How to Boost the Performance of your Business Website with Great SEO


In this article, we’ll cover all the necessary steps to help you attract new visitors to your website and convert them into satisfied customers, who not only use your service again but recommend you to others.


We’ll show you how to choose the best keywords for your B2B website, create content that search engines can read and understand. We'll also demonstrate how linking with outside sources can increase credibility and trust with your customers.


On-page SEO tips

  • Using keywords 

  • Keyword research 

  • Optimising SEO keywords 

  • Creating on-page SEO content 

  • Optimising web pages

  • Mobile optimisation 

Off-page SEO tips

  • Building links through off-page SEO 

  • Using social media and email

  • Using industry thought leaders 

  • List in business directories

  • Appearing on Google maps



How to boost the performance of your business website


What exactly is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and why is it important?


Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation is about making sure that your business is high in the lists produced by search engines. Such as Google when somebody is looking for the product or service you provide.

It’s an essential component in the first stage of inbound marketing – a technique for drawing customers to your website.

It’s important because if your business isn’t visible to the search engines it won’t appear when a potential customer searches for the product or service you supply.

So how does SEO work?


You’re probably very familiar with using the internet to search for general information, goods and services.

Of course, you’re not the only one using the internet in this way – over 3 billion searches are made every day on Google alone.

Think for a moment about how you would search for something. Perhaps you’re looking to find a nice seaside cottage to rent for a week in June. You’d probably type in something quite specific like ‘seaside cottages to rent’.


What happens next?


Your ‘seaside cottages to rent’ query sends spiders (it’s not called the world wide web for nothing!) scuttling through all the content on the internet in search of content that is both useful and relevant to your query. It also checks how trustworthy that information is.

Once the spiders have found data it’s presented as a list of results, ranked by popularity and authority, for you to peruse. This is what you see on a search engine page.

The websites at the top of a page are generally adverts, paid for by companies who want to be at the top.

But scroll down beyond these ads and you’ll find the top 10 unpaid results. These are there because they are frequently visited by other people searching for similar things simply because they contain the most popular and relevant answers. The higher the number of visitors the higher the ranking in the table.

Most searchers only click on the first few websites in any list. So of course, being at the top of the ranking means a business gets more visitors, which in turn keeps it at the top.


So how do we get to be top of the search lists?


Naturally, your goal is to be in among these high ranking websites. But how? This is where SEO & inbound marketing comes to the fore.

Great inbound marketing will draw potential customers to your business using various tools to provide valuable information and an improved customer experience.

As well as SEO, these tools include branding, content marketing and social media presence.

But first, you need to work out what your potential customers are looking for. And that you can be sure the spiders will find it on your website in the first place!


Essentials of SEO


SEO can be broken down into two main strategies: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. Let’s look at the six on-page SEO components first.


  • Using keywords 
  • Keyword research 
  • Optimising SEO keywords 
  • Creating on-page SEO content 
  • Optimising web pages
  • Mobile optimisation 



Using keywords


The use of keywords is the first and crucial element of on-page SEO. They are the words which people type into a search engine.

So going back to the previous example these would be ‘seaside’, ‘cottages’ and ‘rent’. In this search another keyword could also be ‘holiday’. And if you were looking for a specific geographical location you might add ‘Wales’, ‘Devon’, ‘Lake District’ to the search.

But what about your business? What might be the keywords to optimise your website to encourage visitors, turn them into leads and ultimately customers? 

Keyword research


Know your customer...

One thing you need to try and understand is the people you want to become your customers. Who might they be and what will they look for?

Start by considering the issues they face and what they are trying to achieve. This will help you to create a buyer persona.

When you’ve established your buyer’s persona it will help you make a list of keywords they might search for.



Let’s look at examples of keyword research


Perhaps your business is garden landscaping. You not only do garden makeovers but sell landscaping products such as bark chippings, gravel and pebbles, decking and paving.

Imagine a buyer persona called garden-mad Gloria. She’s middle-aged and looking to transform a steeply sloping corner of her garden. She turns to the internet for inspiration.

Her first search might be for general information, so she types in ‘transforming sloping garden’. She sees various pictures of what others have achieved and it gives her ideas.

Next, she looks for products and solutions that your company might provide. This could be ‘garden decking’ or ‘gravel terraces’.

She’s a little undecided as to what the best solution for her garden slope might be. So she decides to seek professional advice from ‘landscape gardeners’. But who will she choose? 

Think about the common questions you get asked by customers. Can the words they use be incorporated into your website to entice garden-mad Gloria to take a look?


The Buyer's Journey



Making a list of keywords


What we’ve highlighted are the stages in a buyer’s journey from realising they want or need something to deciding what that something is. It is helpful to categorise the keywords by stages:

The Awareness stage is where your buyer will look for ideas or solutions so you will need keywords that meet those searches.

The second stage is Consideration and the keywords here are those that your business provides solutions or products for.

