Most solopreneurs and small business owners know that attracting visitors to your website is essential for success. Paid advertising can be an option, but, especially when starting out, "organic" ways are usually preferred, since most of us don't have endless budgets. That is why it's so important to focus on search engine optimisation (SEO) early on.

But hey, we have all been there. We have all looked at SEO – and to most of us it probably felt like some voodoo magic. Influence how Google ranks us? How?

In order to help you kickstart your SEO efforts, I have put together five simple tips that you can implement today to help improve the SEO of your website.

What Is Search Engine Optimisation?

To start off, let's have a look what Search Engine Optimisation actually is. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

Search engine optimization is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines.


Seems a bit overly complicated, so let's break it down.

In the end, SEO is all about making it as easy as possible for people to find your website, when they search for keywords related to your business. Let's take my website, the Magic Website Lab, as an example. If somebody asks Google for "tips on creating a good website without spending much", I'd want Google to think "Ohh yeah, Magic Website Lab has just the right type of content for that".

As you can imagine, there are probably thousands of people out there, who want Google to think that exact thing for their website. So, how do you stand out? How do you optimise?

We'll get to this part a little bit later, but generally, you give Google – and other search engines – clues. You tell them what your website is about and what information it contains. Search engines have been optimised over the years to filter this information and match it with search queries of their users.

These clues can be simple keywords that you include in your text. But they also include things like proper heading structures, technical optimisations, and much more.

Why Is SEO So Important for Small Businesses and Solopreneurs?

The reason why I would recommend you to focus on SEO from an early stage is pretty simple: it takes quite some time to show its fruits. You cannot expect Google to find your new website one day and be like "Oh yes! That's the one that has all the information we need!".

In fact, it's quite the opposite. SEO can take months. So, with that in mind, why do I think that SEO is still one of the best investments any small business owner or solopreneur can make?

Quite simple: SEO levels the playing field. Let's have a look at my example again. I am a one-person show. A single person trying to help people make better websites on their own. The people I want to work with are usually surrounded by offers. Social ads, cold emails, cold calls, etc.

And all of this can be influenced with money. But – thankfully – there is one are in marketing that cannot be influenced by money. And that is Search Engine Optimisation.

A big web design firm with hundreds of employees has the same constraints from Google as I do. Yes, they can probably invest in better tools and copywriters. But in the end, as a small business owner I can find niches and opportunities that completely level the playing field and encourage potential customers to consider me over a huge agency.

So yes, improving your website's SEO from an early stage on is the ultimate hack to compete with bigger players out there. It won't happen over night. But as entrepreneurs we are in it for the long-run anyway, right?

1. Make Sure You Using Proper Heading Structures

The first – and one of the simplest – way to improve your website's SEO is implementing proper heading structures.

Heading structures are also known as "H tags". They are a way of organising the hierarchy of information on your website and help search engines understand the content better. At the same time, they also make it easier for your visitors to find what they are looking for.

"H" tags are technically just part of HTML, the technical markup language that is used to create websites. HTML has different tags that tell a web browser what kind of information you are trying to convey.

A Quick Technical Discourse

To understand this better, I want to quickly give you an understanding of these technical tags – but in most website builders and content management systems, these would be generated for you automatically in the background.

If you want to display an image, for example, you would use the HTML tag "img", like this:

<img src="image.jpg" alt="Image of an elephant playing with water in a zoo" />

This would tell the web browser everything it needs to know to display the image properly. The same goes for text, for example, where you can use the "p" (for paragraph) tag:

<p>This is a text that shows how we can use the "p" tag in HTML.</p>

Now, to display different headings, HTML has different "h" tags – for heading. Depending on the priority of the heading, a number is added to the "h", starting with 1.

<h1>This is the most important heading and usually the title of the page.</h1>
<h2>This is the second most important heading</h2>
<h3>This is the third heading level</h3>

While you can use most HTML tags as frequently as you want, the heading tags have some speciality to them.

The "h1" tag should generally only be used once on every page (not website!) and include the main title of the page – ideally with a relevant keyword. All other heading tags can be used as frequently as you want, however, they need to be used in the correct order.

You can not start your page with an "h1" and the immediately use an "h3" on the next heading. An "h3" is nested in an "h2", which is nested under an "h1".

Usually, most small business owners don't work with HTML tags directly. In your content management system, you should find styling options when writing a new text. In there, you should be able to select different heading styles such as "H1/Heading 1", "H2/Heading ", etc.

Non-Technical Optimisation

But enough with the technicalities. Apart from the correct technical structures, your headings should also be accurate and consistent.

Before starting to write new content – especially for blogs – think about your page structure. This will then also determine the heading structures. 

Additionally, try focussing on one keyword per page and avoid using too many. This can otherwise be flagged as spam by different search engines.

2. Look for Opportunities in Long Tail Keywords

While SEO levels the playing field for small businesses, we shouldn't forget that there are thousands of others who have started optimising their websites before us. That means that most "short" keywords are highly competitive and it can take years to successfully rank on them.

