9 essential SEO fundamentals every small business can (and should) do in 2021

by | Dec 8, 2020 | SEO

Joe

Joe

I’m the director of Amplified Marketing and have been working in digital marketing for over 8 years. I love helping small businesses grow online with smart and effective digital marketing.

Did you know that organic search traffic (ie traffic coming to your website from Google) converts up to 10x better than social media traffic?

But what does this actually mean?

It means that people coming to your website from Google’s search results are much, much more likely to become a customer or client than almost any other channel – whether you’re an eCommerce business, B2B service provider or a small bricks and mortar business.

But the key here is making sure you rank high enough in the Google search results for the right keywords, to actually get that high-converting traffic to your site.

Sound a bit overwhelming? Don’t worry – we’ve got your back!

In the below article we’re going to look at nine SEO fundamentals that every small business can and should do in 2021 for more organic traffic.

Firstly, what is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and it’s a must in every online marketing strategy. The purpose behind SEO is to boost your rank in the search engines so that when someone searches for something related to your company, you pop up! Essentially, it’s designed to put your website in front of the people that are looking for it (or for something similar, anyway).

The way you do this is through a series of search-engine-approved techniques. These are valued highly in the eyes of the likes of the big search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo and are used by them to know where to rank your site. The more search engine optimised your site is, the higher you’ll rank.

The EAT Strategy

There’s no doubt that SEO is a crucial point of any brand’s online success, but it’s not the only thing you should care about! We also wanted to touch on the EAT strategy which is outlined in Google’s Quality Guidelines and should be another focal point for your marketing. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, and it’s incredibly relevant if you’re looking to improve your authenticity.

If you want to become a top-rated site, you need to focus on all three of these qualities. So, you can’t really have SEO without EAT! A brand that fulfills the EAT criteria is also going to be much more appealing to consumers and help you grow organically.

All of the SEO strategies we’re going to be looking at will also help you with EAT, boosting the credibility of your brand whilst helping you capture leads. Excited? You should be!

1. Improve User Experience

Right at the top of the list is user experience. While this doesn’t mean it’s the most important SEO factor to include, it’s certainly up there! User experience is all about the impression your consumers have of your brand after engaging with you online.

For example, if your website is clunky and hard to navigate with links that don’t work, the experience will be negative. If the website is easy to use, shows your users what they’re looking for, and you offer great customer service, your users will be more than satisfied. It’s this positive user experience you should be striving for to make sure your leads turn into loyal customers!

User experience is a key SEO component but also plays a big part in EAT. If you have a badly built website or don’t interact professionally with your audience, they’re not going to find you trustworthy. So, to gain a good reputation, make sure improving your user experience is a top priority!

2. Increase Your Loading Speeds

Absolutely no one enjoys waiting around for websites to load. In fact, if yours takes longer than a couple of seconds you’re going to lose a huge chunk of traffic! Slow load speeds are incredibly damaging to your SEO and can also make you look less credible and harm your user experience.

Always make loading speeds a priority. Sure, a fancy video and a cool customer avatar are fun features, but are they necessary, or are they just slowing down your website? Remove all features and plug-ins that you don’t actually need and optimise those you do to speed up loading times.

3. Create High-Quality Content

When it comes to SEO for a small business, high-quality content is a budget-friendly way to boost your rankings and gain credibility. But, what does high-quality actually mean? Well, here are some factors that will help yours gain that status:

  • Fact-based content that’s well researched
  • Includes link to authoritative sites to back up points
  • Relevant to your industry
  • Appeals to your audiences’ interests
  • Original and unique
  • Looks professional and visually engaging

Of course, the word content covers a whole range of things, but these rules are all pretty versatile! There are also some more specific things that will boost your content, like making sure your written posts are free of spelling errors and your images are taken with a high-quality camera. You don’t have to be producing cinema or novel worthy stuff, but make sure it’s professional.

4. Add Up To Date Contact Information

This is one of the SEO basics that will improve your EAT quickly! Simply add up to date contact information to your website. This includes a business address, email address, and telephone number.

If you have a Google My Business profile, the information on here should also be kept up to date. If you haven’t got a Google My Business profile, it’s time to get one!

5. Make Sure Your Website is Optimised

Mobile traffic has blown up, increasing by 222% over the last 7 years alone! In fact, there are now slightly more people browsing online on a mobile device than there are on a desktop. If your website isn’t optimised for mobile, you’re going to be left behind.

The truth is that sites that only work properly on desktops just seem old-fashioned and far less trustworthy! If yours doesn’t work on mobile, it’s time to go back to the design table and make sure it does.

6. Set up Social Media Profiles

Social media has been a gamechanger for businesses. In terms of SEO, it can help you by sending quality leads to your website who are already interested in what you’ve got to offer, reducing your bounce rate. But where social media really shines is when it comes to EAT.

By creating an active social media page, you can post more about your brand. You can post videos of your team, your products, and other behind the scenes of your business. You can also interact directly with your audience in the comments and via private messaging, showing them that there are real, trustworthy people behind your brand.

If you’re setting up social media profiles, only focus on a couple of platforms so that you have the time to run them properly. Find which platforms your target market use and hop on those!

7. Build Credibility Through Quality Link-Building

In recent years, the importance of link building has boomed in SEO. If you want to win points in the eyes of search engines, this is definitely a technique for you! But it also helps to improve your credibility, and here’s how.

Link building is the process of gaining inbound links to your website. These are when other websites link to your own. The more links from high-quality websites you get, the more authoritative your site looks in the eyes of Google – and your audience!

If consumers see websites they trust linking to yours, you gain a sort of second-hand trust through them. Instantly, you become more reputable. But make sure you know about blackhat link building before you start to make sure you don’t do your brand more harm than good!

8. Get Guest Posting

Guest posting can feel like a long-forgotten art these days, but it isn’t! Guest posting still exists, and it’s still as relevant as it always has been.

A guest post is when you write a blog for someone else’s website under the agreement that you’ll get some kind of promotion. This usually comes in the form of links to your site (remember the importance of link building earlier?) and a bio about you and your brand.

If you manage to get guest posts on reputable sites, you’ll quickly boost your reputation! Aim for sites that are known in your industry with a large following. If you land a guest post on one of these, you’re going to become more trustworthy as soon as it goes live.

9. Make Sure You Have No Error Pages

If there’s something that will instantly make you less credible in the eyes of your audience, it’s error pages. If they’re trying to click on the About You page or a product and keep getting an error, it doesn’t look good! Make sure you check your site regularly for error pages and set up redirects for old URLs.

Implementing the SEO Fundamentals Like a Professional

If your site is lacking in these SEO fundamentals and you’re worried you don’t look credible, it’s time to change that! Try to implement as many of the tips we’ve recommended as you can and you’ll soon be back on track to growing a thriving brand.

If you think you could use some extra help, get in touch with our team at Amplified Marketing today for a free SEO consultation. When it comes to your online presence, we’re the experts.

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