We’ve given the speech at least 80 times and thought it might help other small business owners as well. When it comes to being on page one of Google, you’ve got some work to do…
As we say “Google” we actually mean all search engines inclusively; but Google is the most popular.
Most importantly, Google is a business. Their job is to provide the user with the best search results. If your website hasn’t been updated in 18 months, and your copyright date reads 2009, there isn’t too much of an incentive to put you on page one of Google, right?
Many of Opuscule’s clients update their websites daily or at least weekly. Your competition who IS appearing on page one of Google is spending more time and money than you are, we can almost guarantee that. This isn’t a game of luck.
1. Work on Inbound Links
It may be that “Content is King” and engaging social networks is key, but valuable inbound links are your trump card. We could safely estimate that at least 50% of your placement on Google are your inbound links. The best links are coming from other independent websites in similar fields, including those from domains ending in .edu and .gov and .org. Additionally, if you write a compelling blog post or article that other people can share and link to, that is also great. The least desirable, though still beneficial, are simple link swaps or exchanges.
2. Look After Your Website’s Code
Each page’s title, description and keywords should be in place and optimized, and the coding and syntax should be up to the most recent web standards. Your images should be named appropriately with have titles and alt text. Are your h1 & h2 header tags set?
3. Keep Content Fresh by Updating it Regularly
Some clients say, “but I run an accounting firm, what can I update my website with?” How about some blog posting ideas, you can write about:
- New legislation (federal and local) that effect your industry
- Updates at your firm (new hire, address change)
- Search for and comment on news happening in your industry – news.google.com
- Challenge cases your firm has had and how it overcame (winning verdicts for lawyers)
- New clients or customers you’ve contracted
- Write about other local businesses, maybe how they help your business
- Some of your competitors and what they are doing. Can you do it better?
- What is happening in educational institutions for your industry?
- Ratings or testimonials you’ve gotten.
- Still having trouble? What are other people blogging about? – blogsearch.google.com
4. Review Your Site’s Visitor Statistics
For each of Opuscule’s clients we incorporate Google’s free Analytics tool. Learning about the data tracked on this incredible tool, how to access it, and what to glean from it is a whole hour long tutorial in itself. One quick set of data we could review is the “average pages per visit” versus your most visited pages. For example, if your average number of pages per visit is 3, but your phone number and address appear only on the 6th most popular page, it would benefit you to put that information on each page. We are huge advocates of drop down menus.
5. Your Website is just a Really Nice Business Card
Just because you have a website doesn’t mean that people will come to it. You must get the word out. Are you still using your ‘aol.com’ email address? Why? Speaking of emails, you could benefit from including a signature on yours with your name, title, phone number and website! Postcards, letterhead, business cards, and more can help you get the word out.
6. Where Else Can We Find Your Website?
It’s very important to add your website to other directories. Are you on Google Places? What about Yelp? More people use these services than you imagine, and since Google reformatted their search results pages to highlight maps you should work on your profile there.
7. Submit Your Sitemap
XML sitemaps are used by the search engines in order to index through your site. This list of ALL pages / posts / etc. of your site also includes information such as the date the page was last modified, as well as a priority number of what you feel the most important pages of your sites are. All elements that help the search engines properly find and link to all content of your site. There are special areas on Google, Yahoo! and Bing where you can submit these.
8. Leverage & Monitor Social Networks & Communities
Why not setup a Twitter account for your business? Start tweeting, follow related Twitter users and engage the service. Put up links to your website! Have you started a Facebook Page? Why not start an account on StumbleUpon? Digg? Flickr? There are over a dozen more and Opuscule can help.
There are plenty more creative, costly, and time consuming things you can do, but this is a great start.
New York Search Engine Optimization Experts
There is a lot of information here, and if any of it is unclear the SEO specialists at Opuscule are here to help. We work with clients in a wide range of industries. If you would like to see your website higher up on Google’s ranks, contact us for a specialized plan. We can help your small business.