If you’re a UK business owner who wants better rankings, more leads or more new customers, then read on.
In the digitally-driven world of today, search engine optimisation (SEO) is no longer optional for businesses. To stay ahead of the competition, businesses must optimise their online presence, and SEO is a fundamental part of that process.
For UK businesses, especially those in the trade industries such as locksmiths, plumbers, and electricians, mastering SEO could mean the difference between sinking and swimming in the online marketplace. It can transform your business by bringing in more customers, increasing brand visibility, and generating more revenue.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through seven critical SEO steps that can help your business rank higher in search engine results, boost online visibility, drive more leads and ultimately, reach more potential customers.
Using the Right SEO Tools
The first step towards mastering SEO is utilising the right SEO tools. Without these tools, it can be challenging to understand your website’s performance, identify areas of improvement, and keep track of your SEO progress.
There’s a wide array of tools available in the market, both free and paid. Google offers a suite of free tools that provide invaluable insights into various aspects of your website. Google Analytics, for instance, enables you to track website traffic, user behaviour, and conversion rates. Google Search Console helps identify potential website errors and provides information about your site’s visibility on Google. Google PageSpeed Insights is useful for analysing your website’s load speed—a crucial ranking factor.
For more in-depth analysis, paid tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs can be quite beneficial. These tools provide comprehensive insights into your site’s SEO health, keyword rankings, backlink profile, and competitive landscape. They can also aid in uncovering new keyword opportunities and detecting technical SEO issues that might be impeding your site’s performance.
Regardless of the tools you choose, the important thing is to leverage them to gather insights, inform your strategy, and monitor your progress. SEO is an ongoing process, and these tools can help you stay on top of your game.
Long Tail Keyword Research
Keyword research forms the backbone of your SEO strategy. It helps identify the terms users are typing into search engines when looking for services or products like yours. While short, popular keywords may seem like the best choice, they’re often highly competitive and may not yield the best results.
Enter long tail keywords. These are specific phrases that are typically three to four words long, or even longer. They’re less competitive than short tail keywords and can drive highly targeted traffic to your site, leading to better conversion rates.
For example, instead of using “plumber,” a long tail keyword might be “emergency plumber in Manchester.” The latter is far more specific, and while it may have fewer searches, the people who use it in their search are likely in urgent need of a plumber in Manchester—meaning they’re more likely to convert.
To identify relevant long tail keywords, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, SEranking or Ahrefs. It’s also beneficial to think from your customers’ perspective. What would they search for when they need your services?
Crafting Meta Titles and Descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions are crucial yet often overlooked aspects of SEO. They’re the first thing users see in search engine results, and they can significantly influence whether users choose to click on your link or not.
Your meta title, or title tag, acts as the headline for your webpage. It should be concise yet descriptive, incorporating your primary keyword as naturally as possible. It should also entice users to click through to your page.
Your meta description, on the other hand, serves as a short summary of the page’s content. It’s your opportunity to provide users with more information about what they’ll find on the page and why it’s relevant to their search. While meta descriptions don’t directly influence rankings, they can significantly impact click-through rates.
When crafting your meta titles and descriptions, think about your user. What would convince them to click on your page? Be sure to make your meta descriptions informative and compelling, and avoid clickbait or misleading information. The length of your meta title and description should be such that it fits to Google’s requirements. If you aim for a meta title of around 60 characters and a meta description of around 160 character, you won’t be going to far wrong.
Optimising Your Heading Structure
The structure of your headings—otherwise known as your H1, H2, H3 tags, and so on—is an essential factor in SEO. A well-structured webpage with clear headings helps search engine crawlers understand the content on your page, improving your chances of ranking higher in search results.
Your H1 tag, or the title of your page, should include your primary keyword. It’s the first thing users (and search engine crawlers) see when they land on your page, so it needs to be relevant and engaging.
Your H2, H3, and other heading tags should serve to break up your content into readable and easy-to-understand sections. They should be used in a hierarchical manner, with H2 tags serving as main section headings, H3 tags as subheadings of those sections, and so forth.
Each heading should offer value and context to your content, helping guide readers through your page. This structure not only makes your content more digestible for readers but also provides more opportunities for you to incorporate relevant keywords and improve your SEO. We have previously cover heading structures in much more detail in a previous blog, feel free to check that out too.
Creating Product or Service Page Content
The content on your product or service pages isn’t just there to inform users about what you offer—it’s a pivotal part of your SEO strategy. These pages need to be keyword-optimised, informative, and engaging to rank well in search engine results.
Start by identifying your unique selling points. What sets your products or services apart? Why should a user choose your business over your competitors? Include these details in your content.
Include customer testimonials or reviews if you have them. They add social proof and can persuade potential customers to choose your business.
When it comes to SEO, keywords are vital. However, avoid keyword stuffing—placing keywords unnaturally or too frequently—which can lead to penalties. Instead, incorporate your keywords naturally into your content.
Lastly, remember to make your content user-friendly. Break up large blocks of text with headings, bullet points, or images. An easy-to-read page keeps users on your site longer, which can positively impact your SEO.
Having a blog on your business’s website can be a game-changer for your SEO strategy. Blogs offer a platform for you to provide valuable information to your audience, cover a wider range of keywords, and keep users on your site longer—all of which can improve your SEO. If you want to become a dominant force in your niche, if you want to be an authority then you will not get there without regularly blogging.
For trade industry businesses, consider blog topics like DIY tips, industry trends, or guides on choosing the right professional for the job. You could even showcase case studies of previous projects, providing real-world examples of how your services can benefit customers.
Remember to incorporate internal links within your blog posts. These are links that guide visitors to other relevant pages on your site, keeping users engaged and helping distribute link equity across your site, which can boost your SEO.
Blogs require regular updates, so develop a consistent posting schedule. Consistency can build trust with your audience and signal to search engines that your site is being actively maintained, positively influencing your SEO.
Citations, or mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites, play a key role in local SEO. They help establish your business as a legitimate entity, can drive traffic to your site, and improve your visibility in local search results.
Begin by listing your business on reputable online directories like Yell or Thomson Local. Also, take advantage of local business listings like Google My Business. Industry-specific platforms, too, can be a valuable source of citations.
Ensure your information is consistent across all listings. Any inconsistencies can confuse search engines and potentially harm your SEO efforts.
SEO in 2023 is not as simple as it once was:
Mastering SEO isn’t achieved overnight—it’s a long-term game. The seven steps outlined in this post can serve as a roadmap to help you navigate the landscape.
By consistently applying these strategies, you can improve your visibility in search engine results, reach more potential customers, and ultimately drive your business growth. And remember, the world of SEO is ever-evolving, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest trends and algorithm updates.
At CTO Digital, we specialise in helping businesses like yours succeed in the world of SEO. We understand that every business is unique, and so are its SEO needs. Contact us today to see how we can help your business reach its full potential online.