Everyone knows a guy who knows a guy who can get you on the front page of Google. I’d argue that you might not want to be on the front page of Google for everything, but it doesn’t hurt for the right people to be able to find you.

In this article I’m not going to add to the SEO noise, you can read a million articles about SEO practises and there are even more people willing to take your cash to make it work for you.

But if you don’t mind kicking around the shed that is your website, here’s a check list of things you can change or improve on, and they’re backed up with good research. As opposed to the standard old wives tale SEO advice that most people’s parent’s next-door neighbours are dishing out.

  • Nearly 2% of websites are marked ‘noindex‘ … so make sure that your page is actually indexable by Google. If you’ve marked it as noindex, that means “No, do not add me to the index of your search engine, I desire that no-one should find me”. Check here to see if you are actually being indexed.
  • 25% of all small business websites are missing an H1 tag. This is HTML code for number one heading, aka, the string of test that most aptly describes what your website is for.
  • Businesses with 4 or more stars on Google My Business outrank those with less than 4 stars by 11%. So get those Google My Business reviews pumping.
  • Adding a ‘meta description‘ to your website is something people told you to do in 1999 on your website, but somewhere in the last decade it became uncool. But the research shows that your website is 17% higher in the Google rankings if you have created a meta description for your website, and it’d be even higher if it was a well written and good meta description.
  • Linking to websites that aren’t your own is good for your ranking, and it’s even better if those outbound links actually have something to do with your business.
  • Making your website HTTPS secure with an SSL certificate is not only better for Google rankings, as Neil Patel explains, it’s also just a good look for your branding as Apple Safari, Mobile Safari, and Google Chrome, all now make a big visual deal out of telling visitors if websites do not have a secure connection. Our web host even dishes them out for free through Let’s Encrypt, yours might too, but even if it costs you $50, that’s $50 to save face as people visit your website.