How to make sure your business is SEO-friendly
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of enhancing an online offering’s presence on search engines like Google or Bing to drive more traffic to a web page. SEO is directed at ‘organic’ searches – people looking for something using a search engine receive results based on the search engine’s determination of the most relevant pages. So how do you make your business’s website rank better? How can you ensure you’re SEO friendly?
Lock down the details
In recent years, search engines have become more location-oriented. It’s little help for someone in Cape Town who is looking for an accountant to receive a deluge of results for accountants in the USA. But in order for a search engine to know determine where a business is to be found, it must have that information. Add local telephone numbers, addresses, and keywords that point to where your business is located. To this, ensure that your branding (name and basic business details) is consistent across your website, and make sure that you have brand-related images – a logo looks far more professional, and catches a user’s eye better than text alone.
Google local listings
Google My Business works as a free online business directory. If someone is searching for company-related and Google Maps results, having an up-to-date entry can push your business to a potential customer. Make your business description as relevant as possible, using hyperlinks to direct potential customers to product, service or contact pages on your website. Integrate your other web presences – YouTube, Facebook and so on – into this listing; having your YouTube account linked to the same Google login makes it a cinch to feed videos to your listing.
If you’re confident of your business’s products or services, don’t be afraid to encourage your satisfied customers to write reviews. Don’t do too much at once though – a search engine’s algorithm will see a sudden influx of reviews as spam, which might negatively impact your SEO.
Content is king
Optimising your content means making sure that the text on your website relates to the important information about your business. Concentrate on ensuring that your titles (headings), descriptions (summary content), and body content include location information about your business, as well as covering what your business entails. In essence make sure that information about your company name, location, and service is visible on your website. You might be tempted to use what SEO professionals refer to as ‘black-hat’ techniques, like using hidden text or over-zealous use of keywords that you want to be found with. Don’t – what is clever today, is penalised tomorrow.
Try to make sure that your website is substantial. Use words and phrases that you’d like to be found for in your content, so that your website can serve as an answer to a user’s question. Add photos and videos that relate to your business, and post news that relates to your business. Across all of this, ensure that your content is professional – poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and irrelevant content is a big no-no.