Every business wants to rank higher on Google, but how is it actually done? We explain just a few of the ways you can make changes to your site and your strategy to help push your brand to the top of Google’s search results.
Why Does Ranking Matter?
The purpose of having a business website isn’t just so people can find you online when they look for your brand, but also so they can find you when they’re looking for products or services you offer. 49% of Google users say they utilize Google to find new products, and when they do, 37% will click on the first result.
This means that to get more customers online, you need to rank in the top search results that Google provides its users for your products and services. To do this, you need to do SEO and improve your “organic” or natural ranking over time, as Google uses certain factors to determine which websites rank higher.
Here are a few ways to improve your organic ranking on Google.
Optimize your meta data.
Meta data for a website is the information that shows up on search engine results, i.e. the title, description, and url that Google shows to users. Meta data can not only influence a user to click or not, but also affect Google’s ranking of that page.
Some web builders don’t allow you to edit metadata, which will set back your SEO, but if your website is built on WordPress, you can easily edit your meta data for each page with an SEO plugin. You can find one here.
- For meta titles, include the keyword and the name of your business, and make sure it doesn’t go over 60 characters, including spaces.
For example, the meta title of this blog post is: How To Rank Better On Google | Hyvemark
- For meta descriptions, stick to 154-157 characters. Your description should say what the page is about, and should always include a call to action at the end, such as “Learn more,” “Call us,” or “Make an appointment.”
Example: Ranking at the top of Google results is key to your business’ success. Learn a few practical ways you can boost your search engine rankings from Hyvemark.
- For urls, make them fairly short and clean, using hyphens to separate words, and always include the keyword you’re targeting.
Write content for people first.
Even though you’re creating and improving a website so that Google “likes” it more, you should first and foremost write your website copy and your blogs so that the average person understands it and gains something from it. If your copy is Google-approved but it doesn’t engage your customer, you’re doing it wrong.
The truth is that Google actually wants content that’s very human and very unique. The best way to get that is to write for humans, and for your customers, instead of writing content by asking “what does Google want?” This way, you avoid pitfalls like keyword stuffing.
Improve your page loading speeds.
The slower a page loads, the lower Google will rank it — plus, a user will click out of a page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. To avoid both of these, you can speed up your website’s loading times through several methods, here are some:
One great way is by improving your videos and images. Larger photos and videos make pages load much more slowly. To solve this, you can:
- Compress your images with a tool like Imagify.
- Host your videos on Vimeo.
- Use JPG for your images.
- Resize your images so they’re the right balance of quality and size.
Another way to improve your page’s loading time is to optimize your code. There are often extra characters, unused code, and more that are slowing your site down significantly. There are a few tools that can help you clean up your code.
You can evaluate and keep an eye on your website’s loading time with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
Add internal links.
Are the pages in your site linked to each other? Linking pages within your site can help Google understand the content and structure of your site better, and pinpoint which pages are more valuable. This in turn helps your SEO.
Adding internal links is easy to do yourself. Your homepage is a great place to include links to your service pages, your About Us page, and your Contact page. Your service pages could also link to other pages related to that service, or to a blog post, and vice versa.
Every time you create a new page, also make sure to link other pages from your site inside of the page. For example, on this blog post, we can link to Hyvemark’s services page.
This process of linking as you go will ensure that your internal linking strategy is happening consistently.
Create new content.
Google loves fresh content, so new content is often ranked higher. A great way to stay on top of rankings for your keywords is to constantly put out new content about it, or to update old content with new and more relevant information.
Starting a blog is an easy way to do this. Set yourself the goal to write a weekly or bi-weekly blog post about topics related to your product or service, and publish them regularly. (And of course, make sure to add optimized meta data to your post.)
Not only does this give your website a boost in ranking, but it answers your new and potential customers’ questions about your products. In fact, this is a great way to build your brand’s reputation and trustworthiness in your customers’ eyes.
Use Search Console to submit new content and disavow bad content.
Google Search Console is maybe your most essential tool for SEO. There are many actions you can use it for, and one is to submit new content to Google — and also let Google know to ignore other pages.
On Search Console, you can review which pages Google has been ranking, and either allow Google to continue this process on its own, or give it some help.
Submitting new content
You can submit new content that you want Google to rank by creating a list of urls called a sitemap, and submitting it through Search Console. Make sure to include new content and pages that Google will probably not be ranking on its own yet.
Excluding bad content
You can also exclude pages that you don’t want Google to rank. On WordPress, you can use the Yoast plugin to make pages private.
You might want to exclude pages that have repetitive URLs or page errors, fake links, and pages that are just images. These types of pages can hurt your SEO, so excluding them will keep your SEO strategy running smoothly.
Doing an annual content audit will also help you stay on top of bad content and decide whether to delete, consolidate, or update any content.
