More and more business are migrating online, which makes it more important than ever potential customers can find you through search engines like Google. The key is search engine optimisation (SEO).
“SEO is the process of changing the content on your website to be more readable or friendly to a search engine’s crawler, while trying not to forget that ‘people’ have to read your site too,” says Tidy Me growth and digital marketing coordinator Dean Brady.
“Finding the sweet spot allows both the crawler to easily find your site and the customer to easily navigate it, making your traffic drastically improve. The site’s potential to generate more revenue will increase, which means more business,” says Brady.
Startup Tidy Me specialises in the use of eco-friendly cleaning products through a ‘no fuss’ online booking form. “As we operate under a 100% happiness guarantee and offer next-day availability, it’s paramount that our booking system runs properly, but more so, that potential customers are able to find it,” explains Brady.
“We’ve used SEO to gain better exposure for our site by promotion different pages which all have links back to our booking form. This allows for lot of unique content to be produced, while eliminating the need to replicate our booking form.”
Brady’s advice is simple: “good, unique content is king”.
“There are a lot of snake oil merchants out there that will try to sell you thousand dollar SEO tactics, and there are a few that work, but there is no guaranteed ‘top of Google’ button that can be pressed,” he says.
“Partnerships are a fast way to boost SEO. Run cross promotions with businesses which will increase your exposure, then ask them to put a link to your website on theirs, offering to do the same. The more quality links pointing to your site from reputable referrers the higher your site is likely to rank.”
Before posting content on your site the first thing you should do is keyword research, he says.
“Picture your perfect audience and think about what they might Google to find you. You can then use sites like Keyword Analyzer to discover how often these words or phrases are searched,” he says.
“It’s important to get them right - otherwise your main demographic may never find your site."
However, you need to be careful not to overuse keywords –inserting just a few extra keywords per paragraph runs the risk of search engines penalising you for ‘keyword stuffing’ and could see your site knocked all the way down to page 100 in search results, he says.
Canonicalisation - picking one type of URL and sticking to it - is another process new businesses aren’t always aware of, says Brady.
“As an example, your website can be accessed from both ‘http://www.yoursite.com’ and ‘http://yoursite.com’. If you have inbound links pointing at both of these URLs, they’ve likely both been indexed by the search engine crawlers, which can lead to complications in terms of how your site appears in the search results,” he says.
“No one has the ‘perfect’ technique. SEO is all about testing keywords and maintaining unique content, avoiding copying and pasting paragraphs from your past sites and pages, keeping it relative to your businesses topic.”