The world around us is ever-evolving and technology is becoming more and more prevalent every day. No longer are the days of opening the Yellow Pages and heading to the plumber section to find a plumber. Now everyone uses search engines like Google and Bing to find services in their local area. As we evolve from using computers into using our mobile devices, it is no longer optional to have an online presence as a business owner.
This change in human behavior has left businesses needing to pivot in order to keep up with their competitors. Take a second to open up a new incognito window and search for your main keyword. Where do you rank? Top spot? Top 3? Top 5? Are you on the first page? If the answer is not in the top 3 then there is a good chance you are missing out on over 35% of clicks on Google.
Recently I had to repair the roof on my home. Not knowing anyone in the market, I went to Google for answers on who to work with. I always love to get 3 quotes for any project. So for me, I typed “roofers Pittsfield MA” in Google, and went to the first three websites. Filled out each of their contact forms and received a quote from all three within a week. I ended up going with one of them and was very satisfied with the service and price I received. The point of this story is I never even went to the 4th listing on Google. For all, I know they could have been the best of them, but I will never know. Most users are like me and wind up using one of the top listings when they search on Google.
This story shows you the power of being listed towards the top of Google. For a small business, every lead matters, and most businesses can’t afford to miss out on them.
Below are four important steps that will help improve your rankings on Google and grow your business in the digital era!
1. Research and define the keywords that your business should be found for.
This is a huge part of SEO and by far one of the most important. Researching keywords that are related to your product or service, but not too competitive is an art in itself. The idea here is to find words that you can rank for with little effort/competition, yet still, get traffic from them.
You can use tools like Ubersuggest and SEMrush to study what keywords your competitor is being found for and what search terms have the highest traffic. You are going to want to create a list that is very manageable and attainable for your business. We recommend starting with 3 to 5 main keywords to start. You can build off this later on.
2. Develop and write valuable content
The goal of SEO is to have your website show up for the keywords you want it to be found for. With that in mind, quality content needs to be written around these terms and phrases. You can’t just throw together some random articles with no substance, hoping they will rank on Google.
Writing valuable content means writing posts that are full of information about what your business offers or answering common questions people would be searching for related to your product/service (i.e., How much does a roof cost? What should I look out for if my home has mold?). This is also an art form as well because you don’t want them to look like Wikipedia pages; make sure there’s a personality behind them that is engaging to readers.
Taking your list of keywords, begin deciding on questions that people may have about your products or services. There is a famous book out called “They Ask, You Answer”. The concept is simple, people have questions about your product, service, or industry. It is important that you answer these questions. Answering these will build your trust with consumers and develop your authority as a source of information in the field.
Take a minute and write down the top 5 most asked questions clients or customers have about your business, services, or products. Are these 5 questions answered on your website currently? If the answer is no to any of them, then you are missing out on valuable content for your site.
At the end of the day, Google is a question-and-answer machine. People type questions into Google 3.5 billion times a day. If your website isn’t answering a common question in your field, then you are missing out on being found organically online.
3. Improve your website speed
If you’ve ever been on a slow-loading website, then you know how it feels to lose patience and leave that website. Just by improving your website speed by even .25 seconds can increase conversions and make people more likely to come back.
Many times having a fast-loading site is not always about the size of images or videos; many businesses struggle with the hosting plan they have chosen for their business. The best thing that we recommend here is finding someone who knows WordPress inside out and can help set up caching plugins, install browser caching tools like WPRocket, and other optimizations that will improve load time drastically.
If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, there is a good chance people will leave before ever reaching your site. Nowadays it is an absolute must for your website to load fast and efficiently.
4. Improve your website design
A key factor in Google’s rankings is how long someone stays on your website before leaving. If people find your website on Google and leave very quickly, it likely means they did not find what they were looking for.
So how does a nicely designed and user-friendly website help with that? Simple, if someone lands on your site and has a pleasant experience right away they are more likely to spend more time on the website. They may read the blog and decide to read another one after that. They may land on a service page and decide to head to the contact page and fill out your form. These interactions on your website are crucial in demonstrating to Google and other search engines that your website is a valuable resource for people.
Ready to get started?
Now that you have learned the steps, you are ready to begin your journey in the world of SEO. We have plenty of resources that can help you learn more about the field and more tips on how to grow your business.
This is a very time-consuming process, so we totally understand if you don’t think you have the time to work on building your own SEO. That is where we can help! We provide services from website design to search engine optimization. We love to work with fellow small business owners to help them grow their business and achieve their goals.
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions and we are happy to provide a free site audit.