Improve Your Google Search Ranking

For many individuals, businesses’ and bloggers the success of a website/blog is judged by it’s google search ranking. Or simply put, does it appear on the first page of Google? Here I am going to address five ways to get your website on it’s way to better search ranking.

1. On Page Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Your business or blog will undoubtedly be associated with a specific industry or interest. A builder would be keen to rank well under “builder” search terms in Google Search Ranking, whilst a fashion blogger will want to rank well for “fashion blogger”.

To improve your ability to rank well for these terms it essential that your website pages and posts include these specific and related terms.

When Google crawls your website to identify which terms it should appear under in the search engine, it will analyse the quality of your content against the users search. A page or website without any reference to “Builder” or “Building Services” will not rank well for a search using these terms.

Basic steps that should taken to improve ranking potential for a builder specific web page.

  • Include the term “builder” or relevant phrases in the page title and meta description
  • Use the term “builder” and other synonyms in the h1, h2, h3 and paragraph sections of the content
  • Include images and add an “alt” tag featuring the the key word
  • Ensure that each page/post is at least 300 words long
  • If possible add an external link to a website related to building, maybe an environmental agency
  • Make sure content is user friendly and easy to read.
  • Do not overuse the keyword, as this may be punished by Google.
  • Use different keywords for each of your websites pages. You want Google to identify one specific page for each term, not 20 pages for the same thing. Other pages may be optimised for “building services” or “Builders in Bristol”.

SEO Jstreetcreative image

The competitiveness of the building industry make it difficult to reach the first page in Google search ranking for search terms such as “builder”. Therefore it is beneficial to optimise other pages for location specific search terms such as “Bristol Building Services” to capture Google searchers in the area.

Is there something unique about your business which people may search for that gives you the opportunity to rank strongly for those specific searches? The free Keyword search tool from Google is a great way to identify less competitive search terms that your website could rank highly for.

TOP SEO TIP: If your website runs on WordPress a great FREE plugin to use is Yoast SEO, this tool will help to ensure your website meets all of the above criteria. As you write pages and posts it will rate the quality of search engine optimisation via a simple red (bad) orange (okay) and green (good) traffic light system.

2. Post links via social media: Linkedin and Twitter

Posting links via social media can lead to website visits and enquiries that would otherwise have been unobtainable via Google. People clicking links from these websites gives recognition to Google that your website is of value and deserves to be considered for better ranking.

This approach is also a great way to engage with your existing customers, or relevant followers and remind them of your services.

If your site is new this also a great way to get traffic to your website. For more of the benefits of using linkedin view my recent post here.

3. Start a Google Adwords Campaign

This is the ultimate “quickfire” search ranking solution. It is possible to get straight to the first page of Google by launching a Google Adwords campaign, but be warned it comes at a price. Google Adwords is simply paid search advertising, when people search for specific keywords ads will appear at the top, on the right sidebar and at the bottom of the standard search results.

Each time someone clicks on these adverts the advertiser (you) is charged a fee simply for getting a view on your website. For maximum success and cost effectiveness it is recommended your website pages are optimised (as in point 1) as this will increase possibility of your website being in the top spots and can reduce the cost per click.

Google Adwords is a great way to enhance business and brand exposure and clicks to your website can help to enhance your organic traffic, as people starting searching for you by name not the generic phrase. However it’s effects aren’t permanent and the service can be very expensive depending on the competitiveness of your industry. For additional guidance on undertaking a Google Adwords campaign please contact me.

4. Create an Account on Google Search Console

Google Search Console is an essential toolbox for website owners. It is packed with features that ensure your website is achieving optimum performance.

Through this free service you are able to quickly identify how many website pages have been indexed (listed in Google), how many links return with errors (e.g 404 page not found) and instruct google to “fetch” your pages to increase the chances of it being included in Googles search.

The free service will also show you how many external websites are linking to your website (an important ranking factor) and enable you to manually submit a sitemap to Google.  Sitemaps are a fundamental feature of increasing your Google and search engine visibility, as the sitemap will provide a map for Google search “bots” to analyse your website.

Use a website such as XML-sitemaps to to generate a free sitemap and submit it in the google webmaster tools. For help with getting started with the Google Search Console don’t hesitate to contact me.

5. Include a HTML sitemap in your website

A HTML sitemap website is a viewable version of your entire websites framework, it should be made accessible via your websites via a link in the navigation bar or in the footer.

A sitemap is great for visitors seeking a straightforward way to look around your website, equally search engines (including Google) use the page to identify all the pages that are included within your website. This can help to improve the chances all of your content will be included in Google search.

Continuously Improve Your Google Search Ranking

As a quick guide to improving Google search ranking, the above is just a a handful of actions you can take now to enhance the opportunity for your website to rank. Improving your Google Search ranking requires time and dedication.

Other essentials you need to consider to
improve and retain your websites search performance.

Create new, fresh, high quality content regularly. Well optimised posts, pages, image and videos are more likely to be linked to by external websites, which acts a key indicator to Google that your content is of value and should be ranked. Submitting new content also makes Google aware your site is still active.
If your website is new it possible your website being held back. Known as the Google “Sandbox” it is assumed that all new websites (less than 6 months) are restricted from reaching their maximum search potential due to their age. This filter is designed to prevent spam websites from stealing the strongest positions and to reward websites with a good track record. For more on the Google Sandbox visit the wikipedia page on the subject here.

If you are aren’t seeing any improvements based on your efforts, patience may be the answer.

By earning I mean don’t buy! Buying links can be severely punished by Google and websites that receive an unnatural influx of links will eventually get penalised. The best way to get backlinks is reach out to relevant people in your industry and ask them to link to your website from theirs.

An effective way to increase bank links, sales and exposure for your brand or business on blogs is to use a tool like AffiliateWP. Using this tool you get a link to your website (image or text) and the bloggers receive a commission for every sale achieved from clicking on your website from theres.

There a various directories that allow you to submit a link on their website. Ensure you categorise your link properly and include a clear description to improve your chances of inclusion. This can take a substantial time, but can have positive long term effects.

A great directory submission tool for blogs is ping-o-matic which submits to multiple blog related search engines.

Websites are now being viewed on mobile and handheld devices more frequently than desktop and laptop devices.

Mobile optimisation has been identified as a significant factor for Google and it is widely believed websites that aren’t mobile ready are now being punished in Google Search Rankings.

There is no quick fix to getting your website mobile ready and as a result this factor wasn’t included in the 5 main features of this post. For guidance on how to get your website optimised for mobile and handheld devices contact me here.

The Search Goes On

I hope this article has helped you on your way to improving your websites Google Search Ranking. In truth the process is ongoing and requires continuous dedication and effort to keep up with Google’s changing criteria.

For help and guidance with your search engine optimisation
or marketing requirements contact me here.