Use LSI keywords, and answer additional questions that users may think of after viewing the content. Simply offering only the content that a user searches for is no longer enough. Pages need to supply additional information a user may be seeking. Providing additional information will help retain the user, and tell search engines that the page’s content is not only answering the search query but providing additional value that other pieces of content may not be.
One of my best pieces of advice when it comes to SEO for small businesses is to truly spend some time understanding your audience and their intent. Even if your website is perfectly optimized, if it’s done for the wrong audience, you will not see good traffic. Google is taking audience intent into account more and more, as updates like RankBrain try to understand the semantics of a search query and not just the literal definition of the words. If you can comprehensively answer the questions your audience is asking, your site will rank highly in Google organically.

Entrepreneurs hoping for strong SEO (search engine optimization) rankings might take a lesson here. They can create a checklist of their own to make sure everything is perfect for their next website article. No, an SEO checklist won't protect you from crashing and burning. But it will help ensure that your post has the best chance it needs to rank high in Google. 
Think about the words that a user might search for to find a piece of your content. Users who know a lot about the topic might use different keywords in their search queries than someone who is new to the topic. For example, a long-time football fan might search for [fifa], an acronym for the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, while a new fan might use a more general query like [football playoffs]. Anticipating these differences in search behavior and accounting for them while writing your content (using a good mix of keyword phrases) could produce positive results. Google Ads provides a handy Keyword Planner34 that helps you discover new keyword variations and see the approximate search volume for each keyword. Also, Google Search Console provides you with the top search queries your site appears for and the ones that led the most users to your site in the Performance Report35.
Another example when the “nofollow" attribute can come handy are widget links. If you are using a third party's widget to enrich the experience of your site and engage users, check if it contains any links that you did not intend to place on your site along with the widget. Some widgets may add links to your site which are not your editorial choice and contain anchor text that you as a webmaster may not control. If removing such unwanted links from the widget is not possible, you can always disable them with “nofollow" attribute. If you create a widget for functionality or content that you provide, make sure to include the nofollow on links in the default code snippet.
Being on the 3rd place and at the same time having such a low CTR, serves a search intent. Isn’t that right? By changing the meta description in to a PERFECT DESCRIPTIVE TEXT, I am going to trigger different actions from the users. Many people will start clicking at my result just out of curiosity, their search intent won’t be satisfied and rankbrain will start to slowly ruining my ranking as my post, that won’t be fulfilling their searches.
Inclusion in Google's search results is free and easy; you don't even need to submit your site to Google. Google is a fully automated search engine that uses web crawlers to explore the web constantly, looking for sites to add to our index. In fact, the vast majority of sites listed in our results aren't manually submitted for inclusion, but found and added automatically when we crawl the web. Learn how Google discovers, crawls, and serves web pages.3
I did want to ask you about the section on “Don’t Focus on Long Tail Keywords”. This is topical for me as I actually have a tab opened from a recent post on the MOZ blog from Rand Fishkin that details reasons why you should focus on long tail keywords. I know you have said that “they have their place”, but as I say as a newbie to all of this, ever so slightly differing opinions from two authoritative people in the industry (that’s you and Rand of course 🙂 frazzles my brain somewhat and I’m not sure whether to turn left or right!

Entrepreneurs hoping for strong SEO (search engine optimization) rankings might take a lesson here. They can create a checklist of their own to make sure everything is perfect for their next website article. No, an SEO checklist won't protect you from crashing and burning. But it will help ensure that your post has the best chance it needs to rank high in Google. 
One of your tips is “Make your content actionable”…I feel like this is not always the case depending on the context of the blog post. If I am to write a post on, say, “35 Incredible Linear Actuator Applications”, I feel like that’s something extremely hard to be actionable about. Rather, I feel my purpose is to be informative. Both of us are going for backlinks, but your blog I feel is more aimed towards giving awesome tips & advice for SEO’s. Whereas MY BLOG is about informing people about “linear actuators and their applications”.


As keywords are essentially the backbone of on-page SEO, you need to pay a lot of attention to them. There is no reason not to include them in your URLs.  The inclusion has its benefits. When you assimilate the targeted keyword into the URL, you are ensuring that Google’s has another reason and way to consider your article as more relevant for a particular phrase.
This is not to say that small businesses can’t show within the top organic results. If your business is located in a less competitive market or industry, like a nail salon in a small town, you have a better chance of ranking high in organic results. Most small businesses find it easiest to rank within local results, though small businesses can also rank high in organic results by investing in search engine optimization efforts.
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