The more traffic your website receives, the easier it will be to generate quality sales leads. If online lead generation or sales is one of your main priorities, then you need to understand the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). Knowing what search engines are looking for when crawling a new website can help you optimize your domain.

When performing a Google search, over 25 percent of consumers will click the first link on the search engine results page. This is why finding ways to get your website to the top of Google should be one of your top goals. If you want to rank higher on Google, consider implementing some or all of the following 23 SEO tips to get your site ranked.

1. Make A Switch to HTTPS

Since 2014, Google has used HTTPS as a ranking signal. When HTTPS is featured at the front of your domain address, it lets both Google and consumers know that it is secure. Modern HTTPS features encryption and the ability to prevent data breaches. If you accept sensitive financial information on your website, then you can’t ignore the importance of keeping it secure.

2. Description Meta Tags Are a Must

Providing search engines with concise information about page content is a great way to improve your rank. Optimizing your meta tag is the best way to provide this information. A descriptive meta description will be used by Google as a snippet when it shows up on the search engine results page. These snippets also intrigue search engine users and can motivate them to click the link to your website.

Here are some tips for writing the perfect meta description:

    • Be Concise: Limit your description to 155 characters to ensure that it is visible on all devices.
    • Add Keywords: Include the main keyword you are targeting in your content.
    • Match Your Content: Make sure the descriptions match the content of your page while keeping it unique.
    • Add a Call to Action: Let users know what action you want them to take, such as “Click to Read,” “Learn More,” “Contact Us,” etc.

3. Don’t Forget To Optimize Your Images

The bulk of a webpages visual space is taken up by digital images. If the image file sizes on a particular page are large, it will take longer to load them. Site speed matters; the longer it takes a website takes to load, the lower it will ultimately rank on Google. This is why optimizing the images on your website to make the file sizes smaller is crucial. Luckily, many software programs on the market are designed to make image optimization easy.

4. Don’t Display Links or Important Names in Your Images

Conveying information about content, links or names should be done via text. Trying to embed this information in your image alt text can be disastrous. Ideally, you want search engines to crawl the text on your website when attempting to rank higher. If you want to use ALT attributes, keep the content in them short and descriptive. The ALT text should only be used to describe the actual meaning of the image.

5. Implement Synonyms in Your Content

Most tech-savvy business owners are well aware of the importance of using popular keywords in website content. However, trying to target very popular keywords can be a futile effort. This is why you need to use synonyms for popular keywords in your content. The Google algorithm is smart enough to return results featuring synonyms of the words used by a user.

6. Include Structured Data Markup

In short, structured data markup is specialized code used for the purpose of helping Google understand page content. With the implementation of structured data markup, you can improve your page display and position on Google search page results. Google uses this data to provide a complex and rich result display, which is why it is vital to include it in your website code.

7. You Can’t Underestimate the Importance of Mobile Optimization

More consumers than ever before are accessing the Internet from their smartphones. Since implementing Google’s mobile-first indexing, many website owners have had to change their approach to web design.

If your website isn’t optimized for mobile marketing, it will be impossible to get on the first page of Google. Instead of allowing this lack of mobile optimization to get in the way of success, you need to work with an experienced web developer to make your site responsive.

8. Invest in Custom 404 Pages

The average website will experience various changes over the years. When users come across a page on your website that no longer exists, you want to provide them with information about why they can’t access this information. Customized 404 pages are a great way to provide this information. With the implementation of these custom 404 pages, you can improve the user’s experience. The better the user experience your website provides, the higher it will inevitably rank on Google.

9. Take Time To Check Your Internal Links

A sound internal linking strategy is imperative when trying to improve search engine rankings. Some business owners make the mistake of embedding internal links and never checking them again. If these internal links are to pages that no longer exist, it can affect your search engine rank. This is why routinely checking and changing internal links in your content is something you should view as a priority.

Internal Linking Tips to Consider:

  • Think Pyramid: Write your main content based on keywords you want to rank for and then write content focusing on subtopics related to the main content. Then between both the main post and the sub-posts.
  • Link From Relevant Anchor Text: Make sure you are linking from text and concepts that reflect the content of the post you are linking to.
  • Evaluate Often: Websites are ever-evolving; that’s why it is imperative to review your internal links often. Remove outdated links or add links as new content is written.

10. Find the Right Mix of Keyword Phrases

One of the main things Google recommends to new website owners is implementing a variety of powerful and useful keywords into their content. Consider your target demographic when choosing the keywords to use in your content. Using broader keywords to attract new customers and more industry-specific ones to attract informed consumers is a wise move.

11. Write Content For Google’s Featured Snippet

If a search engine user asks a specific question, they will usually be presented with a featured snippet at the top of their results. This snippet is designed to provide users with detailed information about their queries.

If you want to land in this highly-coveted spot, then you have to create FAQ content for your website. This type of content is designed to address the most common questions about a particular industry, which is why it provides so much value to consumers.

12. Quality Content is Crucial

Having high-quality content on your website can help you increase website traffic and improve your conversion rates. Quality content will also help you get more backlinks from other webmasters. The more backlinks your website has, the higher it will inevitably rank on Google. This is why you need to focus on content quality over content quantity.

13. Create a Google My Business Listing

If you want to attract attention from Google and consumers in your local area, then creating a Google My Business profile is a no-brainer. Creating this listing is free and provides potential customers with important information about your business. This listing will be prominently featured in relevant search results, which is why creating one for your business is important.

