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Thoughts, Tips and Ideas

Basic SEO tips for small local service based businesses.

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I’ve recently been doing a load of training regarding website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and methods to improve traffic to your website.

As many of my clients are small, local, service based businesses, I find it more difficult to draw traffic to these websites and track that interaction than if they were online stores, entertainment or events-based websites. This is the beginning of a series of (hopefully) easy to understand tips and tricks for small businesses

  1. Register for “google my business” – I can’t emphasise enough how important this is!. Having that little ‘pin’ on a google map can instantly improve your search engine results, did you know, the results you see when you google (or bing) search on your computer, tablet or phone are often based on your location? Searching ‘café’ while in Cairns, will often show cafés closest to your current location and the cafes in the list have been ‘ranked’ by Google . You should  maintain your information by frequently updating the details of the listing, add photos, and encourage google feedback - all of these actions  help boost your business in that all important ranking. This simple action is ideal for a small business or sole trader looking to boost their online presence
  2. Blog people, blog! – When I first started working as a professional website designer, I worked for a small, digital creative agency in an era where it was more important to just have a website than to even keep it up to date. The ‘set and forget’ mentality is still very noticeable in small businesses and is killing their chances for more work, your website is like a plant; you need to nurture it, keep adding water (content), keep it tidy and up to date. Search engines LOVE websites that are updated regularly and consistently have new content, they will happily promote other websites/businesses over yours in a search results page when it sees your website getting old and outdated. So at least start a blog, or setup a news d feed or your recent activity. Write about hints and tips in your field or case stories of your clients. This is the easiest way to encourage that list ranking. Start with at least 1 post a month, it doesn’t have to be a Herman Melville, or a Steven King, but something short and sharp that suits your target audience – there’s a world of information about  ‘keyword targeting’ and ‘SEO topics’ that can help but for the beginning I am encouraging you to simply start writing. I’m an excellent culprit for slack blogging, being a visual creative, I really struggle to write, therefore I’ve set a challenge to write more and post at least once a month. Let’s see how it goes.
  3. Business networking: another great way to boost your search engine traffic is to get ‘backlinks’ this is other people linking to your website. The more ‘reliable’ websites you get to link to your website the higher your website value. So ask your business colleagues if you can link to your website – perhaps write a ‘guest blog’ post and use your own website. BUT BEWARE, search engines are pretty clever these days and can detect fake ‘link boosting’ websites and networks and could cause more drama

There’s a start at least. There’s a tonne of information, hints and tips out there on the internet, and I will slowly add to this series over time and hopefully provide useful information. Please comment below if you find any of it valuable, or if you need a hand setting up any of these tips, don’t hesitate to ask.

 

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