Do you own a small business or startup and want to beat the corporate competition? You don’t need to have access to the GDP of a small country to do so. Optimizing your business website for search engines is an effective, relatively low-cost method to increase brand awareness and amp up sales.
Utilizing the best practices of search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website appear above the fold on search engine results pages (SERPs). While page one Google search results capture nearly three-quarters of all organic search clicks
, the top 5 positions snag more than 67 percent. Basically, people shouldn’t have to scroll to find your link (apparently, it puts too much strain on the joints).
To climb to the top of Mt SERP without breaking a sweat, follow our SEO checklist
1. Sign up for a Google My Business (GMB) page – and make sure all information is accurate.
You need a Google My Business page, especially since the proximity of the search to your business location has become increasingly important for local SEO rankings. Your GMB page should include the name of your business, actual address (no P.O. boxes), and phone number with proper area code (no 800 numbers). And make sure this information matches the contact information on your website.
2. Is your website mobile friendly?
Because 3 out of 4 Americans own a smartphone
and nearly half own a tablet, mobile responsiveness – meaning your webpage adapts to different screen sizes – is a must. Keep in mind that 60 percent of online searches
are done from mobile devices.
3. Optimize your website for quicker loading times.
Your site needs to load in two seconds or less. Add just one second to that loading time
and you’ll lose 40 percent of those potential customers. There are many ways to improve loading speed, including optimizing images, using browser caching, and signing with a dependable web hosting service
4. Do you have enough quality content to satisfy your target audience’s (and search bot’s) needs?
You should provide content that caters to every point of the customer’s purchasing journey – from general research to ready-to-buy. While static pages, such as your homepage and product and service listings, allow you to provide core information regarding your business, a company blog
allows you to provide regular, fresh content to address a wide range of customer concerns and curiosity. Fresh content is also a great way to get noticed by search bots.
5. Do you have an online review strategy?
Word-of-mouth is still a proven tactic to increase sales. And today’s online reviews are yesterday’s grapevines – you should be actively tending the crop. To reap the benefits, take a look at our do’s and don’ts of an effective online review strategy
6. Are you using relevant keywords throughout your website content and GMB listing?
Keywords are the words and phrases you use throughout your content to help people find you. You want to avoid using industry jargon, instead using keywords your customers are likely to use when searching for you online.
7. Does your website have an SSL certificate?
are a way of letting visitors know you’ve taken the time to establish a secure connection between your servers and public web browsers. Because security is factored into Google’s search algorithms, lacking an SSL certificate could drive your website rankings down.
8. Do references to your business include accurate contact information?
Business citations need to be consistent, or as accurate as possible, across all platforms, including GMB, Yelp, Citysearch, and Yellowpages. Informal references, such as shout-outs on blogs, news sites, or industry associations, should also be checked for accuracy.
Implement these tricks and your small business will garner the attention it deserves. If you’d prefer the help of experts, contact
our inbound marketing pros at Social Spice Media. You can also get started now by using our fast, free website SEO audit