Ranking any website takes patience and knowhow, however it can be very lucrative and beneficial to a business.
Brian Hong is the CEO of New Orleans webs design agency Infintech Designs that ranks clients like these every day of the week. They provide quality SEO solutions and change the way local businesses are presented and help them get found online. We asked him to provide us with some tips on how to rank a small business site in Google and he duly obliged.
- Create long content
There is a direct correlation between high rankings and longer content (2,000+ words). Brian suggests you consider the topics that are especially relevant for your target audience, then get in-depth blog posts created that cover all angles of the topic. There have been several studies conducted on how long content needs to be in order to rank. They have all shown that in order to rank within Google’s top 10 pages, that your pages should have 1,100 words at least.
- Get a sitemap uploaded to Google.
Having an XML sitemap shows exactly what is on your website to Google. You can use XML Sitemap Generator to easily get one created and uploaded to your website.
- Be sure to use 301 redirects, and not 302s.
Brian explains that a 301 indicates your content has moved permanently, and all of the SEO rankings and juice should be redistributed to a new page. He told us this is the best way to show content has been moved.
- Don’t block Google inadvertently from being able to access your website
If you aren’t getting any search traffic, you should check your robots.txt file and look for something like:
That directive informs the search engines to not index or crawl your website. All of the world’s SEO hacks won’t help until those are removed.
- Optimize for mobile.
The Mobile-Friendly tool from Google can help you with that. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you should switch over to having a dedicated mobile site, mobile app, or responsive design. If you use WordPress, the plugin WPTouch can be installed to switch over to a mobile theme automatically for mobile visitors.
- Your website needs to load fast on all devices.
According to Brian, site owners should ensure there sites load as quickly as possible. PageSpeed Insights from Google can be used to find out how fast the main pages on your website load. If you find that it takes to long, there is a list of 10 different ways to speed your site up.
- Use descriptive URLs.
According to Brian you should always use descriptive keywords and static URLs, and not just random numbers or letters (like dynamic URLs have). He told us this is one of the most fundamental mistakes website owners without an idea of SEO make and something they see regularly at Infintech Designs when they take on new clients.
- If possible use a .com domain.
Searchmetrics concluded that a .com is used by 84% of top-ranking pages for their top-level domains (TLD). You don’t have to worry a lot about keywords being used in your domain name; it is a lot more important for your URL to be used for branding purposes.
- Use internal linking for referring search engines and users to related content or products.
Don’t worry too much about getting keyword-rich anchor text artificially incorporated with link building in order to rank for certain keywords. Instead, your focus should be on the use of natural anchor text that would help out your readers the most.
- Make sure your most important content is on your root domain.
A majority of the top-ranking pages on a website or on the root domain and not a sub-domain.
- Title tags are still important.
Make sure each page on your website uses a descriptive and unique title tag in order to tell the search engines and users what your page is about. Brian suggests you go into your Google Webmaster account and check the HTML Improvements report to see if your website’s title tags have any potential issues.
- Make use of schema.org so that rich snippets are shown in search.
When this markup is add to your website, it provides Google with a better idea of what your website is all about, and ensures that rich snippets get displayed next to your website in the search results.