Many of my Business Coaching clients ask me about SEO. It's a topic I could speak on for a very long time... When I first started my small business 7 years ago, the Website Agency told me the only way I'd rank on the top page of Google was if I signed up to a year of SEO.
$13000 later I was still not on the 1st page of Google for my chosen keywords. That being said, I learned a lot from this error I made.
SEO is a fickle beast and completely overwhelming to many. So there you go - you know that you're not alone!!
It's common for many Business Owners to cover off just 1 or 2 of the key SEO elements. This approach will not find you ranking at the top of Google (unfortunately).
Ranking at the top of Google for your Small Business will take time and persistence.
Below are 5 reasons you might not be ranking at the top of Google:
1. Do you have a new business?
Even if your pages are optimised, you’ve achieved a few backlinks, and you’re publishing regular content, you will probably find you haven’t moved up the rankings. Perhaps you may have even moved backwards - eek!!
SEO takes between 6 – 12 months before they’re shown in your Google rankings.
Beyond this, if you have recently purchased your domain, you're also penalised by Google. There are constantly new sites springing up, so Google gives preference to those that have been around for a while over the newbies.
|Less than 6% of newly published sites will rank at the top of Google within a year|
While this may sound like it's virtually impossible to rank for a business startup, consistent use of keywords, backlinks and freshly published pages will pay off in the long run.
Try submitting your URL to Google Search Console. Submitting a request to Google to 'crawl the site' will help speed up the process a bit.
2. Popular keywords
Check your keywords to see if they are too broad and popular. Keywords such as organic, recipe ebook, interior design, day spa, bootcamps or yoga studio are so popular that it's difficult to rank on page 1 quickly.
Pages which rank #1 for broad terms are usually well established sites or those of big brands. Google prioritises authoritative sites along with those who have many backlinks.
The best approach is focus on your less popular and long-tail keywords i.e.: be specific with your keywords e.g.: Sydney interior designer for office spaces. With more of us using Siri, searches for long-tail keywords will increase rapidly.
Many people ask me how to determine the long-tail keywords people are searching to find your business? Having a thorough understanding of your ideal customer will really help with this.
Simply sit in front of Google, then start typing what you think your potential customer is searching to find you - this will definitely help you determine words which keywords to focus on for your SEO strategy.
3. Established some authority?
Page Authority is a large ranking signal for Google. When another website links to a page of yours, this gives you credibility. Google likes this even more if the site which is linking through to you has a high level of their own authority.
Simple strategies to build up your Page Authority include:
- Guest Posts on a 3rd party website within your niche
- Product Reviews on a bloggers website which links to yours
- Responding to call-outs
- Appearing on a Podcast which links from their site to yours
4. Are you updating your site regularly?
One of the reasons we need a blog is that it gives us the platform to update content regularly with keywords our potential customers are searching to find someone like us!
|FREE Marketing Strategy for Small Business Owners|
Let's pretend you're a Wholefoods Cafe. You may be using your blog for providing updates about the cafe i.e.: new Winter Menu, Workshops etc. These updates aren't helping with your Google rankings.
You need to create content that your ideal customer would be searching online to find someone like you. Also remember to include your location and surrounding locations in some of your content!
5. Dodgy SEO
If you'd been paying someone dodgy work on your SEO, there's a large chance the person has engaged in black hat SEO. Google can recognise this, and is likely to penalise your site.
Don't take any short cuts. Slow and Steady wins the race...
Dodgy SEO includes:
- Buying backlinks; i.e.: don't employ someone for $50 to create thousands of backlinks
- Filling your page full of keywords, to the point where your content doesn’t make sense
- Spamming comments asking people to visit your website
Alison Morgan is a specialist Online Business Coach; helping small business owners create successful strategies for Business Growth, Branding, Websites, Start Ups, plus more.
Alison can help you save time and money with your Small Business.
Alison is the creator of the Australian Business Coaching and Networking Events and the Mindfulbiz Podcast. In addition, Alison is a respected Industry Blogger.
Simply drop me an email to see how I can help grow your business!