New businesses want results fast, and might not understand why their business isn’t being found on the first page, or even the first 10 pages of google for their products or services. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix. Google needs time to trust your site before offering it up to others as a source of trusted information. Here I briefly go over initial ideas as to what a small business owner should know about improving their SERP (Search Engine Results page) positioning.
It might help to initially understand the difference between the results seen on a results page. In the image below, I have shown results for logo design services, a common search for newly formed businesses. The results page has a selection of results with red circles next to them. These are the paid results and these are the result of a companies PPC strategy in order to give them the greatest chance of reaching their audience by competing with rivals over this keyword for the top position below the search bar.
Further down the image you will see a green line, below this green line is where all the organic search rankings are listed. These positions cannot be affected by PPC and are down to the organic ranking of your site in the eyes of google. The criteria on which a website is judged in order to make this assessment is not simple, and keeping in control of it especially the technical aspects is not simple. And the changing landscape is one that usually makes it difficult for small business owners to competently run their own digital marketing.
Try to understand a bit about the google algorithm yourself, There is nothing more painful than not understanding why things aren’t working, especially if they were working well only a few weeks ago. Google continually updates its criteria and algorithms in regards to rankings, so having a brief understanding no matter how small will always help. Moz, an analytics and marketing company, produce very useful statistics and is always a great place to start.
Understand that money doesn’t always get you where you want
Even the professionals get it wrong sometimes. When starting out by yourself there will certainly be periods of trial and error, including when your performance didn’t meet the goals you were hoping for. As mentioned above, the ever changing algorithms and focus of competitors make sure businesses always have to work hard and be on top form to remain in a high ranking position on a SERP. Many digital marketing companies provide multiple tools and advice articles to help you understand where to begin and what areas need work on. For a slightly more technical view, this expert SEO analysis tool can shine a light on the more technical aspects of your site.
This one is simple, no matter what it looks like, or what you want to have on your site. If it takes longer than 3 seconds you’ll be losing more than 50% of your audience. Honestly. It seems crazy but attention spans and peoples focus is lost after this length of time.
Focus your keywords
Have different focus keywords for different pages.
It is fairly obvious for those of us who are in the know, but just because you sell gardening tools, for example, doesn’t mean that you should spam your site with those words across every page. This will be very unhelpful for users, and will only have your pages competing against each other. Take the time to do some research into your keywords, here is a selection of the best keyword research tools that should help make this step easier for those starting out.
Optimise for Mobile
Over 50% of the worlds web pages were delivered to mobile devices in the first half of 2018, so it is only simply to follow this up by ensuring you site is designed to services these users in a convenient and efficient way. Google has put mobile optimisation towards the top of its criteria recently and its easy to see why.