Small Business Services

Getting Google to Notice You: 5 Tips

There’s no magic formula. Vying for Google’s attention takes smart content and development decisions.

Everyone who has a commercial website wants to know the same thing: How do I get on the first page of Google results?

Google itself changes the way it ranks sites periodically by changing what’s called its algorithms. This is a complex concept that – very simply – refers to a set of instructions that programmers have to follow.

Google names each of these new ranking modifications with names like Panda, Caffeine, and Hummingbird. Eventually, word spreads throughout the development community, and webmasters scramble to comply with the new algorithms and get better placement. Since some try to game the system to get the best positions without adding value for their audience, Google has to keep changing its algorithms.

Even those who keep up with the latest dispatches from the search engine giant have to continue to do the hard work required on their websites. This means following the new emphases plus basic common-sense guidelines. Google looks for:

Unique content.

Yes, this may require a lot of rewriting of the same content. But Google doesn’t like to see the same blog post or article or column duplicated anywhere. It will affect your rankings.

Stay away from what are referred to as “content mills” or “content farms.” These are companies that hire sometimes-inexperienced writers very cheaply who may or may not know anything about your market or your types of products. They sometimes write similar content for multiple clients at the same time. Google can sniff them out.

Keywords in all the right places.

Keywords – words and phrases that are central to your web content, and which prospects might use in a search – are still important, though not as much as they used to be because eople overused them. You should still incorporate them as an element of your overall Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.

  • If you sign up for a free account at GoogleAdWords, you’ll have access to a free tool called Keyword Planner; this can help you evaluate the usefulness of your existing keywords and find new, better ones.
  • Try to use your keywords in your URLs.
  • Pepper your content with your keywords, but don’t saturate it. Google really hates that, and it won’t help you.

Good writing.

If your company is big enough to have a staff writer and/or editor, he or she should be checking everything that goes on your website. If you yourself are the only one plugging away at creating content and you’re not confident about your composition abilities, it will be worth the money to outsource at least the editing of your online missives. There are many individuals that will do this for practically nothing, but you get what you pay for these days. Check out sites like Freelancer and Upwork for candidates.

Generous mobile access.

This in one of the newer ranking factors that Google has put into place for mobile searches. Your website simply must be mobile-friendly to fare well. If you aren’t familiar withresponsive design, you should be. This programming style makes it possible to develop across all platforms simultaneously (almost).

Geographical language.

Google likes to localize search results as much as is possible. It does this some on its own, but you can reinforce this emphasis by sprinkling business location references in your content.

Use Google Tools to Help Yourself

If you’re not doing so already, explore Google Analytics. Who are your visitors? How did they find you, and on what devices? Where did they go on the site? What searches did they run? Google Analytics is a must-have for any business that wants to analyze the performance of its online properties and improve it. It’s an incredibly robust family of tools that comes in both free and paid versions.

Some people say that if you’re not on the first page of Google results, you’re not going to be found. In local searches, this may be true, unless you’re up against a behemoth competitor nearby who pays for some prime placement or is very good at SEO, causing searchers to click through to see who else is available. So focus on building the best, smartest websites you can, while keeping Google’s preferences in mind.

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