10 ways to use SEO to boost your business’s presence online

Search engine optimisation (SEO) helps your business’s website rank high in relevant searches. John Cradden helps you navigate the confusing world of SEO.

Most of us search for information or shop online these days. But it’s a crowded market, so it’s tough for small businesses to reach their target audiences.

One of the most effective ways to build a stronger online presence, a stronger brand reputation and stand out in the crowd is through SEO (search engine optimisation).

“Spend time ensuring that your website’s design is user-friendly, and the navigation is easy to use”

This is what helps your website rank as high as possible in response to relevant searches.

While identifying keywords are an important part of it, there’s quite a bit more to SEO than that.

Here are 10 top SEO tips:

1. Conduct keyword research

Find out what the keywords people typically use to search for your products or services. What are the popular search terms within your industry. Incorporate these keywords in your content in a readable and appropriate format.

2. Optimise your website’s content

Often referred to as ‘on-page SEO’, this is about putting your target keywords in your URLs, title tags, meta descriptions, headers and body copy. This helps search engines easily identify the relevance of your website to search queries. It’s well worth spending time on meta descriptions that accurately describe the content on your website.

3. Use long-tail keywords

Short-tail keywords are more generic in nature and designed to deliver more hits, but they are also highly competitive. Using long-tail keywords can help narrow a search to your business and drive highly targeted and specific traffic to your website.

4. Build high quality backlinks

Build high-quality backlinks is an essential element of an ‘off-page’ SEO strategy, which is all about optimising web pages by linking them to well-established websites, pages and experts. Search engines use backlinks as indicators of the quality of a website, so the more good backlinks there are, the higher a search engine ranks it.

5. Optimise your website’s images

Optimise the images on your website by compressing them (so that they load quicker), adding alt tags (to improve accessibility), and using descriptive titles.

6. Improve the UX experience

Spend time ensuring that your website’s design is user-friendly, and the navigation is easy to use. This can include optimising your website’s loading speed, which can also help reduce bounce rates. Making sure your site is optimised for mobile devices will also help, too.

7. Optimise for local search

Local SEO differs from generic SEO in that it focuses on helping businesses connect with their local customers. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, it focuses on things like using location-based keywords, online reviews and local citations.

8. Create a Google Business Profile

This is another element of a local SEO strategy. A Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a free tool that lets you influence how your business appears on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Shopping.

9. Monitor keyword performance

Even if you have struck gold with the keywords that you adopt in terms of optimising your website content, things do evolve so monitoring keyword performance over time enables you to refine your strategy and stay ahead of competitors.

10. Include video content

Video content is becoming more and more popular, so creating decent videos can improve engagement with your target audience and increase the time they spend on your website.

Main image at top: Photo by Diggity Marketing on Unsplash

John Cradden
John Cradden is an experienced business and personal finance journalist and financial wellbeing content designer.