understand and plan your future strategy. It can also help to improve the areas that require some attention and can be improved further. It can give you a glimpse of your return on investment plans and choosing the right direction for your business.

There are several free and paid SEO tools that help you to compile and analyse the results of your SEO marketing campaign, such as:

 

  • Ahrefs

  • MOZ

  • SEMRush

  • Databox

  • Kissmetrics

  • AgencyAnalytics

  • Supermetrics

  • Google Search Console

  • KWFinder

  • Sprout Social   

Google Analytics Tracking

 

It is good practise for small businesses to use the Google analytics free tool to track their website traffic and see how their website visitors use and find their website. The Google analytics tool is very good for tracking your website ROI for your online marketing campaign. All you need to do is install a simple code provided by Google analytics into your website pages and leave the rest to Google to provide you with detailed accurate information about your website visitors.

Header & Footer Section

 

The header and footer are the sections that are present on almost every webpage of your website and contribute to the website loading time. The header and footer sections should be clean, simple and short. Only use the logo, tagline and text based minimum menu elements in the header section. All visible links in the footer section will get more traffic to your website; that's why we advise to list the most important page links of your website in the footer section that are not included in the header section, so that your customers can easily navigate your website. Avoid putting items, images, social media links, button or animations into your header section. If you make your website header too large and heavy, it will take longer to load and put a negative impact on each individual page and overall website speed. Complex header and footer sections confuse customers, whereas simple and clean header and footer links can engage your customers when they find information easily on your website through header and footer navigational links.

Blogger Outreach

 

Although blogger outreach is more of a professional side service generally conducted by SEO experts, if you have some extra time and desire to improve your website rankings then you can also do this yourself in-house. The primary goal of the blogger outreach service is to get links to your website in popular bloggers write-ups. The most important links are non-promotional and impartial in nature. You can contact popular blog owners and ask for more information on how you can get a link to your website in their write-ups; each blogger will have different requirements.

Google Search Console

 

Previously known as the Google webmaster tool, this is the most important and valuable tool in the market to check your website index statistics and performance on Google. Google Search Console is a free to use service by Google and by using this service you can find information about your website’s inbound links, index and crawl stats, how many people visited your website, the most popular pages of your website and which pages of your website require attention. We advise small businesses to open a free account with Google Search Console, verify their domain, submit their sitemap and leave the rest to Google.

Keep a Watch on Google Algorithmic Changes

 

Although this is the job of SEO professionals, being a small business website owner you can keep yourself updated with recent Google algorithmic changes in layman’s terms. A vast amount of information (blogs, forums) is available online; you can easily keep yourself updated through popular blogs and SEO specialist forums about Google search changes. This will help you to understand and make changes to your small business website’s SEO campaign accordingly.

Deals/Offers/Sales/Promotional Codes

 

Luring new and existing customers with deals, offers, promotional codes and sales on your products and services can be a game changer for your small business. If you are offering high quality services to your customers and on top providing further discounts, you can stop your customers from going to your rival businesses. We advise small businesses to offer deals and promotion codes through their websites, as customers spending more time on your website will ultimately help to reduce your website bounce rate and rankings on search engines and at the same time improve your business revenue.

Google Adwords

 

Google adwords is a very beneficial PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing strategy if you have some extra budget to spend on your marketing campaign. The main beauty of using Google adwords campaign is that you do not need to hire any professional to setup your Google adwords campaign; it is fairly easy, plug and play, and in fact the Google team is there to help. Register with the Google adwords website and follow simple step by step instructions to setup your first adwords campaign. Once you setup your adwords campaign, Google will ask you to add your payment card details and your first adwords campaign will go live as soon as it is approved by the Google team (usually within 24-48 hours). You only pay to Google when someone clicks on your ad and you can check all of the stats of your campaign through your Google adwords account.

