A retailer makes money by getting traffic through the door. The more traffic through the door, the more sales, the more profit. Let’s face it, you can’t sell to an empty shop no matter how good the product is…
The same principle applies to a website, and it doesn’t matter if the purpose of the site is to sell a product or to gather a lead. A certain percentage of your website traffic will take a desired action (the conversion rate), so it stands that the higher the amount of traffic, the larger the number of sales or leads will be.
Traffic can either be gained through natural search results or paid search results… Let’s talk about natural search results or rankings, and more specifically about how SEO relates to small business and local rankings (as opposed to SEO on a wider scale).
When it comes to ranking your site’s page in the local rankings, it’s apparent that you need to do some basic SEO in order to compete.
Luckily for us, there are clear guidelines that can help you rank your pages better, and most of them are able to be accomplished without being the head geek at Google.
To help get you started here are 10 tips for small business SEO that will help.
10 Small business SEO tips
Create substantial content – Being sure that you give your readers meaty, compelling content that they can use is job #1. Google favors longer text, so aim for at least 750-1250 words per page.
Simplify your URLs – Crafting simple and descriptive URLs make it possible for people to understand the content of your page just by looking at the URL. It helps to have primary page keyword in there too.
Have a keyword strategy – Know which keywords you wish to rank for, make each page focus on one primary keyword, and keep your keyword density on the page low, between 1-3%.
Create your Google My Business listing – Google’s latest local business incarnation is a suite of all things local business: Google+, Maps and more. It’s essential you have an optimized Google My Business presence if you plan to do well in local rankings.
Have a mobile ready site – Recently Google announced that starting on April 21st, 2015, not having a mobile friendly site will cost you in the search results, which at this time account for about half of all search traffic! Time to pay attention!
Optimize visual content – Another search rank signal important to Google is that your visual content, especially images are optimized for search. This involves image size, ALT tags and a few other items.
Have consistent NAP data – Make sure you are using consistent NAP data, (name, address, phones) across all your web platforms.
Encourage reviews – Do your best to encourage your visitors to leave reviews for your products or services, particularly on Google+. These will make a large difference in your local rankings.
Don’t neglect your Meta data – Your title tags and description have to be filled out properly, and make sure you have only one H1 tag on page.
Take advantage of Google Analytics – As well as Google Webmaster Tools! They are an excellent way to get intelligence on how your site is performing and where you can do better.
While SEO can be fickle and can take a while to take hold, it’s an important function of online marketing. And more importantly it’s a normal part of running a website, and to be competitive in the search results, it needs to be done well.
Although the search engines don’t divulge the secrets of their rankings algorithms, they do give clear indications about the sorts of factors that will help in your SEO efforts… Time to take advantage!