14. Think About Using Accelerated Mobile Pages

Studies conducted by the team at Google have found that over 53 percent of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes over three seconds to load. To avoid loading issues, you need to use accelerated mobile pages (AMP). With AMP, you are able to create mobile pages that load instantly. The faster your web pages load for mobile users, the easier it will be to keep them engaged and interested in your brand.

15. Provide Googlebots Access To Your Code Data

Making it easier for Googlebots to crawl your website can help to improve your rankings. One of the best ways to simplify the website crawling process for Googlebots is by providing them with access to your code data. Having access to this code data will also help Google to better understand your content.

16. Search-Friendly URLs are Vital

Great title tags and snippets are very important. If you really want to make your website stands out, then you need to use search-friendly URLs. Descriptive and concise URLs will provide both consumers and webmasters with insight into what the content on the page is about. These SEO-friendly URLs will encourage other websites to link to your website, improving your Google rankings.

17. Test Page Speed Frequently

Nothing will send you plummeting down the Google ranks like slow-loading pages. This is why you need to take time to test page loading speeds frequently. If problems are discovered during these tests, you need to address them in a hurry.

18. Guest Posting Can Be Beneficial

As previously mentioned, a higher number of backlinks can help you get on the first page of Google search engine results. An effective way to generate more backlinks is by guest posting on other websites. Embedding links from this content to your website will get you on Google’s radar and will also help to drive more traffic to your website.

19. Improve Your Bounce Rate

The number of website visitors who navigate away from your domain after viewing one page is your bounce rate. Websites that have a high bounce rate percentage usually perform poorly on Google. Fixing issues involving content quality and page load speeds can help you improve your bounce rate.

20. Match Your Website Content To Search Intent

Knowing who your target demographic is and what type of content they respond to can be beneficial for several reasons. With this information, you can create content that consumers find useful. Matching website content to search intent also helps to boost engagement, which can help you improve your Google rank.

21. Focus On Improving Your Google My Business Listing

Attracting attention from online consumers living in your area is crucial to growing your customer base. For years, business owners have used the power of Google My Business to engage with potential customers living in their target areas.

When attempting to determine which Google My Business listing is shown on a user’s search engine results page, the Google algorithm will consider things like:

    • The online presence of a business
    • Keyword relevancy
    • The distance from the business to the user

Optimizing your Google My Business listing can help you move up the Google ranks in no time. Luckily, there are many things you can do to accomplish this goal.

Use High-Quality Photos in Your Listing

Did you realize that Google My Business listings with photos receive nearly 35 percent more clicks? High-performing Google My Business Listings generally feature 11 photos or more. There is a definite correlation between the number of photos a Google My Business listing has and how legitimate they appear in the eyes of consumers in their area.

Update Your Listing Regularly

The longer your business is in operation, the more changes it will ultimately undergo. When your business address or hours of operation change, you need to make sure these changes are reflected in your Google My Business listing. You also need to make sure your Google My Business Listing includes information like:

      • Business Categories
      • A link to your website
      • Your business name
      • Phone number

Create a Question-and-Answer Section

Learning how to use all of the tools offered by Google My Business can help you rank much higher. Inviting potential and existing customers to submit questions about your Google My Business listing is a great idea. These questions can be answered by both your business and members of the community you are located in.

As soon as you receive notifications that a question has been submitted, you need to answer it quickly. By doing this, you can lower the risk that questions are answered incorrectly by people with bad information. Answering these questions quickly also shows the Google algorithm that your business is actively engaging with consumers.

22. Develop a Strategy For Google Shopping

The main purpose of Google Shopping is to provide search engine users with current information about products for sale online. If your business sells goods to consumers online, then you need to find a way to improve your rank on Google Shopping. Effectively improving your rank on this platform can translate into an increase in online sales.

Utilize the Power of Google Special Offers

Getting the attention of both Google Shopping and online consumers might require you to temporarily lower your prices. Google Special Offers are online “coupons” used by Google Ads advertisers. When your listing is displayed in a Google Shopping search, it will feature a tag that shows consumers how much of a discount they are receiving.

Online Ratings Are Very Helpful

Improving your rank on Google Shopping will be much easier if you are showcasing the positive reviews your products have received. A star-rating system is used on the Google Shopping platform. Encouraging satisfied customers to provide a 5-star rating can help you edge out the competition on Google Shopping.

23. Boosting Your Rank On Google Maps

Over one billion people use Google Maps on a monthly basis. If you are serious about using Google to grow your small business, then you can’t underestimate the importance of Google Maps.

The first thing you need to do to start enhancing your rank on Google Maps is to add your business to this platform. Once you’ve added your business to this platform, you will need to create a Google Maps listing. Once you discover the info tab on Google Maps, you need to enter information like:

    • A short description of your business
    • Address
    • Service area
    • Phone number
    • Website link

As you fill out this listing, you need to realize the importance of staying consistent with both your business name and address. Presenting this information consistently across multiple Google and other online platforms can help you appear more trustworthy and reputable.

Driving local traffic from your Google Maps listing to your website will require the use of local keywords. You also need to make sure your website is responsive before trying to drive traffic to it. Many people use Google Maps from their mobile devices, which is why having a responsive website is imperative to your online success.

Start Improving Your Google Rank Today!

From improving your Google My Business listing to harnessing the power of an SEO-optimized domain and using accelerated mobile pages, there are many ways to improve Google rank. By using the great tips detailed here, you can start your journey to the top of Google. Small Business SEO is here to help your business succeed.