While you are gradually building your SEO strategy to attract more organic visitors, you can use paid methods initially to bring traffic to your site quickly.

If you think about your online marketing as real estate, it helps to understand the value of SEO and where you should be placing your time, effort and money.

Your website is like an owned property, whereas your Facebook presence or Google AdWords are like rental properties, according to Phil Preston, cofounder of manufacturer Red Robot.

The Canberra-based company is Australia’s largest manufacturer of professional photo booths for the event and branding markets. Together with cofounder Duncan Amos and the team, Preston uses various search engine optimisation techniques to increase the reach of their website. Here he shares essential tips for increasing website traffic and turning visitors into leads.

1. Paid search and SEO can work together

While you are gradually building your SEO strategy to attract a higher rate of organic visitors, Preston recommends using paid methods initially to bring traffic to your site quickly. 

“Adversely spending more money on paid traffic means investing in something that you don’t own and isn’t likely to increase in value – when you stop paying the benefit disappears.”

2. Learn to blog now!

“Just about every small business owner is an expert in their field because they live and breathe their business every day, and dream about it most nights as well,” says Preston. 

Learning to blog and write content for your site promotes your business, positions you as an industry authority, attracts new customers and builds relevant content on your site, which makes it more attractive to search engines, he says.

3. Research your keywords

“Not doing your research is like betting on the pokies – it’s a complete game of chance. If you are in a competitive industry, using Google’s Keyword Tool and Planner can help you find out which keywords are being used and the competition for each one,” says Preston.

It pays to know the kind of things that search engines pick up on when ordering results. Focusing on the keywords that have a high search rate and low competition can also help you identify possible niche markets for your business that your competitors might be missing, he says.

4. Are on-site SEO techniques in your skillset?

“Unless you’re interested in this field or it relates to your business, we recommend using a professional for this. Once your on-site content is optimised you can use various plugins for SEO on WordPress and other platforms.”

5. Spread the workload

“Part of developing a new skill means doing it regularly, but you can lighten the load by getting your team and other business partners involved,” advises Preston. For a different perspective, encourage your team to come up with ideas or even write the content themselves, he says. Just make sure that everyone is well versed in SEO and social media best practice.

6. Develop a habit

The key behind SEO is consistency, but setting aside time to think of and write content for your site can be a very hard habit to learn when there are so many critical things you need to do as a SMB, says Preston.

“It can be hard to feel motivated, but for a lot of people it helps to remember that every time you write an article or blog piece and post it, that’s one new sale or 10 new customers visiting your site!” 

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