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How’s your Google ranking: What is it, and how can it boost your business?

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Written by: The Business | Posted 29 September 2016 7:40

How’s your Google ranking: What is it, and how can it boost your business?

Jonathan Moore, digital marketing expert and head of SEO at equimedia, explains how companies can effectively use SEO to improve their Google ranking and boost their business.

No business, local or global, can afford to ignore the importance of Google. Once upon time to find a local business you would trawl through a printed directory, such as the Yellow Pages until you found what you were looking for. But now when you need to find a business, be it a registered electrician or a novelty cake maker the first port of call is usually to type relevant words or phrases into a search engine such as Google.

As a result, business owners need to ensure that their company is ranked as high as possible on relevant Google search results. Although there are other search engines on the internet, Google is undoubtedly the most popular and therefore crucial to your business’ visibility on the web.

Below we have set out some tips on how you can improve your website’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and ensure that when a potential customer is looking online, your website features high up in their search results.

 

What is SEO and why is it important?

In essence, SEO is the practice of improving your search engine ranking. A website that is badly optimised and designed, without taking into account how Google ranks pages, will be low on relevant Google search results.

Without an effective SEO strategy, you run the risk of losing out on new customers and business opportunities, to your competitors who have implemented successful SEO strategies and will rank higher than you on relevant search results. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to be an IT graduate to improve your online ranking. Adopting a few simple processes and rules can greatly improve your search engine performance.

Useful ways to improve your business’ search ranking online

1. Set up and verify Google Search Console

Google Search Console is Google’s method of communication with website owners. It enables you to monitor and maintain your website presence in Google Search results by giving feedback and data on how well your website is performing. This is valuable insight; if you know how Google views your site you will be better able to optimise it. 

If you are new to SEO, and haven’t done so already, I would also suggest you set up Google analytics. This will allow you to measure how much traffic you are getting to your website, where it is coming from and how frequently customers visit your site.

2. Prioritise you home page

Your home page is your flagship page; it is the page that will refer the most traffic to your site and it will be the first impression of your business that many customers get. Because of this, you should put the most time into developing it, ensuring it gives the right impression and clearly showcases your offering.

You should also carefully consider your page title and your meta description, this is the 160 character snippet used to summarise a web page’s content. These are important because Google uses them to create the search snippet, which is what customers see when they search for you in Google.

Ultimately, you want to control how your site appears in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), so it is worthwhile thinking about how describe your business to encourage potential customers to click on your link.

3. Be wary of false promises

It is advice that applies to countless of situations: if an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is. Be cautious when considering using companies that promise to very cheaply improve your SEO.  If a company is offering to charge you a pittance to improve your SEO, then have a healthy scepticism and question how it is feasible for them to do such work for such little fee. Be mindful that they can do more harm than good.

4. The platform matters

Your website platform is the most expensive and hardest thing to change, which is why you should think carefully about which one you choose and ensure it has the functionality you need. If you are building your first website, or redoing your current site, consider using open source, Content Management Solutions (CMS) providers. These are SEO-friendly and scalable, and offer a wide range of options to users. Critically they come with lots of key SEO features which you can use straight away.

5. Google my business

If you have a business location, a shop or premise you should set up Google My Business (GMB). This is free service that can help potential customers find you whether they're looking for you on Search, Maps or Google+.

With GMB you can update all business information, add photos of your business, monitor and respond to Google reviews, and connect with your customers by sharing events and news using Google +.

6. Eliminate inconstancies

Three crucial pieces of data for most businesses are: name, address and phone number. This is known as your NAP data. If you have moved premises, changed phone numbers or company name you may have inconstancies in your NAP data. But it is important to have consistency in this information across all your online citations as this is a key ranking factor for Google. If there are old and incorrect listings for your business online, take the time to correct them. The more local citations you can build up with consistent NAP data, the better for your search ranking.

7. Mobile experience matters

More and more customers are using their mobiles to find businesses when searching online. You need to consider what a potential customer would look to do on your website, using their mobile. For example, they might be looking for your telephone number, so you should ensure click-to-call is enabled on your website. Or they might be looking for your opening hours, so these should be easy to find on a mobile screen. Think about what customers are likely to want when accessing your website, and make sure your site is set up to easily do this when from a mobile.

Google’s Mobile Friendly Test Tool –will analyse your website and give you a mobile friendly score. It will also will give you pointers and tips on what you can do to make your site optimised for mobile.

8. Help is at hand

To improve your SEO there are lots of things you can do and it’s easy to feel baffled by the number of options and the technical language. But help is at hand, there is a large community on the Webmaster Central Help Forum, which can be very useful if you are starting out and if you have questions. You can post your query on the forum and others will respond with helpful advice and suggestions. There are also regular Google Webmaster Hangouts, which offer practical advice on how you can improve your online visibility.

To find out how equimedia could help your business contact 01793715440 or email   new.business@equimedia.co.uk

 

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