SEO ranking

A good SEO ranking is critical for any online business, but it’s especially important for small businesses. It can be hard to keep up with SEO ranking specifications, especially since Google is constantly changing them. Some factors are more common sense, but there are other important criteria that many website managers fail to consider. This article will go through five ranking factors that can make or break your small business, ranging anywhere from the best hosting for small business to website design tips.

Choose the Right URL

Believe it or not, one of the most important SEO ranking factors is your URL. Specifically, your URL has to be easily reached and crawled by Google bots. Google has to be able to figure out what your webpage is about in order to pull keywords and appropriately rank it, and the primary way it gains that information is through your URL. 

This is perhaps the biggest reason why using a well-coded CMS is so important. Wordpress, for example, automatically builds a robots.txt file and a sitemap into your website’s programming. Many people think that HTML is an important ranking factor, but believe it or not, it’s actually far less important than the URL.

Page Speed

Loading speed is a pretty well-known ranking factor. But what many people don’t realize is that loading speed has just as much to do with your hosting provider as it does with the way that your website is built. 

Sure, it’s always good practice to condense big images and streamline your coding, but even a website swollen with image files and plug-ins will load quickly if it has enough resources. And your site’s resources come from your web host. When choosing your web hosting package, consider how big your site is and how big you can realistically expect your site to grow. Not only do you want to sign up with the right web hosting company, but you also want to consider what kind of hosting plan you want. 

Shared hosting is good for small blogs and one or two-page websites, but if your business starts to gain a significant amount of traffic, your site may start to slow down as you burn through your server’s resources. If you do have a big business or expect to see your business grow, consider a VPS (virtual private server). It’s a more expensive plan, but it gives your site exclusive access to an entire server’s worth of resources.

Mobile Friendly

Google flags sites that are mobile-friendly, and these sites automatically get ranked higher than other, similar sites. Regardless of how popular or well-designed your business is, not being mobile-friendly can seriously impact your ranking. The reason for this is sheer consumer logistics. 

Way more people use mobile devices than desktops to surf the web, and an increasing number of people prefer to shop via mobile devices than with laptops or computers. It’s advisable for any website to be mobile-friendly, but if you’re a business, it’s almost a necessity. Not only will it negatively impact your ranking, but it will ultimately lose you customers.

Domain Age

Nearly 60% of Google sites that have a top 10 ranking are three years old or more. It’s actually extremely difficult for young sites to achieve a top 10 Google search, no matter how well optimized they are. So no matter how slow things might feel in the beginning, it’s worth it to stick it out. And if your business has been around for a while, that’s even more reason to optimize it, as its domain age is already an advantage over competing sites.


The way that Google’s algorithms determine what your site is about is by pulling keywords. When people search for those keywords, your site will pop up. So if your content isn’t well-written or appropriately seeded with good keywords, your site is much less likely to come up in a search. 

When adding content to your site, consider what kinds of searches you want your site to appear in, and find ways to work those keywords into your content. There are also a number of websites like AnswerThePublic that will actually show you what people in your area or industry are searching for. Knowing what people are actually typing into their search engine will not only help you to better optimize your content, but it can help you improve your business, too.