Genuine Contact Details

 

People automatically trust big brands and do not even bother to check their contact details but when it comes to small businesses, contact details carry weight. We strongly advise small businesses to put their genuine contact details in the footer section (which is automatically visible on all pages of your website) and to also make an individual contact page for your contact details including the premises address, phone number, email, contact form, staff photos etc. Customers tend to trust those businesses more that have visible and easily found contact details on their webpages, instead of the small businesses that do not show their contact details or the details are difficult to find on their website.

Focus on Quality

 

Competition amongst online businesses is very high and some website owners have the perception that only the large corporate entities or big brands are visible on the top pages of Google for most user queries – this is not true. Google’s objective is very simple: to give high quality information to the online community. If you are a small business and offer high quality products and services to customers then nothing can stop you being ahead of big brands on Google. Although it may take some time to achieve that goal alongside the regular SEO approach, it is doable.  We always advise small businesses to focus heavily on quality rather than quantity when it comes to website content, SEO, design, links, products, services etc.

Use Third Party Apps to Boost Website Traffic

 

There are several marketing Apps in the market such as Site Booster, SearchBoost and GetTraffic that can help to drive more web traffic to your website. Google and Facebook are not the only platforms that can bring traffic to your website. You can use several third party apps based on the compatibility with the platform that you are using for your website.

Engage Your Audience

 

There are several ways to engage your website visitors and turn them into your customers. When a visitor arrives on your website, if your website has the potential to hook that visitor into your website it can be very profitable for your small business. 

There are several ways you can engage your visitors on your website and grab their attention:

 

  • Use videos 

  • Use animations 

  • Use infographics

  • Use genuine statistics

  • Use graphs

  • Use charts

  • Use images

  • Show client testimonials

  • Show customer reviews

  • Display awards & achievements

  • Show business accreditation

  • Protect with antivirus

  • Show payment is secured

Dedicated Pages

 

To target more keywords and attract additional relevant traffic to your website, you can launch dedicated pages for your individual products or services. E.g. create locations based pages, services based pages or products based pages. It is best practise to decide on a group of related keywords and target them on an individual landing page.

When you setup dedicated pages on your website, you should keep in mind that each page must have:

 

  • Unique & informative content

  • Specific target keywords

  • Unique products or services

  • Unique SEO friendly URL

 

Avoid duplication and keyword stuffing when setting up dedicated landing pages. If you are simply duplicating the pages, changing little on each page and keeping most of the information the same, it will not help your website rankings in the long run on Google and other search engines. Each landing page should be genuine, unique and informative.

 

Optimise Images

 

Optimise your website images, use small sized images with the right format and name them properly. You can use image compression to reduce the size of your images without degrading their quality, so that your page load times remain low and your website becomes more responsive.

Avoid Flash

 

Try not to use flash on your webpages; instead use small sized png, jpeg images to improve your website performance and loading time. You can use image compression to reduce the size of your png, jpeg images without degrading their quality, so that your page load times remain low.

Improve Internal Navigation & Linking Structure

 

Website navigation helps website users to understand how your website works. Make sure your website navigation is intuitive, clean and reliable. Website navigation allows web users to search your website with ease. Internal navigation links of your website when clicked take the user to the other internal pages of the same website. Improve your website internal linking structure by connecting internal relevant pages to each other.

Fix Broken Links

 

A broken link is a webpage that cannot be found by a website user.  Check your website to remove unwanted or broken links.

 

 

Ensure Website is Mobile Friendly

 

Optimise your website for mobile devices, Smartphones, iPads etc. A mobile friendly website is created to show content and images on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, iPads. A mobile friendly website loads quickly, is easy to navigate and it’s easy for mobile users to read the content & see images. Mobile device use has surpassed computer/desktop devices, therefore ensuring your small business website is mobile friendly is significantly important.

