SEO Tips to Increase your Google Ranking

By Jessica Foreman. Published at Aug 14, 2017, in Features

If customers can’t find your business then you’ve got a problem. Invariably, that means reaching out to them online. After all, the vast majority of people conduct research online before making a purchase decision, even if they go on to make their eventual purchase offline.

When customers look for products and services online, they’ll type a query into Google and, mostly, plump for one of the first couple of results thrown up by the search engine. It’s a simple fact and it proves just why Google has become so important. If you don’t rank well, you’ll lose a lot of business.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way in which people use ‘best practice’ to perform better on Google and get themselves in the lucrative ranking spots for the products and services they sell. It might be tempting, from the outside, to think this is a complicated and confusing ‘dark art’ that is beyond the knowledge of people without technical expertise. But, while there is much that you can do with SEO if you have this knowledge – there’s also plenty of tips that any business can harness and use to get themselves recognised.

Use keywords

Keyword research sits right at the heart of the SEO work needed for any business. Essentially this involves looking at the words people type into Google to find you – and the ones they use to find people who shop for your products and services elsewhere. This excellent post from Neil Patel shows how to get these words from Google Keyword Planner. Once you have these words, you know what terms you need to be using in your content. It pays to be focused with this. Trying to target every possible keyword – and ones that are hotly contested – won’t be a plausible strategy. Pick a handful of main keywords and build your content with these front and centre in your thoughts.

Assess the market

What do others do well? There’s a lot to learn from content that is performing well for your competitors. Use BuzzSumo to see what’s getting clicks and shares in your field. Clearly you shouldn’t outright copy what others are doing, but you can bottle a successful formula and apply it to the words on your website to get a better ranking.

Mobile friendly

Your customers might well be looking for a product or service online but chances are that they are doing this on a mobile device. Smartphones are wielded by a huge chunk of the population and Google has reflected this by factoring in whether or not a site is mobile friendly when deciding on its rankings. Not only that, but a site that isn’t responsive also delivers a poor user experience.

Quality matters

Here’s the good news – quality does matter. Endless pages of poorly written spammy text that serves no value to the reader will not work. People who try to ‘game’ the system and stuff every sentence they write full of keywords will stand out like a sore thumb and suffer as a result. Well-written, natural copy that builds in appropriate keywords (this’ll come if you’ve identified the right ones anyway) is the way forward. Unique data, well designed infographics and engaging video are also a factor in building a well-performing website that ranks well.

Call on the experts

There’s no shame in calling on expert support if you’re struggling. Get the basics sorted and then either hire an expert or look for a product such as WestHost’s SEO Guru to help to take you onto the next level. They’ll certainly be able to help ensure that your site is structured well and that you are monitoring the right metrics to measure your performance, two more things to watch out for.

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