SEO 101: How to Grow Your Small Business Online

Learn how to use Google Search Console to grow your small business with SEO. Monitor website performance, identify issues, and track organic traffic results. Improve your website's traffic and meet your business goals.

Grow Your Small Business with the Power of SEO

SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of improving your website to increase its traffic for searches that are relevant to your service or offering. 

It helps to grow traffic by creating a site that both Google and your potential customers will like, making it an essential tool for any business owner.

Learn how to do your own SEO and get one step closer to smashing your business goals.

Meet your SEO bestie: How to use Google Search Console

Making changes to your website plays a big part in the SEO process. So before we get into the nitty gritty of it all, it’s important to first focus on how to understand and measure their impact.

This is where Google Search Console (GSC) comes into play. It’s a free tool developed by Google that is essential for anybody who is serious about growing their business through SEO.

What is Google Search Console?

Google Search Console is one of two key tools for if you’re going to do your own SEO (the other one is called Google My Business). It gives you the ability to monitor your website's relationship with Google at all times.

The platform is free, providing you with valuable insights into how Google views your website and informing the way in which you manage your site.

And for an added bonus - once you’ve set up an account, Search Console will keep you up to date if anything unusual happens, making keeping your website running smoothly a piece of cake.

Basically, GSC allows you to track, check and measure the impact of any SEO changes you make on your organic traffic results. If you want to quantify the impact of any organic marketing efforts, then you need to set it up prior to making any changes.

Why is Search Console important?

The benefits of Search Console lie within the data it allows you to access, giving you a launching pad for making data-driven decisions. 

GSC allows you to:

  • Track website performance and get to know your visitors/what searches they used to find your site.
  • Identify page or usability issues that need to be fixed and opportunities for improvement.
  • Provide insights into what pages are ranking for what terms and what pages aren’t performing well.
  • Gain insight on what websites are linking to you and vice versa.
  • Help to build your familiarity with the basics of what affects SEO.

What should I be tracking?

Google Search Console is packed full of interesting and informative data on your website, but the main things you should have eyes on include:

  • Search Trends: access data on what users are searching for to reach your site and how well your site captures organic traffic. Non-brand terms you’re already getting clicks or impressions for may indicate ‘low-hanging fruit’, terms that you could optimise your site for and capture traffic on easily.
  • New pages: track the impact of your website changes on your overall site performance.
  • Site maps: ensure your pages are indexed by Google and appearing in Google Search Engines.
  • Coverage/errors: get up-to-date information on any site issues that may be causing challenges for your visitors.

How do I set up my own Google Search Console? 

To verify your website on Google Search Console, you first need to visit this page.

It should look something like this.

Once you’re here, you can choose to verify your property via the domain or the URL.

We prefer using the URL option, if you have Google Analytics or Tag Manager on your website already - this option will be a breeze!

If not, there are several other ways to verify your property outlined here

With Google Search Console set up, you’re now ready to track the true impact of any SEO optimisations you plan to make.

What Keywords to Use and Where to Find Them

Keywords are a fundamental piece of the SEO puzzle. They refer to anything that someone searches for on Google that connects them with your website’s content and should be closely related to your business offering or service. This is so that the traffic you help drive to your website is full of high-intent, likely to convert users.

When embarking on your own SEO journey the process of finding the right keywords to optimise for can be challenging. So, we’re here to help answer some of the most popular keyword research questions. 

How do I know what keywords to use?

Because researching can take a lot of effort, it helps to know how to enhance your page rankings for the right keywords so you can make sure the process is worth it. When selecting what keywords to use, you need to be weighing up these two key factors:

Keyword relevancy

Are you targeting searches that are relevant to your business? There are millions of searches a month, but which ones are searched by people looking for your products/services?

Keyword search volume

During your keyword research you will find that there are likely lots of different variations in the ways to search for your business. Alongside keyword relevancy, you should also be considering how much search volume that keyword has. Ultimately you need to be targeting searches with volume, in order to generate more web traffic.

Making sure you’ve got the “right keyword”

Here is an example of one keyword theme. Notice that cafe searches in their various forms have different search volumes behind them?

Cafe is just one example too. While you’re searching for what keywords to use you might find users searching for other variations such as “restaurant” or “eatery”. The key is to choose the word that is the most relevant and has the most demand.

Some free SEO keyword tools and top tips

Discovering keywords can sometimes seem like finding a needle in a haystack. But there’s a huge range of free SEO keyword tools available to help make your keyword journey that little bit simpler.

At Aro Digital, we typically undertake some keyword research using similar tools, and then compile data into a sheet (similar to above). We can then look at the total volume behind these search categories, and decide on what keywords to use.

Tool #1: Keyword Surfer:

Keyword Surfer is a free-to-download chrome extension tool that is great for jumpstarting your keyword research journey. 

It majorly simplifies the hunt for valuable search terms by making data easy to find, showing you the search volume of keywords as you put them directly into the Google search bar.

To start using it in your keyword research, all you need to do is download it here, open Google and type in the keyword that you’re interested in.

Alongside the usual search results, Keyword Surfer will let you know the value of your term by showing how many people are searching for it each month and the average price that people are paying to place ads for it. 

It also provides other relevant searches & examples, giving great inspiration on additional searches that could be relevant for your business.

