The world’s best online businesses do two things really well:
First, they put huge amounts of time and effort into dominating search engine results.
Second, they offer unique, convincing sales pitches to their new visitors.
But you’re probably thinking:
“How do I dominate search engine results?”
If you’re a small fish in a big pond, it can seem impossible – but don’t despair.
I’m going to share with you the 9 SEO tips and tricks our experts use every day to rank small businesses at the top of their industries. And I’m also going to include the estimated lifetime value of these tweaks.
Hint: you might be surprised how much money you can make from a small change.
1. Get a Google Plus page.
Estimated Lifetime Worth: $20,000 [Whoa – why is that number so big?]
Google+ isn’t a very popular social network in comparison to Facebook – but that doesn’t matter.
It has incredible SEO value – and for just one reason:
When you connect your Google+ page to your website, your face is shown next to all of your search engine results.
33% of people click on the top result of Google. Why? Because it’s the easiest to click on. It shows up first, and likely has a catchy enough headline to be interesting. Why not give it a click?
But when you add faces into the mix, that all changes. Take a look at this:
Moz.com might be ranked 3rd, but look at that face! That’s a clickable result.
Here’s how you can make that happen:
Step 1. You need a Google+ account. If you don’t yet have one, get one now.
Step 2. Go to your Google+ profile, and click About->Links->Edit
Step 3. Go to the “Contributor to” section, and add a link to your website. This tells Google that you write articles for that website, which will allow them to include your face in search results.
Step 4. Make sure you have a Google+ profile picture – and make sure that it is a photo of your face. Only face pictures are allowed, and Google can tell what is/isn’t a face (they’re very wise).
Step 5. – Verification. In order to prove to Google that you’re the real owner of your site, you need to put a link to your Google+ profile somewhere on your website. Hint: you should add this to the bottom of all of your pages (ex. “Join us on Google+”).
And that’s it! Within a few weeks, you should see your face popping up in search results.
2. Get a Google Places page.
Estimated Lifetime Worth: $10,000
If you’ve read a little bit about SEO, you’ve probably heard one word over and over:
Local, local, local.
Google is moving more and more towards local search, and most people don’t know how local SEO works: that means you have a huge opportunity.
And the best part is: this SEO trick will work even if your main business site ranks terribly in search engines.
Here’s an example:
Local results show above most regular results – regardless of how good the actual website is.
So how do your improve your Google Places ranking? It’s actually pretty simple:
1. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MORE POSITIVE REVIEWS THAN YOUR COMPETITORS DO
Any time you have a chance at a testimonial, make sure it gets posted to your page. Most businesses have no idea about this, and have NO reviews. Even 5-6 good-star reviews may be enough to secure a top spot
2. MAKE SURE YOUR ADDRESS IS POSTED ON YOUR WEBSITE, AND ON AS MANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AS POSSIBLE
Each time Google can pair your business name with your business address, it means you’re more likely to be located at that address (these are called “citations”).
The best way to get more citations is to sign up for social media accounts like Yelp, Angie’s List, and any other site that will allow you to list your address. It’s that simple!
Pretty easy, right?
And since the Google+ page is unrelated to how your site is ranked – you can get top rankings fast, even if your site isn’t doing so well.
QUICK PIT STOP: How are we getting these estimated value numbers?
We’re guesstimating, a bit – but these are very close to profit numbers we see for all of the businesses we work with. How?
A well-performing SEO page can bring in several new customers each week. Doesn’t sound like much, right? When you add it all up, it’s pretty impressive.
With a $100 product, if a page brings you 1 sale a week, that’s $5,200 a year. When you start crafting several pages at a time, you’ve got an impressive income stream on your hands. That’s the power of search, and that’s why SEO tips and tricks like these can be so valuable.
3. Check your internal link structure.
Estimated Lifetime Worth: $10,000
Backlinks from other websites are a big part of any SEO strategy – but that’s not the only type of link that makes a difference.
Links on your own pages make a difference, too – and a small shift can do wonders for improving your rankings.
1. Choose a poorly performing page on your site
2. Drive more links to it on your other pages
Also, Google rewards pages that are what they say they are. Each page’s content should match its title and keywords as well as possible (this is especially important for eCommerce stores like Shopify).
4. Make sure you’re speaking Google’s language
Here’s a quick checklist to make sure all of your pages are Google-friendly.
