Large companies pay top dollar to SEO firms that use every strategy in the book to improve a site’s Google ranking in searches. If you’re a small business owner, without a big budget, what can you do to improve your ranking and get more qualified traffic to your website? There are actually a lot of things  you can do, and many of them only require your time and patience

  1. Consistently create quality content – consistently adding relevant content to your website is one of the biggest signals to Google and other search engines that your website is “authoritative.” Google’s goal is to deliver the most relevant websites for every search, and a stagnant site that’s been neglected for years will never be delivered up. Google is looking for sites with recent content additions, and not just any content. As you publish new content, keep the following in mind:
  • Choose a keyword or phrase that is intended to pull the right people to the site. Don’t choose a keyword and then stuff your page with it! This will actually do you more harm, than good. Think like a real person who might be searching for information on your topic. Use the phrase at least once in the first paragraph and a few more times throughout the page; however, you can rearrange the order of the words. Google now has the ability to consider a person’s intent when they do a search. So your phrase does not have to be exactly what someone searched for.
  • Use sub headings instead of paragraph text, where appropriate. Search bots read headings and sub headings, but not all paragraph text.
  • Be sure to write a relevant meta description for the page that includes your keyword phrase, and describe any photos in the content.
  • Write for people – not search engines!
  1. Improve your page load speed – all major search engines take page-load speed into account when they are ranking sites in a search. Did you know that even a one-second delay in page load means 12% fewer page views? That’s right! A one second delay could cause someone to bounce off the site! Here are some great tips for speeding up your website.
  2. Make your site link-worthy – although Google looks at links both on and into your website, you have the most control over the use of internal links – which should be used liberally.
  • Instead of using “read more” or “click here” links, type out the actual name of the link location. “Read more” doesn’t have any SEO value, whereas a link that was typed out with a specific phrase, does.
  • Create outbound links in your content. When you link to auithoritative sources in your content, you’re showing that you’ve done your homework and you’re not just making claims.
  1. Optimize your visual content – pictures, video, and other visual media are great for a website. Studies reveal that people are 70% more likely to click on a video link than text! Just be sure you optimize your visual media so search engines can take it into consideration when ranking your site.
  • Resize or compress images – as we said before, slow page speed hurts your ranking, and huge images will definitely slow down your page load.
  • Create ALT tags – use the “alternative text description” feature in your CMS to describe photos, video, or other visual media. They not only allow the search engines to read this portion of your content, they are also for those who have text only browsers.
  • Use relevant keywords in the image title and description.
  1. Assess your site’s design – good design is always a good thing, but that’s not we’re talking about. Google now penalizes websites in search that do not have a responsive design. Not sure if your site is responsive? Pull up the site on your phone – what do you see? If you have to zoom in and zoom out to view the pages of the site, that is not a responsive design. When a site has been designed to be responsive, regardless of what device you use to access the site, it will automatically scale to the proper size whether someone is on a smart phone, tablet, or smart watch! This is the only tip that could require an investment on your part – but it’s a huge factor in ranking. If your site isn’t mobile friendly and you want an affordable solution, contact our sister company, Apache Interactive.

Making sure you’ve done everything you can to improve your site’s visibility and ranking isn’t difficult, but it does take time. If you just don’t have the time to give, consider the addition of a Lead-Flow website to your marketing. For a low monthly fee, you can rent a website that funnels leads to your business – and Inovail does all the SEO work! Call us today if you want to learn more.