Finally there’s the Decision stage, so the keywords need to be around the decision to buy.


Think about language and phrases


We recommend you brainstorm all the keywords your buyer persona might use at each stage.

Think about your buyers. Are they male or female? What age range? What social demographic? Where in the world are they? For example in the gardening scenario, a backyard in the USA is completely different from a back yard in the UK.

Put yourself inside their minds. The keywords that your buyer personas would use are the ones that will attract them.

If you find it difficult to come up with keywords, try typing one of those you have come up with into a search engine to see what results it brings. 

Look at the words that similar businesses use – especially those at the top of the search list.


Optimising SEO keywords


Now you have a list of keywords you need to select the best ones for SEO optimisation.

Google has a function which auto-completes other popular keyword phrases as you type.

For example, typing ‘sloping garden’ other phrases appear, such as ‘sloping garden ideas’, ‘sloping garden designs’, ‘sloping garden solutions’.

Look also in specific searches such as images and videos. In this example, a video search for ‘sloping garden’ brings up keyword phrases: ‘sloped garden ideas’, ‘steps and retaining walls’, ‘levelling and creating a terraced garden’.

Such alternative phrases and keywords – that match your buyer persona and your business – should be included in your list.


Competition for ranking


If possible, use Google Analytics to discover which keywords people have used when they’ve found your website. 

Of course, yours won’t be the only website that has appeared in their search and there’s only room for ten on the first page of search results. 

Try typing in the keyword ‘gravel’ and you’ll see there’s little hope of appearing in the top ten. Not only are the big companies at the top, but there are several different permutations too – ‘sand & gravel’, ‘decorative gravel & aggregates’, ‘Welsh gravel’ … the list goes on. The keyword ‘gravel’ is what’s known as a short or broad keyword. Its scope is short and broad! 

In order to increase your website ranking, you’re going to need more specific keywords and phrases.


Long-tail keywords


Let’s say your business sells various types of pea gravel. Even using these two keywords brings up a host of competition, with large companies at the top of the list.

But think about your most popular and versatile product: premium quartzite pea gravel.

‘Premium quartzite pea gravel’ is a specific keyword phrase known as a long tail keyword – a string of related words. And a search for something as specific and targeted as this will bring up fewer, more relevant, results, meaning your business is more likely to rank highly in the list. 

It also means that the searcher knows exactly what he or she is looking for and is what we term a ‘qualified visitor’ – someone who is also more likely to turn into a customer.

However, even selecting a long tail keyword doesn’t always result in a high ranking. 

Again, Google Analytics can show you how often people search for that long-tail keyword and what your ranking is. You can also see which long-tail keywords have the best chance. For example, those with the highest search volume and lowest competition.

Be careful not to be too obscure or specific though or your website may never appear at all!



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Creating on-page great SEO content


So now you’ve chosen your keywords, it’s time to start creating great content around them.

Search engines get smarter by the day. As well as understanding keywords they try to understand or guess what the searcher might be looking for. Once the spiders have crawled through all those related pages they bring up the results they believe are the most helpful!


Writing content


Think about the keywords you want to include and write content using variations of these words and phrases. The language must be natural and not peppered over and over with the same phrases. 

Going back to the sloping garden problem, perhaps your content could include keywords such as ‘levelling your sloping garden with beautiful decking’, ‘using gravel to level a sloping garden’, or ‘inexpensive fixes for sloping gardens’.

If you create a content plan this will help map out the blog articles and landing pages on your website, which in turn will help to promote your keywords.


Optimising web pages


Remember, although you’re optimising pages for the website visitor, you’re also making it straightforward for a search engine to find and understand so that it can be indexed and ranked.

What is the primary keyword in the content? 

As it’s to be added to the title page and will show on the browser tab and the link in the search results, you need to be sure it fits as a description of what the page is about. 

To optimise a website page include your company name alongside the title page. Separate the two with a vertical bar (also known as a pipe)

For example:

Sloping garden solutions│Capability Garden Schemes


Don’t forget the URL


Adding the primary keyword to the URL will ensure it can be seen both on the page and in search results.

If you’re using a long-tail keyword phrase you’ll need to use dashes to separate words so your URL could look like this:

Be aware that if you are making changes to a live page, perhaps updating content, if you change the URL to reflect the new keywords, a new page will be added.

So that visitors can be sent seamlessly to the right page you will need to set up a 301 redirect. This is a command to tell search engines that the old page has moved & that the new page is the one to be indexed.

It stops duplication and also means any rankings earned from visitors to the old page are still credited.

Page headers and images


Remember to include the keyword in the page header or blog title.

Because search engines can’t read images if you’ve used images you’ll need to create alt-text so the search engine can understand what that image is. And so that the image can be found in searches you also need to include the keyword in any descriptions you have in the alt-text.

