No matter what business you’re in, a website is now necessary. It’s an important way to reach out to potential customers and provide a way for them to learn more about your company. In addition, a terrific website can help boost your bottom line and build a solid customer base.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into your website. You’ve made sure it looks great, and you’ve filled it with valuable content. But despite your best efforts, your small business isn’t growing.
What’s going on? What could be the problem? Having a great website is only half the battle. The other half is making sure people can find it. The reason why your business operations could fail could be one of the following:
Website Lacking in SEO
Even if you have a great website, it won’t matter if no one can find it. That’s why SEO is essential for any site that wants to be successful. Without SEO, your website may as well not exist.
SEO is a crucial component of any website, and it should be given the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, small to medium-sized businesses often treat SEO as an afterthought when it should be a crucial part of their overall strategy.
Search engine optimization refers to the process of making your website more visible and ranks high on search engine results pages (SERPs). So what will being at the top of SERPs mean for your business?
- More traffic to your website
- More leads and conversions
- A better chance to build trust and credibility with your audience
- Improved brand awareness and visibility
Is it easy to rank high on Google? The good news is that Google offers a level playing field for all businesses, big or small. Every business competes on the same Google results page, regardless of size. The bad news is that it’s not easy to rank high on Google. It takes time, effort, and a lot of know-how.
Fortunately, there are local digital marketing services that can help. By working with us, an internet marketing agency, you can get the expertise and guidance you need to improve your website’s SEO.
Whether you’re new to digital marketing and SEO, or a seasoned pro, there are fundamental principles that you need to know in order to be successful. So, how does Google decides where to rank you?
The answer is in the secret and complex algorithms it uses to gauge and prioritize over 200 ranking factors. We may not know all of these, but there are three ranking pillars that we always focus on:
- The quality of the website
- The authority and popularity of the website across the internet
- A website’s relevance to the search
Google desires to serve Internet users with the most valuable and relevant results for their search. That’s why the quality of your website is important. Unfortunately, while you can do things to improve your ranking situation, the effort and time you’ll use to do this are massive.
But there are key areas that can immediately unlock new levels of ranking.
- Factually accurate website content
- Fixing errors and broken links
Google also considers the popularity and authority of a website when it comes to ranking. A website’s popularity is partly determined by the number of other websites that link to it (backlinks). The more websites that link to you, the more popular your website is.
The authority of a website is partly determined by how long it’s been around (age) and by the quality of its content. A website that’s been around for a long time and has high-quality content is more likely to be seen as an authority than a brand-new website with low-quality content.
Another thing, Google is obsessed with understanding what people are searching for and giving them what they need. And if you want to rank your site, you should start by making it relevant and useful for the search you’re targeting. Google has robots reading the internet constantly. They are looking for specific things to help them understand whether a website is relevant to the search being made.
Ranking for the most profitable keywords
Which keywords or phrases do you want your site to rank for? For example, let’s say you’re a florist. You might want to rank for “flower delivery,” “wedding flowers,” or “funeral flowers.”
Targeting the wrong keywords is one of the most common mistakes businesses make with their website. They use keywords that are either too broad or not relevant enough to their business. As a result, they get little to no traffic from Google.
To avoid this mistake, you need to do keyword research. Start by writing down the names of the core product or services your business offers. These seed keywords are the ones you want to focus on first because they best describe your business or products.
For instance, our core services include SEO, Webflow Development, Sales Automation, and ConvertSmart. Core services for a pizza company may include pizza, delivery, or catering.
After you’ve got your list of seed keywords, it’s time to do some research. The goal is to find related keywords that people are actually searching for on Google. Imagine yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer. What would they search for if they were looking for your products or services?
You can use a tool like Google Keyword Planner to help you find related keywords. Just enter your seed keywords into the tool, and it’ll show you a list of related keywords, along with the average monthly searches for each keyword.
You want to focus on keywords that have a decent amount of monthly searches but aren’t too competitive. For example, a keyword like “pizza delivery” is too competitive. You’ll have a hard time ranking for that keyword because there are already so many established pizza delivery companies out there.
Also, you can download keywords from Google Search Console. This tool shows you the keywords your website is already ranking for. You can use these keywords as well, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have much traffic.
Or you can use SEMrush to find keywords that your competitors are ranking for. Just enter your competitor’s domain into the tool, and it’ll show you a list of their organic keywords.
Once you have a list of keywords, it’s time to sort them into different categories. Doing so will help you organize your content and target the right keywords for each page on your website. Here are a few examples of different categories you can use:
- Product/service keywords
- Location keywords
- Buyer intent keywords
- Keywords by stage of the buyer’s journey
Additionally, you need to find your key pages. These are the pages on your website that you want to rank for specific keywords and drive traffic to.