SEO Friendly Domain & URLs

 

SEO friendly URLs are URLs that are optimised for SEO; they are short and keyword rich. Create your webpage URL based on the keywords related to the topic of that page. It should be clear, focussed and try not to make it too long. When deciding your website domain name, make sure it is memorable, short, reflects your business and location, and is SEO friendly, especially if you are a small business operating in the local area.

Improve Website Speed

 

A slow website can be very harmful for your small business and cost your business a loss in web traffic, poor website rankings, low conversion rate, and a dramatic loss in online visibility on search engines.

There are several free tools that allow you to check your website speed:

 

  • Google Page Speed Insights

  • Webpagetest

  • Gtmetrix

  • Pingdom

We have compiled some top tips to improve your website speed:

 

  • Webpages should be clean & simple

  • Use popular fonts on your webpages

  • Prefer text over images

  • Avoid using too many plug-ins

  • Do not overload your webpages with videos, images & animations

  • Compress images

  • Stick to one or two font styles

  • Avoid slideshows & galleries

  • Keep your header & footer simple and free of images

  • Fix broken links

Https Protocol

 

HTTPS refers to Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol used for secure communication over the internet. HTTPS websites are more secure and gain rankings on search engines. SSL certificate allows your website to use secure Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTPS). If your small business can afford it, we would suggest that you use https:// secure protocol for your business website. This costs little and you can consult your hosting company to get this sorted for your website.

Add Call to Action Buttons

 

CTA encourages your customers to buy your products or services and greatly helps to improve conversion rate. It is very important for your small business to have Call to Action on your website and it should be placed in appropriate locations on your webpages to point website visitors towards your conversion goal. Calls to Action buttons are e.g. contact us, cart button, free trial, sign up, download, phone us, submit, enter, request information etc.

Live Chat Software

 

Live chat allows website owners to communicate directly with live website visitors.  Having live chat software installed on your website can have many benefits for your local small business such as:

 

  • Improve conversion rate

  • Improve customer service

  • Improve sales

  • Engage visitors on your website

  • Fast solution to visitors’ problems

  • Low cost, generally free to use for 1 operator

  • Secure and reliable

Blog

 

A blog is a type of website, generally setup individually or within a website. The blog is updated regularly with fresh content. Businesses and major online brands create a blog to educate visitors, share information about their products/services, and reach out to a wider audience. Setting up a blog on your small business website could be very useful for your website. Here are some of the key benefits of setting up a blog on your website:

 

  • Improve SEO

  • Attract new visitors to your website

  • Showcase your creativity and skills

  • Connect the audience with your business

  • Provide useful information to your visitors

  • Improve your brand image in the market

  • Help the online community with your knowledge

  • Improve leads, sales and conversion rate

  • Attract inbound links for your website

 

Reliable Hosting Provider

 

Hosting is a critical part of your website; bad hosting can result in your website performing slowly, suffering downtime and poor customer support if your website has any performance issues. When your customers interact with your website it should load fast, otherwise they can quit your website and go to your competitor business’s website. That’s why choosing the right hosting is very important for your small business.

The key points to consider before choosing a company to host your website are:

 

  • Hosting price

  • Server location

  • Hosting customer service

  • Security

  • What tools your hosting package has e.g. FTP, cPanel, Email, Wordpress etc

  • Amount of storage

  • Bandwidth

  • Server up-time

  • Data backup

Email Marketing

 

Email marketing is used by businesses of all sizes to attract new customers and encourage existing customers to keep coming back to their business. Email marketing is one of the most excellent online marketing mediums that brings a high return on investment if used properly.

Some key benefits of the email marketing approach for your business are:

 

  • Reach your existing customer base

  • Inexpensive

  • Improve leads, sales and conversion rate

  • Instantaneous impact

  • Attract traffic towards your website

  • High return on investment

  • Promote your products and services

  • Improve your brand image

  • Attract new customers

Although there are hundreds of email marketing services/tools available in the market, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular ones for you below. The majority of them offer a long term free trial with limited email send per month or free month’s trial with large email send per month.

