If you’re anything like me, the thought of a new year makes you feel excited and nervous at the same time. It’s often a time of reflection, change and opportunity as you set your intentions for the year ahead.
But I’ve learnt (the hard way) that setting big lofty goals doesn't really work for me. So in recent years, inspired by James Clear, I’ve taken a new approach to goal setting. At the start of every year, I sit down and list out all the habits and routines that I want to commit to.
Small actions that over time make a big impact, and help get me to where I want to be in life and business. I’ll often reassess my habits a few times throughout the year, but there’s something about starting a new year fresh that gives me the extra boost of motivation I need.
So with that in mind, I wanted to share 5 small SEO habits that, when done consistently, will have a big impact on your results. Because it’s not about reaching big numbers overnight, it’s about small, consistent efforts over time. That’s how you’ll achieve your small biz SEO goals in 2023.
Keeping an eye on your keyword rankings helps make sure your SEO is on the right track and gives you an opportunity to spot any areas that might need tweaking.
A successful SEO strategy is all about getting your business visible for the keywords that your ideal customers are searching for. So if you notice your ranking positions on Google have improved month on month, you can be confident that your SEO strategy is working.
On the other hand, if your keyword rankings have dropped consistently each month, it might be time to optimise your website some more or update your content to provide more relevant, useful info.
There are plenty of SEO tools out there that'll help you track your keyword rankings, but if you're just starting out I recommend Whatsmyserp which lets you track up to 10 keywords for free. You can even set up weekly or monthly notifications for updates sent straight to your inbox - so there are no excuses to forget about your SEO!
Just keep in mind that daily or even weekly fluctuations in your ranking positions can be normal, so you'll want to watch out for consistent improvements each month to know your SEO efforts are having a positive impact.
This is so often overlooked by small biz owners, but regularly checking your website analytics is critical to the success of your SEO strategy (and your overall digital marketing plan).
Just like tracking your profit and loss can tell you how well your business is doing, your website analytics will tell you how well your website is performing. You can be ranking on page 1 of Google for all of your important keywords, but if no one is clicking through to your website, or your website visitors aren’t converting into leads and sales, then your SEO isn’t doing its job!
Google Analytics is free to use and gives you all the info you need to track and optimise your SEO performance. Once you've got the free tool set up on your site, you’ll be able to see how many people are visiting your website, where they are coming from, how they’re engaging with your content and what actions they’re taking on your site.
The most important metric to keep an eye on is your organic search traffic. This number tells you how many people visited your site after finding your business in Google or another search engine.
Once you’ve implemented a solid SEO strategy, it can take 4-6 months to start seeing an increase in traffic, but once you’ve got some momentum you can expect to see your traffic increase each month as your business becomes more visible in search results.
On the other hand, low, declining or fluctuating traffic can be a red flag signalling potential issues with your keyword targeting, website content or even technical SEO issues.
To achieve next-level success with your SEO, I recommend spending some time each month digging into the details to see which pages are driving the most traffic (and which are getting no traffic), how long people are spending on your site (time on-site), how many people are taking action (conversions), and how many people are leaving straight away (bounce rate).
Then use these insights to inform your SEO actions for the following month, whether that’s creating a new blog post, updating an existing one, or tweaking your keyword targeting for a specific page.
Website errors can seriously damage your SEO efforts by preventing your web pages from ranking on Google and keeping potential customers from ever seeing your website content.
The main errors to look out for are 404 errors, which happen when someone tries to visit a page on your site that no longer exists. These broken links provide a poor user experience for your site visitors and prevent Google from discovering and ranking your content. In some cases, a high number of 404 errors can also signal to Google that your website isn't being maintained, which is bad news for your SEO.
But the good news is, there’s a super simple way to keep on top of this!
Set up Google Search Console for free, and the tool will send you an email alert every time you have a new 404 error on your site. I also recommend logging in on a monthly basis to check and fix any other errors that may be affecting your SEO visibility.
This should only take you a few minutes each month, but it can have a huge impact on your SEO, so make sure you schedule in the time.
Creating fresh, relevant and useful content is the best way to continually improve your SEO. And the easiest way to do this is with a blog.
In fact, 95% of businesses with a blog rank higher on Google, and businesses who actively blog get around 7 times more traffic than those who don't.
Makes sense right? A blog helps you target a wide range of relevant keywords, build trust and authority with potential customers, and position yourself as an expert in your industry. It’s a no-brainer when it comes to getting your business found online.
If you don’t have a blog, you could be missing out on hundreds (or even thousands) of new visitors to your website each month. But it doesn’t have to be hard work!
Set aside five hours a month - whether that’s on a single day or spread across a few days - and dedicate this time to researching, writing and publishing one new blog on your site each month. Or save time by doing your keyword research and planning in one go, and map out 6 months' worth of blogs in advance, so you have a clear plan of action when you sit down to write your SEO content each month.
Aim for one blog a month, which you can repurpose into content for social media, Pinterest, a podcast or an email newsletter, and once you’ve got some momentum you can try to increase this to two blogs a month.
Once you’re creating regular blog content, it makes sense to promote it outside of Google to boost your brand’s visibility on social platforms. But did you know your social media activity can give your SEO rankings a boost too?
Studies have shown that the likes, comments and shares your posts receive can impact how Google ranks your content. In other words, the more engagement your blog posts get on social media, the more likely those posts will rank well in search results as Google sees your content as relevant and useful.
And every time your content is reshared on social media, you’re increasing your reach and positioning yourself as an authority in your niche which has a positive impact on your SEO.
Each time you post a new blog, get into the habit of sharing it on your social platforms. Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn are good places to start, while other search engines like Pinterest and Youtube can be a great way to get more eyeballs on your content.