The goal of any business, organisation, or individual with an online presence is to improve your Google Ranking. It doesn’t matter how attractive you make your website or How informative or entertaining your blog is and It doesn’t matter how impressive a portfolio you possess. Without a proper Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy, nobody is going to be able to find you.
None of the major search engines (we tend to think of Google as the main player, but this guide applies just as well to Bing, Yahoo, and many others) plays favourites. They all take an objective approach when ranking sites on their search pages, taking keywords, alt tags, sitemaps, and the like into consideration, regardless of content.
That’s not to say that content is irrelevant. Quality articles and blog entries tend to get shared on social media, which translates to a more organic form of traffic to your site. That said, the real catch is learning to configure your online presence in such a way that you improve your Google ranking.
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
An excellent question.
SEO is the process in by which you improve your Google ranking – that is, by which you move your website higher up the results generated when someone conducts a Google search. Studies suggest that most people never go past the first page of search results, so you can see that getting as high as you can up the list is essential to the survival of your business. Moreover, the higher you are on the list, the more traffic is directed to your website.
There are many ways to improve your Google ranking without the necessity of taking part in the company’s paid scheme.
Here are five of the best:
Keywords are the cornerstone of any SEO strategy. What is a potential client likely to enter into Google when searching for a business like yours? Have you made sure that all these words appear somewhere on your website? It sounds simple, but it can potentially backfire.
In the olden days of the Internet, people would simply list every possible iteration of whatever service they provided. They would hide this list somewhere in the website’s code, where it could still be read by search engines. It wasn’t long before the search engine providers caught on to such a tactic.
Nowadays you will have to incorporate these keywords into your website copy in a natural manner. Stuffing too many variants of your keywords in a web page is an automatic red flag for Google’s search algorithms. It won’t improve your Google ranking – quite the opposite. Keyword stuffing (as it’s known) will mark your site as containing suspected spam.
Keep on the move
As more people access the web through their smartphones, it’s good business to provide a mobile-friendly website. Since Google always ranks such sites higher in its search results, it also makes sense in terms of SEO. Most organic traffic comes from phone and tablet users sharing on social media and is vital for a higher ranking.
Likewise, the aim of Google is to provide its customers with the optimum user experience. Optimising your website for mobile users put you in a favourable position, and will doubtless improve your Google ranking.
Avoid using a Flash interface
When the ‘Net was still in its infancy, Flash interfaces were a popular choice for many websites. To this day, many smaller enterprises still utilise it as it has a simple interface and doesn’t cost much to run. Most larger brands have long-since abandoned the platform, and for good reason – they don’t rank well.
Unlike other web design packages, Flash-only will only allow you to link to the homepage, rather than specific pages. This makes it difficult for potential customers to find the specific blog post or product description they are looking for. The bigger the site, the more difficult it becomes.
Google is only too aware of this. Pages that a user cannot link to directly cannot be shared organically, and its ranking will suffer accordingly. The best advice we can offer to any business running a Flash-only web presence is to get rid of it!
Seriously, transfer your content to an alternative platform. You are virtually guaranteed to see an increase in organic traffic and a natural spike in your rankings.
Content is king
As we have seen, Google ranks its results using various criteria: sitemaps, keywords, accessibility, and so on. It is easy to assume that actual content is a secondary concern, compared to anticipating Google’s algorithm requirements.
This is a long way from the truth.
One of the factors that Google takes into consideration is how regularly a site is updated with fresh content. This is why news websites (regardless of sector) rank higher than information websites. It is also why regular blogs are vital for any enterprise. Lest we forget, every new page of content is an opportunity for you to seed more keywords into your text. More keywords potentially mean more search engine traffic. Best of all, by spreading them over multiple pages, there is less chance of being suspected of keyword stuffing.
Link Building and Social Shares
We have already mentioned organic growth, but it’s worth reiterating. A person finding your site via a search engine result is a good thing, of course. A better thing is people finding your site because someone else has linked to one of your pages.
Shares on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media improve Google ranking far more than a keyword search. Shares mean that there is something on your site that other people want to read. This is why regular, fresh content is so important. Google wants to know that your site is the sort of thing that people are talking about, and this will be reflected in your ranking.
These are five simple tips you can try yourself to kickstart your SEO and improve your Google ranking. If you really want to take things to the next level, then anova can help. With years of experience with brands and businesses of every size and in every sector, anova will ensure that your organisation’s goals are defined and delivered upon.