www.images-magazine.com JUNE 2020 images 19 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT on keywords rather than being customer-friendly, but Google prefers authentic content to keyword-rich targeted content. 7. Create quality links Inbound links are another thing to consider helping your page rank highly in search engines. For garment decorators this is relatively straightforward: work with your customers and local and trade publications by linking back and forth to each other. 8. Start a blog Creating a regular blog that uses quality, relevant content is rewarded by Google when categorising your website and its content. This can include things like latest news and case studies. 9. Encourage reviews Ask customers to use Google reviews as this will help give your results more prominence in the search results. The use of third-party review sites such as Yell will also help boost your efforts and aid search results. 10. Ensure your website is secure An SSL certificate is an essential for some browsers. The move to HTTPS ensures customers can visit your website and is a factor also considered by Google when ranking your website. B eing online has become essential over the past couple of months for businesses wanting to continue trading during the lockdown. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is critical for ecommerce success, so here are 10 simple yet effective ways to ensure your website is found by potential customers. 1. Create a Google My Business listing Creating a listing for your business helps it get found in local searches with minimum fuss. Google My Business provides customers with a whole host of information including opening times, customer reviews, and products and services you provide. 2. Ensure your website is indexed Use Google Search Console to index your sitemap and ensure that Google bots scan your website. To check how many pages are indexed, type site:yourwebsite.co.uk into Google. 3. Test your mobile site speed Use the Google loading speed tool, Google PageSpeed Insights, to see how your website fares on both a desktop PC and mobile. Speed plays a large part in determining how your site ranks. The tool assesses your website’s performance and highlights areas to improve. 4. Make sure there is a page title in place Ensure all your webpages have page titles in place describing what you do as these are the first thing Google bots scan on your page. 5. Use long-tailed keywords It takes a lot of time and effort to get found for terms like workwear, shirts and polo shirts, so use longer keywords in your content such as branded polo shirts, personalised workwear London, etc. 6. Build high quality, relevant content Writing high quality and relevant content about your business, products and services should help it naturally get picked up for many key terms. Often people write ‘out of shape’ content that focuses 10 quick SEO tips Andrew Langridge is from ETrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK. www.etraderwebsites.co.uk A revelation for many businesses during the lockdown has been that having admin staff working remotely presents few problems if managed properly. For those still doing all their admin tasks themselves because they can’t afford to employ an in-house person, a ‘virtual assistant’ (VA) – ie someone you deal with only online and on the phone – may be the way forward. The range of services a VA offers includes accounting, human resources, web-based support, research and general admin. You’ll find that the engagement models include hourly projects, fixed-bid projects and retainer arrangements. If, for example, your business has limited human resources and needs occasional help with projects, or even regular on-going support, a VA might be the way for you to achieve results effectively and economically. But there are caveats. For instance, clarity is always advisable when issuing requests or instructions. This is especially important in the case of a VA. If you induce angst in the people with whom you work face to face by failing to deliver clear instructions, imagine how much worse it’ll be for a VA. My advice is to be pedantic to the extent of risking over-simplification. For instance, for a pricing assignment for my VA, I included a scanned spreadsheet template with hand-drawn arrows and hand- written comments inserted wherever I anticipated that guidance could possibly be required. This degree of attention to detail might Virtual assistant: cost-effective admin help sound excessive, but on the contrary, thinking through the assignment in detail helped me correct certain shortcomings and spot enhancements. She later confirmed that my detailed instructions made the assignments much easier: there was no guesswork involved and no work to be redone. As a wise accounting professor once told me, it takes five times longer to fix a mistake than it does to do it right in the first place. And therefore, he should have added, the task ends up costing five times what it should have. Michael Best is a print industry veteran, accountant and author of Characters Who Can Make Or Break Your Small Business . Through 39 characters, Michael covers all aspects most small business owners can expect to encounter in the life of a business from inception to disposition. It is available from Amazon and www.smallbusinesscharacters.com .