These are only a few of the actions you can take to improve your website’s SEO. Ultimately, a strategic and long-term approach to your site is the best way to improve rankings on Google and keep them.
If you’re looking to market your business through digital marketing, there are a few factors to consider to ensure that you are taking advantage of the best tactics available. Two main ways to increase your traffic, leads, awareness and sales are through paid ads and organic content. However, how do you determine which will be more effective for your business?
Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each to understand how they can help you reach your marketing goals and make the right decisions for your business.
Benefits & Drawbacks of SEO and Content Marketing
Organic content marketing is distributed to potential customers when they are browsing Google for answers to their questions or searching for a company. Some of the common types of forms of organic content include blog building, website creation and optimization, and search engine marketing.
Benefits: Content marketing can provide your business with results while keeping your marketing budget in check.
Here are some of the advantages organic content can offer you:
With content marketing, you can differentiate from competitors and let your potential customers know how you can provide them with value. Aligning your content with your branding through consistency of tone and voice can help your brand as well.
When you continue to optimize content and create new relevant content, you can bring customers back to your website. The more content they consume, the more likely they are to stay long-term.
Trust for Your Brand
Building trust and authority for your brand by creating quality content that helps your customers will make them perceive you as their ultimate solution over any competitor.
No Ad Spend
The most attractive benefit of content marketing is that you don’t pay ad spend — you’ll only pay for your campaign management fees.
Drawbacks: Just as organic content has many benefits, it has its drawbacks.
Here are a few disadvantages to consider:
You will see organic content is effective over the long-term, but it is slow-paced. Since you are trying to reach customers and create value for them, you are not generating immediate sales.
Challenging to Prove Value
Because we don’t see immediate sales with content marketing, it’ll be more challenging to show that it’s working. However, if you set goals for engagement and track those with the proper tools, this issue can be solved.
SEO Tactics Need to Be Flexible
With SEO, you need to be flexible with your strategy, since tactics change continuously. This requires an expert’s knowledge and monthly optimizations and strategy adjustments.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Paid Advertising
Paid advertising helps you see immediate results with sales and traffic, as your agency tracks the results according to your metrics. When you use pay-per-click advertising, you can reach your target audience on social media platforms and search engines, as it puts you at the top of a consumer’s searches on Google (as long as you continue to pay).
Benefits: Although paid advertisement has a higher price than organic content, there are many benefits you can take advantage of to make every penny count.
Generates Instant Traffic
With paid advertising, you can start seeing leads and conversions soon after you start running your campaign — sometimes in a matter of days.
Fast Sales = Easier Tracking
Because your sales are directly related to a series of actions coming from a paid ad, it’s easier to track conversions and whether a campaign is working
You Can Effectively Target Your Potential Customers Paid advertising allows you to specifically target certain people and the things they’re looking for, like a product.
There’s a Variety of Ad Options
Paid advertising can be a series of photos on Facebook, an ad that shows up like a banner on a website, or an ad with purchasing options on a Google search.
It Leads To A Purchase
Another advantage of using paid advertising is that you can direct customers through your website, or information request boxes, and provide them with what they need to make the final purchase.
Drawbacks: Paid advertising has incredible benefits, but there are drawbacks, and it might not be the best option for some businesses.
It Can Get Pricey
While you can decide how much to spend on campaigns, many businesses have limited budgets to spend on paid advertising. Even if you choose to assign a small portion of your budget for paid campaigns, you may see more effective results when you invest more.
If You Stop Paying, You Stop Getting Results
If you pull your ad spend and stop your paid advertising, you’ll stop getting leads and conversions that you were getting before; no long-term results remain.
It Takes Time & Constant Updates
With paid advertising, you have many customization options. You have to perform constant analysis and updates to improve effectiveness. Paid advertisements must be updated to stay relevant as things are quick to change.
Here’s How To Obtain Better Results
When you combine organic content with paid advertisements, you can truly experience the best of both worlds and obtain the most effective results. You will not only improve the quality of your leads, but you will have more traffic and visibility overall. It is an excellent way to balance your marketing budget and ensure effective immediate and long-term results.
How to Use Them Together:
- Maintain consistency in messaging across paid ads and organic content, and with your branding.
- Combine them by using PPC to drive traffic towards your organic content and for engagement across other channels.
- Capitalize on user intent when creating both organic and PPC campaigns.
Grow Your Presence Online With Our Services
If you are ready to implement organic content and paid advertising to market and grow your business effectively, our experts at Hyvemark have the solutions you need. Our campaigns include weekly optimizations, flexible strategies, and monthly reports to optimize results for you and your advertising.
Hyvemark’s priority is to help your business grow by integrative strategies that combine the best of organic, paid, and other marketing. Our services will maximize your lead generation and return on investment.