You’ll have noticed the short summary that appears below the link to your page in search engine results. This is the meta description and is best kept at fewer than 140 characters for readability in search results. Each page should have a unique meta description – that way it doesn’t directly affect the SEO. You’ll need to include your keyword in the meta description if you want to improve the rate of people visiting your website pages.



Improving SEO through building trustworthiness


If you create relevant internal links within your website it will encourage visitors to read other pages and content and stay longer.

It’s also useful to link to other websites, especially relevant reliable sources. It helps build connections. This demonstrates you’ve done your research and your visitors will appreciate the helpful resources. In turn, making them likely to return to your website as a trustworthy source again. This, in turn, helps the search engine ranking.

Outside links work very well in blog posts, especially if you hyperlink text that contains the particular keywords you’re promoting.

Make sure there are not too many links – not only does it look a bit ‘spammy’ but you don’t want visitors leaving your website never to return!


Make it simple


People often abandon websites if what they are looking for isn’t easily or instantly apparent.

Good user experience means making sure your website is straightforward and easy to browse.

Visitors want to find answers quickly. So don’t make them spend ages clicking from page to page in search of what they need. Make it simple for them to take the next steps with your business and it will be easier to convert them into customers.

And remember, search engines can measure the experience visitors to your website have and will use the data to rank your business.


Mobile optimisation


80% of internet users own a smartphone and more and more of them are using these and other mobile devices to access internet search engines.

It’s therefore important to ensure your website pages can be viewed on any screen size. Companies whose websites are not mobile-friendly may miss out on all those searches that are done on the commute to work!



Now we’ve covered on-page SEO, let’s take a look at off-page SEO …


  • Building links through off-page SEO 
  • Using social media and email
  • Using industry thought leaders 
  • List in business directories
  • Appearing on Google maps


Building links through off-page SEO


Now you’ve got great optimised content with perfect keywords it’s time to build your reputation as a trustworthy and authoritative site.

But how?

You need to grow your off-page SEO. 

One of the elements of off-page SEO is inbound links. These are links from other websites to yours. These help search engines determine how effective your website is. 

Of course, all links aren’t equal, you want high-quality links from existing authoritative and relevant websites that will enhance the trustworthiness of your website.


How do you build these links?


Remember to focus on quality, not quantity.

Use tools such as Moz Open Site Explorer to see which websites link with you and how authoritative they are.

Of course, there may be no websites linking to yours, authoritative or otherwise.

Building links takes time, but it is worth it to keep your business the focus of other businesses and people who might be interested in what you offer.

Network with industry thought leaders and other authoritative businesses. Comment on their blog posts, link up through social media or via friendly emails or messaging. Or attend local networking events or industry specific conferences and exhibitions.


Using social media and email


Both are great ways to promote your optimised and well-written content.

Post articles and links on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Make sure you engage with commenters and people who like your content.

Use your email database to alert people to your new content.

The more people who read, link and share to your website content the more popular your site will appear to the search engines. And the more trust it will gain.


Using industry thought leaders to promote increase off-page SEO


This takes a little effort but is a great way to encourage new visitors and convert them into customers.

The easiest way is to begin is to create a ‘best of’ list in a blog or news page, giving credit and links to the authors and sources.

Why not talk to an industry thought leader about a particular topic and publish a blog post around that interview?  Alternatively, ask an authority to write a piece or give a quote that you can use in your content.

Reach out to others. Perhaps ask a few key people in your industry whose opinions everyone values for their thoughts on a specific issue Or devise a series of questions they can answer.

Use this ‘crowd-sourced’ information to write content that you can link to the thought leaders who’ve participated.

These industry thought leaders will share your content with their followers, bringing new visitors and new links to your website.


Use Business Directories to help with off-page SEO


It’s definitely worth setting up a page for your business on online business directories such as Yellow Pages and Yelp and your local chamber of commerce.

It will help increase both the number of links to your website and awareness of your business name and address.


26 Free Business Directories - In-Bound Link Building for SEO


Appearing on Google maps


Use Google My Business to ensure your listing appears when searchers are looking for particular businesses on Google maps.

It will help tie your business to a particular location. So link to your homepage if your company is in just one location, or a dedicated location page for each if you are a multi-site organisation.

Updating your listing is simple, plus Google will use your location in its search results – making your website stand out and driving visitors to it.



In Summary


We hope you’ve found our guide to SEO strategy and best practices useful.

All you need to do to start improving the rank of your pages and getting new visitors to your site is consider both your on-page and off-page content:


Here’s a little reminder...


On-page SEO

  • Using keywords 

  • Keyword research 

  • Optimising SEO keywords 

  • Creating on-page SEO content 

  • Optimising web pages

  • Mobile optimisation 

Off-page SEO

  • Building links through off-page SEO 

  • Using social media and email

  • Using industry thought leaders 

  • List in business directories

  • Appearing on Google maps



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Article by: Tim Bennett - myCloud Media




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