5 powerful SEO techniques for SMEs

5 powerful SEO techniques for SMEs

As a small business, you might not have given much thought to search engine optimisation (SEO). It may seem quite an intimidating term if you have only thus far invested in a rudimentary online presence, and you may not even be aware what SEO is.

Alas, the right SEO is certainly vital if your SME is to thrive in this largely digital-oriented, interconnected world.

Higher search engine rankings for relevant keywords convert into substantial business benefits as more high quality traffic is driven to your site. Here are 5 techniques for making it possible.

1. Create consistent local listings

With the range of online social media and business sites out there being truly vast, and in the case of Ireland including our very own goldenpages.ie, there’s a lot of opportunity for you to publicise your business – but also a lot of opportunity for inconsistent information.

Search engines don’t trust your business so much if your firm’s essential details aren’t consistent across all of the sites where you have a listing. It helps to have as complete a listing as possible, too.

You can get a basic listing now on goldenpages.ie here free.

2. Maintain an active social media presence

Yes, even just being active on social media as a company can make a massive difference to your SEO fortunes. Think about it… would you trust and engage with a company that hasn’t updated its Facebook page for a while, or doesn’t have a social media profile at all?

Actively engaging and responding to the needs of customers on social media does not go unnoticed by the search engines.

3.Encourage customers to write reviews

While we don’t suggest that you outright ask customers to leave reviews of your company, some subtle encouragement to do so in a follow-up email or on an invoice could increase the likelihood of reviews being left by customers on the popular review sites.

Offering incentives for reviews isn’t advisable, as this can be seen as deceptive marketing. However, when your customers do leave reviews, your firm’s search visibility will certainly improve.

4. Avoid tripping a Google spam filter

Spam and link schemes can be so tempting for small businesses, but breaking Google’s extensive rules with regard to these could see your site heavily penalised in the rankings.

The long list of things not to do to ensure that you don’t trip Google’s spam filter, according to P.J. Fusco, include stuffing content with keywords, inviting or allowing comment spam and using hidden or small text on web pages solely for search engine spiders.

Nor is it a good idea to participate in ‘link farms’ or introduce new keyword phrases into old articles’ body copy, among the wide range of other ill-advised practices.

5. Optimise your actual website

Don’t presume that only off-page SEO counts. A properly optimised site will reap big rewards in the search results, and this can be achieved in various different ways, from including a contact page that features a business address identical to the one in local listings, to ensuring the all-round high quality and relevance of web copy.

These aren’t difficult SEO techniques to grasp, but all can have a significant impact on your SME’s search engine fortunes. Consider FCR Media’s own SEO packages as the perfect starting point.

Guest Blog: Jennifer Mullan Returns from Silverstone to report on her race!

Jennifer Mullan -FCR Media Racing Lead Driver – pictured here with her goldenpages.ie car

The fact that I just spent four days driving round Silverstone National circuit in my little goldenpages.ie Formula Ford still hasn’t really sunk in but it is an experience I will never forget. The journey began on Wednesday night when I took a flight to Birmingham after work with one of our mechanics, David to meet up with the rest of the team who were already at the track. We arrived at 1am and after dropping David off I headed to my hotel for a few hours’ sleep before having to be back at the track for 8am the next morning.

Thursday and Friday were spent testing, doing a radio interview and then a photo shoot with one of the UK’s best motorsport photographers, Jakob Ebrey. The mega results of this can be found on my website www.jennifermullan.com. I was buzzing for the weekend leaving the track on Friday night as everything had gone to plan over the course of the two days and I was all set for the real action to begin!

With qualifying and one race on Saturday I was gutted when I opened the curtains of my hotel room to see that it was wet. I don’t have much experience in these conditions and we only got one run on a wet oily track on Thursday morning. I qualified 14th out of 18, which wasn’t too bad considering. I needed to finish 14th in the race to qualify straight to the last chance race the following day but I just missed out by finishing 15th meaning I had to take part in the progression race early on Sunday morning. I was gutted to say the least, as my lap times in the race were a second off what I had been doing in testing.

Sunday morning was once again wet. I was starting in third place on the grid for the Progression race and needed a top six to get through to the last chance race. Had it been dry looking at the times I might have just scraped 6th place but as it was wet I ended up finishing 10th out of 26 cars. Dropping back sounds worse than it was as there were a good few top guys that had problems the day before that had to come from the back of the pack so I was happy enough.

That left me just the Historic final in the afternoon to contest. Once again it was still wet and the session before hand had covered the wet line in oil the whole way around the track which was a nightmare but it was the same for everyone. I lined up 19th, got a mega start and found myself up to around 15th going to the second corner. That’s where the good news ended unfortunately, I spun there on a really slippy bit of track and I got collected by another car, I was able to continue but it had damaged my steering so I spent the rest of the race with the steering wheel off to the right when I was going in a straight line. I fell to the back of the 26 car pack but quickly made my way back to 19th before going off again and then again later on! I had more spins in this race than a washing machine but I was just trying so hard. I ended up 20th at the end, which was disappointing as I had the pace for around a top 12 or 15 but that’s how it goes I guess, we’ll put it down to experience and come back stronger next time hopefully!

It’s mad to think that the 2014 season is now over but what a season it was. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best people in the business and picked up a few trophies along the way so for my first season in Formula Ford I don’t think I did too bad! The 2015 journey begins now and I really hope I get the chance to do it all again next year and put to good use what I learnt this season and if I’m really lucky I’d love to go back to Silverstone next year and battle it out again with the best formula ford drivers in the world.

I’m going to stop rambling now and end by just saying a massive thanks to each and every person who helped make this year possible, every person who wished me well, my team FCR Media Racing and of course my fantastic sponsors www.goldenpages.ie, www.MobileReady.ie, www.SaySo.ie and www.wheelsforwomen.ie.


Incase you missed the first installment from Jennifer Mullan, FCR Media Racing’s lead drive – click here.