5 Steps to Improve Your Google Ranking
and Get More Business
If there’s one thing you need to know about digital marketing, it’s that we don’t market to people anymore. We market to Google. When Google notices, likes, and trusts a brand, more people are likely to see it.
As a business owner, it’s important to fully understand the power Google holds in terms of online search and marketing. Every day, more than 5.6 billion searches are conducted on Google. That’s a lot of “googling” every day!
Google’s algorithm is a well-kept secret, but Google is really in the customer service business. They’re only going to recommend websites to their consumers that they trust. There are a lot of factors that contribute to your search engine authority, but the following steps will definitely improve your online ranking.
Complete each step and you’ll be well on your way to creating a presence on Google that will help you attract new clients!
1. claim your Google My Business Listing
Many business owners never claim their Google My Business Listing. That’s leaving money on the table! Just so we’re both thinking of the same thing, your Google My Business listing is the rectangular section that appears to the right of the search results when you search for your business on Google.
This listing provides helpful information to consumers who want to know more about what you do. Of course it’s only helpful if it’s accurate.
When you don’t manage your Google My Business Listing, the accuracy of your business category, hours of operation, location, and services can suffer greatly.
When your listing information is incomplete or incorrect, you are definitely losing business!
Having incorrect information on your listing will frustrate customers who rely on Google’s information to find out your hours, services, and location. By keeping your listing updated and accurate, you’re on your way to more organic searches that can turn into dollars in your pocket.
- Open an incognito window in your browser and search for the name of your business. Like Holtscomm Agency
- Is your name, address and phone number correct?
- What about your business category and business hours?
Below your business hours, you may see a message saying “is this your business?” followed by either “claim it now” (which means you haven’t claimed it yet!) or “manage now” (which means you have). In either case, follow the prompts to login to either claim or update your listing.
Result: Claiming and managing your listing puts you in favor with Google, especially when you log into your listing once a month to keep it updated. With each login, you can add a new photo, post a business update, or even add a Google Q&A
2. Post social media updates, events, and offers to your Google My Business listing
Another necessary step in becoming Google’s friend is to show that you are an engaged, interactive business owner. Google needs to know that you’re invested in providing your customers with the highest quality of service so that they feel confident in recommending you in organic search results.
The goal is to be trustworthy, and an effective way to demonstrate that you’ve got what it takes is by posting your social media updates, events, and special offers to your Google My Business Listing.
- Log into your Google My Business listing, navigate to the posts section, and start sharing content.
- Google will only show your posts on the front of your listing for 7 days, so posting weekly allows you to take full advantage of the space Google allows for your posts.
- Keeping your content fresh will help your business stand out to Google, and in turn, get potential clients to notice and feel confident about your brand.
Result: Visitors to your listing will see that you’re actively managing your online image, and will feel confident in your customer service skills. Google is happy because you’re actively engaging with THEIR customer, the searcher. Win-win!
3. Begin managing and monitoring your online reputation
Google is monitoring your reputation! In case you don’t already know, your online reputation plays a HUGE role in organic search ranking, especially in the map area of local search results.
- It’s time to pay attention to generating new reviews.
- Having a system in place to send review requests to your customers is an excellent way to make review generation an automatic part of your day to day operations.
- This can be done by email or, even better, using a software solution that automates the process for you.
You have to respond to each review with a meaningful message in a timely manner. Google is literally timing you to see how long it takes for you to respond. They’re measuring your behavior to ensure you are a reliable business owner, and you can’t afford to fall short.
Result: Managed reviews demonstrate to prospective customers that the people who have already interacted with your brand had a good experience with your services. When you generate consistent, positive reviews, consumers are more likely to want to engage with your business. You can’t afford to miss out on that!
4. Employ search engine optimization (SEO) techniques
There are three ways that your business can appear on the first page of Google.
First, you can pay for Google AdWords. When using Google Adwords, a written advertisement accompanied by a link to your website or your phone number appears at the top of a search engine results page
Second, if the search is made local to your business location, you may show up in what is called the “local pack” or “map pack”. Generally, in the map pack Google will serve it’s top 3 recommendations in close proximity to the consumer. There are strategies to boost your chances of popping up in the map pack. We can talk about that.
Third, you can show up on the first page of Google through organic ranking. When you rank on Google organically, you start to see growth in your revenue. The best of anything isn’t found on the second page of Google.
Search engine optimization is complicated. To maintain good SEO practices you either need to do some optimization on the back end of your website or, you can pay a marketing agency to do that for you in a super-fancy way. If you decide to hire someone, be sure they know what keywords you want to be found for on Google.
It’s important that the person you hire is clear about how they are going to prove that their work is paying off in organic search results. Many business owners have been taken advantage of in this area.
Don’t let anyone baffle you with industry jargon.
Talk with your web developer or marketing agency about adding SEO to your marketing strategy
Result: Having a pretty website is one thing. You most definitely want to give your site’s visitors a great user experience. When you do, they stay longer and look at more pages. And of course, Google is measuring that, and factoring that data into how they rank you. But that’s only half of the equation. The other half is the technical back-end work that will bring favor from Google and other search engines. Search engines don’t read the site words, they read code. H1 and H2 tags, alt tags, and a whole bunch of other technical variables. You can learn all of this on Google yourself. But most businesses don’t want to spend that much time on something that isn’t actually their business. Get some help optimizing your website to speak Google’s language!
5. Be sure your website is mobile friendly, has an SSL and has been updated recently
Does your website look good when you view it on a mobile device? If it doesn’t, you are definitely losing business as a result.
While we’re talking about websites, does yours have an SSL certificate? SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, which basically lets Google know that you’ve taken steps to protect your visitors from malware and viruses when they visit your site. If your website is SSL deficient, guess what? Google will warn each visitor that your website is “unsecure”. That’s a big business-block! Do yourself a favor, add SSL to your website.
A website that’s not mobile friendly, not secure and doesn’t look or act current…not a good look for your brand!
- If your site isn’t mobile friendly, make it your top priority to get that corrected.
- Next, ensure that your website has an SSL certificate. If it doesn’t, it’s time to call your website host and get one.
Result: Prospective customers will have an easy, enhanced experience when engaging with your website. Google will know that it’s sending their searcher to a modern, updated website that delivers a good and safe user experience
The Bottom Line
Taking a little bit of time to pay attention to your marketing and your standing in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages will serve your business well. Whether you decide to take a crack at this 5-step process on your own, or you hire a professional to do it for you is up to you. Some business owners have the time, tools and expertise to manage the finer points of their online presence, but most do not.
You don’t do your own plumbing or electrical! That’s why you likely need a marketing expert to get the job done right. We’re believe in doing what we are good at and hiring experts to help us with all of the other things.
Don’t worry about it, call us instead! We offer a free consultation.
hubspot.com – 25 Google Search Statistics to Bookmark ASAP