Online search dominates all the other options for finding information about products and services. So being found in those relevant online searches is essential for your business. That means you have to place high in the search rankings.
That has been the challenge for businesses since the rise of search engines. Today, conforming to the requirements of the Google algorithm is the major element to being found online. But what does that really mean?
It begins with search optimizing your website pages and blog articles. When you do this, you’re really getting them ready to be found by Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. Without optimization, search engines will not be able to index your site, and it won’t appear in the search rankings.
Optimizing your pages and blogs involves identifying unique keywords for each page, and including that keyword in your title tag, meta description, slug, and image alt fields.
If you don’t feel comfortable optimizing your site, hire a qualified SEO professional to help you.
SEO doesn’t just involve factors on your website, though. It also involves your business listing on other publisher sites such as Yelp, Foursquare or ShowMeLocal. Google indexes these sites, along with 70 more.
If your business has a uniform listing on all of them (your business name, address, website and phone number) then you will get a bump up in the search rankings. If you have listings with errors, though, your rank will drop.
Unfortunately, the information on these sites can change without your notice because many scrape data from other sources. So maintaining your uniform listing on-going is also very important to your search rankings.
Google’s algorithm takes into account how many other sites link back to your website. The more backlinks you have, the better you will do in the search rankings.
But building backlinks is not easy. It starts with creating quality content that others will want to share. Any automated form of link building will get your site penalized by Google.
After getting your pages and blogs searched optimized, you should spend the majority of your time creating quality content. Google’s search algorithm rewards sites that regularly update their content and blogging is a great way to do it.
Every business should set up a verified Google My Business (GMB) page. This is your business’ home on the Google platform. It’s another piece of the Google puzzle that will satisfy a requirement of the search algorithm.
Once your GMB page is set up and verified, you can receive ratings and reviews from customers on the Google platform and also make posts, much as you would on Facebook or LinkedIn. These will all appear during searches.
Selecting and being active on the right social media sites can also impact your search rankings. Google+ and LinkedIn are both indexed by Google. If a business is actively posting on these sites it will help with their position.
Google is taking into account how customers rate and review your business when it assigns a search rank, as well. Business with poor reviews or no reviews will have a lower position in the results than those that have good reviews.
Reviews on your website are also important. Not only is Google looking at these, but they are also considered new content. So these reviews have a double kick for your search rankings.
If you are trying to grow your business and capture market share, then ranking well is something you need to achieve. Many of the steps outlined here can be accomplished with just an investment of time.
If that is in short supply, the other alternative is hiring an outside vendor that has the expertise and know-how to get these steps done.
If you have questions about how to rank better, call Social Flair Marketing today at 513-237-5530.
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Bob Turner is an Online Marketing Consultant with Social Flair Marketing.