You may have heard about search engine optimisation (SEO), the strategic process of making sure your business website appears when potential customers search Google for related terms. Getting that coveted #1 ranking for a relevant keyword or search term can be the catalyst that boosts your business to prominence in your industry.
Of course, achieving that goal can be difficult. SEO is a complex topic, and one that can be difficult for small business owners and even marketing managers to fully grasp. Improving your Google rankings requires not just time, but also an understanding of how the ranking process actually works. With that in mind, here are five ways you can boost your Google rankings over time and improve your business marketing efforts.
1) Find the Right Keywords
Every SEO effort has to start with keyword research. Stated differently, before you begin to optimize your website, you need to know what words and phrases to optimise it for.
A number of free and paid tools help you find the right keywords for your audience. The key to success is finding middle ground between the two most common metrics in this area, search frequency (how many searches for that keyword occur within a given month) and competitiveness (how many other companies are trying to rank for the same keyword).
2) Create Relevant Content
Based on the keyword(s) you found in the first step, it’s time to create your content. Here, it’s vital to stay focused on a singular goal: relevance for your audience.
Trying to include the keyword as many times as possible in a blog post or landing page is considered keyword stuffing, and can actually incur ranking penalties. Instead, try to build unique content that is relevant both to the keyword for which you are trying to optimise, and the audience you’re looking to attract.
3) Establish a Link Profile
External links to your website are a major ranking factor for Google and other search engines. The more other websites link to you, the more credible your website appears, and the higher its chances of increased rankings will become.
You can establish a link profile by encouraging others to link to your blog posts or other content. However, stay away from ethically questionable practices such as link buying, which can result in penalties and lower rankings for your website.
4) Amplify Your Content
One way to establish a link profile is to simply increase its visibility – which is where your digital presence comes into play. Social media in particular is a great way to link to new blog posts, or post excerpts of your content that your audience finds interesting enough to click and read more.
Simple posts may be enough to achieve that amplification. In addition, networks like Facebook and Twitter offer brands the opportunity to boost their posts and increase their reach, which might be another possibility depending on your digital marketing budget.
5) Take the Necessary Technical Steps
SEO, in many ways, is a content-based tactic. If you build great content, and strategically amplify it, you will have a high chance of success. But without the technical background, the impact on your Google rankings might still be limited.
To start, you need to submit a sitemap to Google to help the search engine better understand the structure of your website. It also makes sense to make sure your site loads quickly, and all images have ALT text included. This guide by Search Engine Land can help you take the technical steps you need to let your content do the talking and boost your Google rankings.
In the end, SEO is a complex process that takes time and expertise to accomplish. But it can also be broken down into more manageable steps, which help you more easily boost your Google ranking and increase your visibility. These steps, from finding the right keywords to amplifying your content using social media, are available and accessible even to small business owners with little to no marketing expertise. With patience and consistent effort, your business will benefit from increased rankings in the long run.
Need help producing SEO optimised content? Contact Ink Copywriting to get your content strategy started.