How Can You Improve Your Small Business Website Search Rankings

As a small business owner, you have probably heard about Search Engine Optimization, and how Google often changes its ranking algorithms. The reason why Google does this is to create a good and accurate search experience for its users. Sometimes, the changes can negatively affect your website’s performance in the rankings. However, this is not a permanent issue, as every time Google changes something, a variety of new ways for improving your website search rankings comes along. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the methods and techniques that are certain to boost your search rankings.

 Small Business - SEO

Publish high-quality and relevant content

The most important factor that drives your search rankings is top-notch content that is relevant and valuable to your target audience. When you create good content specifically for a certain group of people, you will get more traffic on your website, and in the result, gain reputation and authority.

Storytelling is an important aspect of your content. When you tell a story, you entice your audience, bring out certain emotions, and in the end, boost your conversion rate. The right way to do this is to write about your own experiences. Of course, every story needs to have an “ending”, so it would be wise that after you have your visitors’ attention, you offer them a solution, in the form of a call-to-action.

Shareable headlines are also crucial for your ranking. A good headline that people are certain to share is bound to get your article around. It can be a good idea to use exciting words that create the sense of urgency, such as “now” or “today”. While on-page SEO tactics get your website into the race, a good headline is what makes it clickable. Make sure that it invokes curiosity. It is also a good idea to use numbers, as they tend to add to the “clickability” of your content (for example, “7 SEO Tactics To Optimize Your Website”).

Your content also needs to create a multimedia experience. That’s why you need to make use of videos, infographics, ebooks, guides, podcasts, comics, animated GIFs, webinars, checklists, and the like.

Finally, it is very important that you update your content on a regular basis. If your content is fresh, it means that your website is relevant.

Insert metadata

When designing your website pages, there is a space between <head> tags where you can input metadata or relevant information about what can be found on them. Title metadata gets your page titles displayed on top of the window. This is the most important metadata for your page. Then, you have description metadata which is the text that provides a summary of what your page is all about and appears underneath the links in search engine page results. Finally, there is keyword metadata, which consists out of phrases that users input when they want to find your website. Here, you will want to include various phrases, but it is important that you don’t overdo it, as it might lead to your data getting completely ignored. Use about 6-8 phrases that consist out of 1-4 words.

Off-page SEO

If you’ve heard someone say that backlinks are dead, don’t listen to them. Google has, in fact, confirmed that backlinks are an essential ranking signal. Basically, if you focus on a link building strategy that consists out of creating and promoting top-notch content, you will be aiming at two of Google’s most important ranking factors simultaneously. This will open a door to a large number of customers.

The problem is that a lot of people tend to go for quantity over quality with their backlinks strategy. In a way, it makes sense – showing off with reports that include a hundred backlinks of lower quality seems like it’s more worth it than just a couple of high-quality ones. However, the fact remains that this is a bad idea, and will have a detrimental effect on your rankings.

Still, it is a good idea to have more backlinks, but it’s only good when they come from sites that have a reputation. So, avoid press release sites, wiki sites, blog comments, general directories, forums, and the like.

The ideal solution is to go for links with authority that are related to your industry. Web design and SEO experts at GWM suggest making use of a backlink finder tool such as Ahrefs. You can use it to check out what links your competition is using and try to replicate those that are from authoritative sites. You should also look at your competition’s anchor text, as it can also give you ideas how to improve your link building campaign.

Make your website mobile-friendly

Responsive Web Design

Since Google introduced its mobile-friendly algorithm update in 2015, it has become very important that your website has the functionality for mobile devices, or else it will get penalized. If you don’t have a mobile version of your website or your site isn’t built in responsive design, despite all your other efforts, you will see a drop in your rankings, and this will most definitely be the reason. Make sure that you create a website that provides a top-notch and simple experience for mobile users in order to avoid this pitfall.

Pay attention to social signals

Another important aspect of your search ranking is social signals. This, however, means that you should only focus on authentic ones. Buying thousands of likes and expecting them to work is a no-go. If you get Facebook likes, retweets, and Google+ votes from big influencers in your industry, you can truly improve your rankings the right way. How many real followers you have on big social networks is a local SEO ranking signal too. So, focus on your social media accounts, post relevant and valuable information, engage with your followers, and you will be rewarded by Google.

Getting high website search rankings depends on both on-page and off-page SEO efforts. As always, content is king, so you need to focus on providing high-quality, relevant, and valuable content to your visitors. Making your website mobile-friendly is essential in today’s era of smartphones. You should also make the best out of your social media channels. Remember to track the changes in Google’s algorithm and always adapt.

 Nick Brown, a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource based out of Sydney. I search for knowledge 24/7 and have no problem in sharing any of it especially regarding digital marketing and all things tech