The world we live in is changing, and this is especially applicable to business. Where once it was enough to have a small shop and find customers among the local Teddington community, it’s no longer possible to exist solely offline.
That’s why it’s so important for local businesses to know about SEO. SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website. The reason this matters is simple: if no one knows your site exists or they can’t find it via a simple web search, it won’t be making sales.
So, how do you improve SEO, boost traffic, and increase profits? Here’s our straightforward guide to help you.
Work out what you’re optimising for
One of the principles underpinning SEO is the use of keywords. These are the terms people search when they’re looking for a site or product like yours. The idea is to rank as highly as possible on the page that’s returned when consumers input these terms into a search engine, as most users click on the top three to four results and don’t scroll any further.
For example, imagine you’re a hybrid offline and online snus shop. You sell this along with several related products, such as nicotine pouches, on Teddington high street and via your eCommerce store. You offer discounts, free global shipping, and economical prices to set you apart from your competitors. These are the unique selling points you want to emphasise in your on-site content.
If you simply focus on “snus” as a keyword, you’re unlikely to get very far or rank very highly. That’s because lots of people are searching for this term, so all of your competitors are also trying to rank for it.
As a smaller business, you’re better to focus on “long-tail keywords”, which are longer, more specific phrases. These might include “cheap snus”, “snus online”, or “buy snus in Teddington”. The trick is to make your keywords niche enough to narrow down the competition but generic enough that people are still going to search for them.
Write for readers not rankings
While keywords will help you to rank more highly in search engines, your content serves a dual purpose; it’s also there to tell visitors about your business and products. That’s why your foremost focus should be on creating informative and authoritative text that keeps readers on-site once they’ve found you.
This is important for two reasons. One, because you want visitors to turn into purchasers, and two, because Google pays attention. It tries to prioritise valuable content, and if readers click on your site only to click straight back off, it will demote you. You should therefore try to make your keyword optimisation as organic as possible.
This might include creating relevant blog posts. Say you’re a local florist. Rather than a website that features nothing but product pages, you could publish a series of articles to help readers choose the best option, such as “The Prettiest Springtime Flowers to Add to Your Bouquet” or “The Most Romantic Blooms to Send This Valentine’s Day”.
Invest in the right tools to help you
Keywords are pivotal to the success of your SEO strategy, but identifying them can be tricky, especially if you don’t have experience in this area. Luckily, there are useful tools out there to help you. To allow you to rank and pinpoint where the best opportunities lay, you can take one of two approaches: either utilise a professional digital marketing agency or invest in the tools to do it yourself.
If you settle on the latter, you have lots of options to explore. The best include the Moz Keyword Difficulty and SERP Analysis Tool, and SEMRush’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. Both offer great starting points and can be used alongside numerous online resources and guides to develop and strengthen your SEO strategy.
Take advantage of these tips to ensure your locally based business succeeds online.