After creating, or having a web designer build your website, your next requirement is for it to have plenty of the right kind of traffic to really get your business going.
The fundamental question of how to get high page results on Google is a very valuable one for any business wanting to attract new business. Without the use of Google Ads, your business will need time and effort to start to get the page 1 rankings.
There is no shortcut to achieving high search engine rankings, and it can take time, as in a few weeks to a good number of months to get top ranking, this is compounded even further if you are looking to rank highly nationally for a competitive search term.
It is much easier to start to get high regional rankings, in a geographic region, city or town, but national rankings for highly competitive search terms really can take months for a new website to achieve.
It can be faster, if you are in a niche industry and there are fewer competitors for your search terms, then it may well be achievable to get a page # 1 result in a matter of a few weeks.
Where to start…
It’s very important, probably the most important task you will have in SEO, to research and find the keywords that are actually being used to search for your products or services.
Although it can be flattering to rank highly for a keyword, it is simply vanity if that high ranking does not equate to bringing you high quality leads or website sales.
Google’s own Keyword Planning tool is pretty good for finding good keywords, other programs include Spyfu, Semrush, or Majestic. Alternatively, a simple tool for Chrome is keywords everywhere; http://bit.ly/2QwhyDS
Your keywords should be the ones that will equate to sales, not just people searching for information, as in students doing research etc.
Using keywords and good information for your website users
In the old days, it was good enough to have keywords, use them in your page copy and get high rankings, but it doesn’t work that well any more, as Google and other search engines have become much more sophisticated.
To achieve good rankings today, your arrangement of information has to be tight, to the point and concise, from Google’s point of view, it is looking to bring the most relevant information back to the user.
Google rewards websites that are on point, answer questions and are highly targeted to answering what its algorithm believes its user is searching for.
Google, Bing and other search engines love to have a hierarchy of information to crawl, where it all makes sense. This means having clear menus, categories and canonical links to individual pages with corresponding copy to what’s contained in the page.
On-site SEO, is the process of giving Google and the end user a good experience, where their search terms are answered with the right content. You make it as easy as possible by creating good copy:-
- URL, clear and concise, arranged canonically i.e. ‘Site/shoes /tennis-shoes’
- Title tag - what is the page about, including search term(s)
- Meta description - More detail on the page, including usually 1-2 main keywords, made interesting and persuasive to user too.
- Image alt tags, ‘what is this image showing, keyword’
- Page copy - quality wording, that’s concise and to the point, but has enough information to make the page relevant.
As new pages are created, or blog posts, then new information should be submitted to Google via Search Console and your XML sitemap. (most SEO programs, such as Yoast on Wordpress will create a sitemap and update Google Search Console for you).
Google’s algorithm increasingly uses Click-Through-Rate (CTR) as a way of determining how relevant a page is to search queries, so it makes sense that if you regularly share your content and it engages and leads to clicks on given pages, they will rank higher on Google, as Google determines the content is popular and of value.
The volume of your content, especially on a new website, needs to be enough for Google to determine its value. So, it’s very important that you don’t simply have a four page micro-site and expect it to get ranked naturally. It probably isn’t going to happen, unless it’s totally unique, or being promoted by a celebrity/ TV channel to a very large following and getting big volume. In that scenario very fast ranking can happen due to the CTR effect.
But for most of us, we have to grow the presence, by adding information, answering questions, writing and spreading articles and basically doing the spadework to get the all-important ranking.
On-site SEO is just the start of it.
Then attention needs to turn to creating and cementing reputation and authority of your site. That comes through being linked to by relevant and highly regarded websites or blogs.
Outreach is the process of forming links with these websites or blogs to, in effect, get some of the shine off their success and project it on to your own offering.
Google deems your site more worthy if it’s linked to by some decent players, not necessarily from your own market, but having some relevance.
There are a number of ways to get this high Domain Authority (DA) linkage, but this will be covered in another article, as it’s a big subject in itself.