Many small business owners feel overwhelmed when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO).

However, your SEO strategies don’t have to be complicated. There are some simple steps that you can take which will make a big difference when implemented on your site.

Here are ten simple SEO strategies to optimise your site and improve your search ranking:

1. Conduct an SEO audit and fix any issues on your site

Let’s start with the basics of SEO and use a free online tool to review your website.

I like using an online tool called Woorank which has an instant SEO checker and audit.

It’s simple and easy to use and will provide you with an overall score as well as suggestions for what you can do to improve the performance of your site.

It’s also important for SEO to optimise the loading speed of your website.

Check out another online tool called Pingdom which will help you identify where you may have speed issues on your website that you need to fix.

2. Use online tools to analyse and choose the best keywords

Research is critical when it comes to identifying and selecting the right keywords for your site.

One of the tools that I use is a Google Chrome extension called Keywords Everywhere.

When using this tool, you’ll want to find keywords that have a high search volume (meaning people are typing these words into Google) and low competitiveness (meaning there are fewer websites with these keywords).

Another tool that I use is called Moz. The keyword research tool from Moz also enables you to see the keywords that your competition is ranking for.

3. Populate the relevant SEO fields on your site with keywords

There are some fields on your website that Google reviews to determine what information each page may contain.

These include the Title, Meta Description, H1 (header), and the Image Alt tag fields.

Be sure to check that each page and post on your website has these fields populated with the keywords that you want to be known for.

Also, make sure you use a different keyword or keyword phrase on each page to ensure the pages don’t compete for rankings.

4. Install the WordPress plugin Yoast to improve your writing

The WordPress plugin Yoast makes it a lot easier to optimise your website pages and blog posts.

This free plugin highlights where your copy could be improved and makes suggestions on what to change.

It also prompts you to include internal and external links on your blog posts to improve the structure and functionality of your site.

Additionally, Yoast guides you on the optimal word and character length when it comes to titles and meta descriptions.

5. Set up a blog structure based on key categories

Having a set structure for your blog is a great SEO strategy for small business owners.

I recommend selecting 5 – 8 categories for your blog, which will create a guide or framework for what to write.

These categories will help you to create SEO keyword clusters where you can start to rank for a lot of similar words around themes or topics.

Ranking for hundreds of keywords around the same topic will then increase the ranking for your site around those and similar terms.

6. Write about topics that get a lot of social media shares

Social media sharing is a great way to expand the reach of your content and drive more traffic back to your site.

Higher traffic is also essential for SEO as it shows to the search engines that your content is valuable and well-read.

There are topics which tend to be shared on social media more than others. So, it’s essential to do some research and find out what these topics are in your niche.

There is an online tool called BuzzSumo which helps you to quickly identify the type of content that is performing well online.

Just type in your niche or topic, and it will show you the type of content which has a lot of social media shares.

7. Choose longtail keywords for your blog posts

A longtail keyword is one that is 3 or more words in length.

Often, a longtail keyword is in the format of a question. For example: How do I research keywords?

These longtail keywords are great to use for blog posts, as you can then also provide a valuable solution which helps the reader solve their pain point.

Longtail keywords are also less competitive in general which means they are easier words to rank for.

Also, because they are quite specific, it’s more likely that you will attract your target market who is looking for that type of information.

8. Write guest blog posts to build website authority

You may have heard of the SEO strategy or term ‘backlinking’.

It means that there is another website that is linking back to your site.

Backlinks are good for SEO because they create a higher authority for your domain or website.

Google can see that another website is linking to yours, and therefore assumes that the content on your site is valuable. Your site has more authority.

The backlink also helps to drive organic traffic to your website, again helping with SEO.

9. Add website pages for each of your service categories

If you have multiple service categories, then it’s a good SEO strategy to add individual web pages for each.

These pages provide additional content and an opportunity to use more keywords on your website in the title and meta description fields.

More content (that is unique and doesn’t compete with other pages) means that you can rank for more keywords.

The pages will also be more specific and likely have less online competition when it comes to ranking.

10. Use your Google Analytics insights to optimise your site

There are a lot of valuable insights that can be gained from Google Analytics to help you with your SEO strategy.

It’s essential to have the Google Analytics tag set up on your website as soon as your site launches so you can start collecting data.

It’s also important to verify your site ownership with Google Search Console as well.

Google Search Console will enable you to see the search terms that people are using to find your site as well as other websites that are linking back to you.

One way that you can use your Google Analytics data to improve your SEO is to find the keywords that you are already ranking for.

You can then add these keywords to your website pages and in blog posts to try and rank higher for that term.