It’s never been more important for small businesses to make their presence known on Google. Google loves Google, so in order to rank well in searches that take place on the platform, businesses must comply with certain best practices.

During a recent MarketingBitz webinar, Joe Morsello, Owner and Chief Digital Marketer at Rithm Marketing discussed several tactics for improving your ranking on Google in the New Year. He kicked off his presentation by detailing how search results have changed over the last decade. They are now made up of many sections, including ads, organic results, the knowledge panel and the local 3 pack.

He then elaborated on what Google says impacts ranking, including relevance distance and prominence. Google has kept a certain level of secrecy on how exactly to use these components to your advantage.

He then discussed the results of Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors study including what factors hold the most leverage for local pack results (Google My Business (GMB) signals (25%), link signals (17%) and review signals (15%)), as well as organic results (link signals (28%), on-page signals (26%) and behavioral signals (12%)). Over the last 10 years, Google has made many algorithm changes, so ranking factors have changed.

He then dove into the nine tactics in detail, which included:

  • Do keyword research
  • Optimize your GMB listing
  • Regularly upload photos/videos to GMB
  • Use new GMB features — specifically Posts
  • Manage your reputation (reviews)
  • Get consistent, accurate business info into the ecosystem
  • Earn links on reputable sites
  • Optimize your website for search engines
  • Develop authentic content that your audience will value

After discussing each, he gave three additional ranking tips for your small business’s website, including making sure it’s mobile-friendly, making it secure with an SSL certificate (HTTPS) and making sure the pages load quickly and aren’t slowed down by large image files and graphics.