Now that you have your keyword list, it’s time to start optimizing your website. The goal is to make your site as relevant and useful as possible for the keywords you’re targeting. Each page on your website should target a core term and several related terms.
There are a few basic on-page elements you need to optimize in order to drive traffic to your site, including:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Alt tags
- Anchor text
- Internal linking
- External linking
- URL Structure
- Schema and Markup
These are only the basic SEO elements. If you want to rank higher in Google, you need to do more than just the basics.
Often, the answer to why small businesses fail is simple. There’s just too much competition. Since there are a lot of businesses online offering the same products and services as you or have a similar business model, it can be hard to stand out and get noticed.
Saturated markets are especially challenging for small businesses. When there are already a lot of businesses offering the same thing you’re selling, it can be tough to convince customers to buy from you instead. So you have to work hard to differentiate yourself and offer something unique that will make people want to do business with you.
Also, competing against huge businesses and industry leaders can be difficult. They have more resources and can outspend you on business marketing efforts and advertising. It’s hard to compete with businesses that have a lot of money to throw around.
However, it’s not entirely impossible. For small businesses to succeed, they need to focus on their strengths and what makes them unique. They need to know what they’re doing wrong or could be doing better. Finally, they need to be able to adapt and change quickly.
For example, if you’re selling pillowcases, you might notice that your competitors don’t have a lot of variety. So you could offer a more extensive selection of pillowcases with different colors, patterns, and materials. Doing so would give customers more reasons to buy from you than your competitors.
It’s also important to focus on the quality of your products and services. Customers will be more likely to buy from you if you can offer a higher quality product or service than your competitors.
But even with all of that, it’s still going to be an uphill battle. Small businesses have a lot working against them, but that doesn’t mean they can’t win. It just means they have to try a little harder.
No Social Media Presence
A crucial part of attracting new customers is marketing your business. Unless you promote your service or store, potential customers won’t know you exist. One of the most popular and effective marketing tools is social media.
In today’s digital age, nearly everyone has a social media account, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat. By creating a social media account for your business, you can reach out to potential customers you otherwise wouldn’t have had access to.
These social media channels can be used to post updates about your business, new product arrivals, or sales. You can also use social media to interact directly with customers, answering their questions and addressing any concerns they might have.
Twitter and Facebook have targeted advertising options that enable you to spend a little money to reach a larger audience. If you’re not using social media marketing, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to reach new customers. Get started today and create accounts on the most popular social media platforms. Then, start sharing updates about your business!
Use automation tools to help you manage your social media accounts more effectively. For example, automation tools can help you post updates regularly, respond to customer questions and comments, and track who is talking about your business.
By using automation tools, you can free up your time to focus on other aspects of running your business. There are many different automation tools available, so be sure to do your research to find the best one for your needs.
Fundamental Shortcomings in the Business Planning
So, you have a terrific website. But what use is it if you have poor planning or no business plan? Your website is like a car. It needs the right fuel to run correctly. The same can be said about your business. If you don’t have a plan or your planning is poor, your business will not reach its potential.
A business plan allows you to define your UVP or unique value proposition. It’s what sets your business apart from the competition. It’s what makes you unique and worth doing business with. Without a clear UVP, your website will be another pretty face in the sea of millions of websites.
Your business plan should also include your target market, the group of people most likely to buy your products or services. Without a target market, your marketing campaigns will be wasted because you’ll be trying to sell to everyone and anyone.
Other important considerations for your business plan include your business model, which is how you make money, and your sales and marketing strategies. These are the foundation of your website, and without them, your website will not be effective.
So, take the time to fix it. It will be worth it in the long run. Your website and your business depend on it.
Failure to Understand Today’s Customer Behavior
Today’s consumers are more connected than ever before, and they’re using that connection to research the products and services they want to buy. To stay ahead of the curve, small business owners need to understand how today’s consumers behave and what motivates them.
For instance, today’s customers expect online businesses to accept digital payments like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. So if your business doesn’t offer these payment options, you could be losing out on potential sales.
Additionally, customers today are more likely to purchase products from businesses that support social and environmental causes. By aligning your business with a cause, you can show customers that you care about the same things they do.
To understand your customers better, look at reviews and customer feedback to see what they’re saying about your business. Please pay attention to patterns and trends in their behavior, and use that information to improve your marketing strategy.
It’s not enough to have a website that looks great and functions well; if you want your small business to grow, you need to put in the effort to market it correctly. There are many different ways to do this, but search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most effective.
SEO can help your own business website rank higher in search results, which means more people will see it and be interested in what you have to offer. Work with us if you’re not sure how SEO works or where to start. We are a local digital marketing company based in Los Angeles and have years of experience helping businesses just like yours reach their full potential and business growth online. Contact our digital marketing firm today for a free consultation.