If you are a company which is dipping its toes into the waters of search engine optimisation (SEO), you might be intimidated by the sheer number of different areas which the practice encompasses. Fear not, because SEO can be broken down into a few more digestible parts, which can make it easier to understand what needs to be done.
In this article, we cut to the chase, and give you four easy steps which can get you found on Google.
1. Keywords are critical
If achieving visibility on Google is all about targeting potential customers, then keyword research can help you to target them more accurately. This is an exercise which will help you to find the keywords and phrases which you use within your content to target customers by appearing in the most suitable search engine results pages (SERPs). They might be one or two-word phrases, but also longer phrases that one of your potential customers might type into a search engine when looking for a product, service or piece of information. These longer phrases are known as long-tail keywords.
Keyword research can start with brainstorming, in order to identify potential keywords that are relevant to your offering. You can do this by simply putting yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer, and it will give you a useful starting point for filtering the most effective keywords.
After you have this initial list, it is time to expand your keywords, which you can do by; localising, adding specific geographic locations to the keywords; looking at the similar searches which are situated at the bottom of each SERP; using Google suggest, looking carefully at what Google is suggesting when you type in the first words of a key phrase; and studying what your competitors rank for.
You can then begin to narrow down the keyword list by looking at the search volume for each on Google Keyword Planner. You can also take out any irrelevant keywords, leaving the ones which you can potentially rank for. As a general rule of thumb, the best keywords can be less complex, but with a higher monthly search volume - but remember, these can also be the hardest to rank for.
2. Make your website SEO friendly
Optimising your website is one of the important tasks to tick off in your quest for Google visibility. Not only should the pages on your website be rich with the keywords and phrases which you had identified as part of your keyword research (see above), but they should also be easy for Google to 'crawl' - that is, add your pages to its index and reference in SERPs.
It's all in the intelligent placing of keywords, and the content structure of your web pages. Relevant keywords should be inserted in your meta titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and the image tags which are on your web pages. You should also look to add internal links within content.
It is important that the copy on your site is original, and not simply copy and pasted from other parts of the web. Not only may search engines penalise your website and not rank the offending web page, but if you are duplicating content without attributing sources correctly, you could also be plagiarising.
Length is another factor worth considering. Aim to ensure that most of your pages are at least 300 words long, and up to 800 - 1,000 words when possible. It is accepted that more detailed pages of content have a better chance of ranking with Google.
Also, try to make your content as digestible, or scannable, as possible. Not only does this break down large sections of text and make it easier for the reader, but it can also make search engines more receptive to your content. You could do this by using plenty of sub-headings, bullet points, and call outs or bold formatting.
3. Get verified
If you are a customer-facing business, allowing Google to crawl your pages easily by getting verified can be key. The process is simple, and ultimately, there is little point not being verified!
Here is a quick summary of the steps which you need to take. There are a few different ways you can get verified, but here are 2 important ones:
1. Google Search Console
Go over to Google Search Console (GSC) and submit your website. GSC is also great for notifying you of any issues with your website that may impact your business or rankings.
2. Create a Google My Business
Firstly, create a Google My Business account by submitting the necessary details. Then find your business's location on Google Maps, and claim this location. All you need to do then is to wait for a verification code to be sent to your address via a postcard. Once you have received it, you go to your Google My Business profile and enter the code.
After you are verified, you can get to work optimising your Google My Business listing. The more details you can fill in, the better, and this goes for everything from your opening hours, to your website, contact details and relevant images. You will also be able to communicate with customers via the Google platform.
4. Run a backlinking campaign
If you can achieve the placing of hyperlinks back to your website from other websites which are ranking higher on Google, you are onto a winner. That's because it is understood there is the possibility of an SEO boost when you achieve a hyperlink to your site from a website with a high domain authority. This is called a backlink.
So how do you go about achieving backlinks? A backlinking campaign can involve reaching out to the people who control the content on these high domain authority sites - namely; journalists, editors, admins and webmasters. If you can offer these people some content of value - i.e. content which they can use on their site - they may agree to include a hyperlink somewhere within the content.
The content itself could be anything from an infographic or an article, to images, a video or some research. The key is always that you are offering something exclusive, which is of interest to the audience of a particular site; be it a high ranking consumer site, newspaper site, or magazine site.
We hope you found these tips on how to get visibility useful. Quantum are experts in marrying content, SEO and design, to build your SERP presence while attracting traffic. You can reach us today on 1300 3888 11.