To put it bluntly, ranking well on Google is the difference between getting your website in front of the people you want to see it and not. There are essentially two ways to help ensure your website (and brand) appear in front of local prospects who are performing searches online for relevant terms (known as keywords). The first is by using Google Ads. The second – and the subject of this article – is by ranking well organically which can be achieved with the right Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy.
Because of user intent, organic traffic is one of the most valuable sources of traffic. These visitors are actively looking for the very thing you have to offer, hence it makes perfect sense that organic traffic is a leading source of enquiries for the majority of our marketing clients. And if these people aren’t landing on your website, they’re landing on your competitors. The solution? Getting your site to rank. Here’s how to do it…
LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS:
Before you start, you’ll need to ensure you’ve covered the basics…
CHOOSE A KEYWORD
There are plenty of tools and techniques to help you find a good keyword to target. But, ultimately, competitiveness and search volume are the two most important factors. If you’re unsure where to begin, your location or surrounding locations can offer a good starting point. For example, ‘bathrooms Birmingham’ or ‘kitchen showroom Southampton’.
RESEARCH THE COMPETITION
Competitor research can also provide inspiration. What search terms are successful companies around you appearing for? Who else is ranking highly for the keyword you’re interested in, and what kind of content do they have on their website? Your content needs to be better (and better optimised for Google) than your competitors if it’s going to outrank them.
GET YOUR SITE UP TO SPEED
If your site has technical issues, it will always struggle to score highly with Google. These issues can be anything from 301 and 404 errors to slow site speed. You’ll need to run a site audit to find out if there are any problems that need fixing. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online tools available such as Semrush or Screaming Frog. Or you can get in touch with an SEO expert.
FIND OUT WHAT YOU’RE ALREADY RANKING FOR
Chances are, your website will naturally be ranking for something, even if it’s in position 40. Trying to improve existing pages that are already ranking is often easier than starting from scratch. You can discover what keywords you’re already ranking for by using Google Search Console.
Create outstanding content:
High-quality content is fundamental to ensuring your website ranks well, and there’s no getting away from it. Essentially, the aim of the game is to prove to Google that your site satisfies users better than anyone else’s. To do this, you need people to click on your page and stay there.
GIVE THE READERS WHAT THEY WANT
No one is going to stay on your site if it doesn’t provide the information they’re looking for. In SEO, we call this ‘search intent’. Think about what the title of your page promises and what it actually delivers. If these don’t align, you could end up with a high bounce rate (bounce rate is the percentage measurement of visitors who leave your site immediately before visiting another page). This negatively impacts your site.
FIND A CATCHY TITLE
What are you more likely to read, a blog titled ‘Discover 10 expert tips to transform your kitchen’ or ‘Kitchen design ideas’? Make your content sound enticing. Tell potential readers they’re going to find something different, something exclusive, something that’s not to be missed.
MAKE IT CLEAR AND ENGAGING
Huge blocks of text can be off-putting, as can a messy layout and a lack of imagery. Make sure the content you’re sharing is clearly presented, engaging, informative, and enjoyable to read. The more great content you provide, the better.
NO COPY AND PASTING!
Even if you change a few words here and there, Google will pick up on duplicate content and filter it out of search results. It’s hugely damaging to your SEO strategy so just don’t do it!
You’re not out of the woods yet. Once you’ve written your content, you’ll need to make sure you’re following the SEO rule book…
- Include your chosen keyword in your H1 tag (the page title) and other H tags where possible.
- Ensure your keyword naturally features throughout your content, ideally once every 200 words, But don’t sacrifice good writing to shoehorn it in – user experience is important!
- Keep the page URL brief, informative and include the keyword.
- Name images appropriately and fill out the alt tag (image description).
- Help Google index your site by including internal links (links to other pages within your website).
- Write an enticing meta description to boost your click-through rate (this is the description that appears in the Google search results).
Even though your content has been beautifully written and meticulously optimised, that doesn’t guarantee it will immediately start ranking highly. You still need to do your bit to help people find it and kick-start a response. This is called…
Off-page SEO refers to everything going on outside your site that helps it to rank, namely, building backlinks. Backlinks are simply links from other websites that lead to your site. They indicate to Google that other websites think your content is good, encouraging Google to rank it higher. You can build backlinks by submitting local citations, writing guest blogs on other relevant websites and posting on social media. If you do your research, you’ll find it isn’t as difficult as you might think.
The more relevant keywords you can get your site ranking for, the more your organic traffic will grow, resulting in more leads, more sales, and ultimately, a better bottom line. Growing organic traffic is crucial to our strategy here at Flo. If you’d like to know more, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.