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A Guide For Small Businesses to Improve Ranking on Google

It has been observed that only 49% of small companies in the U.S. have taken the step of committing to search engine optimization (SEO). This implies that more than half of these businesses have missed out on the opportunity to attract customers and bring in revenue by not making an effort to enhance their rank on Google.

Running a small business can be difficult, especially when it is a physical store. Although word-of-mouth is still a common advertising method, it is not the only way to bring in customers. Many times, customers will utilize Google searches to look up the businesses they are interested in before they make a purchase.

Businesses should enhance their organic positioning on Google through search engine optimization (SEO). Although SEO may seem intimidating, and there are mixed opinions on its effectiveness, it is a worthwhile endeavor when you consider its ability to help your customers make informed decisions before making a purchase.

Strategies to Improve Ranking on Google

1. Refresh your Google Business Account Information.

Google Business Profile, accessible for free, can be useful for customers who are looking for businesses online. Not only is this tool part of regular Google searches but it is also incorporated into Google Maps, granting customers the ability to find businesses when they are in the process of traveling to a destination.

It’s essential to keep your Google Business Profile up to date to make your business more visible on a search engine results page (SERP). This will help to draw more attention to your website or store. The following are some of the most important changes to make to your profile:

  • Ensure that the address, phone number, and store hours are accurate
  • Include the website URL
  • Make sure your social media profiles are up to date
  • Refresh the images with new items, deals, and merchandise
  • Post a picture of your business location and building.

Potential customers will use these points to make an informed decision about your company. They can be aware of how far they need to go (if at all), get more information on your business, check out what your products and services are like, and hear about the recent sales and promotions you have.

2. Become Familiar with the Factors that Contribute to Ranking.

Google has revealed that its search algorithm takes four elements into account when determining the ranking of content. These elements are:

  • The words used in the search
  • How useful and pertinent the pages are
  • The authority of the source
  • The region and personalization of the Google account for the individual searching

As a business owner, you cannot influence some of the factors involved, however, you can be mindful of them and create content accordingly.

3. Enhance the Content You Have

If you want to target new customers without having to create new content, optimizing your existing content is the best way to go. Whether you have a blog, website, or landing page, updating it can help you appeal to those who are searching for the items and services that your business offers.

So, how does one go about discovering who they are looking for? And how do you figure out what search terms they’re using?

It’s not easy to anticipate what words a customer will type into Google, but it is possible to gain an insight into what they have looked for in the past and make predictions of what they may look for in the upcoming future.

If you are looking to focus on certain words in an individual’s inquiry, it is essential to do some keyword research regarding your business, industry, items, and services. You can use either HubSpot’s Content Strategy Tool or paid services like Ahrefs, Moz, or Semrush to get more precise keyword data. There are also free tools such as Google Keyword Planner to predict future search demands. An additional free tool to utilize is Google Trends.

4. Pinpoint Areas of Content That Are Lacking.

When it comes to the content gap, there are two aspects to consider. It could be a subject that has not been discussed much (if at all) in your sector, or it could be a stage in your customer’s journey that is absent from the content already in your collection.

Identifying both kinds of content deficiencies can be stimulating as you create new material that appeals to your target audience and can bring in income.

By employing a few of the same tactics, one can conduct a content audit to recognize keywords that fill in the content gaps. This makes it effortless to spot them quickly and integrate them into your future blog post, product page, or even on the homepage.

5. Include Alternative Text for Images.

Having photos on your website, social media, or Google Business Profile can be beneficial for optimizing your organic ranking on Google. This is because of the alt text field which is often overlooked.

To comprehend the value of alt-text, we must consider the perspective of a search engine. Since search engines cannot “look” at images as people do, they require another way to process them. Alt-text is a textual explanation of an image that allows the search engine to comprehend the image’s subject and how it connects to the keyword or topic it is linked with on the web page.

An illustration of alternative text on an IKEA image set of pillow covers

This is an example of an image pack by IKEA featuring alternative text for pillow covers.

Search engines like Google cannot identify and categorize your images without alt text. 

Therefore, you could be missing out on potential customers who could have discovered your website through an image search or image pack.

6. Respond to Commonly Asked Questions.

Investigating your FAQ page can improve ranking on Google. To make it more effective, try searching for the same queries on Google. What are the results?

If you run a hairdressing shop and one of the common questions you get asked is about the contrast between balayage and ombre, then you may find a box such as this one in the SERP.

A useful way to identify more queries from your customers is to view the “People Also Ask” box. You can then add similar questions to your FAQs page, thereby providing more opportunities to improve ranking on Google.

7. Examine what your Competitors are Doing.

The last piece of advice we have for increasing your organic ranking on Google is to examine your competitors. Do not imitate them, however. You can utilize programs like Ahrefs, Moz, or Semrush to research their keyword methodology and identify the areas in which they are lacking in content (which we discussed earlier).

Discover the topics that your customers are searching for but that your competition is not providing. You can then create relevant content that takes into consideration ranking factors and keyword research.

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