Did you know there’s a number of steps you can take to improve the position of your website on a search engine results page (SERP) yourself?

Although many businesses have a regular budget in place for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), understandably there are also those that don’t have that luxury.  I do use the term ‘luxury’ very loosely because SEO actually plays an extremely important role in the success of any website.  You may be pleased to know that there are a number of steps that you can take yourself which should help push your website up the rankings.

The following off-page elements can be done as and when you like, a little bit each week or month is ideal:

  • Business Directory Listings
  • Social Media Networks
  • Google Customer Reviews

Business directory listings are a great tool and you don’t usually have to pay for a listing.  As well as advertising your business to potential customers, they also tell the search engines about your business.  Start with the obvious ones such as Google My Business, Yell, Thomson Local and Scoot.  Then add your information to UK Small Business Directory, FreeIndex, Business Magnet, Lacartes, Cylex, Yelp and SearchMe4.  There are others out there in addition to these, but this is a great place to start.

Top tip; ensure you add a link to your website.

Social media networks; because Google tends to keep its algorithm complexities to itself, there are mixed opinions about the role that social media networks play in SEO, but quite simply they are free tools that you can utilise to advertise your business to potential customers and also keep your existing customers up-to-date with any news, such as new products, special offers and promotions.

It’s easy to create a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter and Google My Business.  Once you’ve created your pages all you need to do is post content on a regular basis, even once or twice per week is enough.  If you publish content that people find useful or exciting, the likelihood is it will be ‘liked’ and shared.

As well as showing that your social network pages are regularly updated, and therefore not ‘stagnant’,  the more genuine social ‘likes’ and shares a website gets, the more faith is created in your website.

I must stress the importance of ‘genuine’ likes and share because it’s no longer a good idea to try and beat the system, search engines are extremely clever and tend to notice patterns that look unnatural.  For example, there are websites out there that will give you a number of Facebook ‘likes’ for a fiver.  However when the likes for a local business come from Facebook users located across the world, it does not look genuine!  A hair dresser in Ashford Kent would not have customers in Nairobi, Bombay or Beijing. If a search engine detects unnatural looking SEO techniques it could easily result in your website being penalised.

Top tip; remember to include a link to your website each time, ensuring that you vary the anchor text and the landing page.

Google customer reviews not only let potential customers know what your existing customers think about you, they also let the search engines know.  Why not ask your customers to leave a review on your Google+ Business Page?  It only takes a few minutes and if your customers are happy they most likely wouldn’t mind.

If this all sounds a little confusing or time consuming then Ashford Web Services can help you.  We undertake SEO for a number of business websites with great results.  An initial assessment and quick fix of any vital on-page elements is usually the first step, which is then best followed up with a regular SEO plan.  Because SEO is best done in small bite-sized chunks, in order to achieve a natural result, it’s not an expensive process and it can be done on a regular basis in line with whatever budget you have available.

If you’d like to discuss how we could improve your search engine position, please give us a call on 01233 877946 or 07904 795522, or email us at info@ashfordwebservices.co.uk.