Getting to the top of the search results is the dream of many small businesses, using the power of Google, Bing and Yahoo to increase sales and market your company for free.
But ranking in search engines has become an every growing, competitive enigma that seems to be out of reach to the everyday local business owner.
Search engines aren’t all knowing. You need to give them the right information, drop some hints and lead them to the value that your website can offer.
The search engine algorithms that determine which sites appear on the first page is a closely guarded secret. However, ranking your website is taking care of as many factors that search engines take into account when ranking website. The techniques described below are the best practices that will help search engine look more favourably upon your website:
Each page needs to offer value. They need to include all the signposts to let the search engine gods know what your website is about and where it should be indexed. These are a few thing you can do to help your pages do this:
If you already have a site, check that your loading speed is the best it can be. Search engines factor in this load time and the user experience of your website. If your page takes minutes to load, search engines will put that in the negative column. You can increase you page speed, by reducing the size of your images, reducing the amount of apps that are used to create each page and have a website designer look at your improving your background coding. Is your website hosted by a local company? If you’re an Australian company, looking for Australia customers, look for Australian Server hosting so your website isn’t having to fetch the data from the other side of the world each time someone visits your site.
Page Title or Title Tags
Are the titles of your pages related to your industry and do they include relevant keywords and company name. You only have 50 characters but ideally your page title will include:
Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Company Name
A Clean URL
This is a URL like www.plumbingcompany.com/plumbing-services-melbourne
Again, simply having a clean URL won’t get you to rank, but it is another indicator to search engines as to what the page content is about. Having a clean URL also makes it easier for people to remember and share if necessary.
A meta description is a paragraph that appears in the search engine results. Make sure your meta description includes, your main keyword for that page and related pages. Although, Google has said it no longer takes this into consideration for ranking purposes it’s useful for the people seeing that page in search result know specifically what it is about. It’s a sample of what the page offers. Make this description work for you by providing the information that people are searching for and how your business can help solve their problem.
The First 100 Words of Opening Paragraph
Like your meta description make sure that the first 100 words of your opening paragraph include your main and secondary keyword. This is another indicating factor as to what the page is about and how it related to the targeted keywords.
Include H1, H2 and H3 Headings
These should include main, secondary and related keywords, but think of your reader first. If your H2 heading is stuffed with keywords and relates in no way to the content below it, it has no real benefit to the reader. Try to include the keywords in these headers but if it comes off awkward leave it out and go with what draws the reader’s attention.
Outside of your Website
Provide as much information as possible, register your business with the multiple business pages and business directories. Include the full address and contact details. Then include these on your website in the footer and contact page. This helps Search engine associate you with a specific area and which industry your business is related too.
What are people saying about your company online? Brand mentions through social media and review sites all factor into ranking your business. Whether they directly link to your site or not they go into helping search engines determine how important your site is for specific keywords terms. But remember these mentions have to be done naturally. You want actual people who have used your services or products to provide the mentions and reviews. Purchasing false reviews is a huge negative and can even result in a Google penalty.
And lastly, is the content on your site of value. There’s no point in covering all the above if your content is of no value to your audience. This is something you can’t fake. You need to take the time to write the content or get quality content written for your website. It needs to answer the questions or fulfil the need of people using the search engine. Because that’s what search engines are, they direct people to sites that fulfil a need. Whether that need is information, a product or services. And get to the top of search results, your website need to meant your target audience needs, better than any other website out there.