95.6% of internet searches in Spain are carried out on Google, according to data from the Statcounter digital traffic analysis website. A significant percentage that indicates where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the self-employed should put their sights and efforts if they want to reach their potential clients.
Internet users are already used to its easy operation: the words related to what you are looking for are written, even a complete phrase, and Google returns a list of web pages that include those terms in their content, after scanning the network in tenths of second. Firstly, the sponsored links appear, and then the closest ones, if geolocation is activated on the device, and, if not, those that Google considers to offer the user the most complete and interesting content and that, in turn, have more visits. To have a good positioning You have to develop a proper presence on the internet. Or, as the specialists say, “perform a good SEO” – an acronym in English for Search Engine Optimizationa process that translates as optimization for search engines—.
Loreto Gómez, expert in marketing digital, summarizes the importance of appearing, at least, in the first page of google: “If you don’t go out there, you’re dead.” According to research by the developer of software HubSpot, 75% of users never make it past the main page of search results.
But, where does a small business start to gain a presence on the internet? What tools do they have at their disposal? And most importantly, how much does it cost you? The first thing you should know is that there are strategic actions and free digital tools at your disposal to get started in SEO and that everything will be based on two pillars: the website itself and the business profile on Google.
Boost the positioning of the website in Google
Today a business website is its most powerful business card. According to HubSpot, 64% of direct traffic that lands on a web page comes from search engines. Therefore, work must be done so that Google understands that this space provides useful information for users and places it among the first results.
The essential thing, recognize the experts, is to have an orderly and clear web page. Emina Mulagic, specialist in marketing consultancy firm RocaSalvatella, which will lead the webinar Tips to get a good organic positioning with SEOorganized through Banco Sabadell’s HUB Empresa, provides some tips that are easily applicable to any business:
- The titles of the texts must contain at least 30 characters.
- The description of the web (a summary of the content) must not exceed 155 characters.
- Images should not be very large (a few kilobytes). It is important that they contain a short description.
- The rest of the texts must have no more than 400 words. “You shouldn’t copy and paste the same content on different pages. Google penalizes this behavior,” says Mulagic.
- The URL, that is, the set of characters that make up the web address, must include the keywords that characterize the business. For example, if it is a shoe store, this term should appear, in addition to the name of the company. It is recommended, Mulagic indicates, to avoid unusual characters such as percentages, numbers and symbols.
The server on which the website is hosted also plays a crucial role in its ranking. Not all of them are equally effective and if Google recognizes them as slow, outdated and obsolete, the chances of being among the first are reduced. Sara de la Torre, director of the Hub de Comunicación agency, advises using templates from managers such as WordPress to create the web page, because they are kept up to date and offer load times of less than three seconds, an adequate speed for agile consumption in Internet.
Free tools to boost the website in Google
In addition to the way the website is configured, there are digital tools to optimize the presence in search engines. De la Torre mentions programs that perform an SEO analysis of the content in a few seconds. They point out the texts that are not suitable or in which titles can be included so that Google locates the information quickly, among other aspects. This expert highlights Yoast SEO, SEOquake, WooRank and Screaming Frog SEO Spider, in which up to 500 addresses can be tracked at no cost and if the URLs do not have the optimal parameters for Google, this tool offers advice to adapt them.
Payment tools to boost the website in Google
If you decide to make an investment, there are tools like Semrush, Mulagic points out, whose cheapest subscription model costs 115 euros per month. “This program goes into detail. It dictates how to develop an advanced strategy. And it provides valuable information to start with: the URL of the web page is entered and it counts the organic searches it has, how many people refer to it or if these references are positive or negative”, summarizes this expert. It is also possible to hire SEO services from specialized agencies and consultants for a monthly price of between 250 and 350 euros.
However, De la Torre defends that SEO strategies are today as vital for any company as accounting or warehouse inventories, so time and resources must be allocated. “It is convenient to establish a weekly schedule to dedicate efforts to improve the positioning of the website in the search engine,” he recommends.
Open a business profile on Google
This platform offers SMEs a free space called Google Company Profile —formerly Google My Business—. It is a file that collects the most relevant data of the business: address, telephone, website, photographs of the premises and of the products or services and opening hours, among others. De la Torre explains that the more elements that are included in this tab, the more likely it is that Google will promote it. This expert also comments that the address of the premises, if it is a business with physical headquarters, is vital to appear in the first positions of the search engine to the closest users.
In the platform file, it is convenient to fill in the description of the business with the key words and expressions that users use in their searches, since Google will reward it. This search engine will recognize that it adequately responds to what Internet users demand. The Google Trends tool makes it possible to find out the most used terms and what other concepts are associated with them, in addition to distinguishing by geographical area and by theme.
Once the profile is complete, Google offers the company free data on its traffic, as well as on which keywords have been the most used to reach the business file or from which postal codes those queries have been made.