When companies want to compete against their peers and blow them out of the water, a lot of that comes down to driving relevant traffic to their site. Once they have the traffic, they can then convert it. But how does traffic reach your website in the first place? Outside of paid traffic through various forms of advertising, it comes down to achieving higher rankings in Google to ultimately receive more organic traffic. We commonly call this SEO or search engine optimization and it deals with how to rank better on Google.
We talk about SERPs, which stands for search engine results pages and it reflects how well you rank on Google. Why is it important to have great SERPs?
Most of the clicks from users go to the link that’s top on the SERPs. The second and third link share much of the remaining clicks, with other links on the page getting relatively few clicks. By the second page in the results, there are almost no clicks available. Hence, when you rank better in Google, you drive more traffic to your site.
How to rank better on Google?
Millions of webpages exist and many more are created every day. I often create 5-10 per day all by myself. There’s no way a human or even a team of humans can read all these pages, categorize the content so the link shows up in related searches, and play fair. Hence, Google has a bot, short for robot, that scans new webpages and applies an algorithm that uses cues like tags, keywords, image alt tags, how well a site is coded, etc to determine how valuable a page is relative to specific terms used in the search.
The algorithm is a mystery to everyone except a few folks at Google but SEO experts make guesses at what factors are in the algorithm and these guesses help guide website designers and content creators optimize their SERPs. Oh, and the algorithm changes all the time, with major changes happening once or twice a year.
Google looks for signals that you’ve created great content. Among these are:
- Visits to your website, time on site, depth of exploration of the website
- Backlinks from other sites, especially those with their own great content
- Shares on social, which act as votes in favor of your content
In this article, we cover a few pointers for business owners who need to understand how people can use smart techniques to rank better in Google.
Using content as a marketing hook
In the bad old days, a few years ago, SEO was a function of website codes such as metatext that was only machine-readable. A major algorithm change called Penguin changed all that so that now ranking better in Google is a function of creating valuable content on a consistent basis.
While not every business owner thinks content is the business that they’re in, that isn’t really important. Google thinks you’re in the business of creating great content and they don’t send your traffic unless you show them you can do that. There are different ways to use content to make it useful to the business as a whole.
Sharing the company’s ideas through the eyes of its employees or using a freelance writer to produce a blog post is valuable to potential customers is one type of content you should create. Create explainer or unboxing videos, craft infographics, share reviews, really anything is a great piece of content to show Google you’re a great fit for a user’s search. Google’s bot then looks at the content and may well be impressed by the knowledge that the staff clearly possess and the passion with which they convey it. That’s worth a considerable amount of marketing dollars in customer persuasion.
Content should center around a keyword (actually keyphrase) that matches what users search for and should incorporate that keyword appropriately without keyword stuffing, which means overusing the keyword or using it inappropriately.
To rank better in Google, companies must have content published and links built between other, reputable sites and their content. This can happen naturally over time when people have a reason to link to an article or a page listing the services offered by the business. The better your content, the more sites and better sites that want to link to your content. We call these backlinks for obvious reasons.
Building backlinks naturally takes time, but you can give it a little help.
Let’s face it, other companies voraciously add links to their website to help boost their ranking. Any competitor who isn’t doing the same is going to eventually fall behind in the rankings, which results in fewer visitors from Google and less potential to sell a product or service. Whilst this might not hurt the business today, it’s a reversal of fortunes which will be difficult to handle once the decline sets in.
Trying to do SEO in-house is difficult to pull off unless the business can afford to create a new department with 5-10 staff members who are fully trained and well-resourced. Without that commitment, it’s necessary to look for an agency to help. For smaller and midsized businesses who primarily operate in a defined geographical area, local SEO is critical for success. Hence, you should hire an SEO company, like Boca Raton internet marketing agency, that already employs a talented team of professionals who can deliver digital marketing results for the business and understands the dynamics of your local market.
Another way to rank better on Google uses social networking to encourage users to share content within their groups. These shares act as tacit endorsements of your brand and the content you’ve created.
Encourage sharing by creating highly shareable content including articles, images, and infographics that people want to share. Make it easy to share the content by providing share buttons on your content and by sharing your content across your own social networks. Engaging users of social networks by sharing their content, liking their comments, etc. helps ensure you have a network that’s actuated to promote your posts. It’s a little like a big game of tit-for-tat.
The social sharing and buzz that this creates, feeds back through your website in terms of visits, time on site, etc. This often results in an uplift in the ranking position for the page that’s being shared (or the website as a whole) because of the social activity.
In an age where companies are competing as hard as they can for eyeballs to gain market share, it’s necessary to pursue new customers with similar vigor. Otherwise, businesses risk getting left behind in the stampede. Learning to rank better on Google is essential to gain free organic traffic that can be converted into new customers and buyers.
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