In our digital age, it turns out one of the key marketing approaches every business is striving to employ in one way or the other, is online publicity and exposure for their brand and products. In other words, digital marketing.
Large business ventures are going the extra mile, allocating huge business funds to SEO and hiring top-notch SEO experts to help their brand grow online.
Now, for a small or new business venture, such huge funds may not be readily available to hire such SEO experts.
Hence, there is the need to employ certain SEO strategies, such as the ones below, before the business is stable enough to employ SEO experts.
1. Quality Content Creation
Before some webmasters tried to manipulate the web ranking process, the initial goal of search engines like Google was simple; I like to put it as “Find websites with quality, relevant contents and make them easily accessible to the audience.”
This, in turn, led to the different hierarchies in web domains, and different ranking factors were created by search engines -- ranking factors like Domain Authority, Alexa Rank, and so on -- all with the purpose of making contents from the larger domains accessible to the audience prior to contents from a smaller domain.
Ignore the little SEO history study above but pick up its lesson: Content is key in dominating search engines.
Be it an SEO Expert or a newbie SEO inexpert, content is one key ingredient that will be used to grow a website’s web rankings.
Therefore, for a new/small business, it’ll be easier and more cost-efficient for you to employ a content writer to your team or hire a professional freelance content writer than to hire a top-notch SEO Expert.
The results between hiring an SEO Expert and hiring a creative content writer is bound to differ in a way or two, but for a start, a creative content writer can suffice pretty well until the business is stable in business funds.
2. SEO Tools and Plugins
Improving SEO may not be rocket science, but it does require some analyzing and strategizing.
To improve your SEO, you must first analyze your brand and products, alongside your competing brands to learn the keywords that work best, publications that their backlinks yield more link juice, amongst similar other factors in order to not just build backlinks but effective backlinks.
And this is where SEO tools come into play. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, Keyword Tool, amongst others, to analyze and discover relevant keywords, while plugins like Jetpack, Google Analytics, which are designed to show the audience's behavior within your site, can be used to learn which backlinks aided more conversion and sales.
Also, SEO plugins like SEO by SQUIRRLY, Yoast SEO, or the likes, may not readily make your brand appear on Google’s first page, but they will surely grow your web rankings a significant bit if you properly configure each post to meet the plugins’ requirements; most SEO plugins often provide fields like Post Snippet, Focus Keyword, Meta Keywords, and more below every new post. It’s important to configure all provided fields to make the SEO plugin effective.
3. Optimizing Website Speed and Mobile Use
Speed and mobile-friendliness are one of the major ranking factors search engines use.
No one likes to stare at a blank screen for 10secs or more for a single page to load and search engines are aware of this. Likewise, a website that is not properly optimized for mobile use will take more time to load.
Hence, search engines often give websites with faster load time and properly optimized websites an edge.
Therefore, there is the need to play your part to ensure that the web user who has 10 or more open tabs don’t close yours because of load time -- because once he/she does, Google takes note and trust me, that’s not good for your web ranking.
A few of the common ways to optimize your site speed is to:
Pictures help attract an audience and also make your posts more relatable and interesting. However, the bigger the image size, the more time it’ll take to load, the more it’ll slow down your website’s pages, and quite unfortunately, the more it’ll chase away the audience you’re trying to attract.
Likewise, an audience will find an image with poor quality rather hideous.
Hence, the need to make sure every image used on your site is of good quality and of moderate size. To ensure your images don’t combat with your SEO, do the following:
Use Jetpack to optimize your site for mobile use
Jetpack, amongst its other functions, is one of the common tools to use optimize a site for mobile use.
To use the Jetpack plugin to optimize mobile use in WordPress, search for and install the Jetpack plugin. After installation, in the admin dashboard, hover over Jetpack and click Settings. In the settings, scroll down to Theme Enhancements and turn on the ‘Enable the Jetpack Mobile Theme.’
And voila, you’re good to go.
4. Premium Website Template
Yeah right, for a new business, you’d want to minimize expenses and always choose the free version of stuff over premium versions. This is totally understandable -- Matter fact, a lot of free tools offer a wide range of services that makes one wonder the difference from the paid tools.
When it comes to website templates, however, though there are a whole lot of free templates to choose from, it’s important to note that choosing the wrong free template may really hurt your SEO in the long run.
This is because some free templates are poorly optimized, the site speed and mobile-friendliness, which are all key to SEO growth, may also be quite poor.
Also, if you pick a free template that is frequently chosen for spam sites, your SEO can be affected as Search Engines may place your site in the same category as the rest spam sites.
Therefore, while you can kickstart your business with a free template, it’s important you upgrade to a premium template or better still, hire a web designer to create a custom-designed template for your site as soon as your business can cover the additional bill.
5. Hiring an SEO Amateur
Yeah right, in the end, it still boils down to outsourcing your SEO to enable you to invest more energy and time on other aspects of the business.
For a start, however, you can employ a smaller SEO inexpert. Matter of fact, some “SEO amateurs” are actually very skilled in the field; it’s just the social proof and exposure that’s lacking.
Hence, a well-selected SEO inexpert will equally help you achieve your SEO goals, and with lesser expenses that your new business can efficiently cover.
To meet such an inexpert, simply post job details and requirements in popular freelancing sites like Freelancer, Fiverr, or on Job boards across the web.
To round it up
It’s no news that any business hoping to triumph on the web needs to allocate adequate funds to SEO. With the 5 tips above, however, a new/small business can still significantly improve its web rankings without having to empty the bank.