To generate leads, increase revenue, and get repeat customers, it's critical to have a prominent presence in Google search results.
Achieving this does not require a ton of work or a lot of money.
The first purpose is to convince people that you have what they need.
For this, the least amount of content necessary is the way to go. You don't want to overwhelm site visitors with too much or they'll just click away.
The second purpose is to be comprehensive enough to show Google's algorithm that your site is authoritative, meaning it's a good source of information related to your business.
These purposes present a challenge because the first requires as little content as possible while the second works better with more content. The middle ground is achievable, however.
This applies to the titles and headings on pages that describe your company or organization, explain your products or services, and show longer content like blog posts.
They should be short, compelling, and contain relevant keywords (see below).
In addition to using good titles visible to humans, make sure your HTML page “title” tags are also good because Google uses them as a strong signal of what the web page is about.
Keywords are the words and phrases people use to find websites. Make sure that your site content includes as many as possible and that they're relevant for your business.
But it's important to use them in a natural way rather than stuffing them in, which Google will penalize you for doing.
Include keywords that people actually use, which might be different from what seems “obvious” to you.
For example, your business might sell “automotive parts” but if people more often search for “car parts”, that's what Google will look for in your content.
Using “long tail” keywords can be very effective.
These are combinations of specific words. For example, “website design” and “nonprofit organizations” are both short tail keywords.
You would create a long tail keyword by combining them into “website design for nonprofit organizations”.
Because the longer phrase is less likely to be on many websites, a site that includes it will appear higher up in search results than sites only using the short tail keywords.
Your web content should be clear, well-written, spell-checked, and compelling so that people will want to read about your company or organization and what it offers.
Make sure it includes things are likely to be searching for and that it answers common questions.
Understand that people look at web content very differently than printed content (skim versus read). A professional web copywriter can be well worth the investment.
Google will rank your site higher if other sites they see as authoritative link to yours.
You can sometimes get backlinks by looking for broken links on other sites in your industry, then offering to have those sites link to you if you have relevant content.
You can also ask for a link in exchange for you linking to their sites.
And you can get backlinks by getting your site listed in industry directories, sites for relevant conferences, and other sites related to your company.
All images should have an HTML “alt” tag which describes the image in words. This helps Google understand what they are, and also helps visually-impaired visitors.
Use high quality images that are related to your content.
Do not use copyrighted images — Just because you find one online doesn't mean you can legally use it.
Make sure the actual file size of your images is not too large, which will slow down page load time (see below). You want the file size to be “just large enough” to produce a decent-looking image.
Is your site fully mobile responsive?
Get in touch: We'll run a quick test and let you know!
Google now gives preferential treatment (higher search engine results placement) to sites that work well on mobile devices.
You must ensure your website is fully mobile responsive, meaning it looks and works well on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones.
This also helps improve user experience.
A way to rocket to the top of Google search results is to have web pages that load very quickly. Google heavily penalizes sites with slow-loading pages.
There are a few things you can do to boost load speed:
As mentioned above, keep your image files just large enough for decent-looking images. There are online image compressors that'll reduce file size without significantly decreasing visual quality.
Make sure your site uses page caching on the web server (your web developer will know what this means).
In your web page source code, remove reference to external source files that aren't actually being used.
Avoid free or cheap website builders. Although they're easier and cheaper than professional services, they add a lot of extra code that slows things down.
Set up a “Google My Busines” profile so your site appears in local search results and on Google Maps.
A Google business profile shows information about your business, lets you add photos, and even offer discount codes.
The profile includes buttons that take people directly to your website, let them call you, or send messages. More Info Here
If your site is new or not appearing high enough up in results despite doing all the stuff above, you might need to try running some pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
There is a cost to this, but you control how much you spend each day.
You create ads related to various pages on your site and follow Google's guidelines to get them approved.
You set up “bids” for your ads — how much you're willing to pay, but you only pay if someone clicks.
Sometimes running some PPC ads is an effective way to kickstart your site into appearing in search results.
If your website isn't appearing in the first 25 or 50 listings in Google search results, you're essentially invisible online.
We showed you several ways to boost your site's ranking that doesn't require a lot of work and actually makes your website better in the process.
Get in touch if you have any questions about anything here or want more advice on boosting your search results placement.