SMEs Can Make It Big Too
Who says SMEs can’t compete with the big players in the industry? Especially the fact that most competitions that businesses find are happening within the digital world.
Due to that being the nature of how businesses work and compete, SME owners are exposed to a wide range of methods and tools that can be used to leverage their business’ online presence. By doing so, they can compete on equal footings with those in the big leagues. One tool, in particular, can very much help the life of your business as it is uploaded online. Search Engine Optimization, or commonly known as SEO, is useful knowledge to have when you understand the basics thoroughly.
“But SEO is basically just creating a website, mushing all the keywords in the content, and letting it run itself, right?”
Despite many agencies saying that they can get you on the first page of Google with their SEO services, optimising your website to get ranked on the search engine results page (SERPs) takes time, trial, and continuous effort in trying out different optimisation strategies for your business.
Optimising your business’s website takes effort and most importantly, you need to put your back into optimising your business’s website by understanding the basics of SEO practices.
The Discovery Of SEO For Website Performance
If you’re reading this article, it means that you more or less have heard of the term “SEO services can help with your website’s performance on the search engine,” especially now when more businesses know that the creative and digital industry can help bring them lucrative returns.
However, SEO is not something new. Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is a digital marketing technique that is important for you to understand if you are serious about making good online presence for your company through your website.
Back when search engines were still new and there weren’t many websites competing on the Internet, web developers and those who were doing content noticed that using certain keywords and putting additional optimisation efforts into your website can help to boost the website performance.
And so, the world and even those who aren’t in the industry knew about the existence of SEO and how it can help a website, video, and other Internet posts to get ranked and positioned better on major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
However, even if it is easy to understand what SEO means, the process and strategy that entails the technique can at times be complex. We hear you asking “Why?” and we’re here to help provide the gist of it for you.
This is because all three major search engines, especially Google, uses a complex algorithm to filter out contents that are inserted in the website. When you update your website, you not only just write beautifully and post it, hoping the Internet algorithm will work in your favour and you’ll get ranked immediately.
These major search engines have gone through numerous algorithm updates to make sure that all websites are properly indexed, crawled, and rendered. This ensures that all of the pages on your website are analyzed both for the texts and non-text contents, overall visual layout, and other nitty parts to decide where your website should appear on the search results page.
So you see, these search engines are not only complex but the process is stringent as well. By calculating your website content’s relevancy, importance, and quality, a score will then be given to ensure that your website is being provided as an answer to those who are looking for your content on the search engine of choice.
The Way SEO Optimisation Work
Now that we have understood what SEO means, how it started, and what the search engine requires from us, we’ll begin to venture deeper into how it actually works.
We know from the first part of the article that the quality, importance, and relevancy of the content is vital as it allows your website to receive high scores from the search engines and get ranked into better positions. By getting ranked and scored, your website will be able to appear on the search result page when a potential user searches for a question that your website provides the answers to.
See how relevance, importance, and quality play their part in your website’s optimisation?
Now let's use a real-life example to further demonstrate the process.
You’re running an eCommerce website, selling gadgets that were recently created and established – it’s a brand new company, brand, and range of gadgets. No one has heard of your products before and your potential customers aren’t even aware of your existence.
People might even be wary of your business and products because there is no news about you, no reviews, and no mention of your brand name anywhere on the Internet. As a business owner or a sales personnel, you know that for customers to make a purchasing decision, they need these pieces of information.
Therefore, the solution to this is to utilise the power of SEO. Through optimisation, online users will be able to find your website via the search engine, land on your website, view your products, and find out more about what you provide and sell. So if you provide the right content on your website through meticulous optimisation, you are providing your potential customers with the answer – your products are the solution to their problems.
What you need to do is to ensure that your website explains your services or products clearly to your website visitors. To do this, you need to make sure that your website has both quality content and related keywords to the industry that you’re in.
Your website can be for an eCommerce business, a brick and mortar store, or even online consultations. As long as the topic of content on your website is relevant and related to your industry, services, and product, it will help your website visitors to know that you are providing them with the solution to their problem. This effort will help build trust and in turn, convince your visitors that you are here to solve their problems.
But you should be wary of not overdoing your SEO efforts as there are still some limits to what you can and cannot do.
Remember that word count counts, use a fair amount of keywords to avoid stuffing.
