Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Digital Strategy for SMEs (3): Search Engine Optimization for SMEs

Pic: Tumisu

SEO is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engines. Put it simply, you need to optimise to capitalise. But how?
  • High-ranking keywords: the step 1 of the first article of this series, 7 lucky steps to digital domination
  • Creating quality content: as explained in the second article of this series
  • Backlinks: trustworthy, quality websites willing to link to your website and/or guest posts in relevant popular blogs
  • Authority: gained through a consistent social media presence that informs while solving real problems.
Each of these practices breaks down in a variety of tasks. For instance, phrasal keywords can be deployed in visible copy (your website’s blurb and blog posts, page titles, picture captions…) and the invisible back end of your website (where the code is). 

A top ranking will make your website stand out from competitors and will address surfer’s fatigue. Internet users have a short attention span, so if your website is listed on page 1 of a search, it’s bound to be seen by a greater number of people. Dedicated surfers might make it to page three or four, but research shows that 91% (used to be 87% back in 2012) of web users do not venture past page one.

So far so good, except that the SEO landscape keeps changing as search engines make changes to their algorithms. If you want to see the latest updates, ravaging their way through dodgy websites, read this article on panda, penguin and hummingbird - and meet the possum, the new animal in the SEO ZOO.

But it’s not only about words, visual optimization still works, so it’s important to use good keywords in captions and post your photos on social media platforms - Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest allow you to share visual content with millions of users. Video and podcasts are a great too, although they can be costly as you might need to hire a professional cameraman or voiceover artist.

Once you get it right, you can’t rest on your laurels, though. You should constantly monitor digital trends and update your website and blog with fresh content. If it’s all too much for you and you’d rather leave it to the professionals, you can contact me (cheeky plug!). If I can’t help you, I can recommend someone who can.

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