Small Business SEO: Ranking Your Business On Top Of Google
By: Mike Swigunski
Business owners are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the internet and using search engine optimization (SEO) to increase revenue for their business. Climbing to the top of Google’s search engine is something almost every business owner should want since it can exponentially increase revenue.
Have you ever been frustrated with your competitors showing up higher on search? Ever wondered what your business can do to get more customers? If so then, make sure to keep reading this article since it will cover all you need to know about small business SEO, the emerging trends in 2021, and how local and online businesses can improve their rankings on Google.
What Is SEO And Why Do I Need to Know About it?
Search engine optimization is the process of improving your online presence in a manner that can grant more exposure, increased user traffic, and better-qualified clients. To help you understand more about this topic and improve your business's SEO, we have compiled thoughts from three search engine optimization experts.
SEO Is Different For Online and Offline Businesses
When people with offline businesses hear about SEO, they might immediately think, "why do I even need to worry about my presence on search engines?" Although this train of thought may seem logical, those with local businesses such as dentists, mechanics, and so on can benefit significantly from some basic knowledge of SEO.
However, you will not be using the same strategies as those with online businesses if your business depends on local customers. An online e-commerce business will have a much different focus and strategy than a dentist looking for customers within a 30-mile radius.
Clayton Johnson, an SEO expert from The HOTH, asserts further, saying that "For example, if you are a construction company, you'll want to make a separate page on your website for Chicago kitchen remodeling, Chicago bathroom remodeling, Chicago roofing repair, etc."
SEO Is Not Just for Google
If you want to get into SEO, you don't need to focus on Google. Amazon, Reddit, Yahoo, YouTube, Bing, and others all have standards for SEO and require different strategies. Keep in mind that you may need to optimize your business on multiple platforms.
SEO Has Been Evolving in 2021: New Trends to Consider
SEO is constantly changing, and the top experts are on the pulse to see what is fact or fiction and provide evergreen advice that any entrepreneur can implement today.
More Prominent Sites Get More Views
One thing that continues to remain constant with Google is that they give preference to sites with more rapport. Typically, this is built with time, building backlinks, and the amount of content that you have. Matt Diggity from Diggity Marketing explains it perfectly by saying that "Google is continuing to reward the biggest sites on the internet (in terms of age, content, and backlinks) and is often leaving smaller sites with much better content on page two or worse." To succeed in SEO, you need to be excelling in all of these areas and doing it with solid consistency.
Core Web Vitals
Recently, Google started giving preference to sites that load faster. As Tim Soulo from Ahrefs concludes, "there has been a lot of attention to Google's "Page experience" update and the so-called Core Web Vitals. In other words, Google wants to serve people pages with good usability, that load fast and look great on mobile." Diggity agrees, saying that "when you make life easy for Google, they make life easy for you. Google wants to recommend fast websites to its users, so make your website fast."
Upgrades For Search Intentions
Google is also starting to improve on determining what the searcher's intention is and what kind of content will best answer their questions. As Johnson states: "The best way to understand how to rank for a keyword is to search it in Google and take note of what TYPES of content are coming up - are they sales pages? In-depth guides? Best-of lists? You'll want to make sure you understand the search intent of the keywords you're trying to rank for and model your content after what's ranking in Google."
Localization Is Improving
Google usually has access to your exact location. Accordingly, they are getting better at giving search results that are most relevant for your area. Clayton Johnson explains it further, saying that "if you search just "sushi" you won't get the best sushi spots in the US. You'll likely get the best sushi spots in your city… That brings a big opportunity for local businesses to really optimize their website by including their location in the title tags and content of the site."
Imagine that you have a sushi restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts. Johnson might recommend that you put tags such as "sushi restaurant in Boston," "best sushi restaurants in Boston," and so on, on various locations in your site such as the title tags and the blogs.
Improving SEO As An Online Business
When building an online business, such as an e-commerce site or affiliate site, there is a recipe for success that experts would advise you to follow. For starters, Soulo recommends that you "Do a thorough competitor research. This will help you understand which pages of your competitors are bringing them the most search traffic and which pages of your competitors are attracting links from other websites in your industry."
Furthermore, Soulo advises you to take things even further and to "do an SEO site audit. There are plenty of online tools which will scan your website for hundreds of common SEO issues and will give you actionable recommendations in regards to fixing them.
The process of putting keywords to use on your website is typically done through blogs. As said by Johnson, "investing in blog content is huge. There are thousands of keywords apart from what you actually sell that can help you attract your target customer, and blog content can not only help you rank for these keywords but also convey your expertise and authority, pushing your visitors down the sales funnel."
Finally, Diggity reminds us of the importance of backlinks. "Google's algorithm is founded on the concept of backlinks. It's no surprise that the websites with the most SEO exposure have an incredible amount of backlinks. Don't ignore this foundational step to the SEO process.”
In summary, experts advise online businesses to do keyword research, competitor research, investing in regular blog content, improving site speed, and generating backlinks.
Improving SEO As A Local Business
If your business is based offline, you should still focus on how you can improve your SEO. As stated by Diggity, "Step one is to create a website. Or, at the very least, create a Google My Business registration. You can't compete in the race of SEO without a vehicle."
Soulo continues, suggesting that you should then "Add more content to your website. As a small business owner, there's likely plenty of information about your business and its product/services that can't be found on your website at the moment. Make sure to make all that information available online. And if you have any unique industry knowledge - launch a blog and share that knowledge with the world in the form of blog articles. The more content you put out online, the easier it would be for people to find you."
Clayton agrees and adds that you should "keep in mind what you want the user to do when they visit your site - You'll want to tell your users to call you, fill out a contact form, take advantage of a promotion, etc. The traffic that you get from SEO will be worthless if the user doesn't know what next step to take. You must explicitly tell users what to do."
Finally, once you have content in play, you will need to find ways to get more views. Soulo says that your last step should be to "partner with bloggers and other businesses in your industry in order to promote your website. It doesn't matter how content-rich or good-looking your website is. If you don't put time, money, and effort to promote it - Google won't know it deserves attention. So make sure that other websites in your industry are talking about you."
Essential Tools For SEO
After breaking down some of the most relevant information on SEO for online and offline business, as well as the growing trends, you might be wondering what tools you can use today for improving your SEO. Here are some SEO tools to check out.
Ahrefs is an excellent tool for analyzing a website's backlinks, keyword rankings, and overall SEO health. In addition, many people use Ahrefs as a means to audit competition.
Surfer is an SEO tool that can be used to analyze the content of your page and optimize your overall on-page SEO. To do this, they are using over 500 on-page signals to determine how you can improve your content.
From on-page to off-page SEO, The HOTH does it all. Whether you need blogs, backlinks, and much more, the HOTH has proven its effectiveness in this industry repeatedly.
SEM Rush is another effective SEO tool for tracking your rankings, seeing which keywords you could use, tracking your competition, helping with advertisements, and much more.
In summary, experts state that you should build a website, build content relevant for each of your services, set up a funnel for connecting your customers to your business, and then partner with other blogs and businesses in a niche. SEO is frequently overcomplicated, but following the expert advice listed above along with a bit of patience will bring powerful results.