How To Improve Your Small Business Website’s Google Rank

Over 90% of online experiences begin with a search engine according to WebFX. The vast majority of those searches take place on Google.

When you look at a stat like that, it’s hard to deny that getting your business to rank in Google is very important. Even if your business is primarily offline, you at least want to show up when people search for your company name.

The way you improve your odds of ranking high in the Google search results is called search engine optimization, or SEO for short. Understanding SEO on a deep level is incredibly complicated and there is an industry of professionals that specialize exclusively in it.

But you don’t have to be an SEO master to grow your organic traffic and make your business more visible online. You can see benefits just by following relatively simple best practices when putting together your website. In this guide, I compile a list of easy to understand steps that you can follow to improve your odds of ranking high on Google keywords that matter to your business.

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results. There are a number of ways you can do this, but common ones include:

  • Developing a clear keyword strategy
  • Optimizing for fast website loading time
  • Making sure your site is mobile-friendly
  • Creating high-quality content

In the following section, I’ll give you some more specific and actionable ideas on how you can apply these general principles to your small business.

16 Steps To Improve Your Small Business Website’s Google Rank

Arthur C. Clarke said that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Because SEO is so complicated, we tend to treat professionals in the sector like wizards!

But you don’t have to be a magician to improve your Google rank. There are a lot of commonsense steps you can follow, most of which are not terribly technical, to improve your small business’s Google rank.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of 16 steps to help you get started.

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1. Make your website’s purpose clear.

If your website has a clear purpose, a lot of potential SEO issues will go away from the start. Think about what your business is offering and what unique value it provides. If you can explain both concisely and precisely, even your unoptimized copywriting will have a better chance of ranking.

Easy Step 1: Clearly define your unique selling proposition (USP).

2. Determine which keywords you want your website to be visible on.

Keyword strategy is at the root of SEO strategy in general. You will want to identify which keywords and phrases that potential customers are likely to use when searching for your products or services.

If you want to see what people are searching for, Google Keyword Planner is a great place to start. You can see which keywords have high search volumes. The sweet spot is to find keywords that have relatively high search volumes but relatively little competition.

Once you know which keywords to target, you can optimize your website content, meta descriptions, and page titles around those keywords.

Easy Step 1: Look for keywords in Google Keyword Planner.

3. Optimize for mobile devices.

Most people use the internet through their phones. That means your website needs to load properly and be easy to use on phones. Search engines like Google care about this a lot, because they don’t want to send people to websites that don’t work properly!

Make sure you test your site on various devices to ensure usability and fast loading times. Overall, you want your website to provide a good mobile user experience.

Easy Step 1: Test your site on your phone.

4. Improve your loading time.

Google and other search engines want to send their users to high-quality websites. Because web users are looking for information quickly, that means websites that load very fast.

You need to make sure your site loads quickly. So to do that, here are a few tips:

  • Optimize images by making sure they’re not bigger than they need to be
  • Use a good web host to keep server response times fast
  • Turn on browser caching for your website

You can also use tools like GTMetrix and Pingdom Tools to crawl your website and find areas to improve.

Easy Step 1: Run a speed test on your site with GTMetrix.

5. Claim your Google My Business Profile.

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business profile is a big part of local SEO. Fill out your profile with accurate business information, including address, phone number, and hours of operation.

Once you do that, encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. Keeping your Google My Business profile up to date in this way will increase your visibility in local searches and help attract more local customers.

Easy Step 1: Set up your Google My Business profile.

6. Make sure your content is high quality.

Search engines want users to land on web pages that line up with what the searchers want. That means when users land on any given page of your site, that page needs to serve some kind of need. The content on it needs to be well-written, informative, valuable, and relevant.

Part of this will mean using clear, concise language and avoiding spelling and grammar errors. Another big part of this will mean targeting keywords in a natural way and providing comprehensive information on the topics being researched by the user.

But most of all, this means not creating irrelevant content. If a page doesn’t have a purpose, don’t add it!

Easy Step 1: Delete pages that don’t have a clear purpose.

7. Use internal links.

Internal links connect different pages on your website, helping users navigate and find related content. They also help search engines understand the structure of your site and index your pages more effectively.

When appropriate, link to other pages on your website. This will help improve user experience and encourage visitors to stay on your site for longer in addition to helping with SEO. This is especially important if you have a content-heavy strategy like blogging.

