5 Steps To Get Your Business On Google’s First Page
Every day, millions of businesses fight for attention on the Web. Because the online marketplace is so congested, some of the best businesses get lost. What does it take to be seen by consumers? In today’s digital world, landing your business on Google’s first page is key.
How does Google compare with other search engines? Google dominates the market with a whopping 67.5 percent share. Bing (16.3 percent) and Yahoo (12.2 percent) round out the other major players. Between 80 to 90% of consumers check search engines before making a purchase (Forbes). Many of them are looking for a business like yours.
So what does it take for you to get on Google’s first page where consumers can easily find you? You need a winning SEO strategy (Search Engine Optimization), which aims at increasing your Google ranking, so you’ll be seen by more consumers. While search engine optimization is a complex, technical process, there are some steps that even the “non-techiest” business owner can start doing today.
1. Make sure your business is listed accurately.
Search engines rely heavily on the accuracy of listings, especially local listings, to confirm the legitimacy of a business. Missing or inconsistent information, in the form of a company’s name, address, and phone number, can severely impact your local search engine results. Missing or incorrect listings cost businesses $10.3 billion annually. For Accredited Businesses, make sure your profile is current on bbb.org.
2. Make a Google-friendly site with quality content.
What does it take to get people to spend more than 3 seconds on your website? Offer content that is unique and offers real value. The types of content Google loves include: interviews, lists, resource centers, case studies, user-generated content, and more. Here are some key ingredients in giving your visitors what they’re looking for.
– Know your audience.
What is the purpose of your content? Who are you trying to reach? It’s important to know your target audience, so you can create content that is appealing. Good content speaks directly to a customer and no one else. Get to know the customers you serve, who they are and what they value. Google Trends is also a great tool that helps you see what’s trending and what people are talking about in a particular region. When you better understand your audience, you’ll be more successful in delivering the right information to the right person.
– Offer content that sticks.
Is your content sticky? Does it quickly grab your readers’ attention enough that they can’t pull away? Sticky content draws your audience in by offering something of real value. It might be an answer to a problem, a new idea, a compelling story, a demonstration, a funny joke, or anything that captures and keeps their attention. You don’t have to give away trade secrets, but offer enough of a taste that they’ll want more.
– Make content reader friendly.
Any information you include on your site should be easy to read and succint. Don’t use complicated industry jargon or terminology that doesn’t suit your audience. Keep it light and engaging.
– Update content regularly.
Because the Internet is constantly changing and evolving, a successful SEO strategy requires that you improve and update your content regularly. Google likes websites with fresh, up-to-date, and original content. Remove and avoid canned or duplicate content where possible.
3. Include high-quality links to your site.
Establishing relevant and high-quality inbound links to your website is another effective way to boost your Google ranking. “Links help our crawlers find your site and can give your site greater visibility in our search results. Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages important.”
Websites that have links from highly trusted domains (such as bbb.org) can achieve a higher position on Google. Universities, government websites, and non-profit organizations are examples of high-trust domains. Accredited Businesses who include their company’s web address in their BBB directory profile will greatly benefit from bbb.org’s high domain status, thus increasing their own domain authority and search engine ranking.
“Through links, engines can not only analyze the popularity of a website and page based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources.”
4. Get active on social media.
Getting active on social media is another key SEO strategy that increases your brand and website exposure. According to a study, 84% of participants saw increased traffic on their sites after investing only 6 hours a week in social media. Marketers who were active on social media for one year or longer also saw a 58% rise in their search engine ranking. Which social media platforms are the most important to businesses?
Several studies claim Facebook is the most widely used by marketers, while others prefer Linkedin. Some social media sites work better for certain businesses and consumers over others. One study even claims Facebook doesn’t help marketers at all. Either way, you have to decide which platform best suits the needs of your business and customers and appeals to search engines.
5. Select Relevant Keywords
Choosing the right keywords for your content is an important SEO strategy. You want to include words or phrases that users will type into search engines to find your business. “Skillful, accurate choosing and placement of keywords and building of your content to provide as much information to users seeking information based on those keywords is at the root of successful search engine ranking.” When choosing keywords for a page, think like a user who doesn’t know much about your business but is looking for services like yours. Choosing the right keywords will help you get the right visitors to your site.
Relevance is crucial when selecting keywords. The more specific, the better. For example, if you own a roofing company, you would likely attract more qualified prospects if you choose keywords that best describe the services you offer, like “steep slope roofing installation,” or for a localized search, “steep slope roofing installation in Denver, CO,” instead of just “roofing installation.”
“Roofing contractors” will most likely bring a more generic audience to your site and push you farther away from Google’s no.1 spot. However, long-tail keywords will bring you prospects who’ve done their research and are ready to buy.
Need help identifying specific keywords that will drive traffic to your site? First, go to Google Webmaster Tools, a great tools that helps businesses develop a content strategy that will reach their intended audience. Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner is another great tool that helps writers come up with ideas for titles or upcoming articles.
Page One Is In Your Reach
A winning SEO strategy has the power to put any business, big or small, on page one of Google. As search marketing continues to grow, marketers who want to remain competitive on the Web need SEO to improve their position and boost their online presence. Your business offers something unique and valuable. Don’t let it go to waste by not being where consumers will find you. Google’s first page ranking with the help of SEO will get your there.