All small business owners want their websites to rank high in search engine results. And, while there’s no way to guarantee your business will land on Google’s coveted first page of results, there are a few primary steps you can take to improve your search ranking.
On-page SEO: Keywords
It’s a good move to start by making sure each page of your website is as appealing as it can be to search engines. This is called on-page SEO (search engine optimization). Begin by doing some easy keyword research. The goal is to create website content that naturally includes the words and phrases people search for online when they’re looking for the kind of stuff you offer.
Spend 10 minutes jotting down all the words you think people might enter into a search engine to find your business. Then, go to Google’s free Keyword Planner to find out if people are actually searching for those words and phrases. (The tool is part of Google AdWords to help set up online advertising campaigns, but you also can use it for on-page SEO research.)
Next — and most importantly — write remarkable web page content using the most relevant keywords and phrases. As a rule of thumb, include one keyword per every 100 words of content. You’ll want to write between 300 to 1,000 words per page. Use the primary keyword or phrase in the page headline and five to 10 times in the body copy. Keep your writing natural, avoiding the “keyword stuffing” that is a red flag for search engines.
Social media: Make friends
Engaging with your customers and prospects where they spend a lot of their time — on their favorite social networks — is key to reaching your target audience online. In fact, seven of the top 10 search engine ranking factors now involve social media. You want people to share info about you and your products and services on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. Even better? Getting them to link to content on your business website. To search engines, this kind of activity indicates trustworthiness and relevance.
Creating shareable content is the most vital thing you can do to market your business through social media. Be sure to include interesting images and videos, which people love to share. Add social widgets to your website to make sharing your compelling content as simple as a click.
Get local: Maps and directories
Where do people today turn to find a new plumber, pet sitter or pizzeria in their city? The Internet. Make sure your business shows up when they search online for the type of stuff you offer by getting your business listed in online maps and directories. Start by signing up for Google My Business.
This are just the first, baby steps you can take to get your business found on the web. There’s always more you can do to boost your site’s ranking potential. A few great resources for more information including The Moz Blog and Search Engine Land.
About the Author:
A former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for today’s go-getters through her work as a copy editor at GoDaddy. Connect with Andrea on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.