Number 1: Integrate your small business website with Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Here are the integration I do
- Sign up to Google Analytics and connect your site.
Google Analytics tracks your visitors. I usually use a plugin to connect the site to Google. Plugins give you graphs of your website statistics on the dashboard which you may find helpful. Moz has a good introduction to understanding Analytics: https://moz.com/blog/absolute-beginners-guide-to-google-analytics
- Make sure your website is being indexed
It is a good idea to submit a sitemap to Google Search Console. The Yoast SEO plugin automatically creates an XML sitemap.
Number 2: Create and Improve your Google My Business listing
Claim your Google My Business listing and map pin. If you have a local business that serves a local area then it is important to claim your place-marker in Google Maps and set up your Google My Business page. Verify the listing and fill in as much information as possible. The search engine prepares a knowledge panel from the details you give and from other information about your business on the web.
If you run a local business, then having a GMB listing is a must for Local SEO. It helps you achieve a better chance of appearing in search results such as the local map listings. It also helps you give potential customers useful information if they search for your business name. The business profile in the search results contains things like business address, opening hours and contact details. A listing also offers you the chance to do much more than list your basic details such as add photos, videos and regular posts.
GMB features are regularly rolled out to make your business listing even more useful.
Read more: Google My Business
Number 3: Improve your Search Engine Optimisation - Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. By developing your skills in keyword research, you can improve your website’s overall ranking. There is a bit of an art and a science to the process; it takes practice to develop the skill.
I have outlined a basic process of keyword research here: My basic process of keyword research
Number 4: Improve your Search Engine Optimisation - Content Creation
Understand the difference between Local SEO and Regular SEO and decide which one to focus on.
Know the important keyword phrases for your business and the volume of traffic those phrases get and track your progress. Create a content creation strategy based on those keyword phrases for your blog. If you do not have the time or the skills to create your own content, I suggest you work with a copywriter.
Number 5: Improve your Search Engine Optimisation - Your Images
Use these 6 steps to make sure you have optimised your images:
- Use helpful images
- Resize and reduce the resolution of the image
- Rename the image file
- Consider a caption
- Add a title for searching in your Media Library
- Add alt text to describe the image and include the keyword phrase
You can read more details here: Images for small business SEO
Number 6: Marketing Focus - Your Ideal Customer
Consider who is your ideal customer/s and aim your content creation and marketing efforts to reach those customers.
Know something about your ideal customers. It is helpful to create two or three buying persona. A buying persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on research and real data about your existing customers. This will help with content creation as you make sure your articles would appeal to that person. It can also help you with link building and deciding which social media channels to focus on.
Do you have good quality images and quality copy that would appeal to your ideal customer?
Number 7: Marketing - Consistent Branding
It is important to have a consistent look and feel through your online presence. Your branding needs to be consistent across social media, print documents as well as your website. It is worth getting a professional logo and some branding guidelines if you don't have one.
Number 8: Marketing - Ask your website visitor to do something i.e. have Call-to-actions (CTA) on your web pages
Are you asking your website visitors to do something when they are on your website? For example, sign up for your newsletter or give you a call or connect with you on Facebook? Are you offering to give them additional information that they would find helpful and allow them to get to know you better?
Bear in mind, placing pop-ups on your website on every page with the same offer can annoy your visitors and turn people away.
Number 9: Website Security
Website security is about balancing the need to make your website secure with the ease of using your website. It is no good if the website is so secure that you can't even access the dashboard of your own website! Therefore security isn't just something you tick off, and it is done. It is about adding and accessing a series of layers of protection and considering security as a regular part of what you do on your website.
It is worth reviewing regularly. You can read more: WordPress Website Security.
Number 10: Website Speed and Hosting
Once in a while, it is worth revisiting your Hosting decision. Choosing from the plethora of hosting companies that offer Hosting can be overwhelming so it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Additionally, moving a website requires work and preparation. Do test your website for speed and make sure you are taking advantage of both the caching your Hosting offers and as well as website plugin caching. If the performance of your Hosting is declining with regular downtimes and poor service, it's time to make a change.
You can read about the factors I consider when considering Hosting: WordPress Hosting.