As small business owners, SEO rankings would probably be the last thing on your priorities right now.
Yes, gaining an online presence and organic visitors from search engines might not happen right away after implementing your small business SEO strategy, but if it’s done correctly, it will definitely help make your business grow by being present whenever a potential customer searches for your services.
So what can you do to rank a small business on Google SERPs? Here is Meegle’s top 10 list.
1. Audit your business online presence
Before you commit to any tips and strategies that promise you will increase website traffic and online presence, take a step back and assess where your business stands in the eyes of the internet.
Does your business have a social media account? If so, how many followers do you currently have? Are they actively engaging with your brand? If your answer is no or I don’t know, you can start a brand audit by getting to know who your customers are in social media and how you can capture their attention.
Do you have a website? If no, then now’s probably the best time to start building one if you want to dominate the Google SERPs in your niche.
2. Do extensive research on your competitors
Keeping tabs with your competitor’s online and offline marketing strategies should be one of your priorities as a small business owner. Not putting SEO on your high priority list might also lead you to not ranking at all when potential customers search for your business on Google.
Consider these things when doing competitor research to rank a small business website:
- Website structure
- Backlink profile
3. Find your money keywords
Unless your small business SEO strategy is so unique that you’re the only one doing it in your local area, including keywords in your SEO campaign is paramount if you want to rank on Google.
To get started, go to the Keyword Planner Tool in your Google Ads account. Enter a keyword phrase that best describes your business. From those results, optimize your website, social media, and other business listings by adding them in your content and product descriptions.
Be mindful of your keyword density, though you wouldn’t want your site to be penalized.
4. Optimize your GMB page
No small or local business shouldn’t have a Google My Business page. You could probably get away without a website, but not this one.
Why is it so important?
Well, if you want your business to show up on relevant local searches, having a verified, well optimized, and highly reviewed GMB page will enhance your listings and attract more potential customers.
In the admin page of your GMB account, be sure to answer as many fields as you can and make sure they’re accurate. Don’t forget to add photos as well, for this adds authenticity and listing enhancements.
5. Optimize your website
Optimizing your website for search engines is more than just inserting a bunch of keywords on your content and expecting it to rank #1 in a fortnight. Spoiler alert: it’s actually a lot more complicated than that.
First is you have to fix your technical SEO issues which are more likely to be focused on page speed, sitemaps, internal linking, duplicate content, and proper implementation of HTML elements. This optimization is for search engines.
Next is to optimize your pages, especially your title, meta descriptions, and overall content. This is a crucial part of the on-page optimization process since the success of these would depend on whether or not users find your content valuable.
6. Create fresh and unique content for competitive keywords
Google has over 200 ranking factors, and website content just happens to be one of the most important and can create the most impact on your small business SEO efforts.
To rank a small business website, content is something you shouldn’t overlook.
Your content doesn’t have to be perfect. Something well thought of, unique, and can provide value to your website visitors is enough. Don’t forget to also include images and videos as they can help provide great value and additional information about your business.
7. Implement structured data
When you’re trying to rank higher on the Google SERPS, you want to make it easy for search crawlers to understand your data and evaluate its value to searchers.
In a local business setting, if schema markup has accurate information and is implemented correctly, this could lead to rich snippets not only on Google SERPs but to other search engines as well.
Take a look at this Local business structured data reference from Google.
8. Manage your local business listings
When it comes to your local business listing information, consistency is always a crucial factor. You can build citations on business directory sites like YellowPages, Yelp, and Foursquare to add up to your online presence and. Just make sure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information is correct and consistent across all platforms.
9. Love your online reviews
Did you know that 88% of consumers search for reviews on a particular product before buying it? Google loves reviews from real consumers. The more good reviews you get, the more it is likely to rank a small business website.
When someone searches for your business niche, Google’s aim is to pride the best answer to users, and if your online presence presents such statistics and data, you might be a part or even be on the top of the search results.
- Always have an updated set of reviews every month. That way, it will create an impression that customers are actively involved in your business and are happy with it.
- Always respond to your online reviews. Whether if it’s good or bad, always keep it polite and professional.
- Never be afraid to ask reviews from your customers. You can use tools to automate your online review requests.
For more tips about online reviews, take a look at our online review guide for business owners.
10. Build links from websites in your local area
Potential customers don’t only just come from Google’s organic results. They can also come from your social media page or referral links. Most business owners think that once their website is good to go, everything will automatically fall into place.
But acquiring links can actually help you rank a small website. Relevant and high authority backlinks can skyrocket your website and help you get the users that convert.
Ranking in search engines like Google is no easy task. You might have to invest some time and money on content, website development, and a review monitoring tool to help you secure your spot online. But with the right determination and a clear set of goals, all those hard work will organically fall right into place and you can rank a small business in no time.
Portia is a Marketing Specialist at Meegle. She handles anything that involves SEO, Content Management, and everything else in between.