August 29, 2020 Last updated August 29th, 2020 180 Reads share

10 Winning SEO Practices for Business Websites

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Did you know:

People use Google to perform over 3.5 billion searches every day?

According to HubSpot, 80 percent of a business’s website’s traffic starts with a search query. In the U.S. alone, 78 percent of people research services and products on the web before buying.

And with millions of websites competing for user’s attention, how will you stand out?

Winning SEO Practices!

By implementing excellent website SEO, your website has a better chance to rank in the first pages of Google search results. This equates to more visibility, more traffic, more conversions, and more revenue.

But why the first page?

Well, 75 percent of users do not bother to click past the first page.

seo stats

And the first three organic results get 60 percent of all traffic from a web search. Plus, leads coming from an organic search have a 14.6 percent close rate, compared to the 1.7 percent from channels like direct mail advertising or print.

seo keads

Both B2C and B2B marketers want more search leads since they carry at least 8.5 times higher chance of conversion than the outbound leads.

Thus, businesses will need to take their SEO practices seriously if they want to navigate the competitive digital world.

10 SEO Practices To Drive Traffic For Business Websites

 

1. Target Local Searcher

Fact:

google searches

It could be:

  • Local shops
  • Addresses
  • Contact info
  • Opening hours

So, if you have a physical business store, you simply can’t neglect local SEO and listings. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Double-Check Directory Listings

Bigger search engines rely on these directory listings like Google My Business, Moz Local, and Bright Local. These directory listing services fill any information gaps in their own database while also cross-checking info to make sure to display up-to-date facts.

  • Optimize Local Landing Pages

To reach the shortlist of SERPs is to actively target keywords on your website with a local landing page.

Take a look at this:

 

google local search

Notice how they are all local landing pages for the Orlando area, instead of a general AC repair service page or a homepage. By building and optimizing landing pages, you can start targeting local searchers who are ready to visit your physical store.

  • Local Search Technical SEO

To further optimize local search, you need to carry out technical SEO. You can do so by utilizing schema as well as JSON injection via Google Tag Manager. This results in higher visibility and CTR without having to spend effort and time in coding.

2. Use Social Signals

Social platforms are an integral part of any SEO strategy for a business website. Thus, you have got to focus on building and increasing your social signals.

And while social signals are not a factor of Google’s ranking algorithm, it still has an impact on your rankings.

Several case studies revealed the impact of social likes, shares, pins, and tweets on rankings.

Shrushti’s rankings improved from page 400 to 1 because of social media. Moz, on the other hand, started to rank on Google for the “Beginner’s Guide” keyword after Smashing Magazine tweeted the guide.

 

traffic beginners guide

So, how do you get more social signals?

  • Get more shares by hosting contests on social media
  • Create relevant and share-worthy content across your social media pages
  • Ask users to share
  • Link and mention social media influencers
  • Add share buttons to posts

3. Design for Mobile

Statistics say that 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone.

mobile phone ownership

 

The majority of searches and half of all online purchases take place on mobile.

More importantly, Google has gone mobile-first. In March 2020, Google announced that it would primarily use the mobile smartphone user-agent to crawl websites.

This means that the mobile version of your website will be indexed and crawled ahead of the desktop version if the desktop version gets crawled at all.

Thus, any new website you build should prioritize the mobile experience. How it performs and appears on a desktop is still important; however, mobile should be your first priority. Fortunately, if you are using the WordPress website design you can rest assured that your website is responsive enough and works for mobile, too.

4. Eliminate Anything That Slows Down Your Website

Page loading speed is a critical factor in website SEO.

A slow page can be quite annoying and ultimately discourage users, causing them to click on the back button.

In fact, data shows that:

load time

 

In addition, Neil Patel revealed that 40 percent of people abandon a site that takes over 3 seconds to load.

Why?

Well, potential buyers think that a slow website is an untrustworthy website.

So, how do you speed up your site’s loading time?

Get rid of the non-essential elements slowing down your website. For WordPress users, you can deactivate plugins that you might have installed and activated, but that isn’t actually needed. Lastly, you can declutter your sidebar and place only the essential widgets.

5. Write For Humans First, Search Engines Next

If you are still using the old SEO practice of using keywords without offering valuable and engaging content to drive search results, then you need to stop it right now.

Do not prioritize search engines over the actual people reading your blog just because you want to rank higher.

Search spiders are just scripts. And they will not engage with you on social media, buy your products and services, and they definitely won’t become a loyal customer of yours.

Instead, you need to write for users; for humans who have eyes to read and the credit cards to buy your products or hire your services.

