We have compiled a list of 10 tips to assist small businesses succeed in increasing their website’s rankings on the search engines and in turn generate more business from their website.

1. Extensive Keyword Research
Every SEO campaign starts with identifying the keywords that are searched for, and are relevant to what your website offers.

Ideally you should look for keywords with good monthly search volume and relatively low competition.Why not check the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.co.uk/o/Targeting/Explorer) or Wordtracker (http://www.wordtracker.com/).
2. Optimise Your Title and Description Tags for each page
All pages on the site should have a unique title and description tag.- The title tag should include the keywords which the page is being optimised for but should not be repetitive or spammy.
- The meta description tag should be keyword-rich but more importantly should be descriptive and relevant to the page content.Remember the page’s title tag and meta description tag appear in the search engine results so this will be the first impression visitors get of your website and may not even click through to your website if they are put off by poorly written tags.
3. Build Internal Links
Ensure that all references to other pages on your site are linked to the relevant pages. Don’t rely solely on the navigation menus for visitors to navigate around the website.Adding contextual links within the page paragraphs and even additional navigation in the footer can make it easier for users to find the content they are looking for. Remember to link the specific keywords to the destination page and don’t fall into the the trap of linking phrases like ‘click here’ as these are not as beneficial for the search engine rankings.
4. Develop Inbound Links
This is one of the most fundamental parts of offsite SEO. Developing high quality, relevant links to your site is vital to achieving a high search engine ranking. They are used as a factor by all Search Engines to evaluate how important a website is and consequently where the site should be ranked.Acquiring inbound links is easier said than done but good quality websites will naturally acquire links over time. However there are practical methods to getting links which include:- Submit your website to niche directories for your industry or region
- Ensure your website is listed on trade bodies/institutions that you are a member of
- Contribute to other websites by writing informative articles with a link back to your website
5. Don’t Try To Trick Search Engines
White hat SEO is the ONLY way to go, do not enter into bad practice and use grey or black hat SEO tactics. These will only cause you issues later on. Link building and optimising pages for relative terms are the best way to optimise a website.Don’t spam, don’t use hidden text, don’t join link farms, and don’t stuff your title and META descriptions tags with keywords. The potential penalties far outweigh any short-lived advantages. Don’t risk being banned by the search engines.
6. Use Fresh, Unique Content
Ensure that your content is unique and updated regularly. Whilst it can be difficult for a small business to write something new about its core services you could add a blog/news section to your website where you can write about industry news, new clients/contracts and company events.There is nothing more frustrating than visiting a site for timely information, only to find that it hasn’t been updated for weeks or even months. A website that has not been updated on a regular basis will discourage prospective clients and spiders alike. So make sure your site is regularly updated with fresh, engaging content.
7. Optimise The Key Pages
Every key page should be unique and optimised appropriately.For example a brochure website should have a different page for service offered. If your site is selling products ensure that each category page is well optimised with a category description outlining what products or brands are on offer.
8. Use Social Media
Even if Twitter or Facebook isn’t your thing make sure that your company website is connect to these mediums by:- Creating a profile for your company on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
- Add links to your social media profiles from your website
- Actively engage with customers and partners through these channels by submitting links to your website to promote new articles, products or services
- Add social bookmarking widgets (like the ones at the bottom of this page) so that visitors to your website can like, share or comment on your website using their favourite social media platform
9. Submit to Google Maps
When a user searches for a product or service in their local area Google will often supplement the natural and paid results with local search results which are plotted on a Google Map.You may already be listed on Google Maps (formerly known as Google Local) as it uses data from other business directories. However if you have not submitted the listing yourself there is a good chance that you are not getting the most from it. To take advantage of this source of search engine traffic do the following:- Submit/edit your business listing at the Google Places website (http://www.google.com/places/)
- Ensure that your business is listed in ALL the relevant categories. Take your time and check what categories are available and which ones your competitors appear in.
- Add as much relevant information as you can including your website URL, opening times, payment methods and pictures.
  10. Don’t Give Up
SEO is an ongoing process and it normally takes months to see a return for your effort. In the meantime your website visitors should notice improvements to your website content.If in doubt contact Optimease.