You might have heard a lot about SEO and it’s importance to getting your website seen. And there are a hundred companies out there who will be more than willing to take your money to make sure you work your way up those google rankings. They’ll perform keyword analysis and ensure your website is ticking the right boxes for the things that people are looking for online.
But how important this is really does depend on the nature of your business and your overall reach. If you’re a purely online service in a crowded marketplace then yes, SEO can give you a huge leg-up.
It’s worth paying the money because if you’re on the third page of Google, you might as well not exist.
But what if you’re a physical entity. An independent shop, a pub or restaurant serving a community, then you probably need to approach your online presence differently.
Because yes, you do still want to have a decent online presence, and that should include your own website for reasons I’ve mentioned before, but don’t sweat the small stuff.
An expensive SEO rewrite of your website probably isn’t all that important if you are a local business. If you are an Italian Restaurant in Llandudno then the only key words you need to worry about are ‘Italian Restaurant in Llandudno’, because someone looking for an Italian restaurant in Whitby isn’t going to be interested, and neither is someone who fancies a curry this evening.
And so long as your metadata is accurate (whoever put your website together for you should have handled that) and you have already claimed and manage your ‘Google My Business’ account you will already have this basic pretty much nailed down.
You might also want to ensure some other words such as ‘pizza’ or ‘pasta’ are well catered for, too, but you can do this by following one quite simple and important online rule. Never just use images where there should be text.
A pub or restaurant is the perfect example for this. How often do you look for somewhere to eat, a takeaway perhaps, and find that the only copy of the menu online is a photograph. Or worse still, a photograph hidden halfway down a Facebook feed. This has two problems. First, and overlooked far too often, if someone is visually impaired the software they use to browse the internet might not be able to read your menu.
So type it out into the site and now as well as everyone now being able to access your information, so can search engine crawlers. Words do matter, and by ensuring your menu is written in text form on your site you instantly add all those words to the search terms involved and increase your visibility. Make sure that when you add image descriptions to any pictures of food, for the same reasons.
This works for other areas too. Perhaps you run a shoe shop and while you can’t exactly just remove a picture and replace it with the text ‘A Pair of Shoes’, you can describe them in the image description. Brand, style, colour, price, sizes available. Put it all in there. Makes your site accessible and helps your online visibility without having to spend a fortune on expensive SEO.
Because sometimes even the international world of the Internet can be left as local as your business and the seemingly complicated tricks of the trade are simpler than you think.