Is your business struggling to get noticed in the search results on Google and Bing? It might be because you have never used SEO techniques or perhaps you have and never got any progress with it. Perhaps you never gave it time or you may have decided to fast track and buy links which has had a detrimental impact due to Google’s spam algorithm recognising them for what they are.
Search engine optimisation techniques do work and in fact Google even provides good information for businesses to use here. So what can you do to help your website rank a little bit better?
Ensure that if you are a local business you have a Google My Business set up. We’ve provided a lot of information about this in previous posts about GMB.
Make sure that your Meta titles and Meta descriptions are unique on each page and represent what each page is about. You can find helpful information here on Moz.com.
Have great content which really represents your business and what it offers. What do you do, why you do it better than any of your competitors? Don’t keyword stuff- that means don’t repeat the same phrase multiple times as it looks – and is – spammy.
Make sure your contact information is visible and accurate. Does it match what it says on your Google My Business page?
Do you offer goods and services which are related to well being or financial services industries? If so ensure that you write as an expert and don’t copy and paste from other sites. Show that you know what you are talking about.
An About page provides a level of trust to both your customers and search engines. If people stay on your site this is good as a high bounce rate is believed to be a poor quality signal to Google.
Split your services into separate pages if you can. Having one page named “Services” which lists everything you do doesn’t give search engines or users clear evidence of all the individual services that you might offer.
Open a LinkedIn company page and ensure the contact information matches up with your website.
Ask businesses you know whether they can link to you as back links are important for ranking.
Ask your customers to review your business. Google uses reviews in the local search algorithm it is believed. These key findings from a large study on reviews is worth reading. In summary people use reviews to make decisions to buy from your business. Consumers read an average of 10 online reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
Respond to your reviews – good or bad. People read responses and they act as another signal of trust to your customers that you care what people think.
Add your business to local directories such as Yelp, Yell, and Freeindex as these provide a way for Google and Bing to verify your business.
Use social media – at least one channel shows your customers that you are vibrant and still in business too.
Make sure your website is on HTTPS (secure). This is used as a ranking signal. Most new websites will be secure but I have seen some old ones still on insecure HTTP.
Make sure that your website is fast on mobile. Google ranks websites based on crawling the mobile version of the website. Since speed is a ranking factor, a slow mobile site will reduce your chances of ranking well for both mobile and desktop versions of your website.
Hosting is important. This relates to speed as well as good service with backups and assistance when there is a problem. If you buy a cheap hosting package your website could be on a server which has literally hundreds of sites vying for the same resource. You may require backups if things go wrong and it is important that you have some sort of backup regime in place.
If you are using WordPress as a website builder (CMS) then it is very important that updates to the theme, plugins and WordPress are undertaken in a timely fashion. Updates can improve speed, performance and security. So it is vitally important that you update. And if the updates go wrong, you may need a backup version of your website (see 16).
Use structured data in your website to help Google and Bing really understand what it is you sell or provide. Without going into too much detail, this is usually something which your SEO consultant can help with. This guide can help you get to grips with it.
Don’t worry if you drop one or two places after a ranking algorithm update. There are millions of “baby algorithms” that go into an overall ranking score and some of these baby algorithms may update at any time giving a slightly different score.
Caroline Phillips is the owner of Alba SEO Services which offers quality SEO services to SME's. Established since 2013, Alba SEO has a track record of success.
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