Many small business owners are looking for ways to get their web pages to show up higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), but it’s difficult to get the best SEO strategies right. If you dig too deeply into recommendations made by SEO experts, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Instead of worrying about complex techniques, start with the following six best SEO strategies. With just a little effort, you can maximize your search engine rankings and make sure more potential customers find your business online.
1. Get More Active on Social Media
Although social media activity doesn’t directly affect search engine rankings, because of the authority of popular social media channels like Google Plus, Pinterest, SlideShare, and Facebook, pages from these sites often show up in SERPs. Tweets can now also show up in SERPs immediately after being posted. More social activity can result in more content sharing and backlinks to your website, which can affect rankings.
Choose the platforms where your target audience spend most of their time. Publish more original content, listen to your audience, reply to comments, and encourage people to share your content. In no time, some of your social media pages will rank even higher than your website pages.
2. Give Your Website a Makeover
Having a well-structured website with meaningful content makes common sense, but many sites still fail to meet these basic standards. Without relevant, useful, and well-organized content, your web pages will struggle to achieve high rankings in SERPs. But you have to write for humans and for search engines, so remember the following:
- Create separate pages for each product or service so you have more indexed pages
- Use variations of keyword phrases that are relevant to each page topic
- Create content that addresses the key concerns of your target audience
- Use headings, sub-headings, and bulleted lists to make content more accessible and scannable
3. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Now that Google has made “mobile-friendliness” a ranking factor, having a responsive website is essential if you want to remain competitive in today’s marketplace.
Studies have shown that mobile users have a higher purchase intent, and they’re more likely to call your business. According to a comScore study, around 78 percent of local, mobile searches resulted in a purchase. The study also revealed that 76 percent of mobile consumers make the purchase on the same day. Take these steps to ensure your business is primed for the mobile market:
- Use responsive design. It’s preferred by Google, and will ensure your website adapts to any device and screen size
- Use Google’s mobile-friendly test page to check your site
- Improve your site speed. Slow-loading pages will harm your search engines rankings. Visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for more information
4. Boost Your Local SEO
If you rely on local customers for business, being listed on local directories is an important step to take from a local marketing standpoint, but it’s also crucial for SEO. Having consistent listings across various online directories gives a signal to Google that you’re a genuine, local business, with reliable contact information.
Steps to improve your local SEO:
- Register with Google My Business and Bing Places for Business
- Get listed on trustworthy directory sites like YellowPages, Yelp, and Citysearch
- Create specific web pages that include locally-related keywords and phrases
- Make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) are consistent across your website, social media profiles, and online directory listings
5. Get Customers Talking About You
What are people saying about your business? Online reviews are more important today than ever before. Google now uses online reviews as a ranking factor, and most consumers today look at online reviews before making a purchase.
To encourage more positive online reviews, tell your customers you appreciate their feedback from the moment they arrive on your website or walk through your door. Find out where you get the most reviews online and respond to comments as often as possible. Engage with your audience to find out how you can improve your products and services.
6. Create More Useful and Original Content
Content marketing is about creating and sharing valuable content to drive website traffic and generate quality leads. It’s also about building a loyal customer base and improving your credibility with prospects and the search engines.
To boost your content marketing efforts, establish a blog on your website. It’s a great way to drive traffic and boost your search rankings by providing search engines with unique and ongoing content. It means you’ll have more indexed pages, more fresh content filled with relevant keywords, and more opportunities to engage with your audience. It should also lead to more inbound links and social shares.
The Bottom Line
Every small business owner should be aware of these best SEO strategies. These techniques are as relevant today as they were a few years ago, and they’ll ensure you maximize your search engine rankings and reach more potential customers online. In summary:
- Engage with your audience on social media
- Maintain a well-structured, content-rich website
- Provide your target audience with the information they’re looking for
- Write for your readers and the search engines
- Use mobile-responsive web design
- Focus more on local SEO
- Take care of your customers to maximize positive online reviews
To get the best results, hiring an SEO professional is often the most cost-effective way to go, but using these best SEO strategies will make sure you’re on the right track. SEO is a process that takes time to deliver results, but in the long run it’s worth the extra effort.