What can search engine optimisation do for small businesses?

Search engine optimisation or SEO as it is often referred to, is the process of attracting traffic to your website based on unpaid, organic content, relevant to a search engine query. Search engines use algorithms to display results in response to searches on their platforms.

The more relevant a result, the higher it will appear on a search engine’s results page. SEO is fantastic for small businesses, as with a little time, effort, and commitment you can ensure your website is ranking high on a Google search, without spending any extra money.

Search engines trawl the pages of your website to find the keywords or phrases that have been searched, discovering the most relevant websites for the searcher. It is good practice to plan a few keywords or phrases that you wish to focus on and ensure that they are used regularly throughout your website. It is important not to stuff these words, but use them naturally throughout your site.

Google also rewards sites using rich media including images and videos. As you create content that will be relevant to your target audience, ensure it is attractive and engaging by using rich media. Using alt tags to describe exactly what your image is, is another way to improve your SEO – as Google can keyword match based on the image description.

There are other effective digital marketing techniques you can use to increase the visibility of your company online. Google Adwords lets you bid on certain keywords or a set of key phrases that your target audience could search on Google to find you. The greater your bid and the more closely your keywords match the person’s search terms, the higher up your website will show in the search results. Google will then charge you on a pay-per-click basis, which is a budget you set with a maximum daily amount, ensuring you remain in control of your daily PPC spend.

Due to its low upfront cost commitments – requiring just the time of the person responsible for managing the website – SEO is a highly effective method of increasing awareness of your brand online. Often in a small business, your marketing budget is limited. Therefore, getting your SEO right is a key way you can raise the profile of your business online without spending a lot of money.