9 Ways Small Businesses Can Be Big on Google With diligent attention to the tricks of the online business trade, smaller businesses can climb to that coveted first spot on the search page.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Having trouble getting your small business site to rank in the search engines? Not even sure where to start? This post will provide you with 9 simple hacks to ensure your site is properly optimized and starts ranking as soon as possible. These hacks have helped me to go from a startup to having millions of online visitors to my site each month in less than a year.
If you're an ecommerce or local business, make sure to stick around to the end of the post. I've included some special hacks just for you!
1. Add customer reviews and ratings to each product you sell.
These benefit you on a few different levels: they're great for user experience, they tend to increase conversion rates, and they're the type of supplementary content Google loves to see and reward by way of higher rankings. Here are a few tips that you should use to get your customer to give you a review.
2. Include a variety of images and/or videos for each product.
Relevant images are another element that are great both for user experience and rankings. Ensure the alt image tag and caption of each photo uses descriptive keywords. This will help your content rank for those keywords, and will also give your images a chance at ranking for related Google image searches.
3. Focus on deep-linking.
Attaining links for an ecommerce site is a challenge. Whenever possible, work at getting links to specific product pages instead of just your homepage or other high-level pages
4. Use descriptive language for your product listings.
As an ecommerce business, the bulk of the "content" on your site will be product listings and descriptions. Spend time making sure each description is complete and contains a variety of keywords related to your product. Discuss the problem your product solves, include the features and benefits of your product and consider telling a story to make your descriptions more compelling.
5. Encrypt your ecommerce site.
Site security is important to Google and to your users. Encrypting your ecommerce site (HTTPS) signals to Google and your users that your site is trustworthy and secure.
6. Included location-specific keywords on your site.
Brick and mortar stores need to do more than just tell customers their state city and state. Remember to include county names, abbreviations, region names and zip codes as well. A tool like the Local Keyword Research tool can help you brainstorm possible variations.
7. Claim and complete your Google My Business page.
Add your location, hours, phone number and images to make sure your listing shows up in Google Maps, Search and Google+.
8. Make your NAP (name, address, phone number) consistent everywhere online.
This includes your website (double-check your footers), social media profiles, Google listings, references on other sites, etc. Use the local business schema to tell Google you're a local business. Here's a good overview of how to do this properly.
9. Keep it local, local, local.
To give your local business the best chance of ranking for local search queries, focus most of your SEO efforts on keeping everything about your site locally-focused. This includes building links from other local sites, making sure your on-page factors include your location (content, H1/H2 tags, title tags, etc.), getting reviews from local review sites if possible, etc.
Implementing the hacks above will give your site and content the best chance of ranking in Google; however, many of these strategies will also naturally provide a better user experience for your site visitors. When in doubt, focus on providing excellent, relevant content, and then promoting it to your target market. This hack alone will go a long way to getting your small business site ranking in Google.