Your rank on Google is one of the most important factors for gaining higher traffic. Small business SEO has become a fascinating topic for marketers because any website can now compete with corporate websites just by utilizing technical SEO and content marketing.
Does your site rank in a good position on Google? Then you have to be on page one of search engine results. Whenever a user searches a keyword, they scroll through the first page of results looking for answers, but HubSpot found that 75% of searchers never go past the first page of Google.
What does that mean for your site? It’s time to get on the first page for all the keywords that matter to your business. However, let’s start with the most important ones and rank up through strategic moves.
If you’re not on page one of Google, don’t worry. Most businesses never even get this far. They simply throw up a site and get on Twitter or Facebook, hoping to get as much traffic as possible. However, if they really wanted to do that, they would work on their SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the only way to rank on the first page of results and get higher organic traffic. By conducting keyword research and understanding audience intent, you can improve your content and start seeing new page views, but there are a number of other technical tactics that increase your traffic as well.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to what you need to do.
First, if you’re going for local SEO, then you’ll need to set up your local listings. For Google, you simply need to create a Google My Business account and verify your business listing, then fill in your Google My Business profile.
In addition, Google provides several ways to optimize your listing, such as:
Local SEO is really all about your Google My Business profile. When you want to increase your nearby traffic, you should also create local SEO landing pages that focus on keywords and content related to your location. For example, you don’t just want to include “Carpet Cleaning in Las Vegas” as your H1 or title, you also want to include street names, city nicknames, and location information. This is so that Google crawlers recognize other keywords related to the local area and know to rank you as a highly relevant and nearby store for the searcher.
As a business owner, you probably know that reviews and ratings are a key factor in gaining traffic and sales. People conduct all kinds of research before choosing a product or service to invest in. One of the biggest factors in their research is what other customers experienced when shopping with your brand.
That’s why getting reviews every month or even every week is essential to your business. You should let customers know that you accept reviews and would love for them to rate their experience online. While you can’t solicit “only positive Google reviews” because it’s against their review content policy, you can ask for reviews in person, via email, or social media to increase people’s interest in leaving feedback.
A citation is a mention in any social media profile, directory, or another website that allows you to create a profile for your business. It becomes a citation when you can leave your NAP information with a website URL. Your profile information becomes a citation of your business on Google.
If you create citations every week in new directories and profiles, it can benefit your business considered as a ranking signal. However, you want to make sure that you only choose websites and directories that are reputable and not considered “scammy” or “spammy.” In many cases, directories with a domain authority (DA) score of less than 30 are considered “poor performing.” You can check DA scores with the Moz tool.
In addition to your own efforts to create citations, you want other influencers, bloggers, websites, and organizations to link to your business as an informational resource or product endorsement. Google sees other high-quality sites in your niche or industry linking back to your site as a huge ranking signal. It increases your domain authority, which is directly linked to moving higher up in Google SERPs.
One way to do this is through sponsored posts or guest blogging. You can write blogs and post on industry-related blogs that will link back to your site. However, you want to make sure that these blog sites have a DA of over 50. Only sites with higher domain authority matter to Google’s ranking signals.
If you want your products and services to rank individually so that people land on your best products and services to purchase, then you’ll need to create each landing page. This is easy to do with a product catalog and eCommerce store building service like Shopify or WooCommerce.
However, you may want to create specific landing pages or sell pages for your highest selling products. These are pages that include every detail about your product, such as pros and cons, bullet points with benefits, customer testimonials, videos, multiple images, warranty information, instructions, and much more.
What’s most important is that you include the keywords for the product or service that users will search to find this page.
You may also want to use this page in a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign around text search ads in Google. These appear at the top of results and guarantee that your product pages will show first in Google, although under “sponsored results.”
Without a text ad campaign, your individual product landing pages can still rank on the first page of Google, it just takes more time and content development, such as guest blogs that link back to your individual landing pages.
One rule of thumb for content used to be that the length must be over 500 words. Then, SEOs thought content length of SEO pages should be over 1000 words. Now the recommended length depends on the niche, reader attention span, topic, and competitive pages within the same keyword.
It’s also about all the content sub-topics that you address while still saying relevant to the keyword. This means that when you write your content, you should also consider relevant topics, related keyword variants, frequently asked questions, and long-tail keywords that your audience is also likely to Google.
