For most small businesses, ranking high on the Google search results is not rocket science but it requires a methodical approach. According to a recent study by Moz (www.moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors) the Google ranking results for local small businesses are primarily based on the following factors.
By Alain Houle, Alco Web Design LLC
Gone are the days where having a website was the only thing small business owners had to do to drive customers to their doorsteps. Every business has a website these days and competition is fierce for the top of the Google search results. Here is what you and your Web Master should focus on:
1 - Google My Business Signals (Proximity, categories, keyword in business title, etc.) 19%
In addition to be the most important search ranking factor, your Google My Business (GMB) listing is an excellent way to connect online with potential customers. Setting up GMB is free and easy. Once your GMB account is setup, take advantage of the GMB posts to advertise for special events and promotions.
2 - Link Signals (Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.) 17%
For Google, links are like votes at a popularity contest. Websites that get many links, especially from important websites, must be good and deserve to rank high on the Google search results. Trade reciprocal links with your supplier, customers, or other noncompetitive businesses. Get links from your local chamber of commerce or local organizations you sponsor or are part of. Participate to blogs or publish newsletter with a link back to your website. Tell the world about your website and get linked!
3 - On-Page Signals (Presence of NAP, keywords in titles, domain authority, etc.) 14%
Writing for the web is a delicate balance between creating persuasive content that is also easy for Google to categorize. Give Google a chance to understand what goods and services you offer, who are your customers, where is your business located and how to contact you. Your webmaster does not know your business. Work and rework the text of your pages, then let your webmaster take care of the technical details.
4 - Citation Signals (IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, citation volume, etc.) 13%
Before the Internet, people used printed directories like the Yellow Pages to find information about a business. Citations are the modern equivalents of the Yellow pages. They are electronic directories that publish your business name, address, phone number, etc. Many citations directories will list your business for free but manual submitting is a tedious and time-consuming process.
5 - Review Signals (Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.) 13%
Google uses online reviews to determine the reputation of a business. Reputable businesses rank higher on the Google search results. Getting positive reviews from satisfied customers is easier said than done. Convincing an unhappy customer to change a negative review is even harder. Get help from specialized consultants. Focus on the top review sites that are Google My Business, Facebook, Amazon, Yelp, trip Advisor, Yellow Pages, BBB, Manta, Angie’s List, and Foursquare.
6 - Behavioral Signals (Click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc.) 10%
Google uses statistical info about your visitors to determine how well your website meets their needs. Websites that get attention from visitors rank higher on the Google search results. Make sure your content is interesting and well organized, so your visitors quickly find what they look for and come back to your website. Having fresh content, creating periodic promotions or creating a blog are good ways to convince visitors to come back to your website.
7 - Personalization 10%
Websites with original content rank higher on the Google search results. Do not copy from you’re your competitors. Come up with your own text and do better. Writing for the web is not easy for most small business owners that are business people, not writers. Consider professional writing services.
8 - Social Signals (Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement, etc.) 4%
Interestingly, participation to the social medias ranks last on the top Google ranking factors. This means that, for most small businesses, social medias should be used with moderation and after work on other factors has been completed.
Alco Web Design LLC
Having a website is pointless if nobody finds it. We take SEO seriously and strive to deliver consistent and sustainable traffic to your virtual doorsteps. Let our web designers, SEO experts, citation builders and website content writers turn your website into a cost-effective marketing tool. For more information call us at (920) 850-4642 or fill in this contact us from and we will get back to you promptly.
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About the Author
My name is Alain Houle. Since the late 1990s I own and operate Alco Web Design LLC from my home office in Greenville Wisconsin. I specialize in creating professional and cost-effective websites for small-business owners in the Appleton Fox Valley. I love to help local entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Contact me now!