So, is this the point where you give up on your SEO efforts? Absolutely not!

Instead of trying to rank for short keywords, you can look for opportunities in so-called "long tail keywords". These keywords are usually phrase that are made up of three or more words and are way more specific than shorter ones.

The downside is that they have less search requests than more common ones. However, these search requests are usually more qualified and with more intent – and there is less competition, making these long tail keywords the perfect opportunity for small businesses and solopreneurs.

The Difference Between Long Tail and Short Tail Keywords

To give you an idea of the difference between long tail and short tail keywords, here is an example:

"Web designer" is a short tail key. It is very general and could apply to many different use cases. In fact, any company, freelancer, or agency offering web design services could try to rank for this keyword.

On the other hand, "Web designer for non-profit organisations in Berlin" is much more specific. It's a long tail keyword and will have much less search requests every month – but that won't really matter. People looking for this long tail keyword know what they are looking for and where. The search intent is much higher.

3. Make Sure All Images Have Descriptive Alt Texts

For most small business owners who start out with their new websites, images are usually not the first thing they think of when it comes to SEO. But that's a missed opportunity!

Google has its own image search, so providing Google with information on your images is as crucial as describing the rest of your content with keywords and proper meta information.

But apart from that, images also present an opportunity to improve your usability and accessibility – both of which are ranking factors defined by Google.

What I am talking about are "alt texts" – short for "alternative text". These little text snippets describe an image and were actually meant to be used with assistive technologies that help visually impaired people navigate the web.

Since the beginning of the internet, lots of things have evolved. So, nowadays they are also used by search engines to determine what an image is about.

Here is how an alt text looks like:

<img src="image.jpg" alt="Brown bear in the forest eating some berries off a small bush">

In this example, "Brown bear in the forest eating some berries off a small bush" is the alt text for our image. As you can see, it is very descriptive – and that's on purpose.

Remember, alt texts are meant to help visually impaired people navigate the web. My blind grandmother, for example, doesn't see the image of the brown bear. She has a computer program read the website's content to her. Without this alt text, her computer would just say "Image".

And well...that is quite unsatisfactory.

With the alt text I have provided in my example, her screen reader tells her "Image. Brown bear in the forest eating some berries off a small bush". And while my grandmother doesn't see the image itself, she can image what's there.

So, while improving your website's accessibility, you are also creating a better usability – and therefore giving Google more reasons to rank your site.

How To Set Alt Texts Properly

As mentioned in the headings-section, most of you won't edit the plain HTML code of your website, but use a website builder of some sort. The good thing is, most of these already have the possibility to set alt texts.

When uploading an image, you might be able to click on it and enter the text in a text field or a dropdown menu. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

Remember: alt texts should be a brief, concise description of your image. It should inform a user or a search engine of the general idea of the image and be relevant to the content of your page. Avoid using jargon or unnecessary punctuation and describe your image as simple as possible.

4. Use Lighthouse To Find Issues With Your Website

Optimising for search engines is one thing – but measuring it is another.

While there are many great tools out there that can help you monitor your SEO ranking, Google has actually provided one for free that lets you check your on-page optimisation, such as website speed, accessibility, and more.

The tool is called "Lighthouse" and is available as a browser plugin:

Google Chrome/Brave: LINK
Firefox: LINK

Now, open your website and click the "Generate Report" button.

This report will show issues with your website, such as missing heading tags, opportunities to improve your website's speed, and much more. For most of these tips Google also provides further links where you can learn more about all of these ranking factors and how you can fix them.

You can use the results of your Lighthouse report to create a todo list that can help you improve your website's SEO.

5. Start Writing a Blog

One of the most effective ways to improve the SEO of your website is starting a blog. It provides valuable content that people actually search for.

I mean, let's think of your own search pattern. When you look for a specific topic – let's say web design – you are most likely putting a search query into Google. If you just want to get some information or understand a certain concept I would assume you are not clicking on any of the results that say "Hire a web designer now" or "Modern websites for only 2,999$".

No, instead you are looking for results that look like they hold information – and that's usually blog posts.

Somebody sat down and thought about the problem you're looking to solve – and wrote about it. Like me, currently writing this blog post on simple steps for small business owners and solopreneurs to improve their SEO. While my intent is quite clear – getting more of you to visit my website – I also hold up on my promise and provide you with information that will help you improve your SEO.

Creating searchable content is the key to a successful SEO strategy. And you can do that best by creating an insightful blog that solves people's problems.

Search engines will pick up on that and rank your content. If you combine your blog with the strategies mentioned above, you should see results for some long tail keywords pretty quickly.


Improving your website's SEO is obviously an ongoing process. You are not going to work through these 5 steps once and have it all figured out.

But these steps give you a solid foundation that will help you kickstart your SEO efforts.

We have just scratched the surface – so if you want to continue reading on SEO, I can highly recommend Hubspot's SEO guide that goes into a bit more detail.