With the abundance of free website builders, it has become increasingly easier for a business to have an online presence (whoohoo!) They provide a lower start-up cost for small businesses, and provide unique resources and tools to increase sales. Although everything sounds delightful, there is a downside. With the increase of digital presence, there’s an increase in competition.
With this oversaturation of the market and Google continuing to push organic search results further down the page in favor of paid listing, it is becoming more and more difficult to get noticed on search engines without paying Google. So, what are some ways to improve your page rank without breaking the bank? What can you do on your own? When is it right to reach out to marketing experts for help?
Google Ranking, How is it determined?
The #1 result on a search engine results page receives 30% of all clicks.
To understand why you should work on improving your page rank, you first need to understand what page ranks are, and how page rank is determined.
When you browse Google (or even Bing), you’re typing in search terms that relate to the business or subject you’re researching. For example, let’s say we’re looking up music stores. When searching, I might type in “music stores near me,” or “guitar stores.” These terms (depending on how unique each combination is), are most likely searched by other individuals who are looking for a music store. Google will keep track of how many people are searching these terms, and generate reports of the most searched terms and phrases.
These are how keywords, or search engine optimized terms, form. As business owners, we want to use the most popular keywords and implement them into our website. Once Google sees that we’re using terms people will recognize, they’ll help us become more searchable. (Google bots will crawl the web and boost pages who use the most popular, quality keywords). This is where “page ranks” are starting to come into play. With the right amount of SEO keywords in the right places, you will see your website grow from the pit of Google to page #1.
SEO Keywords, Where to Add Them?
We often preach to our clients, “If you make it easy for Google to index your website, you’ll be rewarded with new clients, new sales, and new opportunities.” To make it easy for google crawl your website, we need to put the right amount of SEO keywords into the right place (as mentioned above). But, what are the right places? Can you overdo keywords?
Yes, absolutely you can overdo keywords. When you’re editing your content, you want to make sure your new optimized keywords fit naturally. Don’t throw a random “music store” or “guitar store” inside of every sentence; instead, write a paragraph that is very specific on the services or products you offer. Take our quick website outline, for example. Highlighted are popular Google keywords:
Web Design Specialists (Title)
Meet the Scottsdale Web Design Team
We offer unique web design services to residents of Arizona. If you’re looking for full website development or website redesign services, you’ve come to the right place. Our digital marketing specialists are dedicated to your success. (Paragraph)
<img src=”www.website.com/img098765” alt=”web-design-scottsdale-firedrum” title=”Web Designers”>
Meta Description: Web Design Services in Scottsdale, Arizona. Explore our expert SEO, SEM website design and content management services before you start your next web design project. We’re here to make sure you business succeeds.
Despite all the yellow markings, does it feel like we’re being too repetitious or annoying? Hopefully not. Like we already said, it’s key that you implement your SEO keywords in a natural way.
What are Image “alt” tags?
You may be wondering, what’s that line of code we added underneath our image? What is the significance of alt? The alt tag, or alternative text tag, is the line of text that will appear if your image isn’t loading correctly. Although some of your images may not be important, it’s vital that you include SEO keywords when creating your alt tags. Google places a high value on alt tags because they help provide insight on the content of your page.
What are META Descriptions?
Meta descriptions are the short “summaries” you see while browsing different websites on Google or Bing. Like alt tags, it’s crucial that you spent time writing quality content for your meta descriptions. This is what will convince your visitors to visit your site, and what will help your ranking with Google (the most clicked through sites will be moved up towards the top of the first page). In this case, you want to appeal more to your customers and less to google crawl bots. Make sure to include keywords, but also highlight what makes your business special. Ideas of what to include:
- SEO Keywords
- Call to Action
- Content written in an exciting voice
- Content that’s relatable to what’s on your page.
When coming up with keywords, put yourself in the position of the person searching for your products or services. Title your page accurately and make sure it’s relevant to the content of the page. Include an accurate description and include common search phrases. Business owners who use website builders, be aware that you don’t always have control over meta descriptions and alt tags. Explore different website builders and learn about their features before making a purchase. If you’re having trouble generating SEO keywords or creating meta descriptions, contact our online marketing experts, today.
Business Directory Submissions
Another way to increase your page rank is to create more backlinks. Submit your business listing (including your website URL) to as many business directories and social media sites you can find. Each submission will count as a “backlink” to your site. The more backlinks you have means more publicity and more value in Google’s (or even Bing’s), eyes.
This can be extremely time consuming and near impossible to keep up-to-date if your business moves, changes phone numbers, changes domain names, etc. If you don’t have the budget or interest in teaming with our SEO tool (backlink) experts, we recommend creating a spreadsheet that keep tracks of all the website logins and submission information.
Fresh Website Content Equals Better SEO
From when you first publish your website to every single live update you make, search engines (and your visitors) are evaluating you. After all, your website is a live entity subsiding on the internet – it must be fed fresh content to stay relevant. Without receiving the nutrition your website requires, search engines will consider your company obsolete and move down your overall ranking. Our advice, UPDATE YOUR WEBSITE! Search engines will recognize your efforts and love you for it. Create new content on a regular basis, add blog posts and updated page titles.
However, like we mentioned before, but you shouldn’t over-stuff your pages with keywords. Search engines, like Google, look at the keywords you use but don’t judge your value solely off of how many times you use them. Value and rank is determined on the quality of your content.
Let’s look at your latest blog post or the most recent page you have published. Is it answering a question that web users may be asking? Is it providing instructions to an issue people are trying to solve? Is it providing accurate information for an upcoming event? Are you describing a product that you offer? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you’re off to a great start. Now, ask yourself, did you conduct any keyword research? If yes, did you randomly fit those keywords into your content? Or did you replace irrelevant words with the keywords you found/create new sentences with them?
If you didn’t get the hint yet, we’re trying to say: create educational content and add keywords where they naturally fit. Your content needs to have a point, you need to conduct keyword research and you need to place your keywords where they naturally fit.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Google won’t penalize your website for displaying duplicate content (i.e., content taken from another source), it just will not show that content in the search engine results pages. Google even says “present the most relevant and original content and omit the rest”. Avoid spinning existing content as your own. Find ways to creatively write quality content and you’ll be rewarded. Stealing, and even rewording someone else’s content is not only a waste of your own time, it simply doesn’t work.
Not convinced that creating new, relevant, keyword packed content will help your page ranking? Keep in mind that the #1 search result receives 30% of all click-throughs. If you combine the top 3 results, they account for 66% of all clicks. True, page rank does not have a direct correlation to site traffic. However, there is no denying its importance in the overall impact it has on where your site.
So, when’s the right time to reach out to an expert? That’s up to you, the business owner. Do you feel that your efforts are helping you reach the top of search engines? Do you have the time to really focus and update your website content and conducted keyword research on a regular basis? Evaluate the time you have available to dedicate towards improving your page rank. Is it enough? If you feel that your efforts aren’t paying off or you need more direction, contact our digital marketing experts, today.
Alright, back to you, business owners! If you’ve incorporated these new practices into your marketing strategy, share your experience with us.