Keywords are needed for your content as search engine crawler bots are designed to sift through your website content to further understand what your content is about. Using keyword variations in your content enables the crawler bots to index your website to the right topic.
The suitable word count for content on your website should be around 800 to 1,500 words. By following this metric, you can stop yourself from writing too little – which can lead to extra space which won’t be utilised and you might end up stuffing your content with keywords just to stay relevant.
Not only will stuffing keywords in your website content make your article look bad, incoherent, and also inconsistent, it’s also one of the bad practices of SEO. So do avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
Since most SMEs optimise their website for Google’s search engine, you need to keep your articles to the required word count as it not only helps with your website visitor’s reading time comfort, but it also helps the crawler bots with doing their job.
As they crawl through your content, they will pick up the number of relevant keywords against the word count and score it accordingly. Once they have detected that your content contains the appropriate amount of relevant words and keywords, only then will your content be indexed by Google.
Three things to remember for keywords:
- Have a list of keywords that are relevant to your products or services
- Utilise the keywords in your website content
- Make sure the length of the content is sufficient for crawler bots to detect the keywords and comfortable for website visitors to read
Bringing it back to our example of the eCommerce website, keyword variations that you can utilise for your content can be through a collection of long-tailed keywords such as “online gadget store in (Country)”, “gadget store online“, as well as others that are related to the kind of products you might sell.
Think of what your potential customers might search for on the Internet and you can work from there. By knowing what your potential customers are searching for will help you greatly in listing out the keywords that you can use for your content or article, making it easier for you to do the right optimisation for your website.
So, if you write an article or content too short without the appropriate amount of relevant keywords, your website might get lost in the world wide web. As the search engine wasn’t able to crawl and index your website properly, this will make it harder for your website to show up on the right search page result.
Next, we’re going to look into other important key points – link building, meta title, and description.
Build Links and Write Attractive Meta Title & Description To Rank In The SERPs
Link building is another aspect of SEO that you should know as an SME. True to its name, link building is the action of creating links to and from your website. Think of it as networking with other website developers or content creators to help build a link using links.
It’s easy to link to another website from yours but to have another website link back to yours can be difficult. Especially if you are new to the world of link building, as you might not know where to start or how to start.
One of the ways where you can do link building for your website is by reaching out to referral websites, having a guest blogger to write for your website, or mention and create a link to the website. To know that an article or content contains link building is by noticing that a word is written in a different colour and by hovering on the word, you can see the URL of the page destination at the bottom left corner of your browser (if you are using Google Chrome). You can see that we have even done link building even in this article.
If you do have the funds to spare, you can even create a Private Blog Network of your own but this method comes with both benefits and conditions of itself, so if you’re new to the world of link building, we suggest that you begin by reaching out to referral websites.
Clearly Written Meta Title & Description Can Help You Reach The Right Audience
One of the easiest works for SEO is creating the meta title and description, which is effortless but requires a complete understanding of what you have written for your content or article. Failing to thoroughly understand your content or article can lead to inconsistency between the title and content, which can lead to website visitors leaving your website before they can even finish reading what you have written.
Simply put, all you need to do is add a title and description to give potential website visitors a gist of what to expect. Do not use clickbaity titles and descriptions to gain traffic as this can put readers off and label your website as untrustworthy and having unreliable content.
Use the same title on your page (content or article) for your meta title and make sure that the keywords you have used in the content appear in the title. By doing so, you are further strengthening your SEO efforts and also helping potential website visitors to know what they will be reading.
As for the meta description, write down the gist of the page’s content as clearly as possible. You don’t need to write down a long summary as it can only be written in 160 characters (yes, you read that right, it’s counted by characters and not words). When you get to writing the meta description of your content, try to be concise as possible.
So as an SME or business owner, you now know more about SEO and how you can apply it to your own organic marketing campaigns. Take the time to really plan out what you wish to achieve through your SEO implementation and think of strategies that will work for your industry.
There is no one right way to doing SEO implementations so you will need to put time and effort into finding the right one for your business. There are many tools that you can use to further manage, observe, and monitor your SEO implementation to find out the right one for you.
We’ll be covering more methods and other techniques that make up digital marketing in other articles so sign up for our newsletter or bookmark our blog page to be in the loop!