The coronavirus pandemic is crushing small businesses everywhere, with regulations keeping them shuttered or limiting their services to the point of not being profitable. But we’re optimists. We see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are encouraging small business owners to use this time to double down on their web presence. Here are our quick SEO tips that you can get started on during this period of quarantine.
If you want your web page to appear on the search engine results pages, you need something on your website. Make it relevant to your audience and valuable to your readers, so they will spend longer on your page. Like we’ve said before, search engines can tell if your content sucks! The Yoast plug-in will help you with writing best practices and offer you suggestions if you’re struggling. Make sure to include external links to other websites (when it’s relevant) and internal links to other content on your webpage to direct traffic to keep users engaged with your site. For example, if you’re reading this, you may be interested in our guide to build your brand using Instagram, or why improving your website’s loading speed is important to SEO.
Start with technical aspects of SEO
Whether you use WordPress or Squarespace, there are ways you can implement SEO. Start by doing your research. What keywords do you want to show up for in the search engine results page (SERP)? Start optimizing your content for those keywords. Your aim should be to provide value to users who find your page because they’ve searched on Google for your keyword. Keep that in mind. Use H1, H2, and H3 tags, they’re heading tags that organize your content so it can be read easily both by your users and by the spiders that crawl the internet to organize web pages.
Write meta-descriptions for your website. Download the WordPress Yoast plugin, and write your own meta-descriptions to improve the click-through rate to your website from the SERP. And make sure you use alt-tags on your images that include your keywords.
Usability and UX
Good website design begets good traffic. If your website is slow or doesn’t have responsive design, your bounce rates will be high, and Google will favor other websites over yours. Work on web design that loads fast, is simple and easy to use and has a good flow of traffic from one page to another that encourages the user towards the desired outcome. We at Laughing Samurai are advocates for responsive web design. Not everyone visits your website on a computer. Having a website that is well-designed means it should be consistent, user friendly, and look fucking awesome on any device (mobile, tablet, computer, television, hologram) – that’s just the expectation for modern branding and website design.
Work on your local SEO
Make sure your citations in online listings are up to date and consistent across the internet. You should already have up-to-date information on sites like TripAdvisor, Facebook, and Yelp, but look to more alternative directories to establish your company’s presence on the internet. They point back to your website, and to your location, and become important signals that build your reputation to search engine algorithms. Most importantly, make sure you have claimed your Google My Business page and follow our guide to optimize your Google My Business presence.
Go big to earn links
Do something truly newsworthy. Long before Brewdog was an international titan of the craft brewing industry, expected to make headlines as a brewery making hand sanitizer during the coronavirus pandemic, they were making headlines for stunts like driving a tank down the London Stock Exchange or building a bar on the Mexico/USA border. Stunts like this make statements that exemplify the core values of the brand as well as generating interest in your business and traffic to your website. The hashtag #MakeBeerNotWalls trended globally, and the stunt generated 449 global pieces of coverage. And although there was risk involved in causing that kind of commotion in a country Brewdog was about to expand into, it felt true to the values of the company.
Use social media as part of your SEO strategy
Leverage the power of social media. You may already be rocking the social media game and have great user engagement with your audience. Consider opening up this channel to include users that don’t already follow you and pay to boost one of your successful posts. You can target an audience wider than your own following and send this traffic to your website. This is a great way to grow your social media following and boost your SEO by sending regular traffic to your site.
Take a course
Maybe you have found some extra time on your hands and you’re ready to take your SEO a step further. If you’re cash-strapped and not ready to invest in partnering with an agency that has experts in SEO, start learning your way to becoming an expert and take advantage of the free SEO courses by Moz.