Gone are the ways of the old world, when the internet didn’t exist and businesses would simply spread the word by posters, or word of mouth, and hoped they would take off from there. To rely solely on these methods now would be taking a very big gamble, one your business probably can’t afford. It’s best then to adopt what all successful businesses have nowadays: a website. And for a small business in plumbing, having a website could help exponentially in getting new customers. However, with the amount of up and coming businesses arising, each creating their own webpages, yours could very easily get lost in the crowd.
How do you battle this? By making sure your website is one of the top results that show up on search engines. Over 93 percent of website traffic is received from search engines, and studies show that almost 95 percent of people click only on results from the first page, with over 67 percent only clicking on the top 5 results.
Now that you understand just how important it is for your website to be on the top search engine results, the next question is how to go about making it happen.
SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation, primes your website from the get-go to have a much higher chance of being on the top results. By following SEO, you’ll receive a much higher click-through rate, and a significantly higher return on investment, which you will learn to achieve in the following 6 steps:
Step 1: Setting Up Keywords
Keywords are essentially the possible phrases input into a search engine by potential visitors. These phrases include anything between ‘best pizza place in New York’ to ‘SEO guide for plumbers’. The keywords you should be aiming to rank for are the ones that people are most likely to search.
Though you could try finding this out on your own by a trial and error basis, there are in fact a variety of resources online for free that allow you to find out the most searched keyword phrases.
You may want to try out one of these:
- Keywords Everywhere
- Google Keyword Planner
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer
To find out if a keyword or phrase is worth ranking for, simply type it out in the tool you’ve chosen. After this, look at the volume of searches. The number beside the volume is the number of searches the particular keyword you entered garners each month.
To rank for a keyword, it is recommended not to go for one that has too many searches as this means the competition would be fierce. “Too many” can be any number above 900 or 1,000. Too few, however, is also a problem. Anything below a 20 is not worth it.
Step 2: Technical Optimisations
Now that you have identified your keyword, the next order of business is to stick it into both the title tag and the meta description of your page.
The title tag is the title of your page and the meta description is the short description displayed under the title in the search results. To ensure customers realise that your page fits their search query, the keywords will be in bold in both your title and description.
After this has been achieved, it is important to make your site more indexable by Google and other search engines. Indexing is a search engine’s way of skimming through your source code to find content to display on its search pages. In order for them to do so, it is important that your content is clear and defined within your code. This means setting up both an HTML and XML sitemap, which can be done by adding the ‘HTML Page Sitemap plugin for HTML and the ‘Yoast SEO Plugin’ for XML.
Speaking of making your content more indexable, another way to make sure search engines pick up on your keywords is to litter them all around your page in different variations.
If your page makes use of images, make sure to indicate it in your code. To do this, find the image in your gallery and insert a description of it under the ‘alt-text’ section.
Step 3: Setting Up Your Google Business Page, a.k.a. Your ‘Google my Business’ page
Have you ever googled something and come up with a little box with three top results, complete with address, picture and contact details?
That is the work of ‘Google my Business’ pages.
Though there are a number of tutorials online for this feature, the main things you need to optimize on your page are the business categories, the pictures (must be high quality and relevant), contact details, business hours and a description to draw people in. Which leads to the following step.
Step 4: Get Reviewed
All reputable businesses have reviews online, and a good review is always good publicity for your site. People are more likely to trust and invest in a business they know has been tried and
tested by others before them.
Nearly 90 percent of people consult reviews before making purchases online. This would apply to services as well.
If you want customers to leave reviews for you, encourage them to do so after doing business with them. You may also try sending them emails.
Step 5: Being Consistent With Citations and Backlinks
Citations are references to your page on web directories while backlinks are the references other people leave on their site or blog to your page.
Being referenced by other pages and directories allow search engines to see that you are a reliable business and may increase your search result rankings.
Step 6: Build a Social Media Following
Last but not least, building a social media following could be great for your page. The internet is primarily made up of social media users which means a lot of your target audience probably has a social media account. What better way to reach them other than directly through social media itself?
The leading social networking sites right now are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest.
Does our guide sound too complicated? Lets us do it for you, find out more how we can increase your Plumbing Website SEO.