Easy Step 1: Make a habit of adding internal links in your site content where appropriate.

8. Use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords.

Despite the technical-sounding name, the concept of LSI keywords is straightforward. LSI keywords are terms related to your main keywords that help search engines understand the context of your content. You will want to add LSI keywords naturally into your content to improve your SEO.

A major part of this will involve identifying LSI keywords. You can use tools like KeySearch or even Google’s autocomplete feature to find these kinds of keywords.

Easy Step 1: Use KeySearch to find LSI keywords that relate to your main keywords.

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9. Fix technical SEO issues.

Technical SEO involves optimizing your website’s backend to improve its performance and visibility. A big part of this will involve making sure there are no broken links or duplicate content. 

For more actionable tips, you can use tools like Google Search Console and Screaming Frog to identify and fix these problems. Taking care of technical SEO issues in a timely manner will keep your hard work in other areas of SEO from going to waste.

Easy Step 1: Audit your site with Screaming Frog.

10. Earn backlinks.

Backlinks are links from other websites to yours, and they are crucial for SEO. High-quality backlinks from reputable sites signal to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy.

Earning them is tricky and requires a lot of networking. Creating shareable content is great and can definitely help earn backlinks. But to speed up the process some, you can guest post on relevant blogs and build relationships with influencers. You may even try offering up your expertise to reporters by sending pitches on Connectively (formerly HARO) or Qwoted.

Easy Step 1: Build relationships with either the media or other website owners and ask them to link back to your website.

11. Make sure your content matches search intent.

What are users looking for when they type in certain keywords? Are they looking for information or trying to make a purchase?

You need to understand the actual search intent so you can tailor your content appropriately. Matching search intent increases engagement and boosts your rankings.

Easy Step 1: Think about what people are actually trying to find when they search for certain terms, and make sure your pages line up with that intent.

12. Ask customers for reviews.

Customer reviews are important for building credibility and improving local SEO. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and industry-specific sites.

Respond to reviews professionally, whether positive or negative. Not only will positive reviews generally improve your business’s reputation and increase trust, but they can boost your search engine rankings as well, making it easier for potential customers to find your business.

Easy Step 1: Ask one happy customer for a Google review.

13. Optimize for local SEO.

Local SEO helps your business appear in local search results. Make sure your business is listed in all relevant online directories. Use local keywords in your content and meta descriptions.

Local SEO optimization increases your visibility to nearby customers and drives more local traffic to your site. As with other kinds of keywords, you can find local keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner.

Easy Step 1: Identify relevant local keywords.

14. Keep your website up-to-date.

Regularly update your website to keep it fresh and relevant. Add new content, update old information, and ensure all links and functionalities are working correctly. Search engines favor active websites, and frequent updates can improve your rankings. 

Easy Step 1: Regularly update content and fix any website issues promptly.

15. Use schema markup.

Schema markup is a type of microdata that helps search engines understand your content better. By adding schema markup to your website, you can enhance your search engine listings with rich snippets, such as star ratings, event dates, and product prices. This additional information can make your listings more attractive and increase click-through rates.

Of all the tips so far, this is among the most technical and you should prioritize it after you have done everything else in this guide. If you want to learn more about this, check out Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.

Easy Step 1: Check out Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to learn more about how schema markup works.

16. Monitor and measure your search rankings.

You can track your status in the Google search rankings with Google Search Console. This will allow you to see how many times your pages are seen in the results, how often they are clicked on, and which keywords and pages are giving you the most attention.

When you take the time to regularly analyze this data, you can identify areas for improvement. This can help you line up your SEO efforts with a larger, more cohesive strategy.

Easy Step 1: Set up Google Search Console.

Final Thoughts

Improving your small business website’s Google rank is an ongoing process that requires dedication and strategic planning. Technical expertise helps, but there is plenty you can do to improve your Google rank even if you’re not a tech wizard.

Ultimately, search engines want to send users to relevant pages on quality websites. If your website and its pages have a clear sense of purpose and provide valuable information, that goes a long way. Then your main concerns primarily consist of avoiding technical issues and showing that your business is legitimate through trust signals like reviews and backlinks.

Technical details matter. But even more important is making a site people want to find.

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