Small businesses know that having a website is important, but they don’t know the importance of SEO for websites. It’s a process that improves your website’s rankings on Google and other search engines.
It is separate from other digital marketing strategies such as pay per click advertising but integral to business growth.
How does a small business learn about proper SEO? They use the SEO checklists to improve their site and watch their rankings climb. SEO can be scary, but with commitment, your business can outperform the competition.
Here are some things you need to know that will improve your SEO ranking.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile
Only a few years ago, people looked up information on desktop computers. Websites had large fonts and big pictures. Site owners didn’t have to worry about any of it impacting rankings.
Those days are over.
Today, smartphones pack as much processing power as desktop computers. Furthermore, more people search online with their mobile phones than with traditional computers. Google made mobile friendliness a ranking factor to improve user experience.
People won’t visit your site if they can’t see information because it’s not mobile-friendly. Most websites are adaptive and change the size of their page and its aesthetic mechanics to fit any screen.
Google made the switch to mobile first indexing. Your desktop website is no longer the primary basis for indexing your site. Google looks at your mobile site first.
A small business needs a mobile-friendly site. Mobile will only become more important as time goes on.
Keywords are Still Relevant
No matter how the algorithms change or improve, people still use search queries to find their information. If you include those queries in your content, the Google bots notice them, and it catches their eyes.
The days of spamming keywords are over, but they still need in your content. Place keywords naturally throughout your content and you’ll see your rankings improve. Be careful not to overuse them or force them into copy because Google sees it.
Best SEO practices for 2019 include creating relevant keyword lists based on your niche, search volume, and competition. Don’t use general keywords because they may be difficult to rank for. Instead, discover longer tail keywords that have less search volume, but also less competition.
Google Prioritizes Good Content
Good and authoritative content is on every basic SEO checklist. Search engines are a business, and the searchers are their customers. They want to give them the best possible product.
How does Google determine if your site is the right fit for them and their search terms? They examine your content. Google’s bots crawl Web pages, product pages, blog posts, and your F.A.Q. section.
If you want to be in Google’s good graces, fill your site with good content. Generally, good content contains proper keywords, no grammar errors, well-sourced information, and 500 words or more.
Product pages should describe the product and give people information about it. Talk about how the product works and what it’s used for. Once you create content, you have to work to get it in front of people’s eyes.
Google changes their algorithm on a regular basis. One factor that stays consistent is the company rewards good content with good rankings.
Local Search is a Necessity
If you are a brick and mortar store that services a specific location or a site that services a regional area, you’ll need local search SEO. Claim Google My Business profiles and Google Map locations. Claim your Yelp and Facebook pages as well.
Google indexes these pages and they rank well. By claiming them and filling in the information, you take control.
Many times, these sites have incorrect information. You can also see and respond to reviews from customers.
Localization on your site includes adding keywords with cities and towns. If you run a Los Angeles based HVAC company, use something like “heating and cooling services for Los Angeles.” Having localized keywords on your site helps Google bots send local customers to your website.
Be careful of doorway pages that lead to a specific page about a city. They’re designed to get people to click through to other areas of the site. Google recognizes these and penalizes them.
Voice Search Grows Each Month
People don’t type search queries as much as they used to. In fact, thanks to voice search on phones and digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, people hardly touch keyboards.
How do you do SEO for voice search? Consider how people talk to their phones. It’s more conversational and tends to be direct requests. Answer people’s questions through blog posts and other content to get a ranking boost from Google.
Voice search is another reason why it’s important to make your website mobile friendly. People using voice search on phones and digital assistants with a screen can see the sites it brings up.
Fix the Small Items
No website is perfect. There are always little things that can weigh down their rank. Get a website audit that examines common SEO problems websites have and fix them.
The audit brings up duplicate content issues, improper headings, and other things that hurt your website rankings.
An audit may show 404 errors, broken internal and external links and much more. Once you know the issues, develop a plan to fix them. It’s worth the time and effort.
SEO Takes Time to Work
The biggest complaint people have is that SEO isn’t working fast enough for them. The reality is SEO takes time.
You need to develop an SEO strategy, make the changes, and wait for Google to notice the changes and improve your rankings for specific keywords.
It doesn’t happen overnight. You may not see significant improvement for several weeks or months.
You need to trust that the SEO will pay off because once you get to those high ranks it’s easier to stay there.