It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small one person business or a multi national conglomerate, we all have the same question when it comes to the internet; and that is “how can I get my website a higher rank in the search engines?”
It’s a simple question – a pity the answer is a little more difficult to deliver!
If you think that throwing a little budget at the issue and waiting a few weeks to see your website displayed on the first page of Google is a recipe for success, then I have bad news for you. Ranking on the first page of Google (except where the keyword/s you are promoting have very little competition) is a medium to long term exercise. It requires research, planning, project management and consistent effort.
This is a process that the people behind high ranking websites understand and work at daily. There are a multitude of facets to Internet marketing, and many of them, for instance, Social Media Marketing and Google Places, are forever changing.
Firstly ensure that your website is visually well designed and navigation for your visitors is easy. Bait – Is there a mechanism to capture visitor details for later use in email campaigns?A few other factors to consider are:
- Stickiness – Does your website copy attract and keep the visitor reading and looking for more?
- Media – Is there a good mix of text, audio, video, surveys, quizzes etc? See Stickiness.
- Structure – Is your website built to appeal to the search engines – Primary and secondary page design and capitalising on Latent Semantic Indexing (Long Tail Keywords)
- On Page SEO – Keyword density,Meta Tags, Page Naming etc
- Off Page SEO – This is about building backlinks from authority sites, Social media (likes,Google+s, reviews), Youtube videos linking back to your inner website page URLs. It can be accomplished via any or all of the following means:
- Social Media
- Social Bookmarking
- Google Places
- Press Releases
With all the new updates to Googles search algorithm (Penguin, Disavow functionality etc) you have to very careful in how you go about your search engine optimisation. Check out here to Googles rules on this and always adhere to the guidelines laid down. If you’re in a hurry and pay someone to blast thousands of poor quality backlinks at your website, be prepared for the Google Slap.
Once you have been “Slapped” it may take a very long time and many months to recover – if at all. Best to build backlinks and authority slowly and honestly. Google has signaled that it now puts more emphasis on Social Media activity and endorsements than just bulk backlinks.
The ranking algorithms also take into account the quality and frequency of content added to your website. Visitor endorsement of your content via Facebook likes, Google + pluses and Social Bookmarking activity is highly regarded in assessing your websites rankings.
All of these factors put together can make your website a source of lead and customer generation. If your competition isn’t competent or if there isn’t much competition to begin with, you may not have to use all of the above methods. The three absolute musts of the list are videos, social media, and Google Places, because these are all separate marketing campaigns on their own.
Test out those you can accomplish without too much outlay and ramp up the effort when you find methods that work for lifting your rankings. It pays to know where you sit in the rankings – so a cheap tool that I would recommend to measure your placings in the search engines is Magic Rank Checker.