We look at the most effective ways to approach search engine optimisation.
When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), SMBs need to take responsibility for their own content and regularly check their website to ensure everything is updated at all times, advises Punters.com.au chief executive Luc Pettett.
“In the last 30 days we’ve had 1 million sessions on our website come from Google, 58% of our total traffic,” says Pettett.
Punters.com.au is a leading racing website that publishes news, tips and form guides for the Australian racing community. The business has 17 staff located in Melbourne and places a big focus on technology.
“Each visitor spends more than five minutes on our website,” says Pettett. “If you’re a SMB starting out that would be 58% of your entire profit margin! Most ‘ok’ businesses do just over 20%, so SEO can mean the difference between whether or not you survive.”
1. Rank higher by keeping your visitors engaged
The way search engines sort and rank websites has changed in the past two or three years, which means the emphasis should be less on link-building and more about quality content: “Today Google is doing what word-of-mouth does, and it does its best to get signals from the user to see if they care about a site,” says Pettett.
Factors assessed include time spent on site, how long a visitor is engaged for and how likely they are to share that content – if you can improve these figures you have more chance of being ranked highly within search engine results pages (SERPs).
“If you ranked well using keywords that matter to your business, this means you are successfully attracting really engaged users who are actively searching for your business,” says Pettett, who says sites such as Moz.com are particularly useful for keyword research.
2. Embrace the mobile revolution
In order to achieve SEO success, the most relevant tip today is getting your website optimised for mobile, as this is becoming an aggressive ranking factor, according to Pettett.
Not only will your site rank higher, you’re engaging customers at the prime purchasing moment considering over 80% of purchase decisions are made using a mobile device, says Pettett.
“And if you’re a brick-and-mortar business, people use mobile to locate small businesses all the time anyway.”
3. Remember that simple details matter
Ensuring you have speedy page loading times, or that your phone number and address are clearly displayed might sound like a basic requirement, but these details make an enormous difference to the customer experience.
“No one knows your business like you do, so take ownership of SEO more than any other part of your marketing.”