12 Tips on Improving SEO Rankings for Small Businesses
Small businesses looking to carve their way in their industry without huge marketing costs can count on SEO. It can be difficult for competitors to beat your brand once your brand ranks top on search engines.
Looking to get your business ranked higher in Google searches, you’re in the right place. Here are tips on improving SEO rankings for small businesses.
- Link Back to Your Homepage With Branded Anchors
It might be difficult to rank small businesses on Google when there’s a lack of brand authority. Big brands usually have the upper hand when it comes to higher search rankings. The reason is usually simple─ Google trusts renowned brands.
Big brands have a strong and natural backlink profile. These brands are always on online mentions, industry publications, news and content references. This makes Google confident to rank their links when ranking any content.
The big question is how to establish trust with Google to compete with the bigwigs. The quickest way is to make your brand and domain name trustable. Focusing on brand building is the most effective way of improving SEO rankings.
So how do content creators link to the top brands? Most of the time, they mention a particular brand name or link to its homepage. This is the first thing to do to improve your search engine rankings.
Use branded anchors when linking back to your homepage. The homepage tells Google what your business is about. Branded anchors can help reinforce this message.
Backlinking challenges most businesses and that’s why most SEO strategies fail. But what if you had an AI tool to tell you what anchor texts to use for every backlink? This tool here allows you to do these actions with ease.
- Create and Link to Pillar or Power Pages
One reason people leave a site is due to a lack of in-depth content. As bounce rates increase, Google loses trust in that site leading to poor search ranking. Pillar pages are one way to ensure people stay on your site longer to interact with your content.
Creating pillar pages allows you to explore a topic in detail. It answers tons of user questions on one page. Pillar pages are most suitable for optimizing strong keywords.
Pillar pages are also one of the secrets to ranking on featured snippets. Their structure is crawler-friendly which boosts their potential to rank higher. These pages also meet the Google EAT (expertise, authority and reliability) factor necessary for better rankings.
Creating pillar pages starts with choosing strong keywords. This topic should have a high search volume and low competition to give you a better chance of ranking. All topics that relate to a pillar should link back to it to boost its ranking potential.
- Guest Post on Top Ranking Blogs
Guest posting is one of the tried and proven strategies for improving SEO rankings. 60% of blogs write up to five guest blog posts every month.
Guest posting involves creating content for other businesses and blogs. By doing so, your website gains more backlinks which can boost your website’s authority.
But with Google crawlers more intelligent, guest posts backlinks don’t pay off as they used to. For instance, guest posting on spammy sites erodes Google trust causing poor rankings.
Most SEO marketers have resorted to guest posting on websites with high domain authority. Domain authority is a website score based on the number of authority links to it. The idea is that guest posts on a high authority domain have chances of ranking high.
The problem is that a lot of high domain authority sites lack traffic. This means your links are likely to stay idle and may not produce desired value. A better way of looking for guest posting sites is to analyze organic traffic.
- Choose Strong Keywords
Your SEO and digital marketing strategy are only as strong as the strength of your keywords. Choosing strong keywords is like taking a shortcut to higher google search rankings. Proper keyword selection is integral for the success of organic rankings.
Keywords are the foundation of a successful digital marketing strategy. Keywords can show whether customers love your product or how they perceive your brand. Choosing strong keywords means choosing specific phrases that are less common.
For example, if you’re running a CBD brand you’re very unlikely to rank for the search term “CBD”. CBD, in this case, is at best generic and highly competitive. Based on how SEO works, you’re unlikely to rank top for this term because of competition. Less competitive but fierce keywords for this niche would be “CBD for anxiety”.
- Build a Mobile-Friendly Website
The average American spending over 5.6 hours on their phone daily. This is a clear sign that a digital marketing strategy targeting mobile phone users has a high chance of success. When it comes to SEO, this means building a mobile-friendly website.
High mobile phone web traffic prompted Google to adapt to mobile-first indexing. Mobile-friendly websites are likely to rank higher on Google. Optimize your site for mobile search if you want to raise your search engine rankings.
- Refresh Old and Low-Performing Pages
Evergreen content stays relevant and constantly attracts new readers. It sparks reader interest continuously and is synonymous with constant search volume. Creating this form of content is an effective way of improving SEO rankings.
But most content is usually not evergreen. With time, the message in your content loses value leading to lower traffic. Facts can become outdated and referenced sites may lose their authority.
Older content may perform poorly and affect website authority. You have to update it to make your site reliable. New content appears to be in line with trends and relevant to current issues.
But sometimes, the reason for poor rankings is low-performing pages. For example, poor quality content can cause bounce rates and weaken ranking efforts. So, it’s important to make use of analytics to identify weak SEO pages for improvements.
- Create High-Quality Content
Readers come across tons of content every day. A single content platform is already too overwhelming for most readers. Most of the online content remains unconsumed or has little traffic.
Choosing strong keywords is a great SEO step. But keywords are less effective if your content doesn’t add value to the reader. SEO success is more likely when you embed your power keywords in high-quality content.
- Add Related Keywords to Your Content
Keyword stuffing devalues content and is likely to attract Google penalties. Repeating any keyword many times on the same page can make your content seem forced. It’ll feel like you’re writing for bots and not readers which sends negative signals to Google.
A better SEO strategy is to sprinkle your content with related keywords. This makes your content relevant and searchable for your users. The proper use of related keywords can bring expertise and authority to your site.
Google understands synonyms and recognizes related keywords. It understands that every niche is full of different phrases. Proof of this is the related searches that appear at the end of your page results.
- Help Google Understand Your Visuals
Visual SEO is not often the main consideration when creating a digital marketing strategy. Visuals attract us to read and evoke expected emotions faster than text. Integrating visuals in your copy makes reading easier.
Websites that accommodate videos, pictures graphics have higher engagement rates. Visuals appear on search engine results like text links. Sometimes, Youtube and web videos appear on the top.
If you optimize visuals for SEO by adding scripts and keywords, they can rank higher.
- Infuse Content With Questions and Definitions
Most Google search results for high-level terms come up in the form of questions and answers. For example, if you search for SEO, the top result is likely a question “what is SEO”?
The “people also ask” section is a series of answers to user queries. Google matches the most appropriate answers with user questions. Sites with the most relevant content pop up to provide users with quick answers.
If you want to improve your SEO rankings, infuse your content with questions, definitions and answers. Integrate questions in your content and provide direct answers below.
- Speed Up Page Loading
As long as your business is online anyone can access it. But for high conversion rates, it has to load fast.
Slow-loading websites usually put off customers and have an unusual bounce rate. As a result, most customers leave before going through the content or products. Sometimes, poor loading speeds can stop customers from fulfilling their orders.
Apart from having a mobile-friendly website, optimize it for quick loading speeds.
- Proper Formatting of Content
Your content is for your target audience. It has to be legible, scannable and readable. Proper content formatting is a basic SEO requirement.
Here are some content formatting tips for better SEO results
- Use header tags and include keywords in these tags
- Use whitespace to make your content easy to read
- Use short sentences and paragraphs
Properly formatted content moves the reader from the introduction to the end smoothly. It keeps visitors on your site which boosts dwell time (a key SEO factor).
Start Improving SEO Rankings for Your Business
Improving SEO rankings takes time, consistency and commitment to the process. The right SEO efforts can pay off if done consistently.
Focus more on building your brand if you want to rank top and stay there long term. Speed up your SEO results and make your brand the center of your strategy. For more tips on digital marketing, check out the rest of our blog.