Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a process that allows search engines, like Google and Bing, to read your website and know when to show it to a user. For example, if you provide haircuts in Melbourne, when someone searches for “Haircut Melbourne”, you want your website to be presented in the list of searches the user is shown.
When it comes to new clients, ensuring your website can be found is really important. Although SEO can be complex, there are few basic SEO processes that can be easily implemented on your website so you can rank better in searches and get those clients walking through your door.
Make your website mobile friendly
We can’t emphasise this enough as the majority of searches are completed using smartphones and tablets. If your website isn’t built to be shown on mobile devices, then search engines like Google will ignore your website in favour of those that are. Most pre-built website templates on platforms such as WordPress and Wix are mobile responsive – just make sure you have the most up to date version.
Increase how quickly your website loads
Search engines are concerned about the overall search experience a user has when they use their service. That means, the faster your website loads, the more chances you have of your website being shown to a user.
There are a couple of common causes of slow websites:
- Large image file sizes: To combat this, resize your images to the required size before you load them into your website platform. You’ll need to use an image editor that allows you to select a height and width in pixels, for example, Microsoft Paint’s “Resize” tool.
- Out of date websites: You need to make sure you update your website version, plugins and security regularly.
If you’re not sure how your website performs, you can easily test the speed of your website on mobile and desktop using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Improve your website addresses
Search engines use a combination of a websites content and its addresses (or URLs) to understand what you offer and therefore whether your website is something they should show a user. By making your website addresses readable, it will help increase the chances your website is shown to a user. For example, a good website address is www.yourspa.com/face-treatments and a bad example is www.yourspa.com/112233mmc.
While both website addresses will take you to the same page, a search engine won’t be able to understand that you have specific content about face treatments unless you tell it so.
Structure your content
Search engines need a way to navigate through your website and understand the content on it. To help them do this we use page titles, headings and paragraphs:
- Page titles: This is what is shown in the tab at the top of the browser, so make sure each of your pages has a relevant name.
- Headings: Add headings to indicate how important each piece of content on a page is and how it all relates to each other. Headings are also a great way to draw attention.
- Paragraphs: Include paragraph text under each of your headings that explains what your headings are about so search engines can understand what your website offers.
Here’s an example:
Jody’s Hair Salon (page title shown in the browser tab)
Services (header 1 size)
We provide a range of services to suit all your needs. (paragraph size)
Colour Services (header 2 size)
We use high quality L’Oreal colour to give you the best results. (paragraph size)
Foils (header 3 size)
A highlighting process using foil to separate strands of hair which will be lightened from strands of hair which will remain your natural color.
Balayage (header 3 size)
A technique for highlighting hair which creates a graduated, natural-looking effect.
Name your images
Search engines aren’t able to understand images, instead, they rely on words, content and structure to determine whether your website is relevant for a user.
If you have images on your website, it’s a good idea to add ALT Tags (alternative text) and title text to your images. What this means is that you give each image a relevant, short name or title which a search engine can read. For example, ‘cutandcolour’. Remember to make sure your images have a descriptive file name too.
Watch your content
Avoid having the exact same content in multiple places as search engines actually penalise you for it and won’t show your website to users.
It’s also a good idea to occasionally refresh the content on your website. It invites search engines to have another look at your website which could make it more likely to be shown.
If you specialise in a particular service, talk about it on your website. You could even devote a whole page to it. For example, if your eyelash extensions are what you’re known for in Sydney, create a page with content about the type of eyelashes you use, why you use them and what clients can expect from your extensions. Then, when a potential client searches “best eyelash extensions in Sydney” your website is more likely to be at the top of their search results.