Search engine optimization (SEO) is something that no small business can afford to overlook in 2020. But with the ever-increasing complexity of Google’s algorithm, and a million different experts giving their opinion on what you need to do to rank higher, how can you establish what you really need to do? Here, we take a look at five small business SEO tips, and the lessons for how to make them work for you.
1. Focus on page speed
Google suggests that your page loading speed should be 3 seconds or less. This might sound like a simple thing to achieve, but if you also want a website with stunning images, an interesting design, and large amounts of useful content, it can be actually be a bit hard.
What to do: There are many ways to achieve a faster page loading speed, including reducing the file size of images on your site and redesigning the page entirely. Ultimately, however, if you don’t want to compromise on quality you will need to consider moving to dedicated hosting. Digital consultants and web specialists at Wirehive recommend either a private cloud or dedicated server hardware:
*“A private cloud would be recommended for larger projects requiring 10 or more cloud servers as a starting point whereas a dedicated server hardware is more suited for performance intensive sites and/or frameworks such as Magento for ecommerce. These allow for the ultimate control over your website, especially in areas such as page loading and security.”
2. Great content is still vital
It’s said that SEO is an ever-changing concept with the requirements and recommendations seemingly switching from update-to-update (and even from day-to-day). However, there is one part of SEO that will never change: Having fantastic and useful content on your website will be an enormous benefit to you. This applies in 2020 just as much as any other time.
**What to do: **Focus on creating content that fulfills a genuine need for your customers or clients. Take a look at your competitors and understand what they are doing well, but also look for the opportunities to provide something that they are not. Content can take many different forms, from in-depth guides to simpler, useful pages that can help out a customer with a problem. Your website should look to provide all forms of useful content.
3. Optimize your site for mobile
It has been well-documented for a long time that Google is taking mobile optimization seriously. With mobile-first indexing and mobile performance an increasingly important ranking factor, if you’re not already taking it seriously, then you need to be. To understand why, just look at the numbers: Recent statistics put mobile web traffic worldwide as high as 52.4%. That means that if your website isn’t optimized on mobile (or simply is less effective than your desktop site) not only could you fail to make a great impression on visitors, you could lose out on leads and sales.
What to do: The fact is that the vast majority of staff working on your website will be doing it through a desktop screen. This can lead to them only concentrating on optimizing the desktop version of the pages. To remedy this, you should force your team to regularly view and work on your website through a smaller screen. This can really help focus the mind around the importance of mobile, and can even lead to members of staff uncovering issues or ways to improve performance.
4. Call in expertise
The world of SEO is so complicated and changeable, it is no longer something that you can just muddle by with and hope that everything will be fine. Simply lacking SEO exerpetise in your business can land you a poor ranking on Google and losing out to competitors who have invested in that expertise.
What to do: There are effectively two options available to you: Hire in-house SEO staff to provide you the expertise, or work with an external SEO agency. Many businesses prefer to use an agency as they will typically provide a greater level of expertise and insight at a lower cost, but without the access to a full-time staff member.
5. The highest quality links
By any measure, links are still a vital element of SEO in 2020. However, it is imporant that you aren’t falling into the practice getting a link from any site just in the hope of it making a difference. While this was an effective strategy in the past it is now potentially hugely detrimental to your SEO and your business.
What to do: Ditch your link building strategy and instead invest in a link earning strategy. Produce fantastic content that other sites would love to link to, and get fantastic natural links.
Chester Avey has over a decade of experience in business growth management. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with other like-minded professionals through his writing. Find out what else Chester has been up to on Twitter: @Chester15611376.