This is, bar none, the most common question I receive, and the reason is clear: getting to the first spot on the first page of Google for your relevant search terms seems like the holy grail of marketing. “If only I could get there, I would never need to market again.”
Getting to the first page of Google is a mystery to most, even the so-called experts out there. After all, Google is an ever-changing and highly guarded algorithm that we can really only make guesses on (and listen to what Google decides to tell us about how they rank).
Here’s the thing…you could spend hours every single day, or pay someone hundreds of dollars every month to hit the moving target of perfect SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and still not get put in that first slot. If you’re interested in the hard way, I wrote an SEO checklist a few months ago that you can check out here.
The smarter plan, in my humble opinion, is to focus on what we KNOW works when it comes to Google..and minimize time spent on the other stuff so that you can focus on your business and your customers.
Here are the Top 5 Ways to Increase Your SEO:
1. Be Mobile-Friendly.
This is #1. Do this before anything else. If you are not mobile-friendly up to Google’s standards, you are going to be ranked low (or not included in search results at all).
2. Blogging, blogging, more blogging.
Simple. Write about what people are searching for.
This should be a no-brainer…but just because it’s easy to understand why it works, doesn’t mean it’s easy to dedicate yourself to writing a post every week.
I’m about to make it easier.
How to easily write your blog posts: Make a list of the top 10 questions you get all the time from customers and prospects (FAQs), and then write another list of the top 10 questions that they should ask but don’t (SAQs, or Should-Have Asked Questions).
Now that you have 20 topics to write about (based on what your customers and prospects are already thinking), just write a few paragraphs about each one. You could do one per week, or you could write a few at a time and schedule them out.
Once you get the first 20 out, continuing the blog becomes a natural habit.
3. Get linked to on other (quality) Websites.
In business, you are more likely to work with someone if the person who referred you to them is someone that you trust.
Google is the same way. If it sees that Websites it trusts are linking to you, it will boost your rankings as well because it transfers some of that trust to your site.
How do you get linked on other sites? That may be a topic for another day. Here are some quick tips:
- Put yourself (more specifically, your business and your Website) on every social media platform you can. Especially Google+. You don’t need to post. But having an account is important.
- Register your business on business.google.com.
- Write guest posts for others who have a similar audience to you. This is a process I’ve gotten pretty good at, so I may need to write a post about how to do this.
4. Speed your site up.
Site speed is important to Google. Here are a few quick ways to speed your site up:
- Use a reliable Web host.
- Enable caching on your Website.
- Minimize your scripts and stylesheets.
- Cut down on bloated themes and plug-ins.
- Optimize photos for faster load times.
Not sure what any of that means or how to do it? That’s okay…you aren’t supposed to. That’s what I’m here for. I can actually do all of that pretty quickly. Check out my no-contract Website maintenance plans.
5. Be around a while.
Like I said, if you want to spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars a month on your SEO…you might see some quick (a few months) results. Or you might not.
Google naturally ranks older sites higher (as long as they are continually updating their content, i.e. blogging). If you follow the above for a long enough period of time, you will get ranked higher in Google. But it is not an overnight process. It takes time and effort. \
If you’d like to be ranked higher in Google but don’t want to spend the time doing it yourself, and you don’t want to pay someone hundreds of dollars, maybe my no-contract Website maintenance plans would be a good fit for you.