 

  • Mailchimp

  • Moosend

  • SendPulse

  • Sender

  • Sendicate

  • GetResponse

  • VerticalResponse 

  • Sendinblue

  • Benchmark

  • OmniSend

  • MailUp

  • MailerLite

  • Mailjet

  • Zoho Campaigns

  • EmailOctopus

  • Constant Contact

Google Reviews & Third Party Website Reviews

 

Good reviews can make your business and bad reviews can break your business. We highly recommend that small businesses open a free Google My Business account and gather their customers’ reviews on GMB. It can be highly beneficial for your local businesses because Google reviews are displayed in Google maps and the top section of the first page of the main search results.

There are many websites that allow you to gather online reviews for your business and the most popular ones are:

 

  • Google

  • Facebook

  • Yelp

  • Amazon

  • Trustpilot

  • Trip Advisor

  • Choice

  • Which?

  • Angie’s List

  • Glassdoor

Some major benefits of reviews for your business are:

 

  • Build business credibility & trustworthiness

  • Improve sales and web traffic

  • Help improve SEO

  • Connect with your clients

  • Key factor of client decision making

 

Use Rich Snippets

 

Rich snippets can be extremely useful for your small business website. Rich Snippets or Rich Results is structured data you can add to your website code and search engines display that structured data information on their search results. Rich Snippets is a very lengthy and interesting topic and you may require the assistance of a professional to implement more detailed Rich Snippets but as a small business website owner, you can implement the most commonly used Rich Snippets on your website yourself e.g. reviews, events, music, products, organisation etc. Implementing basic Rich Snippets can put a very positive impact on your business.

We highly recommend using Rich Snippets because they can:

 

  • Dramatically increase your business Click Through Rate (CTR) on search results

  • Increase traffic to your website

  • Increase conversion rate of your website

  • Reduce your website bounce rate

Use 301 Re-direct

 

To permanently move the location of one webpage to another location, you can use 301 redirect. You only need to use 301 redirect if you are renaming the website URL, pointing different URL’s (www, non-www, http://) to one URL, rebranding, moving your website to a new domain and want to make sure that visitors and search engines are directed to the correct URL. To make sure you do not lose any existing customers and traffic that was associated with the old URL, you must implement 301 redirect for your website to prevent such a big loss for your small business.

FAQ Section

 

Frequently asked questions section answers your customers most commonly asked questions related to your products and services. You can implement one FAQ page on your website addressing all of the questions/answers or you can place a small FAQ section in the bottom part of each page if your business demands that. The main objective of the FAQ is to give your visitors additional information that can help in their decision making and answer their queries.

Benefit of FAQ’s section for your website:

 

  • Engage customers

  • Improve customer experience

  • Help customers in decision making

  • Improve SEO and rankings

  • Improve leads and sales

  • Improve conversion rate

Conclusion

 

Although we have outlined all of the SEO tips above, implementing them doesn’t mean you will start to see the results immediately. Once you have properly optimised your website, give it at least 3-6 weeks to get properly indexed and ranked in Google search results. SEO is an ongoing process and search engines such as Google and Yahoo take time to check website credibility. But once search engines establish that you are a genuine business with quality offerings, your path is clear for high online visibility and traffic on the search engines.

Note - Do not indulge in black hat SEO work to speed up your rankings or traffic. Although the results from black hat SEO work look promising to start with, as soon as Google detects (and be in no doubt that Google algorithms will detect spam work) bad practises in any form such as spam link building, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, duplicate pages etc your website will get penalised, and recovering from Google penalties takes time and results in loss of valuable time and money for your business.

Our Advice - Focus on quality in terms of website content, products, services and your business as a whole. Consistently invest your time in SEO, and be patient for the results.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RBSEO is a London based established SEO agency serving thousands of businesses in the UK since 2005.

We offer high quality SEO, web design, content writing & link building services at affordable prices to small, medium and large businesses in the UK.

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