But how do you prioritize people over search engines?

Forget that search engines exist when writing. You need to create content that is actually valuable and helpful to someone.

Why?

 

content marketing

 

And that’s not where it ends. When you put humans first, you will write valuable content that search engines love and reward.

Search engines follow users and not the other way around. Search engines serve their users and want content that serves them well.

6. Optimize for Voice Search

A report revealed that 24 percent of people over 18 years of age own at least one smart speaker. That’s about 60 million people.

In addition:

voice search

So, it is safe to say that voice search is one of the winning SEO practices you should be implementing.

The question now is how to optimize for voice search?

  • Restructure and re-imagine your content
  • Optimize for rich answers
  • Target the long-tail keyword phrases
  • Use conversational language
  • Optimize local SEO

7. Write Longer

Google prefers content-rich sites. The graph below shows that the top 10 search results usually have over 2,000 words.

word content

 

In addition, Backlinko saw a correlation between backlinks and word count. They concluded that the longer contents are more likely to accumulate backlinks. This translates to more traffic with better rankings.

keyword in title

Some of the popular types of long-form content are tutorials, ultimate guides, case studies, how-to guides, and more.

Now, in terms of creating a long-form blog post, you can either spend a whole day whipping up original content or refresh your old content.

The latter is an easier and hassle-free way to do it. You can just expand an existing blog post from 1,000 to 2,000 words in just a few hours.

In addition, existing content already has authority with an established readership, so it is much simpler to boost its performance in search results. 

8. Establish a Distinct Backlink Portfolio

Links are another winning SEO practice. But not just any link will do. You’ll need high-quality links. Spammy links can hurt your website.

With that in mind, Backlinko stated that links from older domains are perceived to possess more value than the newer sites, and links from low DA are unlikely to possess much value at all.

Meanwhile, links from outreach, high-quality content, and influencer marketing are extremely effective and safe.

So, why do you need backlinks?

  • A vote of confidence
  • Boosts credibility and trustworthiness
  • Helps drives traffic
  • Builds authority
  • Improves ranking

domain rating

So, how do you build a clean backlink portfolio?

  • Submitting to directories
  • Obtain local link in Bing Local, Yahoo Local, and Google Local listings
  • Linking from related blogs
  • Social linking

Also, when promoting your content, consider targeting the smaller sites, too. They are usually more responsive than the larger sites and are niche-specific, too. 

9. Try YouTube SEO

Fact:

 

Not only that, but YouTube is also the second-largest search engine, after Google. In fact, videos, especially from YouTube, are common in SERPs. 

 

youtube seo

Unfortunately, most people implementing an SEO strategy for websites tend to forget about YouTube and only think about Google and other search engines.

So, how do you get into YouTube SEO?

  • Create SEO-Friendly Videos

Like Google spiders, YouTube’s algorithm collects and uses information about videos. The title, filename, and descriptions of the uploaded content will affect your ranking in YouTube search results.

  • Create Customized Thumbnails

Search engines usually use CTR as a ranking factor. And if people are searching for a specific term, and clicking on your site. As a result, then you must be providing them something valuable. To do so on YouTube, you will need to optimize your video with an attractive thumbnail.

Don’t just use the YouTube screenshots of the video. Instead, create a customized thumbnail featuring a compelling image complete with a title card.

Here are some examples:

  • Create a Playlist

Creating a playlist and breaking down a story or subject into a series of videos can encourage users to stay on your channel for longer and interact with more content.

YouTube’s algorithm will pick this increased duration of interaction and reward you by positioning your videos higher in search results and recommending them more often.

10. Measure SEO Performance

Lastly, analytics and reporting are two critical elements of any winning SEO practice. Both are indispensable in improving your overall SEO strategies.

And effective reporting means that you need to understand these questions:

  • Which part of the site had the most UX issues
  • Which SEO adjustments resulted in the higher or lower rankings?
  • What content appealed to your users and customers?
  • Which pages were the most (or least) visited, and why?
  • Which keywords should you focus on more and which to eliminate?
  • Which keywords should you focus on more and which to eliminate?

It can be tricky to understand how your SEO strategies are faring without regular monitoring and analyzing your results.

Conclusion

SEO is continuously evolving. Thus, marketers and business owners need to adapt to keep up with this rapid shifting.

There is a lot to consider. However, don’t feel that you need to become the top SEO expert in the world overnight. But you will need to make an effort to fully understand SEO basics and implement the above winning SEO practices.  By doing so, you’ll find that you can slowly and steadily make your way to the first page of search results.

DepositPhotos – business seo

Daniel Martin

Daniel Martin

Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.

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