As an SEO specialist I am constantly asked: “How do I get my website to the top of Google?” Often this can be translated more precisely into: “How can I get my website to the top of search engines without doing anything or spending that much money?”
Well dear reader, I shall be honest, there is no quick fix. None what so ever. Nadda. Zilch. As with everything in life, a little work is involved, and below are my favourite quick and easy tips for improving your search rankings on Google which won’t break the bank.
1. Update or improve your content
Are you regularly updating your content? Adding new images and descriptions to product pages? Tweaking the FAQs section? Are you blogging?
If the answer is no then this is the place you should start first. You can get yourself to the top of rankings and get people to click through to your site, but what are you doing after that point to keep them there?
Yes, you may rank first for your product/blog/whatever your goal is, but if your website looks like minimal effort has been made on the content featured then customers aren’t going to trust you with their money, or as an authority on a particular subject.
“But what is content, Emma?!” I hear you cry. Put simply, it is everything featured on your website. All the text, images, menu options and videos. Google states that “content is king” and recent changes have not only confirmed Google’s stance on good content, but pretty much hammered it into the ground.
Good content also means that people are more likely to share it on social media. Never underestimate the power of a social media share when it is earned rather than brought. Google does take note of social activity.
2. Establish your targets and work to them
This is a mistake I see a lot in the online marketing world. Put simply; if you’re an online shoe shop and you want to sell more brown shoes, then that is your goal. You should focus on featuring information about brown shoes on your website and join communities that discuss those products.
What you should not be doing is spending time and resources on creating a viral video with people dressed as squirrels dancing around to a Europop tune that — whilst funny — does not even refer to shoes in anyway shape or form.
Someone on Buzzfeed watching funny videos is not on a mission to buy brown shoes, and if you haven’t done point one (see above) then even if they do click through from the video/image/ad/ to your site, there won’t be much reason for them to stay as the content won’t be at its best to interest them.
Someone typing in “brown shoes size 5” into Google is certainly on the hunt and may be ready to buy, therefore don’t work harder, just think smarter. Start small, do that well, then think big!
3. Tell Google about what each page is about
This is often overlooked but is so important for SEO. Tell Google and other search engines what your site is about and I promise you, this will improve rankings faster than any amount of link building, black hat tricks or expensive viral marketing campaigns. Make sure that your page title (the H1 tag) relates to what your page is about, if it is about a product like “pink trousers” then the H1 should indicate this to Google by being “pink trousers”.
Each page has its own meta data that explains in brief to someone searching what a page is about:
Notice that this explains that the page features pink trousers without being over the top? There is an explanation about the page, mention of other products and a call to action all in under a 160 characters. Keep it simple, keep it precise and you will see improvements in your click through rate.
Use the product keywords in the page content but don’t stuff it with them.
“We love pink trousers here at trouserscompany.com so much so that we have several different styles in this wonderful pink colour. It can be dressed up for an evening event or toned down for a funky trouser work ensemble. Whatever your style we have something for you.”
Is much better than this:
“Pink trousers and pink trouser styles are available at trouserscompany.com. Buy your pink trousers now and wear your pinks trousers ASAP. Love pink trousers? We do too!”
We get it, you sell “pink trousers”, but Google can spot keyword stuffing a mile off. Keep it natural, keep it informative and you’ll be on the right track. Basically, answer a question as if a human was asking it, rather than cater to what you think Google may like and you are pretty much there.
Best of Luck and let me know of any questions in the comments box below.