1. Are your main headings in <H1> tags?
2. Are your subheadings in <H2> and <H3> tags?
3. Does the title of your page contain your keywords?
4. Does the main heading on the page contain your keywords?
5. Do competitive research, and don’t be afraid to steal.
Est. Lifetime Value: $15,000+
Most business owners make one huge SEO mistake when they’re first starting out:
They try to do everything from scratch.
But why reinvent the wheel when you have an excellent model for how to rank highly in your niche: your top competitors.
I’m going to show you how to profitably spy on their SEO habits, and you won’t believe how easy it can be.
Note: this is only for websites that are ranking poorly in search engines.
Do me a favor. Type in a popular keyword phrase for your niche, and see who the top three or four results are.
Click on one of their websites, and look at it closely.
Take note of the structure of the page. What does their headline say? How long is their text? Do they have lots of links in the text of the page?
Now comes the important part: we copy what they’re doing. Not the text of their site, of course, but the structure.
Make sure your page has approximately the same word count (preferably longer), contains the same keywords, has a very similar heading, and a similar title tag, too.
Important: Do NOT steal the text/content from their pages. Google knows all and will penalize your site!
Find the most successful of your competitors, and take notes on everything. What is their text like? What is the tone like? How about their layout? Title tags? What makes the site good? What about their color scheme?
Don’t be afraid to copy. Some of the biggest websites you see are probably there because someone knew how to copy someone else.
By the time you are starting to see some more traffic, you should have a better idea of how to really make it yours.
Within a few weeks, you should see an improvement in your rankings. It’s not a permanent strategy, but it’s a great way to launch your site and start getting real traffic.
5. Make a few videos and put them on YouTube.
Est Lifetime Value: $1,000
Google loves to rank Youtube videos highly.
In fact, videos are 50x more likely to show up on the 1st page of Google vs. traditional text pages.
Even if your website isn’t hitting the front page, your YouTube video just might.
So how do you get your video to rank on the first page of Google?
1. The more views, comments and likes the better
2. A video title that matches the keywords you’re looking to rank for
3. A reasonably long video (usually 5 minutes or longer)
Make something entertaining, interesting, or really useful – something sharable.
6. Write ‘definitive guides’ to things.
Estimated lifetime value: $5k per effective guide (that is not an exaggeration, either)
Want to know a secret that SEO professionals discovered a long time ago?
The secret to getting a lot of backlinks to your site is: Make your site irresistibly informative.
And almost nothing is as informative as a how-to guide. Especially one that’s authoritative, and easy to use as a reference.
If you can manage to write something truly useful, people will share your guide. Write a “Bible to…” something, or “The Encyclopedia of…”. Make it sound authoritative.
If you can manage to offer something that’s not found anywhere else, then your chances are even better of getting some shares and thus traffic.
7. Claim your free backlinks.
Estimated lifetime value: $1,000
Some SEO tips and tricks are tough to wrap your head around, this one’s a no-brainer.
SoundCloud and various other web platforms allow you to link to your website from a profile, and yes, these do count toward your backlinks.
Not as much as, say, a link from Harvard or Sony, but any little bit counts. Sometimes a few little backlinks like that can push you up a page on Google’s search results.
You can find a list of 17 platforms that allow you to link to your website here (http://backlinko.com/17-untapped-backlink-sources).
8. Steal backlinks from your competitors.
Estimated lifetime value: $2,000
Open Site Explorer will be really helpful, because you can check where your competitors are getting their backlinks, among other things.
It’s not a bad idea to try to get to know the owners of those websites linking to your competitors.
Sometimes a little interest in what someone else is doing can go a long way. Introduce yourself to website owners.
Tell them how much you like their new articles about selecting a lawnmower or about how Facebook is ruining civilization as we know it, or whatever. A little praise can go a long way. Then ask for a link.
You might hear no or nothing at all a few times before you hear yes, but don’t get discouraged.
9. Connect with bloggers in your niche on social media.
ESTIMATED LIFETIME VALUE: $1K PER SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP
Building on the last tip, reach out to bloggers who would find you relevant. Introduce yourself.
Give them some commentary on what they do. Once again, show interest.
If you can manage to get some people writing about you, it can be a huge asset to your business.
The catch is that this is probably the most time-consuming and difficult step. It can take weeks or months to get some bloggers to care. Reserve this one for after you’ve done the other 8.
Ranking highly in search engines equals more money for you. The sooner you employ these tips, the sooner you’ll see rewards.
[Editor’s note: a reblogged article from my new affiliated web design company: Plato Web Design]
Looking for more than just SEO tips?
Contact us now for help with boosting your website’s search capabilities. We offer some pretty inexpensive monthly plans, and we’d love to work with your business!