You have a fantastic business idea and now it’s time that the world knows it. You need customers, which means customers need to be able to easily find you. Many people who are searching for a specific product or service will turn to their favorite search engine to find answers, which is typically Google. To most people it’s a mystery how Google decides to list websites. There’s a complicated algorithm, and that’s all the average person needs to know.
But you’re not the average person. You’re a business owner or you’re in marketing. It’s your responsibility to make it easier for potential customers to find your products and services. To do that, it’s essential that you do everything you can to prove your value to Google. While there’s a ton of ways to do this, we’re going to start by asking three important questions. Then we’ll dig deeper into five steps for beginners who want to rank high in Google search engine result pages (SERPs).
- Where do I begin?
- How do I optimize my content?
- What do I do when it’s all over?
Step #1: Post High-Quality Content
To answer our first question, “Where do I begin?” you have to think about your unique selling proposition. Why did you get into business in the first place? Or why did you agree to create content for the brand in the first place? What’s so valuable about your products and services?
Answering these questions will help you form the foundation of your site. You should have a resources page that’s full of information about your niche and that’s written with your USP in mind. Google prefers information-heavy sites over selling-heavy sites, so it’s critical that you provide that valuable information from your unique angle.
High-quality content is typically on the longer side. Sources say that Google will rank articles that are ate least 1,800 words higher than shorter articles. Other sources say that it takes about 3,000 words to truly convey a message, and to rank high in Google in a competitive niche. As you’re developing your content, keep this in mind!
Step #2: Develop Your SEO Strategy
Once you’ve built a foundation of strong, long-form content, it’s time to develop your SEO strategy. Perform keyword research to find out what exactly your target customers are typing in their Google search boxes. Create a list of target keywords that you think you could rank for (i.e., where the competition isn’t too extreme).
Find ways to add those keywords to your existing content, but do so naturally. Google considers keyword stuffing (or inserting keywords in an over-the-top, totally unnatural way, just to rank higher in results pages) a scam. If you can’t add them in naturally, then create new content where they would feature naturally.
There’s more to ranking in Google SERPs than just keyword SEO. You should also make sure your URLs are SEO-friendly. Write a stellar meta description (including keywords) for each page. Make sure your captions are relevant and contain keywords, too!
Step #3: Implement And Revise Your SEO Strategy
After you’ve performed your initial keyword research and optimized your content, it’s time to sit back and wait. Be patient and see what kinds of results you’re getting with your new SEO content.
There will almost always be room for improvement. Figure out which of your pages are ranking and see if you can take any steps to make them rank higher. If you’re adding new products or services, perform more keyword research and add more content.
It’s important that your content goes beyond just the written word. Infographics are a fantastic way to share information, and Google likes them, too. Visuals featuring valuable information will help round out your site and improve your rankings.
Step #4: Include Links
Links are an important part of the SEO process. On one page of your site you should link to another that features relevant or supporting information. You should repeat this process as many times as possible. This shows that you’ve done the research and you’ve put in the time to create the content. You’re not just copying and pasting: you’re actually adding value to the massive online world.
One other important part of using links to rank high in Google is back links. Back links are when another site links back to you. This can be difficult to control. You can search the web for broken links (there are Chrome extensions that help with this), contact the webmaster for that page, and suggest one of your links to replace the broken ones. You can contact other people in your niche and see if they will add links to your site on their relevant pages or blog posts. You can also offer to back link to their site in exchange, too.
Step #5: Promote, Promote, Promote!
Once you’ve built this beautiful site and worked hard on its SEO, it’s time to promote it as much as possible. The first step is by sharing links to blog posts and pages on your business’ social media accounts, specifically on Twitter and Facebook. The second step is to share visuals on Instagram from your site or of what your business is currently up to.
Consistent, valuable posting will drive up traffic to your site and help establish your authority. Ranking in Google is all about getting those eyeballs on your site, and promoting it as much as possible is essential!
SEO Is Challenging But Important
By creating high-quality content, developing a SEO strategy, implementing that strategy, including links, and promoting your site, you’ll be on the way to ranking higher in Google SERPs. There is no magic answer or one-size-fits-all solution to ranking in Google. What’s most important is making sure you’re providing valuable information, in addition to your quality products and services, to your customers.