The 5 minute SEO review for small business owners

(3 minute read)

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn’t that complicated. Thankfully if you get the basics right, you’ll be 80% of the way.

While you can dive a lot deeper into the intricacies of search engine optimisation, this 5 minute do-it-yourself SEO review will help you check if your website is going to show up in the right places for your customers.

1 – Check major search engines for your site

Head to Google and Bing and use the site search query to see how many pages they have indexed from your website. You’ll need to search for site:yourwebsiteaddresshere. For example the query for this site would be: site:www.clickstream.co.nz. 

What you want to find is that Google and Bing are finding and indexing your site, and the number of search results is similar to the actual number of pages on your site.

2 – Search for you brand or business name

Hopefully your website is ranked highly for searches of your brand or business by name. If it’s hard to find, add your city or country to the search. If you still don’t have any luck it might indicate some issues that will need to be investigated further.

3 – Check local search listings if your business has a physical presence

Open Bing or Google Maps and search for your business. If you’ve claimed your business listing (which you can do through Google My Business or BingPlaces) you should show up. If not, you’ve got another task for your to-do list.

4 – Visit your website on your smartphone and tablet

Grab your smartphone or tablet and try and do the things a visitor would do like look at your products, find your contact details or make a purchase. If your site is not mobile-friendly this could be quite hard, and if you’re not giving your visitors a great experience search engines will take this into account and lower your site rankings.

5 – Review the content on your web pages

If you know your website well, this won’t take you long. Website content is a REALLY important ranking factor for search engines. (Another is backlinks but I’ll leave that for a separate post). Search engines need rich, informative content to index so they can rank your webpages compared to others on the same topic. Make sure you are using keywords that your customers would use to find your products or services. Provide enough information about your products and services for visitors to make informed decisions, not just a few bullet points. About us, testimonials and contact information should be easy to find, free from spelling mistakes and provide descriptions and details about what you do and how you can help your customers.

Bonus step –  Use a free website grader to check for issues

Often these tools will cover some of the steps above but they will also look at other issues that may be holding your site back. These may include site and page structure, page design, keyword usage, internal and external links, site speed, sitemaps and robots.txt files. Two sites which provide free results in an easy to read format include website.grader.com and www.woorank.com.

Hopefully by the end of this quick review you’ll have an idea of how easy it is to find your business online. If you’ve identified some issues, there are plenty of online resources you can use to fix things yourself or you can seek the help of an agency  or digital marketer (like me) who can help. Good luck!

#protip Google Search Console lets website owners get information about their website, including search queries, backlinks and any indexing errors. This is a crucial tool if you want to improve your search rankings.