The Most Misunderstood Facts About Ranking Your Small Business

There’s a lot of confusion out there about how search ranking impacts your small business. Don’t let these misunderstandings bog down your search marketing strategy.

Fact: Keywords are important
Mistake: Keywords are the most important factor in ranking
Yes, it’s vital to identify the right keywords for your business. Your site will rank better, and your visitors will feel comfortable when they see their own word choices reflected on your site. But if you’re worrying about keyword density, you should stop wasting your time. Instead, create readable content that actually communicates well. Don’t write for the search engines. Write for the humans.

Fact: Content is important
Mistake: Any content will do
Regular site updates improve your ranking, but too many business owners are stuffing their sites with boring, generic content that no one will ever want to read. Again, it’s all about making your site useful for the human visitors who end up there. Use fresh and authoritative content to establish your site’s credibility – not just with the search engines, but with your visitors and with thought leaders in your industry.

Fact: Links are important
Mistake: All links are created equal
If you’re working with an ethical SEO professional, you should already know that some link-building tactics are prohibited by Google and may get you banned from search results. “Link farms” – sites that exist only to generate lots of links in order to increase search ranking – are NOT a good idea. Remember that authoritative content we talked about earlier? Great content is the best foundation for building quality links. Promote your content through social media and work on connecting with other online authorities. Your ranking will see the benefits.

Fact: Ranking is important
Mistake: Search ranking is an end in itself
You know that searchers probably won’t find your site unless you make in onto the first page of Google. But when someone finds your site, that’s just the beginning of the process. Stop worrying so much about your ranking, and make sure your site delivers great results. Check that the page title, headings, and content on your pages are all consistent with the search term you’re targeting. Visitors need to find what they’re looking for on your site. Otherwise, they will leave in seconds. Your site analytics will tell you whether visitors are staying to look around or bouncing away without a second thought.

Fact: Traffic is important
Mistake: High traffic means high profitability
You could have 10,000 visitors a day, but your website won’t generate any revenue unless some of those visitors convert into customers. You should already know the most important thing that you want people to do on your site. Make your website easy to use by focusing your home page on that one key step in the sales process. Persuade your visitors to take that action, and you’re in business. Or, instead of directing all the traffic to your home page, consider having special landing pages for different search terms.

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  1. Isaac January 21, 2011 | reply
    This is great info for all small business owners. Like you said, we always advise our clients to register with social media sites like Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn because of the boost in SEO rankings that they can provide due to their high rankings and reputation. Also, as a SMB, it's important that you choose your categories strategically when you get listed with Google.
  2. Rob Metras January 24, 2011 | reply
    What firm or tool do you use to do all your directory submissions to the various suppliers like Yelp,CitySearch,Google,Bing, etc.
    • admin January 28, 2011 | reply
      We do it in house via custom tools and lots of hard work. You can see our service here: http://localseo.org/google-places-ranking
  3. David Jenyns January 25, 2011 | reply
    Yes, content is important, fresh, valuable content that is. But of course, getting a good content is worth sharing to many and that is where doing SEO can be a big help. This is something that new small online businesses should remember because it is important to get the attention of their target market before online competitors can. Now, if doing SEO for these startup businesses is a challenge, then they can get the services of reputable SEO companies that can pull all these tasks off to make their online businesses get to the first page and hopefully in position #1 on Google and other search engines. Cheers, Dave

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