SEO Basics: How to Get to the Top of a Google Search

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Marketing & Advertising

We are often asked what can be done to improve a website’s search engine rankings. The very first steps to SEO include confirming a site is responsive (mobile ready), uses HTML 5 tags properly, has compressed media elements (e.g. photos), & uses a fast server. Beyond that, the answer often requires a more detailed analysis of the business and the goals in mind. The good news is there are some major ingredients in the search results recipe that can help bring your business to the top of that oh so crowded, competitive list.

5 SEO components that affect Google rankings:

  1. Have a high-quality Google My Business profile
    Visit google.com/business/ and follow the steps to set up your business profile. It only takes a few minutes, and can make a huge difference.
  2. Have really relevant on-page content
    Take the time to write truly well-written content that people want to read. Once your static page content is up to shape, get that blog rolling. Is there a question that you are frequently asked? Create a blog post about it! Maybe there is some new technology in your industry that demands a news release. Share your opinion with your audience!
  3. List your business name, address, and phone number consistently around the web on authoritative sites like Yellow Pages and Yelp
    Get your name on the web in the places that people see as legitimate, reputable sources. Sources include: Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Angie’s List, Foursquare, and industry-specific sites such as Houzz, OpenTable, and ThomasNet.
  4. Collect great links to your website
    Maintaining a blog with great content to which other people will want to link, and offering to write a guest blog post on another business’s blog are two great ways to start receiving inbound links. Here are some others.
  5. Collect authentic reviews not only on Google reviews, but other authoritative sites like Yelp
    Encourage your customers to write reviews. Let them know which platform you prefer, and thank them afterward.

What not to do:

There are also some outdated techniques that some people still use but are actually a hindrance today. Spamming keywords, for example, was really effective years ago. People now recognize it as being obnoxious and will be less likely to click on your link and read your page. Search engines have become smart enough to recognize keyword spamming and will devalue your web page because of it.

keyword-spamming-headline
This is a preposterously bad headline. Don’t do this.

You should also keep the topics of your pages focused. Grab a list of similar keywords for a particular category, and use them throughout the page. Link to other pages within your website, but don’t create a bunch of new pages for variations of one keyword. Don’t create new, uneccessary websites when the content can all be contained on one website. And finally, never, never, never pay for inbound links to your website. It is a scam, and search engines are smarter than some chump collecting your money in return for posting your website’s link on SEO directories, comment sections of random websites, and other irrelevant and even harmful sources.

Contact us if you want to chat more about SEO or your website in particular. We’d love to hear your story.

Sources:

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/local-seo/understanding-ranking-factors

https://moz.com/blog/8-old-school-seo-practices-not-effective-whiteboard-friday

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/32479/32-White-Hat-Ways-to-Build-Inbound-Links

(Sources, thanks for providing great content that was easy for me to find!)