SEO, or search engine optimisation, has become an essential part of content strategy in digital marketing over the last decade or more, but it’s no longer strictly the domain of digital marketing professionals.

In fact, any small business owner, including sole traders, who wants to be easily found by their potential customers online can benefit from gaining a working  understanding of SEO and why it is so important for growing a business today. It may even be said that SEO is as important to the longevity of your sole trader business as sole trader insurance.

Research from Telstra’s Small Business Intelligence Report notes that 71 per cent of consumers say their purchase decisions are mostly driven by online search queries. Read on to find out more about SEO and how it could help give your sole trader business a lift.

What is SEO?

SEO, an acronym for “search engine optimisation”, is an organic method of increasing your website traffic. It’s also part science and part art, requiring a combination of extensive research and technical skills. The main goal of search engine optimisation is to increase the chances of getting your company’s website or blog in front of the people who are searching for select terms so that you can convert them from prospects to customers of your sole trader business.

SEO also encompasses many different types of marketing strategies and activities, including keyword research, link building, on page SEO optimisation, content strategy, off page optimisation, competitor analysis, and improving your customer experience. And because it relies on search engine algorithms, the goalposts are constantly moving. The one constant in the SEO and digital marketing industry is that quality content is increasingly becoming more valuable as search engines such as Google become smarter and more discerning.

Is SEO still effective?

So, does SEO still work? Is it still an effective and relevant content and digital marketing strategy for sole traders? The short answer is ‘yes’ – as long as you are willing to invest the time and money into doing it right.

What are the benefits of SEO?

So, why should your business invest in SEO? Well, once you have your SEO strategy up and running, the incoming organic leads that you will get in return will pay dividends for your business. In fact, businesses that invest in SEO and content marketing (blogs, case studies, how-to guides, Q&A interviews, to name a few) have a much greater chance of being indexed by search engines than they would otherwise.

How to make SEO work for your sole trader website?

Implementing SEO for your sole trader website can essentially be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. It will likely boil down to the competition in your market and the keywords you choose to target.

One of the best ways to start with your SEO is by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. To reach them using SEO, you first need to understand what terms they may be searching for in search engines such as Google. More specifically, think about what types of questions and keywords they might be searching for to eventually find a business like yours.

A good place to start is by making an accurate list of words and phrases that you think your customers might be typing into search engines. However, you’ll need to check your own assumptions against the data by using SEO tools, some of which can be used for free. Here is a bite-sized how-to guide to starting SEO on your company website.

Choose the SEO keywords that you want to rank for

There are plenty of keyword research tools available for you to use. However, before you start actioning anything, brainstorm the keywords and terms that you think your ideal customer will search for when they want to find a business like yours. This is called ‘search intent’.

Conduct competitor research

Have a close look at your competitors’ websites and check what SEO keywords they are currently ranking for that you also want to rank for. Then use a backlinks search tool to find out where they got their links from for each term.

Create and publish original, high-quality content

If you can create higher quality content than your competitors, you’ll have a good chance of getting your work published on the same sites – and potentially even more reputable sites looking for similar content.

As the most-used search engine, Google always ranks search results from highest-quality content to lowest quality content in its search results. As such, a key part of getting your website ranked on the first page of search engine results (a must for getting the most out of your SEO efforts) your content should be organised, simple, and easy to understand.

While you don’t have to completely cut creative flair out of your content, you will benefit from making sure that your content is clear and easily accessible to a wide audience. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is the term used for putting keywords in your content until it becomes obvious and a burden to the reader. Instead, strategically insert your keywords where they are most appropriate and naturally occurring. If you find that it is too hard to make them work without sacrificing content quality, then remove them.

Assuming that you follow SEO best practice (recommended), you likely won’t need to pay for the links you create – but that doesn’t mean that your SEO activity will be completely free. Depending on how much you wish to invest into your SEO strategy, you may choose to engage a digital marketing agency with experienced SEO experts in-house to help take your SEO program to the next level.

How BizCover helps sole traders secure their sole trader insurance

BizCover makes buying insurance for sole traders, such as Public Liability insurance* for your small business, faster and easier than ever before – and without the drama you may have experienced in the past when purchasing business insurance for your business.

We provide a quick and easy online platform for small business owners throughout Australia to compare competitive sole trader insurance quotes online and purchase their insurance for sole traders in less than 10 minutes – and without any paperwork.

Visit our dedicated online destination for insurance for sole traders to compare competitive Public Liability quotes from leading insurers for your small business. Get covered in a mere 10 minutes and get on with your day. If you prefer to pick up the phone, you can reach our friendly team on 1300 849 083.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, Public Liability Australia is a business name of BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769).