Businesses that are serious about attracting customers to their website must use reliable and proven strategies in order to stand out and get noticed on Google.
The competition online is fierce, and the rewards go to those companies that have made a firm commitment to understanding and staying current with the latest search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
Here are 7 ways to get noticed on Google:
Create high-quality, comprehensive content
Google responds favorably to high-quality, comprehensive content, so the best way to rank is by creating informative and actionable content that aims to answer as many of your readers’ questions as humanly possible.
Make sure that your articles cover the subject matter in-depth, and make sure to include at least one image with SEO-optimized alt code. You can also embed infographics, charts, graphs, diagrams, videos, and/or social media content wherever necessary to help break up the content.
Another way to get noticed by Google is by using relevant keywords that customers will most likely use to search for the information you’ll be providing, or any products/services your business is offering.
Create and manage a review strategy
Good user reviews generate social proof and builds trust, which is essential for engaging prospects and turning them into customers.
Recent surveys reflect a correlation between the number of reviews and the number of excellent or terrible customer experiences. Moz reports that 33% of customers write a review in response to either an extremely satisfying or dissatisfying experience.
It’s important to remember that a large part of your success with local SEO will depend on receiving consistent positive reviews on a regular basis, so we recommend getting in the habit of encouraging your customers to leave reviews.
Tip: Create a separate web form where unhappy customers can tell you about their negative experience(s). Do your best to come to a positive resolution, then ask them to leave a review.
Utilize local SEO techniques that actually work
These days, appearing in local search is vitally important for brick-and-mortar retail businesses. Prospects who are looking to make an immediate purchase can literally show up at your business’ doorstep as soon as they find you.
Business owners and marketers interested in optimizing their site for local search have a few strategies they can implement right away. It’s advisable to optimize both the title and meta description tags with relevant keywords that have little to no competition (make sure it’s in readable English and no keyword stuffing!). While your website search volume will be low at first, your business will start appearing in more and more search result pages with some consistency, effort, and — most importantly — time.
Don’t ignore the online directories like Google My Business (GMB), Citysearch, Yelp, Merchant Circle, etc. Make sure that your company name and address are listed accurately, and that it appears in the same exact format for each directory listing. Any discrepancies Google finds (no matter how small) will degrade your rank in local search.
Search Engine Land recommends utilizing structured data markup for a competitive edge since only 31.3% of sites are currently using this strategy.
Optimize for mobile friendliness and speed
Mobile is huge, and Google has rolled out a change in the algorithm that measures how “mobile-friendly” your site is for users to read, navigate, search for information, and make purchases. Mobile internet usage has exceeded desktop since 2016, so it’s absolutely critical that your site is optimized for mobile and tablet users.
In addition, the Google Webmaster team indicated that page speed will now be considered among the most important factors that go into determining your search engine rankings.
Post more videos and images
Video is HUGE. The latest Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast predicts that by 2021, there will be 1.9 billion video users, and they’ll be watching three trillion minutes of video per month. That equates to approximately 5 million years of video per month, or one million video minutes per second!
That being said, if you’re not on YouTube yet, your company is missing out on a lot of potential business opportunities. We recommend downloading TubeBuddy to help you manage your YouTube channel if you haven’t done so already (it’s free!).
Track your SEO results and modify as necessary
SEO strategies are continually being modified in order to keep up with the ever-changing algorithm updates. Companies that intend on harnessing the power of search must be willing to stay current, adaptable, and flexible if they wish to remain competitive over the long term.
There are plenty of paid analytic software options out there for you to choose from, but if you’re just starting out and limited by budget, Google Analytics will provide the information you’ll need to analyze the results of your efforts. From there, you can make any necessary adjustments to improve your overall marketing strategy.
Employ a link building strategy
HubSpot’s informative SEO guide reports that link building tactics will help your site achieve improved search engine rankings. According to Moz, search engines have used links (even going back as far as the late 1990’s) to determine a website’s popularity, trustworthiness, and authoritativeness.
It’s recommended to perform a regular link analysis on your competitors to see what’s working for them, and discover any available link building opportunities for your business. If you’re on a budget, try using the free features available in SEOProfiler, or if you’re in the market for a powerful paid option, we highly recommend using SEMrush.
Businesses these days can no longer afford to ignore their local search ranking if they want to continue growing their business into the future. As the number of mobile online shoppers continues to increase each year, appearing in search where customers can find you when they’re ready to make a purchase can — in many instances — make or break your company.
Lastly, generating positive social proof from customers is equally important. There’s no use in being found online if you have a bunch of negative reviews written about you. Buyer research is on the rise and is showing no signs of slowing down, so make sure that you tailor your digital marketing efforts around these powerful strategies.