Looking to get your new business on the online map? You’re not alone. It is a challenge to be easily findable to even locals when you’re just starting out, or if you haven’t got the know-how of Google’s complicated requirements. This guide is here to help you get a better understanding of how to rank better on Google, and some insights to show you why it is so important to know about SEO, also known as search engine optimisation, from an SEO company. One quick thing to note as we get started is that according to Google, 82% of smartphone users say they use search to find local businesses. This means that if you aren’t easily findable online, you are definitely missing out.
1. Suss out the competition.
A tried and tested method of getting higher up the Google Rankings is to look at who your competition is surrounding the keywords that you wish to rank for. When searching your competition going to websites that let you view the organic keywords they rank for like SpyFu.com. Using this method is a great way to save time on keyword research and will help you get closer to targeting the top words you are seeking to rank under in your industry.
2. Get a Google business listing
Getting a Google business listing is one of the simplest ways to improve your Google Ranking. It legitimises your business on Google, you’re providing a quick and easy summary for locals in your area looking for a term like ‘mechanic near me’. Doing so will definitely not only improve the user-experience of your customer’s online interactions, but doing so is loved by Google, it is more likely you will show up on a section of Google where you are easily findable on maps nearby. Even if you don’t make it into the top quick finder results, by just having a Google Business Listing, you will be improving your local SEO regardless. Any SEO company will tell you that this is a great way to get some great increases in your rankings.
In addition to getting the listing, you’ll also want to get lots of 5-star reviews from your happy customers. The fastest way to do this is with review management software, which automatically sends SMS or email review requests to your customers, and leads to many more reviews.
3. Have compatibility with all devices, especially mobile
When setting up your business, you can guarantee that if you are building your website, the most common piece of advice you will receive is, “make it mobile-friendly”. If you want to know why, it’s because mobile now outperforms desktop for searching the web now. Halfway through 2013 as more modern phones became more like supercomputers, and apps became more efficient, we saw a big boost of users on mobile searching the web. As a result, Google changed its terms and conditions to favour and index sites first based on their mobile friendliness. So, what does that mean? It means you need to have your site implementing a responsive design that can adjust to any aspect ratio or screen easily.
4. Focus on mobile SEO
An important thing to recognise is that the majority of users today are searching on mobile, not only that, they interact with the internet differently than if they were on a desktop. For instance, people on mobile when they are out and about, tend to search and then take action quite quickly after the search. They also tend to use phrases like ‘near me’. The key here is to make sure that when you do your keyword research and implementation, that you are also using mobile-friendly keywords. This also means that you need to know about mobile SEO, using Google’s mobile friendly test is a great way to view how well your site works on mobile and shows you some ways to improve it. If you work with an SEO company, no doubt they are working on getting you much more detailed reports on how to report that information, with more learning’s than what you could probably find on your own.
5. Incorporate location into your URL
A quick and easy way to get a higher ranking for locals that is low cost, is to put location into your URL. This step is a great way if you are a local franchise, or if your business services a certain area the majority of the time, like a mechanic. Local Gyms will be able to rank higher on searches like ‘gyms near me’ if they have the location of that searcher in their URL. For instance if someone living in Geelong wanted to know gyms nearby, The first result will be gyms like anytime fitness Geelong, who have the name of the area they are in in their URL, and all over their website.
6. Blog like there is no tomorrow
Writing long form content is going to be a rewarding and a very important aspect of getting your SEO rankings up. Doing so has many benefits for you and your readers. Creating blogs will help establish you more as an authority, and will help you consolidate your knowledge about your given industry. What we are very aware of though is that the longer an article is, the better. Mostly, producing an article that is 1000 to 1,500 is great. It gets a decent amount of traction and traffic. However, one thing to note is that long-form and high quality content that is roughly 2500+ is the highest performer of shares, backlinks, and traffic. Does this mean that you as a beginner need to smash out 3000 word articles on a daily or weekly basis? Not at all. Start small and work your way up. Writing for your website is an incredibly rewarding aspect of owning your own business and website, and it will help your Google rankings immensely to do it. One of the best practices to follow first though, is to have your blog page creating any content. If all you have time for is 250 – 300 words, then that will be enough for now. Build your skills and the higher word counts will come.
7. Backlink your blogs
Backlinking is an essential part of off-site SEO. The way in which backlinking occurs is through natural links – where someone links to your content from another site, typically happens when you have high-quality content. Manual links, where you may reach out to suggest on someone’s blog site that your article would be a great link for supportive evidence about a claim made in their blog. Finally self-created links, which are less effective as the first two from a strategy stand-point, as it can border on black hat SEO creating some negative impacts on your search engine reputation. Basically this means that reaching out to offer your articles to blogs, or holding backlinks on your website are effective ways to build a network of sources.
8. Image optimisation
Ensuring that the images that you have on your site have file names is going to be a helpful boost to your ranking. Doing so allows you to put relevant keywords in an image description, therefore leading to your site being more easily findable when people type in relevant search terms to your business. Images serve a great purpose for engaging your website visitors, and they can also be great for your SEO. Be sure to optimise these yourself, or make sure that your hired SEO company does.