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5 Strategic SEO Moves to Increase Your Website’s Rankings

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For owners and managers of SMBs, taking time to understand the intricacies of search engine optimization (SEO) can seem unnecessary.  However, leveraging the latest digital marketing tactics is important to your bottom line.

Here are five relatively simple SEO tactics that can help you achieve your revenue goals.

1. Write original content

You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s certainly worth reiterating:  make sure your website content is original and well written. Duplicating someone else’s content is not only unethical, it will hurt your Google rankings. The same goes for duplicating your own content. Each page of your site should be devoted to a unique topic presented in original content. If you use the same content over and over again, your website’s pages will not rank high in search engines.

Google recommends creating content with your website’s users in mind. What information will be useful and meaningful to them? What content will demonstrate your credibility? Repetitive content, information that they can find anywhere, awkward use of keywords or keyword stuffing and poorly written sentence are sure to turn your site users (and Google) away.

2. Use specific keywords

As with content, when choosing keywords for your website pages, keep your site users in mind. What words are they going to use when searching for your business, products or services? Many SMBs choose keywords based on their areas of expertise and their industry’s jargon.  For example, personal injury attorneys naturally use the language of their profession, so you’ll find a multitude of web pages with keywords such as “premises liability,” “product liability,” “medical malpractice” and, of course, “personal injury”; whereas research shows that people searching for a personal injury attorney use terms specific to their situation, such as “attorney for accident injury” or “cancer misdiagnosis lawyer.”

Wanting to reach as many customers as possible, other types of businesses used general keywords, such as “computer repair,” “moving company,” “specialty foods” and other phrases that put their web pages in competition with hundreds of thousands of pages in Google.  What SEO experts will tell you is that long-tail keywords, those phrases that are very specific to what you’re selling, are much more effective.  Not only are they much easier to rank for, they bring people who are really interested in your products or services to your website, as opposed to site visitors who are casually looking for information.

3. Optimize navigation

Time spent auditing and improving your website’s navigation and internal links can be well worth the effort, since many sites are set up so that unimportant pages, such as contact pages, are ranked higher in search engines than more important pages due to the site’s internal linking structure. Changing the navigation and internal linking structure can then benefit your site’s ranking in Google, while helping users find the pages they want.

Online tools can help you identify the pages of your website with a lot of inbound links, so you can make changes to the code and links to these pages to stop Google from indexing and ranking them. However, a good examination of your site’s pages could be just as useful in helping you identify places where navigation and page linking could be improved. For example, a moving company with one page on “extra services,” which includes move coordinators, packing and storage, may find that site navigation and search engine ranking would be greatly improved if each topic were covered on a separate page, and each page were linked to the others.

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