Small business owners are busy people!

My sister runs a small kids clothing business.

She's absolutely good at what she does. But when it comes to SEO, she's a total amateur (sorry Arrie).

This isn't supposed to be something mean. Like I said, she's a busy person. She doesn't have time to learn SEO.

But even if she were to, she will most likely face the same issue that many small businesses do:

  1. Lack of technical expertise
  2. Budget

Sounds familiar?

This blog post will focus on basic quick-wins that will mostly need to be done once for long term effect. You can also outsource lots of these stuff (I'll talk about that later), so you can focus your time on running your business and money in your wallet.

There are few things I will assume you have already done as part of basic SEO:

  • Have a website (of course!)
  • Installed Google Analytics, Google Search Console, etc.
  • Signed up and claimed your Google My Business account
  • Already getting some traffic (doesn't have to be from search engines)
  • And, lastly, you are an Australian based business.

(Don't have something setup correctly? I am always happy to make sure the basic seo is covered on your website - get in touch!)

Alrighty, let's begin!

NOTE: As a side note, I am also going to assume that you have a website with 30 pages or less.

Before we begin...

Let's make sure that we have done some basic housekeeping.

We'll start by making sure that Google is able to crawl and index your website.

This is important, because if you're not indexed then Google isn't aware of your website. Being indexed doesn't mean that you will definitely rank, but:

No index = no rank (no chance!)

First, log into Google Search Console, and head to the Sitemaps section.

Make sure that your sitemap is submitted. 

If there is no sitemap under the Submitted sitemaps section, simply add the url. (Shopify users, enter sitemap.xml and click SUBMIT)

Next, go to the Coverage section, and look for how many Valid urls are present. Compare this number to the number of pages you have on your website. If this looks good, then let's move forward.

(Something doesn't look right? Let me know, I am more than happy to help)

At this point, I do want to highlight a fact that 'having a mobile friendly website is super important for SEO'.

So, with that mind, let's make a detour and also check if your website is mobile friendly.

Head over to Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool, and test your website.

(Seeing red results? I can help - let's chat)

Ok, finally! The meat from bones!


1. A logical website structure

This one is always a big one for me. 

Google's Webmaster Guidelines provides general design guidelines and their articles lists out steps to develop a Google-friendly website.

One of the biggest things it points is how important it is to structure your website with a logical link structure.

What this means is, your website should be easily navigable to any page, from any page. You should have links to important pages from your homepage, and each listing page should have links to a details page describing it in more detail!

I know this sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how many small business websites fail here.

You start with a simple website which is super easy to navigate, but as more pages are added, well, let's just say it gets complicated!

So how do we fix this? 

Simple - try and look at your website from a different perspective to see if there is a logical structure.

What I normally advise is to

  • list all your pages in a spreadsheet,
  • pick two random pages, and
  • see if you can navigate your way from page A to page B

Another, better way to look at this, is from a visitor's perspective.

Are they able to find that one product they would be looking for? (E.g. a Blue Harry Potter Mug).

Starting to see a breakdown?

Once you are able to visualize your website on page (spreadsheet in our case), then you can start fixing up your menus, banner links, etc.

Don't forget the links in the footer!


2. Fix any broken pages and links

Waaa? You haz broken links?

Yes, it happens to the best of websites. 

Except, it's never good for your visitors, and definitely not good for SEO.

Your potential customers will start to think you don't care about your website! And we don't want that.

But, how do we find broken links?

Head on over to W3C Link Checker, enter your website address, click check. Wait for the process to finish.

If you have any broken links, it will display in the Results table.

Now jump back into your dashboard, find that product, category or page and fix up that link pronto!


3. Have the most captivating meta title and description

A unique meta title and description is a must for every page on your site.

Not only that, you also need to make sure:

  • They are the correct length to avoid it being snipped of in search results
  • It is able to blow a searchers mind and make them click to your site
  • It has the target keywords in there which reflects what the search would type in (optional - very recommended!)

I suggest you use this tool to check each page on your website.

Ok, so how do we fix it?

  1. If no meta title and description is present, write one!
  2. If they are too long (the tool will show you), shorten them.
  3. If the result doesn't look like something you'd click on when searching, time to rewrite!

This is taking too long, one page at a time!

The issue with this process is that it is very time consuming. But, one of the things I find doing this process manually is, I am able to highlight high-value pages (and give it the extra love) and bookmark low key pages to do when I watch something on Netflix!

It also gives you a perspective on your pages, and the best thing to come out of this would be that you would simply unpublish or delete the page that is useless!


4. Copywriting... Polished copy!

Google search runs on an algorithm.

An algorithm that looks at and analyses text on a page, to make sense of it and relate it to a particular search query.

This doesn't mean you go on writing 1000's of words on each and every page!

No, but no content means no chance!

Here are some things you can do for your website copy:

  1. Make sure every page has some sort of copy. This can be atleast 100-200 words, and briefly describes the page, product or service.
  2. Use ONE H1 header tag on the page. Again, this needs to be unique and closely reflects the title of the page (Yes, it can be exactly the title of page - but put some effort won't you?!)
  3. Break up your paragraphs using H2-H6 header tags. Where appropriate, these heading tags can create a hierarchical structure
  4. Don't stuff your content with keywords. This never reads well to the user, and you can potentially get penalised for it.
  5. Spelling & Grammar - yes, all yous out there?!


5. Get some inbound links

Link building is a massive topic, which I can't entirely cover here.

But something I do want to touch on briefly.

Links from one website to another is the basis of the original algorithm of a search engine. 

What this basically means is - links are important!

How do you get links?

Do you have a supplier? Great, get them to list your website on their stockists page.

Do you have affiliated partners? Get a link back if possible (and appropriate).

Another highly effective inbound link strategy is to work with small businesses in the same space as you, but not directly competing. Create a section on your website with "If you love use, you'll our friends below".


Final thoughts

SEO doesn't have to be complicated.

Often, these SEO basics is enough to put you ahead of your competition.

If you're looking for more articles, tips & tricks for ecommerce seo, make sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter below.

Tags: seo guide

Praveen Sewak

Praveen Sewak

I dabble on the technical side of SEO, and love experimenting with different techniques of achieving good long-term seo results.

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