Google SEO Success 2017

It may be 2017, but there are still plenty of small business owners who have entered the year with little knowledge of SEO or the desire to incorporate it into their business plan. For some, the issue is complexity – it’s not worth it to add the task of learning how to utilize this skill on top of all the responsibilities that come with running a business at the local level. In fact, a recent Manta poll taken of 1,115 small business owners revealed that less than half of them have implemented a formal marketing plan at all.

In a separate poll (2,773 small business owners), Manta found that most local businesses utilize awareness-building strategies such as social media, public relations, display advertising, and mobile marketing.

Here’s The Thing

If you’re already implementing things like social, PR, display ads, and mobile, your business is in a great position to tap into a bigger pool of prospective customers by adding in some SEO tactics. Here’s a few essential ideas that can help funnel the content you’ve created for these platforms to a whole new audience.

1.     Study up on the most important “on-page factors”

The reason small businesses who’ve included social ad placements in their plan are in such a good position is because they already have great content to work with. The next step is revamping that content so your Google search results rank higher. Things like linking to other pages on your website, simplifying the language for a better user experience, including smart keywords, only providing relevant and important information that supplies the demand of the reader are all very helpful in improving your online visibility.

2.     Embrace “Google My Business”

Google My Business - Riverside, CAUsing this free tool will improve your visibility on Google search, Google Maps, and Google+. These channels are extremely important for local businesses. Many consumers use Google Maps when they need to find the nearest restaurant, gift shop, supermarket, or any nearby business in a hurry. Google+ and Google search are essential platforms where you should be competing for attention because they are typical research starting points in the customer journey. Google My Business also allows great resources for tracking analytics and gauging your audience so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

3.     Add More Speed to Your Website

Per a Kissmetrics Report, a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. The same report shows 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Think about that for a moment. How many potential customers are you losing within a matter of seconds? Now, think about the new prospects searching for a business like yours on-the-go, via mobile, where speedy information is even more important. This is why it is crucial to accommodate the shortening attention span of today’s consumer by investing in a quicker loading time. Site and page speed are included in Google’s algorithm for page ranking as well – just another reason to consider helpful programs such as Page Speed Online, to check your page speed, or even consult or hire a web developer to take your page to the next level.

These three tips are great starting points for the local business owner who is fighting to break into a bigger market and attract more customers. There are endless possibilities when it comes to optimizing your website and many of them only require slight tweaks to your business strategy.

So, if it’s taking on too much additional workload, fear of totally revamping your business model, or any other roadblock stopping you from engaging in SEO – try these easy, low-risk adjustments first and build from there.