As a small business owner, search engine optimisation (SEO) might feel like you are on a mountain where it seems you’ll never reach the top. You might also not be quite ready to hire an SEO professional but you still want to have the easiest tasks covered.  So, knowing how to reach some of the SEO low hanging fruit can give your efforts a much-needed boost.

Equally, if you’re a web designer or copywriter where SEO isn’t part of your main service, but you offer it as an add-on, how to reach that SEO low hanging fruit is also handy. SEO takes years to master and since you plough most of your energy into what you’re actually good at, you might not have the time to keep up with all the latest changes. But, you still want to offer real value to your clients who may not want to pay for an SEO professional.

So, what can you do to get those quick wins so that you or your client will see SEO results fairly quickly?

Here are 4 SEO low hanging fruit you can grab, even if you don’t know anything about SEO.

1. Speed It Up

There’s nothing that will hamper your ranking like a website that loads slowly.  Would you wait 5 seconds for a web page to load?  Probably not.  How many times have you given up after a site loaded too slowly, especially on your mobile?  More times than you realise, I suspect.

So, how long is too long?  Actually, it’s not very long.

In fact, the ideal website load time for mobile sites is 1-2 seconds.

You see, your visitors simply aren’t willing to wait around.

A whopping 40% of consumers won’t wait more than three seconds for a web page to load before abandoning a site. And, on mobiles the bounce rate is even higher. 53% of site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds.

So, just think about that.  Approximately half those people who have decided to go to your site will leave before you’ve even had a chance to get them to buy, sign up or call you.

Site speed is a big deal.  3 seconds or more might not seem like a long time, but in the world of ranking factors, it certainly is.

So, what can you do about it?

The first thing to do is to check your web speed. You can do that by using GT Metrix.  It’s completely free and really easy to use.

Just put in the URL you want to test and it will return results something like the one below.

As you can see, this website loads very slowly and receives an F grade.  Nobody wants an F, even if we aren’t in school anymore.

Web speed score from GT Metrix

If the web speed is more than 3 seconds and you get a grade of C or below, your first course of action is to talk to the person managing the website.  The webmaster will be able to go through the list of errors and apply the necessary fixes so that the website speed increases.

But really, your webmaster should be keeping on top of this anyway.

But what do you do if you don’t have a webmaster or anyone with technical knowledge looking after the website? The best thing to do would be to sign up for a website support package on a monthly basis. This is well worth the investment.  You’ll know that your website will be monitored regularly and appropriate measures can be taken immediately so you’ll never get an F grade again.

If you’d rather hand everything over to a website expert that’s fine, but if you want to dig deeper and want to know more about why your website is slow, Plerdy has a great blog on factors affecting website speed.

2.  Maximise Your Google My Business Potential

This SEO low hanging fruit needs no search engine optimisation knowledge at all. Google My Business (GMB) is a free listing to help promote local businesses online and helps make their business stand out. If you have a business, then it is crucial to have a GMB listing.

The benefits of a GMB listing cannot be understated but it always astounds me just how many businesses don’t pay attention to this.

When you look at the stats, it’s obvious why a fully optimised GMB listing is important.

  • 76% of mobile “near me” searchers visit a related shop the same day.
  •  56% of people who land on your GMB listing will go on to check out your website. 24% will give your business a call and 20% will ask for directions.

Your GMB listing is like a mini-website and is often the first interaction someone will have with your company. So it stands to reason why you want to give a great first impression.

So, what can you do about it?

Firstly, for a step by step guide on how to make the most of your GMB listing, check out 9 Ways To Optimise Your Google My Business Listing.  Secondly, download the GMB app too.  From there, you’ll be able to respond to messages, reply to reviews and manage your information from wherever you are.  More importantly, there are some features, such as the Q & A function that’s only visible on the app version.

Remember, if you get stuck for inspiration, have a look at what your competitors are doing.

3. Have A Page Dedicated To Each Of Your Services

I’ve lost count of how many websites I’ve come across that lump all their services on one page with hardly a description about any of them.

If there’s a sure-fire way of not ranking well then it’s having a website with little or no content.  Why would Google show someone a website that’s barely got any information on the topic or service the person is searching for?  Well, they won’t.

So, let’s say you run a barbershop and you offer haircuts, wet towel shaves, skin fades and men’s facials.  But let’s say you’ve only got one page called “services” where all the services are listed but with only a few lines describing each one.

From Google’s point of view, the page is about “services” in part because that’s what the URL says i.e. https://yourcompanyname.co.uk/services.

As the Google bot crawls the page, it’s going to wonder what the page is really about. “Services” is a generic term and could mean absolutely anything. Additionally, if all the services are on one page with no information about any of them how is Google going to glean information about your services?  Google doesn’t like what it calls thin content.

But, think about it from the visitor’s point of view.  If a man is looking for a skin fade, then he might want to know the options on offer, what techniques are used or have questions about the look he wants to achieve.  The more questions you can answer the more likely he’ll pick up the phone or walk in to make an appointment.  Make it easy for your customers to decide they want to contact you rather than your competitor.  Again, Google will show sites that have more content around a topic whether that be an entire webpage or blogs relating to the issue.

Writing content for each of your services does take some time. But, if writing isn’t your forte, then hiring a copywriter to help you is certainly a great investment.  Your webmaster can then add those pages, but if you are a whizz on your website platform then you may very well be able to do this yourself.

But of course, you don’t want to stop there.  You need to add other content such as blogs on a regular basis.   Keep your website updated with fresh and unique content that gives value to your audience.

4. Improve Existing Content

While writing new content is important, it’s good practice to review your older pieces of content to make sure it is still relevant.  Blogs can quickly get out of date especially if you have dates attached to them such as “5 Top Trends for 2020”.    So, go back and look at content that’s more than a year old.

Content that’s published more recently gets a higher ranking, especially for topics that change frequently.

So if you’re only publishing new content, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Your old pieces of content will slowly fall down the rankings.

So, what can you do about it?

Before you rewrite a piece of content, do a search for the term you want that blog to rank for and check out what’s coming up at the top of the first page of Google.   Have a look at the headings and what else is included.  There might be sub-topics you missed out the first time.

You can revive the content you already have. It’s a great way to increase your traffic.

Create a new publication date or just save an update in WordPress. When Google crawls your site again, you should see a boost in your search engine traffic.

And it goes without saying that checking for spelling and grammar errors is a must. Download Grammarly which will spot your most obvious spelling and grammar mistakes.  Even the best writers don’t always see mistakes.  There’s nothing more off-putting for your readers than copy that hasn’t been proofread.

So, there you have it.  Four ways to grab that all-important SEO low hanging fruit that will kickstart your SEO campaign.

If you need help with web speed,  content, Google My Business or anything else SEO related, give Sonia a call at 07566 230636.