This post is part of our Small Business Week series. Check out more blog posts this week to learn how SMBs can use their website and power of SEO to grow their web presence and business!
As a small business owner, your time is limited and often split up amongst too many things—from payroll to networking and customer satisfaction to compliance and regulations. It’s one thing to keep your business afloat—and it’s another to learn how to best invest your resources (meaning both time and money) to help your business grow. To help you out, we’ve put together the top five things you should do as a minimum when it comes to managing your website.
Read through the five steps below to ensure you’re only helping your website grow—and if you need more help, give us a call. We’d be happy to do a FREE analysis of your current website!
1) Have a Responsive + Mobile Friendly Website
Google made it clear that businesses with mobile-friendly or responsive websites would benefit in rankings—and those without one could see a drop in rankings. Google wants to give their search users the best experience, and as a small business owner, you should give your website visitors the best experience too. That means that whether they are on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, they should be able to access, navigate, and use your website without trouble.
According to Google, 94% of people with smartphones search for local information on their phones. Many small business owners, like you, may see 30 percent to even a majority of their website traffic coming from mobile devices. You should ensure that they are able to read about your services and contact you (via web form or phone number). That can mean making sure text is big enough to read, buttons are clickable without too much pinching and zooming, and the website will load and adjust whether the user is rotating their phone or not.
2) Create a Separate Page on Your Website for Each Service You Offer
Google ranks webpages individually, not websites as a whole. And while it can be good for you to list all of your services on your home page, or a broad home page, you should create an individual page on your site for EACH of your services. As a small business owner, you likely offer a lot to your customers. As an HVAC contractor, you may offer installation, repair, maintenance, and more on each heating and cooling systems, as well as IAQ products. Each of those should have their own page on your site—this will give you an opportunity to rank better for each. Here’s an example of one of our clients, a window and door company in Maryland:
They have a page found in their navigation for each window and door product they carry, including all types of shapes, materials, and manufacturers they can install.
That way, if someone searches “fiberglass window replacement in Beltsville,” the site will show the Fiberglass Window Installation page (tailored exactly for what the user is looking for); if another homeowner searches “Weather Shield Dealer in Silver Spring,” they will find another page on this website that provides the answers and details for their specific needs.
Investing in SEO as a small business owner is all about increasing your online search real estate. The more pages written for specific products and services you offer your customers, the more you can show up in Google searches for customers looking for your services.
To get even any traffic from Google search, you have to make sure Google actually knows your website (and all the pages about each of your services!) exists. If a library didn’t have a book listed in its catalog or database, it wouldn’t even be able to recommend it to the library patrons in a search!
To make sure Google knows of (and can rank) all the of pages on your website, first make sure you have an up-to-date XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a page on your site written for Google’s crawlers or robots that serves almost like a subway map—it shows all the pages on your website and how to get to them. There are free sitemap generators and even simple sitemap creator plugins for sites built on WordPress.
The next step is to verify your website with Google Search Console (once known and sometimes referred to as Google Webmaster Tools). Google Search Console can be verified with an email address and a small snippet of code on your website. It is an online tool provided by Google to help improve your website performance, including improving its SEO value. Depending on the depth of your Google Search Console knowledge, it can be used to:
4) Claim Your Google My Business Page and Get Reviews
Part of a good SEO strategy is building authority, and one must-do for small business owners is improving authority through Local SEO. The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is claim your Google My Business page. A correctly claimed and optimized Google My Business page will allow you to show up in the “Local Pack” of search results, which looks like this:
The Local Pack shows the top three results within your service area, based on the following factors:
Well-written website and Google+ content
How close your business location is to the searcher
Number of and rating of Google+ reviews
Association with local directories
Get More Reviews
One of the items listed above is to get more Google reviews. This is critical for helping your small business show up in the search Local Pack, but it can also greatly help with customers trusting you. These are the online equivalent of a recommendation from a neighbor. A company with dozens of four or five star reviews will seem more credible and reliable than a company with just one or two.
5) Include These Three Important Parts of Code for Each Webpage
Our final recommendation is a bit more technical. In the code of your website, there are three main factors that you want to ensure every page on your website has:
H1 or Header Tag – this is the page title or topic of your page. Typically it’s the first text found on the page. Having the <h1> tag in the code around this text lets the search engine know what the page is about.
Title Tag – This is found in the tab or top of your browser and seen in Google search results as the blue underlined link. You have ~55 characters to fill out your title tag and should include relevant keywords and phrases.
Meta Description – The meta description is also seen in the search engine results as the two lines of text below the title tag and the link. This should include a sentence or two enticing the user—also known as a call-to-action—to click on your link rather than the other nine on the page. This is in the code of your website using the <meta name=”description” content=”write your sentence here”> tag in the <head> element of your site.
It’s important for keywords or variations to be found in each of these.
If you’re looking to invest more in helping your business grow with SEO, fill out the form below for a free SEO analysis from our team!
About The Author: Hannah is the SEO Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
View more blogs by Hannah Nelson
“We are very pleased not only with the end result, but with the entire process of working with Blue Corona. The amount of patience, guidance, and knowledge that they displayed throughout the whole process made them a very easy and enjoyable partner to work with. We are thrilled with our new website, mobile site, and content management system. We would recommend Blue Corona for any website development or redesign project. ”