Tuesday Tip #12: How To Get Found In Google Searches
It’s the dream of every website owner to rank on the first page of Google search results. The truth is, however, achieving Page 1 Status requires work. This statistic alone sums up why the work will be well worth it:
89% of U.S. internet users search online before they make a purchase, even when the purchase is ultimately made at a local business. (HubSpot)
Owning a domain and a website are simply not enough. Your website needs to be optimized for search. Before we dig in and explain how to do this, let’s first take a look at the definition of search engine optimization:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. (Moz)
The quality of your website is defined by the visitors it’s attracting. Are they genuinely interested in the product or service you’re offering? A quality website should draw quality visitors, which leads to quantity. The more traffic the better.
Needless to say, there’s a lot to know when it comes to SEO. For today’s Tuesday Tip, we’re going to unpack four things you can do to help your small business website get found on Google.
1. Implement a keyword strategy.
In order for your website to rank in Google search results, you’ll need to optimize it for the keywords people are using when they perform a search. However, this will require you to do some research first.
We recommend beginning your keyword research with a brainstorming session. Open a blank Google Doc and fill it with every keyword or phrase pertaining to your business that you can think of. You’ll want a good mix of both short-tail keywords (one or two words) and long-tail keywords (more than three words).
Note, the broader the keyword, the more challenging it will be to rank for. For example, “inbound marketing” is a very popular search term, making it difficult to rank for. “Inbound marketing agency in Middletown, CT” might have far less searches but this long-tail keyword would be easier to try and rank for.
After you’ve written down all of the keywords you’d like to rank for, go to Google and type each of your short-tail keywords into the search box. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see other searches that are related to the search you entered. Make sure you add all relevant, related searches to your list as well.
Once you’ve put together your comprehensive list, you’ll want to use an analytics tool such as Moz’s Keyword Explorer to decide on the most sensible keywords to try and rank for.
Ok, so now it’s time to optimize your website for those keywords you decided on. According to HubSpot, “every page on your website needs to include the critical optimization elements that help Google understand what each page is about. Each website page needs to have the following elements addressed with a single focus keyword.”
Page Title (under 70 characters)
Meta Description (under 155 characters)
H1 & H2 Title Text (break up main content by describing it)
Alt Text (every image needs a title)
Keyword in Content (at least once, bolded)
2. Implement a content strategy.
Your marketing needs to resonate with your audience and offer more than just touting your brand. It needs to tell your story and effectively explain the WHY behind what you do. If you’ve been following us on social media, we’ve been talking a lot about content these days. So what exactly is content marketing?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing and business process focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience, and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” (Content Marketing Institute)
Like the exercise of keyword research, implementing a content strategy takes time and planning. What types of resources will your target audience find most helpful or beneficial? After you make that determination, you’ll then have to create the content!
“The most common components of a content marketing program are social media networks, blogs, visual content, and premium content assets -- like tools, ebooks, or webinars.” (HubSpot)
For many small business owners, the task of content creation can seem quite overwhelming … maybe even impossible. Don’t freak out! LMG offers content planning and development solutions so you don’t have to worry about writing or designing graphics and guides. To learn more about our content marketing services services, contact us.
The key takeaway here is to never let your website get stale. Implementing an ongoing content strategy will ensure fresh content is always being added.
3. Implement a blogging strategy.
Blogging is a great way to get your small business found on Google. Each time you publish a new blog post, you’re adding a new page to your website that will eventually be indexed. This equates to more opportunities for you to show up in search results!
Now let’s tie in that content strategy we just discussed. A blog gives you the opportunity to capture and convert leads who visit your site. By including an enticing call-to-action (CTA) in every blog post, you can acquire pertinent information on new prospects. Having intel on where a future customer is in the buying process (as well as their needs, pain points, and desires) will tremendously improve your ability to effectively market to them.
Lastly, a blog is the perfect way to showcase and share your industry knowledge with others! When you develop interesting and informative content based on your own experiences it not only positions you as a thought leader, but also creates a fantastic opportunity to share something with your social networks.
Still not convinced? Then absorb this fun fact …
“Companies that blog get 55% more web traffic and 70% more leads than those that don’t.” (HubSpot)
4. Implement a link strategy.
In February 2018 we published a blog post on backlinks. If you missed it, here’s the definition of what a backlink is:
A backlink is a link one website gets from another website.
You’ll notice that throughout this post, we’ve linked to sources such as HubSpot and Moz. Your goal as a website owner is to try and get other websites to link to yours. But not just any websites. You should strive for placement on quality sites that are relevant to your industry. And if those sites are ranking well on Google, it will help your cause even more.
“Guest blog articles are a fantastic application. The idea behind guest posts is that everyone wins. The host site gets a good piece of quality content, it's readers get yet another piece of information relevant to their interests, and you get to expose yourself to a completely new audience by posting to their blog instead of your own.” (HubSpot)
While we’re on the topic of links, let’s not fail to mention the importance of linking to your social media channels. Be sure to include social sharing buttons on your website (especially in areas where you’re promoting content). And when you publish new content to your website or blog, be sure to share the link on social media, too!
Ok, so this was a lot to absorb. We understand! If you want to improve your small business website rankings on Google, we’d love to brainstorm and help you generate some fresh new ideas! You know how to find us :)
Every Tuesday we share easy and actionable advice you can take to refresh your current marketing plan. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see more!