Search engine optimisation (SEO) describes the process of generating organic (i.e. free) traffic from search sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
SEO is developed by aligning keywords on your website with high-value keyword search terms your customers may be using. The ultimate goal of your SEO strategy is to land your website in one of the top 10 spots for organic search results, which means you will appear on the first page of any search engine. To ensure you are reaching the widest pool of potential customers, it’s vital that your site appears on this first page—particularly in one of the top three organic positions, which see 58.4 per cent of all clicks, according to recent research. Websites ranked number one receive an average click-through rate of 36.4 per cent, number two receives 12.5 per cent and number three receives 9.5 per cent. If you don’t make it onto the coveted first page, you’re in trouble. Sites appearing on page two fall well behind, with a worrying click-through rate of just 1.5 per cent.
To ensure your business gets its chance to shine on page one, we have pieced together our top five SEO tips for small businesses.
1. Think like your customers
Effective SEO strategy starts by identifying the correct keywords for your products. What are your potential customers typing into their search engine? If you’re running an ecommerce site, you will need to use commercial keywords as opposed to informational keywords—think specific product names such as ‘women’s jeans’ or ‘formal dresses’ rather than broader terms such as ‘fashion trends’.
2. Structure your site strategically
How the pages on your website are organised will affect your search engine rankings. The more appealing your site is to visitors, the more appealing it will be to search engines, too. Google’s algorithm uses information from visitors to rank your site. For example, if your site has a low dwell time and a poor click through rate, it won’t perform well in search engine results pages. An appealing and easy-to-navigate site structure will reduce your bounce rate and keep your visitors on your site for longer, both of which will lead to improved rankings.
3. Ensure your page is responsive
Search engines place an incredibly high value on the speed of your site, and so do your customers. A whopping 40 per cent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Ensuring your page loads as quickly as possible not only improves your search performance, it also means visitors are more likely to stay on your site.
4. Fatten up your page content
Search engines use the content on your page to decide which keywords to rank your page for, and how high your page’s ranking should be (remember, we’re aiming for top 10). While you don’t want to be overwhelming your customers with walls of text on your homepage, try writing in-depth descriptions on your product pages so that you can use your keywords more frequently and consequently help search engines to work their magic.
5. Optimise your product pages
Your highest value pages are your product category and product pages, so you should place a huge focus on optimising your on-page SEO for these pages. We analysed several of our client’s websites and found that ‘collection’ pages were one of the highest performing pages on every store we audited. Why is this? Collection pages are naturally SEO friendly, with product information, descriptions and images that search engines and consumers love.
SEO can be a complicated world, but if you are sold on going it alone, these tips are a great starting point for your DIY SEO journey.
A parting tip? As important as your SEO keywords are, they mean nothing without a functional, user-friendly and responsive website. Start with the basics and good things will follow.
If you want some support in your SEO journey, we’re here to help. Contact us, it’s what we DO.