11 Clever Tips To Get A Top Google Ranking For Your Small Business

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Stephen Kinsella

STEPHEN KINSELLA Operations Director

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A small business faces tough competition on all fronts. They have limited budget and resources but must compete against companies with full marketing departments and an army of professionals. Many small business owners wonder if they should invest in SEO services and aim to get a position at the top of the search engine results page. It’s not easy to rank high on the SERPs as it takes effort, time, a great understanding of SEO, and the right strategy.

If you get it right, you’ll see a surge in organic traffic and will be able to compete with the big names in the industry. Thankfully, you don’t need to invest too much money and can get great results on a smaller budget. We’ve listed 12 clever ways to get your company name on top of the Google rankings. If you’re a small business, you should consider using them in your campaign.

1. Make It Easier for Google

This is one of the first things you should do before you proceed with your SEO campaign. When you launch your website or even add a new page to your existing one, Google needs to scan and index it for it to be visible on the SERP. You can make this process easier for Google by taking the steps mentioned below:

  • Upload your sitemap. It’s an XML document that allows Google to understand just how your website is structured and helps the bots crawl all the pages.
  • Use 301 redirects instead of 302 redirects. The former indicates the page has been removed permanently and that’ll help Google index faster.
  • Make sure Google has access to your website. Look through your robot.txt file carefully and check if User-agent: or Disallow: / are present in the code. These lines of text can restrict access and block Google.
  • Use Schema.org markup as it will give Google more information about your website.

2. Long-form Content Wins

Google wants to provide the search engine users with the best and most informative content so it will rank good quality long-from articles higher than short and poorly written articles. If your posts have more than 2,000 words, you’re more likely to rank higher in the SERPs. However, it’s not possible to always write more than 2,000 words and preserve the quality of the content at the same time. The general rule of thumb is to aim for 1,100 words or higher if possible.

3. Combination of Different Keywords

Keywords are essential if you want your website to be visible on search engine result pages. If you don’t have copywriting and content with relevant keywords, the search engine algorithm will have a harder time finding you. That can affect the rankings and cause problems in the long run. It’s a good idea to include a combination of keywords mentioned below:

  • Generic short tail keywords related to your business.
  • Specific product related keywords.
  • Long-tail keywords and phrases with details and location information.
  • Question keyphrases directed at smart phone users with voice assistants like Google Now and Siri.
  • LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) that help keep the content beneficial and relevant to users and in the eyes of Google.

4. Descriptive URLs

People don’t bother memorising URLs and usually rely on their browsers to fill in the gaps. However, frequent users of the Internet do look at the URL for additional information about the page. That’s why it’s important to have descriptive URLs that give users and indication of what they can expect from the page. The search engine bots also consider the information present in the URLs so a series of random numbers and letters doesn’t help. If you want to rank high in the SERP, you should ensure the URL is descriptive and contains keywords relevant to the page.

5. Maintain an Active Blog

Don’t underestimate how beneficial an active blog can be. Google wants to showcase the most relevant and current content to their target audience. If your website is passive and remains unchanged for a long period of time, your ranking will drop. An active blog assures Google that all information present on your website is relatively current. A blog will also allow you to add more keywords and gain great visibility online.

6. Internal Linking

People focus on backlinks and source connections from high-authority websites. They don’t consider internal linking, which helps spread the SEO juice and ensures Google bots have an easier time connecting different pieces of content together. Internal links tell Google that you have more information on your website on the subject matter, which means the search engine users can research the topic further if they need to without leaving your website. This proves to Google that your website is a better source for information than other options without internal linking.

7. Important Content in the Root Domain

The search engine bots will always crawl the root domain before they branch out, which is why it’s important to keep all your important information and high-performing content on the root domain. Websites with simple and clean architecture provide a better user experience to visitors. User experience is a very important influence on the ranking so organised content with important pages on the root domain will help.

8. Mobile Compatibility

Google considers mobile compatibility a very important ranking factor. Websites that aren’t compatible with mobile platforms are immediately marked and ranked low on the SERPs. For your website to be compatible with mobile platforms, it should good clean and good, be light-weight, and be easy to navigate. The users should be able to click all links and sections with their fingers and gain access to the pages smoothly. The rules for mobile indexing have recently changed and now Google is primarily ranking mobile versions of pages instead of the desktop versions.

9. Include Backlinks

Backlinks help you develop a reputation and showcase your authority. When high-ranking and authority websites include links to your pages in their content, they show that they trust your content. You benefit from their reputation and the trust Google has in them. If you have several well-placed backlinks from good websites, you will rank higher in the SERPs.

10. Market Your Content

Just creating good quality content isn’t enough. You need to market it well and draw more people to your website. You can share your posts online through social media or emails to draw attention to it. If you have more organic traffic flowing into your website, Google will automatically rank it higher.

11. Quick Load Times

Research indicates users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 to 4 seconds to load. On an average, most websites take nearly 19 to 20 seconds to load. (source) Google will test the load times and rank your website accordingly so it’s a good idea to reduce the file size and use a better hosting server.

The Internet has proven to be a great equalizer because small businesses can stand toe-to-toe with them on this platform. If you have the right strategy and implement your SEO campaign well, you’ll see a rise in the overall ranking of your business.

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Stephen Kinsella

STEPHEN KINSELLA Operations Director

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Stephen has over a decade’s digital marketing experience and 475+ client projects under his belt specialising in SEO, content marketing and local search marketing.