In this edition of our Let’s Talk Business guest blog we hear from Grant Johnson about demystifying search engine optimisation. Grant is the co-founder of website builder Rocketspark.

Last week I spoke to a couple of owners of new businesses who were asking about how to get found on Google and it highlighted to me once again what a mystery getting good rankings is for most business owners.

The process of improving your website ranking is called search engine optimisation - you are optimising your website for search engines, such as Google.  In short, this process is called SEO.

At Rocketspark we get to see thousands of small business websites and how they’re performing. Most small businesses are not doing the basics of SEO well but the good news is that if you do the basics of SEO well you can often achieve great rankings even when facing much larger competitors.

In simple terms, to rank well your website needs to provide the answers to the questions that people are searching for and you need to provide sufficient evidence to Google and other search engines that your site has the best answer.

Providing the right evidence to search engines that you have the best answer mostly comes down to specific elements of the content on your site all working together.

Here are 7 simple things we’re seeing from those clients who are doing the basics well and reaping the benefits:

  1. Think of the topics and words that your customers will be searching for and target a particular topic per page.  
  2. Use headings to break up your text and have your keywords in the headings.  
  3. Make sure your keywords are in the body text too and not just occurring once.  
  4. Have keywords in your links between pages e.g. “Try our website builder” not “More info”.  
  5. Your website platform will also have a place at the back-end of your site where you can add the Meta Data for each page.  Meta Data is also known as the page title and description and you want these to be consistent with your targeted topics and keywords.    
  6. One page is often not enough to show the search engines that you are the local expert on a particular topic. Our clients who write blog articles that cover their specific topics often perform well.  
  7. Linking your various blog articles together with text links (see step 3) will provide an additional boost.  

If you do these 7 things well it's likely you will see some great improvements and don’t even need to consider more sophisticated SEO techniques for further refinement.

To learn more about doing these basics well see our easy step by step guide to SEO.