Small businesses and large enterprises alike have one goal – to get more clients to buy their products or use their services. But before your business can grow its client base, you first need to be seen by these potential clients.
With technology constantly evolving, the internet has become the primary way for people to find what they’re looking for. Search engines like Google are a great way for people to seek out local businesses, but with a flooded market, it can be hard to get yours out there.
One of the best ways to beat back the competition is to have a higher page ranking on Google. The #1 search result is 10 times more likely to receive clicks compared to the #10 spot.
It may seem impossible to navigate Google’s complex algorithm, but there are ways to give your website more visibility with search engines.
Let’s take a look at how it works.
Table of Contents:
- How Google Works
- What is Search Engine Optimization? (SEO)
- Steps to Get Your Business on Google
- SEO Tactics You Can Try
- SEO Practices to Avoid
- SEO Specialists Based in Richmond
How Google Works
Many companies know that Google is a great marketing tool that gets people to look at your website, but most don’t understand exactly how it does this.
Google’s algorithm uses advanced techniques to rank websites based on their relevance to each Google search by users in order to give them a good experience. Read more on how Google’s algorithm works.
Google will look at multiple variables of your website to determine how useful it could be to the user. If your site looks promising, it will rank higher in the search results.
When your website has a high ranking on Google, more potential clients will see your website on their personal search results.
So the better question is: How do you get Google to see the potential of your business?
The answer is simple: Quality content.
When your website is written with the user in mind, with language that targets who you want to see it, it will provide a better experience. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques will help you create content that sparks the reader’s interest and is pegged by Google as a helpful site.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is the process of optimizing your website content to improve your visibility on organic search results for search engines like Google. It uses data analysis to help you tailor your content to what users are searching for.
In addition to improving your current website, SEO strategies will also involve creating new content outside of your internal site like blog posts or social media to help drive traffic from other locations to your website.
With SEO, your business has a better chance of being seen by potential customers who are searching for your specific services.
Simply put: Websites that are designed well, have relevant content, popular keywords, great user experience and a good reputation are what Google looks for.
Steps to Getting Your Business on Google
Now that you know how it all works, there are a few steps you can take to get your business set up online and SEO-ready.
If you’re too busy running your business, or this is too complicated to start on your own, professional web design companies like Key Web have SEO specialists that can do it for you.
Step 1: Claim Your Google Listing
When you’re ready to get on Google, the first thing you need to do is claim your listing on Google Business Profile and then link it to your website.
This search engine giant needs to know who you are. With your listing, you can establish your company as itself, be able to control its presence and receive data on online traffic to help you monitor your digital success.
Make sure to include your location’s address and contact information so potential clients can reach out to you.
Step 2: Build out Your Website Content
Quality content is one of the main factors that will set your website apart from the competition. When you build out your website to have several pages with compelling copy, Google will see your website as reputable and informative about your services – perfect for clients!
To give you an idea of how to shape your content: Homepages should be built out with around 1,500 words to give a good overall description of your company and the services you provide. You should also have service pages for each of your unique capabilities, with at least 1,000 words.
One of the most useful SEO techniques involving content writing is keywords. When you’re writing out your pages, try to include industry-related words in the titles, first paragraph, last paragraph, meta descriptions and sprinkled throughout.
Step 3: Add Backlinks
Backlinks are when other websites link to your website.
The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher you can rank on Google because it shows that other people outside of your business enjoy your content, so it must be reputable.
Think of it like this: A quarterback is more popular because he is crucial to the football team. More people follow him because of this, and when others see how many followers he has, they will follow him too. If your website has good backlinks, more people will check out your website because it shows you have quality content.
Backlinks come naturally when people link or share your content. You can also add them through directory listings. Backlinking is a complex and comprehensive tool that requires more research to do properly.
Step 4: Be Active on Other Channels
After you have everything set up, it’s important to maintain your online presence.
Adding content to other channels like social media or blogs will show Google and potential customers that you are an active business that is communicative and available.
Some of the more popular channels to promote your business are:
Another plus side to posting content is that individual posts have the ability to be seen by different people and draw them in. This can drive traffic to your website.
Have you followed all of these steps and your website still isn’t showing up on Google? Here are a few reasons why you might not be ranking.
SEO Tactics You Can Try
Google has over 200 ranking factors that affect search results, so finding the right SEO strategy to promote your website can be tricky. There are many ways to optimize the content on your website, but here are the most effective and Google-friendly:
When you use industry-specific words in your content and meta titles that match what potential clients search for, you have a higher chance of ranking on search results. 92% of all search queries are long-tailed keywords.
Unique keywords will help you rank on the first page of Google because you have less competition.
Example search query: “Custom Web Design”
If you’re a small business, then you want your website to show up on local search results.
A website for a coffee shop in Texas won’t do you any good if you live in Virginia. When you use location-specific language and geotags in your content, it will show Google where your business is located and help it rank you higher for local searches.
Example: “Web Design in Richmond, VA”
Meta titles and meta descriptions are what show up in the search results and is how your website is presented to people online.
While they don’t specifically influence your Google ranking, they are what grab a user’s attention and get them to visit your website. The more people visiting your site, the higher you could rank.
As stated when discussing backlinks, linking is a great way to show credibility.
When you link to outside or internal pages within your content, you show Google that you are gathering information from other places, thereby proving that your content is reliable and informational.
SEO Practices to Avoid
SEO is a complex technique and requires a certain level of strategy to implement in a way that gets Google to like your business website.
However, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Inexperienced work can hurt your SEO and lower your ranking.
Here are some examples of what NOT to do:
- Keyword stuffing (too many keywords in your content/listing)
- Getting your Google Business Profile listing penalized
- Irrelevant directory listings (lowers the quality of backlinks)
- Forgetting to address hacks
- Writing content for Google instead of writing for the reader
SEO Specialists Based in Richmond
SEO is like exercising – the more time you spend on your website, the better results you’ll get. Having a strong online presence with constant content updates will make your company look great to both customers and Google, but it’s hard to keep up with.
Between daily operations and running your business, you don’t have the time to research trends, write out pages, input and publish the content, implement SEO strategies, post on social media and everything else it takes to optimize your website. That’s where Key Web comes in.
Key Web is a web design company that builds Google-friendly custom websites. Our specialists will research your company and industry in the beginning and design a strategy that plans the content around high-quality SEO tactics.
Unlike other marketing companies, we look at SEO first and create Google-friendly sites that have a better chance of ranking.
Once your custom website is built, our SEO maintenance plans will keep your content updated and fresh for quality optimization that sees results.