Tool #2: UberSuggest:

One of the most comprehensive free SEO keyword tools available is UberSuggest. The free web application provides a huge variety of digestible keyword insights, with its most valuable being new keyword ideas. 

It’s super easy to use, simply place a keyword you’re interested in into the search bar, make sure to set your language/country, and click the search button.

This action reveals a dashboard chock full of insights that suggest the viability of your chosen keyword. The search volume and the SEO difficulty in the top left corner both give a good hint, by showing how many people are looking for your keyword and how many other websites you’ll be competing with to get their attention.

With a short scroll down the page, you’ll find a list of keyword ideas. This exposes a whole bunch of terms that people are searching for which are similar to the keyword you’re interested in.

This section is great for helping you discover similar keywords that are perhaps more popular, less competitive or actually more relevant to your service than the one you may have initially had in mind.

A Guide to Writing SEO Optimised Content

Keyword optimisation is at the heart of creating wicked SEO optimised content. 

After trawling the depths of Google for keyword data, you will likely end up with a short list of keywords that are super relevant and valuable to your business. 

Now is the time to put your keyword gems into action.

The secret to ranking for a keyword starts with your page text

Page text (as the name may suggest), is the text present on a page. While in theory quite simple, there are a number of different aspects to consider.

1) Amount of text 

How often are your keywords being referenced on the page? 

2) Placement of text 

Where on your page are these keywords being referenced?

3) Readability of text 

How does your text flow? Optimising for SEO is great, but it’s important to remember the purpose of this text - for human consumption (not a robot crawling your site).

Let’s dive into these points in more depth.

1) Amount of text

You may have been told that writing SEO optimised content is all about how many times your keyword is presented on a page. While this is somewhat true, there are many more factors that come into play. 

The ideal number of times to include a keyword on any page is roughly 5-7 times. Any less and you run the risk of appearing irrelevant in Google's eyes and losing the opportunity to rank for a keyword. On the other hand, when you start to hit the 9+ count, you start to fall into “keyword stuffing” territory.

What is keyword stuffing?

Keyword stuffing is an outdated SEO technique, all about squeezing as many of your keywords onto a page as possible. As SEO has evolved, so has Google's ability to detect & analyse page text. If you’re keyword stuffing this will be picked up by Google, and this could have a negative affect on your rankings.

2) Placement of text

The amount of text isn’t the only ranking factor for SEO, it’s also important to consider the placement of said text.

For example, including your keyword within the page title is going to be much more beneficial (from an SEO perspective) than including it within your body text. And if you think about this, it actually makes a lot of sense. If a bot crawling your website see’s a keyword in a title, or header it becomes immediately obvious that this page must be quite relevant to that term - right?

The next consideration for keyword optimisation is how high on your page are they being shown. The higher up on your website your keyword is included, the more influence it’s going to have from an SEO perspective. Again this is as it’s indicating this term is quite relevant to this page, as it’s included higher on the page (generally where the most important content sits).

This doesn’t mean you should only include keywords in titles, and at the top of the page - it’s just important to understand that placement has an influence on ranking for a keyword.

To help you with placement, we like to think about something called the rule of THUMB.

The rule of thumb is the holy grail of writing SEO optimised content, and provides you with a guide as to where you can include your targeted keywords. To fully optimise your page for SEO, we would recommend trying to include your keywords into each of these points.

See an example on our website below:

Our keywords “Aro Digital” and “Digital Marketing” have been included throughout all elements of our page.

3) Readability of text

This is something often missed out on in SEO guides, but it's important to remember the purpose of the text you’re writing. What is the purpose of page text?

The purpose is to simply & effectively communicate your message to an audience. 

A good SEO copywriter will include keywords throughout a page, without impacting the quality of that text. At the end of the day, you can produce beautiful SEO optimised content - but if your writing and substance is poor you’re never going to generate any results.

Time on page is one way Google measures how relevant/effective your website and it’s content is.

A higher dwell time (time on page) is influential for your SEO. On the flip side, if people are bouncing (leaving) your website immediately, this is indicating to Google your content may be of poor quality.

Keyword optimisation insider tip

One of the most underutilised spots on a website is the footer. Why is a footer valuable?

Think about this this way. A footer is on. Every. Single. Page. It’s a valuable contributor to your keyword optimisation by providing a spot to sneak in some further text.

If we look at the homepage for Aro Digital, you can see it's jam-packed full of SEO goodness.

Specific things that we have included (that you should include on your footer too!)

1) Our logo has been added (and is clickable).
2) Our snippet of text (down the bottom left) includes our most valuable keywords, “Aro Digital” & “Digital marketing Wellington”.
3) Social Media Icons are included - these are a great way to link out to highly trusted social media sites and get links back to you from them.
4) We've included a call-to-action (232 subscription).

What we are missing (and you could include to make your SEO even better than ours!)

1) Awards - showcase your awards or partner badges
2) Include your contact details (phone, email and address) and make them clickable!

Got your keywords? Know where to put them? Time to get writing!

So, you should now have a good idea of how to rank for a keyword through placement. Leaving you well on the way to having an SEO optimised website!

Want to learn more about SEO and Digital Marketing?

If you’re looking to continue growing your business online, you can book an Aro Digital Workshop in which our team can help you to develop the digital marketing skill set needed to take your business to the next level.

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