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SEO Is Changing: How Your SME Can Stay On Top

SEO is one of the many aspects of digital marketing that is forever changing. Technology giants like Google are always updating their algorithms to provide search users with the best possible experience. However, whilst these changes can help deliver an excellent user experience, they can also dramatically impact the traffic to your website. Fail to adhere to the new SEO rules and you could see your website drop in organic rankings. Once you’ve slipped down past the top five results, you’ll see less traffic, less conversions and even less business. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are a few simple ways that you can ensure you’re never behind the SEO algorithms again. 

Get the basics right

First of all – the basics of SEO haven’t changed in a while. So if you spend the time getting all of your keywords, meta-data and content sorted out now you should stand a fighting chance against the algorithms. 

Stay notified

You can set up alerts with search engine providers like Google, Bing and Yahoo to let you know when a change has been made to their algorithms. They are usually pretty open about their updates. After all they still want to show your website in their search results – they just want to ensure that it is for the right search terms. 

Get reading

As well as getting notifications from the search providers themselves, you can also subscribe to some digital marketing blogs. There are quite a few out there that not only write about the algorithm updates, they can also tell you how to comply with the new rules or even give you the heads up before an update has come into play. If you don’t know where to start, check out some of our personal favourites

Act quickly

Updates happen as soon as they’re announced so it is always best to act quickly. As soon as you understand what you need to do to appease a new SEO update – do it. This will then stop search engines from penalising you if you haven’t complied. 

Hire a professional

We understand that all of this can be time consuming, particularly if you’re an SME with little resources to spare. However, there is always an alternative to doing it yourself – hire an SEO professional. Whilst this can be more expensive, it does ensure that your website is always up to date with the latest SEO practices and is in the best possible shape it can be for search engines. 

That pretty much sums up our easy-peasy ways your SME can stay on top of SEO changes. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!

Five Ways To Make Your Small Business Stand Out Online

The world wide web has opened the door to so many opportunities for small businesses. However, whilst this means you can reach more potential customers – it means your competition can too. Thanks to the internet, you’ve probably discovered that there is actually more competition out there than you first thought. Although this can be daunting there are still ways your small business can stand out online.

Tell your story – and bring this to life on your website

Whilst it can be tempting to compare yourself to your competitors – don’t. Instead focus on why you started your small business in the first place. What’s your story? Because, although people may sell the same products or services as you they definitely don’t have the same story as you. To illustrate this and your passion for what you do, create an “about” section on your website and remember to include all the unique details about how your business came to be. Once that’s done, add a button or strip to your homepage where you outline the three key values your business holds. This way you can establish what makes you different from the beginning and not just lose it in the navigation bar.

Make your website more human

Nobody wants to spend their hard-earned cash on a business that treats them like a number. Therefore, it’s important that your website and online marketing are made for humans – not exclusively for SEO rankings. Firstly what you want to do is make your website as easy to use as possible. To do this you need to create the best user experience you can. You can either hire an user experience specialist agency  or you can try to do it yourself. Luckily, if you’re looking to do a bit of website DIY we have a vast amount of articles all about user experience

Proactively acknowledge and solve common customer problems

One of the best ways you can attract potential customers and lure them away from your competition is to help them. Before someone sets their sights on purchasing your products or services they will more than likely do some research online. One way they may do this is type some questions into search engines regarding any concerns they may have. You can find out what some of these questions are if you use Google’s search console tool or their keyword planner. Once you’ve discovered what some of these common pain points may be – address them in a blog post and tell your audience how they can overcome or answer these problems. Not only will this show that you are readily addressing issues before being asked directly – it could also help you convert your competitors customers to yours.

Create a memorable experience

This sort of ties in with the previous point – however it’s more about surprising your audience with an interaction that is not only personal but memorable. It may sound complicated but creating a memorable customer experience can actually be pretty simple. If you’re selling a service, it is likely that potential customers will have to contact you first – make this as easy as possible for them. You can do this by adding a online chat widget to your website or creating a intuitive contact form pop-up. However don’t stop there. Make sure you deal with inquiries quickly and accurately. It may sound obvious but replying to a inquiry personally rather than using an automated service already makes the interaction more memorable. Just make sure you address the customer personally and directly answer their questions. In short – you just need to deliver an enjoyable customer service.

Don’t try so hard to be “quirky” “innovative” or “weird”

One of the most common and frankly, annoying trends with small businesses at the moment is the fact that they point out how different and quirky they are – all the time. Whilst this is a relevant claim to make if you have completely re-invented the wheel, it is more than likely that you don’t have a unique product or service as such. Therefore by banging on about how innovative or different you are, you actually become just like all of the other small businesses claiming the same thing. So, drop the “quirky-ness” and aim for being real.

That pretty much sums up our top five ways to stand out as a small business online. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!

How Being Involved In Your Local Community Can Benefit Your Marketing

We’ve already spoken about how you can combine your online and offline marketing however there are still so many other ways in which you can combine different marketing techniques to reap some serious benefits, especially if you’re a small to medium sized local business. Whilst using both traditional marketing and digital marketing together can bring your business some real success, taking an even more hands on approach could have it’s advantages too.

Advertise locally

Putting some money into advertising locally can actually bring in more business than you think. While these sort of advertising spaces cost less they usually don’t get seen by as many people. To most this may seem like a disadvantage but it actually isn’t. This is because these advertisements are targeted specifically to local people – the most important audience for small local businesses. The more local people see your brand within the community the more likely it is that they will feel a sense of familiarity when they see your business. All of this can build trusting consumer to business relationship which is obviously fruitful for your ever-growing enterprise.

Donate to a local charity

First things first we do not mean money – donating money in the hopes of boosting your brand isn’t exactly the most effective way to gain a solid brand image. Instead why not donate your time and/or skills. For instance if there’s a local food bank close to your restaurant business why not donate some of your produce? This is not only a great way to show that your business cares about the local community – it also gives you a chance to meet new people. Showing yourself as the face of your business within your community consistently can both strengthen your brand and help your business engage with more potential customers.

Sponsor a local event

Similar to the above – this shows that you care about your local business. However we’d suggest that you choose an event that is relevant to your business and upholds the same values as your business. This ensures that when your branding is plastered all over an event it is going to be seen by people who are interested in the same things as your business. For example, if you have a personal training business why not sponsor a local fun run?

Join the local chamber of commerce

This tip is great because it works in a multitude of ways. On one hand you can use the name of the chamber of commerce in your marketing to show that you’re a reliable and reputable business. Whilst on the other hand you can also learn a lot from being part of a group of like minded business people. They can offer you advice, teach you new skills and can even give you some referral business.

So those are our top tips and insights into how you can make a difference in your local community whilst boosting your business. Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should use marketing strategies is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!