You may have keywords on every page, but is it really optimized from a technical standpoint? From on-page SEO like h1, h2, and h3 tags to Schema markup, your website pages should be able to tell Google crawlers exactly what they need to know about your product and service.
Additionally, you should include formatting, images, related links (both internal and external), and questions on every page. This is helpful to crawlers as they look for the best pages that answer user questions but also information on new ideas, tips, and guidance. You should make sure to include images and videos on these pages as well.
Whenever you write blog content or informative website content, you should try to include sources such as links from high domain authority sites. The best sites are .gov and .edu sites, but top results related to your keywords in news and Wikipedia articles could also help your content.
Before linking to any external site as a source, you can also check the domain authority score on Moz.
First, check your site is running fast in PageSpeed Insights. If you get a poor score or see any red alerts on your report, then address those issues first. PageSpeed Insights is a helpful tool that shows you what you need to change to speed up your site, but it’s also a good tool for identifying server errors.
Server speed and downtime is a big issue for website owners. If you have a high-quality server, your site likely doesn’t slow down ever, but if you notice that your site is slowing down with just a slightly higher traffic pattern, then you should probably check with your host or even look at upgrading your own servers if you’ve set up your site locally.
Mobile-friendly means more than just responding to browser size. You want users to feel like they’re browsing within an app, even if it’s a mobile browser. Your site should have easy-to-use navigation with large buttons you can tap easily that doesn’t block any content.
To see if Google thinks you’re mobile-friendly, you can also use the Google Search Console mobile checker tool.
Google only links to sites with HTTPS encryption, which means purchasing an SSL certificate for your site to ensure that it’s secure. In addition, you should update your server and always follow the most updated security definitions. SSL certificates are necessary to protect your business and customer data.
If you don’t currently have a blog, then you should consider starting one because it allows you to create, publish, and share your own content continuously. Search engines like to see that you are updating your site as often as possible, adding more timely and relevant ranking signals.
In addition, it’s beneficial to update your older content if you already have a blog. You should be adding new information regularly so that every blog is updated for the current year on your site. Google doesn’t like to rank information that is over 1 to 2 years old unless it’s highly relevant and has excellent page session times, where readers stayed on the page for many minutes and browsed to other links on the same page.
You’ve probably seen “clickbait” headlines, and while this tactic has fizzled out, you should still make sure that your headlines and descriptions elicit a response. SEMrush offers a tool called the SEMrush Writing Assistant that you can use with Google Docs or WordPress to give you tips on your content.
The tool will grade your title based on the following formula:
When writing titles, it’s best to think about the audience's intent and understand exactly what they’re looking for when they land on a blog or page of your site. What’s the first piece of information that’s important to them? What questions do they have about this topic? If you can add these questions and answers, they’ll be more inclined to click and keep reading.
When adding a video to your site, you want to embed it within your content at the right point. Often, people will click on videos and then never see the rest of the content. It’s important to include videos when you want to provide the right visuals or demonstration of the product or service for the reader at the best moment.
For this reason, it’s best to include videos just under the header content of the page or in the middle section of your page. If you create an incredibly motivating video, then you may include first. However, you should optimize your video to play quickly and encourage an action to make the most of this placement.
Along with high-quality content and tactical optimization, you want to make sure that you get reviews, customer testimonials, and social mentions that verify your brand as “trustworthy.” Today’s consumers have lots of ways to review and rate your business, so it’s important that you always provide a high-quality experience that eliminates friction, poor service, and shipping problems.
Nothing makes a customer angrier than a product that doesn’t ship on time and takes forever to get to them, but you should anticipate all friction before it happens by going through a customer’s journey. If you don’t enjoy the shopping experience and overall product quality, then how do you expect a customer to respond?
Online reputation management includes all of the tactics to prepare your customer to make a positive review and leave excellent comments on your social posts. If you do receive poor feedback and bad comments on your posts, then you can use tools like Smart Moderation to moderate your comments automatically and remove negative words with automated filters that constantly check your page. It’s a solution for those teams that don’t have the capacity to moderate manually.
It's time to boost your traffic organically and invest in a strategy that has incredible ROI. You can improve your sales just by creating targeted content on your site with technical SEO that also directs search engine crawlers how to rank on Google. It's the fastest way to get on page one of Google.