Search engines are the new high street. Unless your brand name is a household name, it is likely that your customers will be using Google, Bing, or other search engines to look for a product.
Imagine: you’re in need of some new shoes. You’re not a ‘sneakerhead’ so brand names don’t mean anything to you: you just want some new shoes. So, you head to a search engine and type “black shoes size 6,” and up pops a number of different websites all selling black shoes in size 6.
You’ll make your decision based on different things: reviews, delivery, price, etc., and you’re not alone: 49% of people use Google to find new products. But how did those websites show up in the search results in the first place?
It’s all to do with SEO: Search Engine Optimisation. Search engines like Google consider various factors when it comes to showing search results, such as how fast your website loads, whether it’s user friendly, or whether the content on your website matches up with what people are searching for.
It might not be high on your priority list, but SEO drives 1000% more traffic than organic social media; so while your Instagram might be netting likes, showing up higher in search results will get you more website traffic which is crucial if that’s where you convert interest into sales.
Our free Get Found Online webinar gives you everything you need to know about SEO, including how to choose keywords, what content works best, and essential tools to use. But we’re here to give you 3 things you can do right now to improve your website’s SEO.
1. Remove large images
When deciding how to rank websites, Google’s algorithms prioritise websites that load quickly and that are mobile friendly. It’s all about the user experience: if a site takes too long to load, people will leave or fail to convert. In fact, over half of people will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
One of the easiest things you can do is make sure the images you use are small in terms of file size. Your banner image might look great, but if it is 8MB and takes an age to load, it will impact conversion rates.
2. Check your meta descriptions
How do search engines decide upon the words to show in results? This is where meta descriptions come into play.
Meta descriptions sit in the background of your website and describe what is on the page to search engines. It helps people using search engines decide what result to click, so making sure they’re relevant and engaging is important. Look at the example below of the Superfast Business Wales meta description for our Events page:
It tells the potential visitor what they can expect to find once they’ve clicked. Writing a good meta description means matching it up with content on your website and ensuring it’s tied in with your overall keyword objectives: i.e. which search terms do I want to show up as a result for?
Depending on your website’s content management system, your meta descriptions might be done automatically. But using tools like UberSuggest or ScreamingFrog will help you spot pages without a meta description or ones that are repeated, so you can go in and update them.
3. Measure your success
With any change you make to your website, it is important to measure the results.
Tools like Google Analytics show you where traffic comes from, including search engines, and how visitors interact with your website.
You can also use Google’s Search Console to see what search terms are bringing people to your site and understand how Google sees your website. We cover these tools on our free SEO webinar – sign up here.
Remember: set a benchmark; make your changes; measure; adapt (if necessary). Our digital experts can talk you through this as part of our free one-to-one business support – find out more.
Success story: Kiti Boutique
Making changes to improve SEO has real-life impacts. Kiti, an independent boutique based in Pontcanna, Cardiff, sharpened their SEO skills with Superfast Business Wales to rank higher on search engines and attract new customers.
“The magic of Google is that you appear in front of people who may not know your business by name,” says Kiti’s Jane Rowlands. “They’re looking for brands, so their interest in buying is already there. But you’re also competing against everyone else in your sphere.
“The SEO webinar from Superfast Business Wales was a huge help in getting our SEO on point. We got a great overview of what we needed to know, and we revisit what we learned constantly to keep putting things in place to maintain our online presence.”
“A lot of our web traffic comes from Instagram, but we’ve managed to increase the visits we get from Google up to 37% and a lot of that is down to the hard work we put into our SEO. Getting seen on Google is bringing us a new stream of customers who may not have found us before.”
Ready to discover the secrets of SEO? Sign up for our free SEO webinar