The page one of Google search results is like the last remaining lifeboat in the sinking Titanic—everyone just needs to be on it. But you might be thinking: what’s a small business or a startup to do if you have limited funds and limited knowledge of search engine optimisation?
This is an area some of our clients struggle with. They recognise the importance of SEO in their business but are often unsure about hiring a high-ranking SEO agency or consultant. We absolutely get you. So in this blog, we’d like to walk you through some simple and no-cost SEO strategies you can start in no time. This way, you can save money and improve your Google rankings—at least until you can fully afford the fancy machines.
Learning the best practices can help you monitor your search engine activity and make sure that you are producing only the best, highest ranking content. At the same time, when you have finally hired an agency, you have enough knowledge to review and assess their work.
These SEO Basics Never Fail
- Know your target audience
One of the most important things you have to remember about SEO is that it’s not about you. It’s about your audience and how they use search engines. You have to know what they do, what they know and where they go online to find businesses like yours.
Think about the people who are searching for you. Getting to know them involves finding out the following:
- Geographic location
- Issues, problems, pain points
- Beliefs, desires, fears
Knowing who your target audience is will help you determine what keywords and types of content resonate with your audience. This will also help you define who you are as a business and formulate an effective unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is an important part of your SEO strategy because it will tell your customers why your products and services is different from—and better than—your competition
1.Do keyword research and planning
Once you’ve fully understood who your target audience is, you’ll know which keywords to target. When brainstorming for keywords, keep in mind that your customers may be using different terms to refer to your products and services. Make sure to use words and phrases that are search-friendly, those that are casually and normally searched for by humans (so rest your jargon-laden phrases for a moment).
If you need more ideas about which keywords to use, a good way to start is with free tools like Ubersuggest and Keyword Shitter. Make a comprehensive list of all keywords and longtail phrases and group them according to importance and search volume. This will help you plan and organise all your content.
2. Optimise your WordPress website for search engines
Armed with keywords, make sure that each of your website pages contains at least one of your highest priority keywords. The good thing about WordPress is that it’s simple, flexible and allows you to take advantage of SEO features and plugins, one of which is the Yoast plugin. Perform and SEO audit on your website pages and include your keywords in the following:
- Title tag
- Meta description
A few other things you must remember:
- Don’t stuff to many keywords in your content
- Include images
- Optimise images (image size, alt text, descriptions)
- Include social sharing buttons
3. Produce quality content
Remember, write for customers first, Google later. Quality content is a non-negotiable when it comes to SEO. The types of content that can do wonders to your search rankings include how to’s, important research in your industry, listicles infographics, guides and the like.
If you need help coming up with quality content, this blog may be helpful to you. Creating quality content is crucial in attracting new customers, converting leads and keeping your customers loyal to you. At the same time, quality content will also help you build backlinks for your website. Backlinks are links found in other sources that lead to your website. Having backlinks from reputed websites give Google the signal that your website is popular among users.
4. Build and maintain social media presence
Not only does social media help you connect with your customers on a more personal level, it also contribute greatly to SEO. Small businesses and startups should be present in at least a few main channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Social media networks allows you to collect likes, shares and comments, and enable your customers to share your content among their personal networks. These platforms also help put your brand out there and be discoverable to new customers.
5. Take advantage of helpful (and FREE) tools
Apart from those mentioned above, you can also add these tools to your growing SEO arsenal:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Keyword Planner
- Quora (for finding longtail keywords)
- Keyword Finder
- GT Metrix (site speed tool)
- Grammarly (for spotting grammar errors in writing your blogs)
- Snippet Optimiser (to see how your meta description looks in Google search results page)
How far have you gone in your SEO efforts? What other SEO tips can you share with us?