Business websites have become so much more prolific, as has our competition; which is why you need to improve and maximize your Google (SEO) ranking. With so much happening online it’s hard to get noticed, let alone to show up in the first page of Google search results.
Google uses different methods to determine which pages are displayed in the first page of the search results. Nobody really knows their exact formula/algorithm; however, there are a few things you can do to improve your rank in Google search results. This method is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.
There are no guarantees, and unfortunately and no fast and easy solutions. This can be a tedious process, and if someone promises you quick results, take care – it could be a con. Absolutely ask for customer testimonials and speak to these people; are they real businesses which achieved real results?
When trying to improve ranking, make sure that your website is a page that humans would want to visit and written the way humans would read it. If you try to ‘play’ the system, Google will figure it out and you’ll be penalized in ranking.
SEO Masterminds say Google changes its search algorithm around 500-600 times a year. Some are minor changes, but Google occasionally rolls out major ones such as Google Panda and Google Penguin. Imagine that Google is the Internet’s version of a polling station and counting the votes from all the links it finds on the web. One link doesn’t have one vote though, Google gives more weight for votes from relevant, authoritative websites. An authoritative website, essentially, has a final say on a particular matter, and is a source of information. Websites with authority come up on the 1st page of Google search results. For example, ABC News is one of the websites with an authority in the news industry. Their objectivity and verification procedures mean that if news is published on www.abc.net.au, then it must be true.
This is what SEO is all about – working on getting your website show up more often when people search for the keywords related to it. So what are the ways to help your website improve ranking on Google?
Here are some tips on how to improve Google ranking:
Combine your “votes”.
Business owners do not often realise that http://website.com and www.website.com are seen as different pages by search engines. This means your “votes” are split and shared by two links instead of just one. Keep your business name, address, phone, and website consistent across all sites that link back to your website. Think of it this way – if you have a directory listing on say Yelp and True Local, you need to make sure that all your business details are correct, and that they match both listings. This way, you’re telling Google that you want all your “votes” from www.website.com to be counted towards http://website.com.
Give your page a subject using keyword phrases.
A keyword phrase is the combination of words that you think people will mostly likely enter into Google when they search for your content. What will people in Mackay type in the search box when they’re looking to buy laptops in their area? They might type – “laptops for sale Mackay”. Your goal is to get your website to show up in the first page of Google when people search for this keyword phrase. To be effective, this keyword phrase should be somewhere in your website. It is recommended that your targeted keywords should appear in your website’s page title, in menus and links to other pages, within headers and subheadings, and in the body of your website describing your business. If you’re not sure which keywords to target, there are a few analytics software that can help you – one of which is Google Analytics. You can have this installed on your website so that you can see how users are finding your website, i.e. which keywords were used.
Images labelled properly.
Don’t upload images called IMG1234 or similar. Give the image a keyword rich title which says what the picture is, for example, my photo might be ‘Donna Stone Brisbane Business Coach’.
When Google catalogues pages, they look for the density of the keywords used.
In this case, density is how often the keywords occur in your website. Don’t try to trick Google by repeating the same keywords over and over. This could interpret as a spam since it is unnatural. If it looks to be keyword ‘loaded’, then chances are that it is, and Google sees that.
If you’re searching for something, you’d prefer fast websites.
It is fact that 83% of users expect websites to load in 3 seconds or less. If websites don’t load fast enough, users will end up clicking the back button and return to the search results. This is referred to as a “bounce”, and your website’s bounce rate can affect its rank. If Google sees that your website has a bounce rate which is high, they may drop your position to a lower one, below other similar websites. They want users to have a great experience when searching.
Work on link building.
This is a big factor in determining the website’s authority. If your website is linked by some large news websites, Google will see this as a signal that these large websites trust you. Link building services involves creating contents that high authority websites will want to link to. An example of this is directory listings. Yellowpages is one of the websites with high authority when it comes to directory listings. Creating a listing on their site allows you to put up a link back to your website, and this basically tells Google that your website can be trusted.
Work on getting testimonials or reviews.
Companies often have a dedicated page on their website for customer reviews and testimonials, which also acts as proof of great service to potential customers. Happy customers will be more than happy to share their experience with your business and will most likely share your website through social media and other platforms. A link back to your website is a boost on your search engine ranking, as mentioned in the previous point.
Utilise social media.
Social media websites can be a great way to promote your website. Although it doesn’t directly affect your rank, a great deal of your web traffic comes from social media websites. Make your content social media friendly. Reviews on Google Plus are especially useful, both giving and receiving.
Having your business on Google Maps is another tool which will improve ranking; again showing Google (and your customers) where you are.
Fresh new content.
Google absolutely loves fresh, new content and hence why blogs are a great tool. By having blogs, you are naturally adding content to your site. Never copy content as you will be reduced in ranking. As mentioned in my article the ideal word count for SEO purposes is about 1250 words. The reasoning is that if you can write a reasonable length article, you are more likely to know (or have researched) your content well and it gives Google enough ‘meat’ to know the content is quality. If you need help with blog writing, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Getting your website in the first page of Google search results is no walk in the park, but you can definitely improve your ranking. Call me on 0411 622 666 for more business coaching tips.