Getting Started – Context & Relevance
My goal is to take the mystery out of why some websites rank high in the search engines and why others do not, but more importantly, to equip you to improve the ranking for your business website.
So let me provide some context to explain why ranking well in the search engines is relevant for your business.
Does Ranking High In Search Engines Really Matter?
FACT: 64% of the traffic that comes to a website comes via organic search, in other words, when someone types specific keywords into a search engine. In contrast:
2% of site visitors typically come from Social Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
6% of site visitors typically come from Paid Search and ads like Adwords, YP, Facebook ads, banner ads and major media
12% of site visitors typically come because they are already familiar with your business or website
15% of site visitors typically come from Referrals by your associates or your current and past customers
Source: Conductor:Web Visit Channel Distribution,
So, free organic search results bring twice the traffic as all other sources combined!
FACT: Being on Page 2 or 3 of Google means that you have virtually NO search visibility, no visitors, and
no new customers from your site! Well, actually ALL of Page 2 receives just 4.8% of searches, ALL of Page 3
receives 1.1% of searches, and no page after Page 3 gets even 1%, so why even bother with a website
if your business is not on Page 1?
Source: Chitika, The Value of Google Result Positioning
59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable local business,
50% of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and
61% of local searches result in a purchase.
To get this business, you need to rank in the maps and the organic listings directly below the maps.
Is it hopeless if you’re NOT now on Page 1? NO WAY!
So now that we understand why it’s critical to be on Page 1, let’s get to the fun stuff, the 12 things you can do so your business WILL rank on Page 1 of the search engines!
- Is your website mobile friendly? Google prefers sites that pass their mobile-friendly test since this provides a better overall experience for their search engine users. Go to: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and run the test on your own website to see if you pass or fail this test.
- Does your site load quickly? Google prefers faster loading sites for the same reason as they like mobile friendly sites. Slow website loading speeds cause searchers to quickly click off your site, so Google ranks slow sites lower. You can check your load speeds here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights
Google works on a traffic light system, so let’s hope your scores get a green light.
- Are you listed in the top 100 local business directories like Yelp, YP and MerchantCircle? Google loves websites that are listed in these directories. First, a business that has taken the time to create directory listings looks like a viable business that’s planning to be around long term. Second, these directories can send traffic to your site and Google looks favorably at referral traffic when determining rankings.
- Have you setup Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn pages & a YouTube channel? Google loves websites that are listed in the top social networking sites. First, a business that has taken the time to list themselves appears to be more brand aware and Google LOVES brands. Second, social platforms can send traffic to your site, so again, Google looks favorably at referral traffic when determining rankings. Third, another benefit of being listed on these social networking sites is that it makes your customers much more likely to share your business info and recommend you to friends.
- Are you aware of how your competitors are ranking to get customers online? With easy, online tools, you can know exactly what your competition is doing online, the money they’re spending, the keywords they’re targeting, and the other types of optimization they are doing. http://semrush.com will give you great insights into your competition and it’s a great way to see what search terms are sending them their customers.
Compare your website to your your competitor’s sites. Take the business websites of the companies you want to outrank and analyze them. Who is getting all the business and customers in your market?
- Is your website optimized properly?
Optimization includes many components, but one of the most important is your Title Tag. From the last slide, you can identify your competitor’s keywords in Semrush. Look at the top 10 listings in Google for those keywords. Specifically, look at the blue heading for these listings and note how many include the keywords in their Titles. Your site Title must also include these keywords. Does it? If not, change your Title Tag to include them. There are a number of these “Onpage SEO” factors that Google wants to see on websites. The title tag is just one of the factors, but it’s considered the most important. It’s also important to understand heading tags, meta tags and keyword density.
- Is your contact information easy to find? Is your telephone number prominently displayed on the Home Page and elsewhere onsite. Make sure it’s not frustrating for people to find out how to contact you. Otherwise, they’ll simply click off. If contact information is not easy to find, change your site so your telephone number is conspicuous, in an easy to read font, and in a color that stands out. Also, have a separate Contact Us page including company name, address, telephone number, email address, and links to your social sites.
- Do you have a video embedded on your website? Visitors love and watch videos, and having a longer video keeps people on your page longer. FACT! Google gives high value to “time on page” when comparing your site to a competitor’s for ranking, and uses length of time on page to work out how engaging your website when compared to competitor sites. This is an excellent opportunity to put a human face on your business and really connect. You can do an educational “explainer” video, a product demo, or simply a welcome video.
- Are you listed on Free Ad sites? Sites such as Craigslist, Oodle, and Backpage have lots of visitors searching for local service providers, so be sure to list your services on those sites. The traffic these sites can send to business websites is very beneficial in terms of both new business and referral traffic, which Google loves.
Just as importantly, backlinks from high domain authority sites to your site “lend” some of their authority to your site, and this helps your ranking.
- Do you have an “About Us” page? Properly introduce your business to your visitors with a well written About Us page, to build rapport and communicate credibility, expertise, your company values and present your value propostion to a potential customer. Think of your About Us page as “speed-dating” with your visitors. You only have a few moments to win them over and turn them from a prospect into a buyer of your product or service.
- Do you have reviews on your website? 87% of consumers today consider reviews just as trustworthy as a personal recommendation, so the purchasing process often begins with looking at customer reviews.
Having reviews or testimonials on your website will improve your business’s chance of making a sale. Reviews and testimonials also keep visitors on your website for longer, as they read or watch them. Remember, having visitors stick around longer helps because time spent on your website is a Google ranking factor.
- Do other websites link to yours? This is really, really important! If another website links to yours, it’s the equivalent of receiving a thumbs up vote, or a 3rd party endorsement. Consequently, Google likes websites with lots of links because it can indicate the sites are popular and contain good content. However, not all links are considered equal, because some are considered helpful and others are considered damaging spam links.
Use http://ahrefs.com to check your link profile. Do you have a lot of links, hardly any, or none at all? Top tip: Check out your competitors link profiles to see where their links are coming from. Getting links from the same sites, or very similar sites, will help your rankings.
In summary, you need a site that:
- Is mobile friendly
- Loads quickly
- Is listed in local directories
- Is listed on the top social networking sites
- Is optimised correctly
- Has an embedded video
- Is listed on the top free ad sites
- Has clear contact information
- Has an About Us page
- Has testimonials and/or reviews
- Has great backlinks
If you have discovered that your website needs work, based on what you’ve learned from this presentation, don’t worry. We can help you fix any or all of these issues, unless you want to do it yourself of course ☺
Bruce Selin @ http://prometricseo.com