Google is by far the most used search engine across the World with 75% of us heading straight to Google when doing an internet search. It's therefore hugely important, as a small business owner, to think proactively about how people are using it to find your business. Here's a few things you can do to optimise your site for SEO and Google.
Submit your site to Google
Most websites will be found by the Google bots eventually, but we recommend that you submit your site map to the Google Search Console to speed it up. This gives Google a nudge to speed up the indexing of your website. If you want to check whether your site is already included in Google’s search index, simply do a quick site search using your site’s homepage URL. If the search results display pages from your website, then your site is already on Google.
Use Suitable Keywords
Use keywords through the text on your website and blog to increase your chances of being found. Good keywords are usually 3 to 5-word phrases that a person might search to find a business like yours. When there’s a match between the words people are typing into the search box and the exact terms you’ve included on your site, your business is more likely to appear higher in the search results. To find your keywords you should think about what questions people would search for for the solution that your business provides.
A simple way to do this is to see what appears in Google close to these key terms you enter. Have you ever noticed that when you type into the search box in Google, it will attempt to predict what you’re trying to find with the auto-complete search? These results are the related and popular key words and phrases that people search for. Google also has a useful Keyword search tool and planner HERE.
Meta tags are invisible tags that provide data about your page to search engines and website visitors. Meta tags are placed in the <head> section of a HTML document. To simplify this though, you want to ensure each page of your site is given a suitable meta title and meta description so they are clear in Google. Think about including your key words here too.
Optimise Your Website For Mobile
Half of all website users are now on their mobile phones so you want to make sure your website not only looks good in desktop mode, but that it's also optimised for other portable devices. Google takes into account how mobile friendly your website is too so it can help your rankings.
Show You're Local (Small Business)
With local SEO, Google helps direct location-specific searchers to websites from businesses in their local geographic area. Look at the two search examples below. Whether I search Google for a 'personal trainer in Orpington' or just a 'personal trainer', Google has prioritised ones that are near to my location in Orpington. You can set your location in your Google Business Profile HERE. Fill out your profile with all relevant information, including: business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation and location.
Google Business Profiles
'Business Profile' on Google is a free business listing from 'Google My Business' that helps you to establish a digital presence across Google Search and Google Maps. Setting up a Business Profile on Google can be an incredibly valuable resource for small businesses; you'll appear more credible, show up in online searches and attract the attention of new customers.
To do this you should go HERE and complete the following 5 steps:
1. Complete your Business Profile
2. Respond to user reviews of your business
3. Share updates on your profile
4. Accept reservations with Google Bookings (if suitable)
5. Keep your profile up-to-date
There's great insights into who your local potential customers are and how they interact with your listing too. You see, when you log into your business account (from the Insights tab within the Business Profile on Google dashboard) you can find important information like:
How many customers visited your Business Profile on Google
Which buttons customers clicked
Which photos customers viewed
Which geographical locations customers searched from the most
Backlinks (or “inbound links”, “incoming links” or “one way links”) are links from one website to a page on your website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks as “votes” for a specific page. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings. If lots of traffic naturally comes from other sites directly to yours this is a positive thing for your Google ranking.
Blogs: When you add blogs you can write content within your business area and use your own key terms too. This gives you the opportunity to build the authority of your brand and add a link back to your site so that Google and the readers can find your site more easily. You can add blogs on your own site, on other online blogs, Wikipedia and LinkedIn for example.
Social Media: You should post your website URL in all of your social media profiles and online directories for your industry or geographic area. These links make it more convenient for potential customers to get to your business’s homepage and important areas of your site, and get you more visitors too. From your own social media, national free directories such as 'yell' and the 'whitepages', and small business local directories such as 'The Orpington Business Directory'; you just want to make sure you can be seen in a variety of online locations.
Google Street View – Invite customers on a virtual tour of your business
Google for Retail – Promote your products on Google Shopping, Google Offers, and other properties; submit your product catalogs digitally to Google Search
Structured data - In your Google business profile, label your structured content to help users find pages relevant to their search
Google Books and eBooks – Promote your books online and sell your titles through Google's eBook store
Videos: Make your videos findable and crawlable by Google Search and use YouTube too to upload and distribute your videos.
Good luck with increasing your Google visibility! For more support, contact us here at Moon Digital.