Top Tips to Help Improve your Google Ranking
In this week’s blog, we are going to take a look at why your Google ranking is important and how you can improve it. By utilising a few simple but effective methods, you can ensure that your website is performing as well as it can be and getting noticed by people on the web.
Are you content?
Content is crucial as it gives purpose and meaning to your website, it’s what you use to communicate your messages and it’s what makes up the majority of your website. It’s how you use and tailor that content that will help boost your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). One of the most important things is ensuring that content is regular and up to date. The easiest way to do this is by having a blog or latest news page (they are for all intents and purposes the same thing). A blog/news page allows for regular, dated content which can help build you a readership over time; it’s also a great way to add relevant keywords and phrases naturally, providing a digital library for search engines such as Google to browse. Something like this can be updated once a month, or more frequently if you find you have the time, so even when you’re on the mat teaching, your website will still be helping to bring in new leads!
Much like your keyword phrases, make sure your blog articles are relevant to your industry and expertise, this helps ensure any keywords used are going to be seen as relevant by search engines.
Wording is Key!
Keywords are pretty important, you might even say… key! They are select words or phrases that search engines pick up on and will associate with your website. Thankfully these words and phrases are something you can choose yourself, but it’s important to keep them relevant to your business.
You also need to think about what words or phrases your target audience (prospects) are likely to type into a search engine. Have a think about what your competitors may be using, this will allow you to start to compete for a wider variety of keywords. Make sure that your content is also using relevant keywords; keep them on-topic and your key phrases in line with the products and services you are providing.
If you are having a tough time figuring out which keywords will be right for you, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to help you. Simply type in your keywords into the tool and it will tell you how popular that particular word or phrase is. Be careful when going for popular keywords as this means you are up against a good deal of competition, sometimes it can be more beneficial going for the longer keyword phrases as these could actually give you better results, as these are more specific and less competitive.
Be sure to try and include some localised keywords too, as these help your ranking when people are searching nearby. For example if you offer ‘Martial Arts classes in Nottinghamshire’, have that as a keyword phrase; that way anyone searching for ‘Martial Arts’ in Nottinghamshire is much more likely to find you. Locally based keywords can have the biggest impact on your SEO as Google see’s the results as being more relevant for the people searching for these.
What’s the link?
Getting links to your website, also known as back-linking, is a tremendously effective way to build your SEO. As a search engine ‘crawls’ the internet (searching for useful information), it will look for links directing people to your website from other websites. This is effectively like a recommendation from another company that the search engine will use as credibility. The more relevant these back-links are and the more you have, the higher you will rank in the search engine listings.
Hang on just a moment! Getting too many backlinks from sites that are not relevant to your own is something Google will punish you for, lowering your ranking. Instead, make sure your back-links are credible! Use back links from existing clients or partners, showing that you are credible to the search engine and any potential prospects. Try to acquire links from local companies, industries and governing bodies as this also helps to give a great boost to your local search rankings. Couple this with the suggested locally based keywords above and you will start to see your search ranking improve.
Citations, who, what, why?
Citations are mentions of your business but without a link from an external website. The important thing about citations is to ensure your business name, address and contact details are consistent across all websites where your business is mentioned.
Make sure that the address you are using for your business on your website, is replicated across any sites mentioning these details. This counts for your own social media pages such as Facebook as well! Make sure that if you use any abbreviations for your name on your website, such as Ltd instead of Limited, that this is also replicated across any sites using your details. These small bits of information will make a difference to the greater picture and help improve your local SEO.
There are several ways to help generate more citations for your business; some of these are more simple than others to set up such as local or industry-specific directories, blogs, forums and social media sites. Some of the more alternative sources for citations include press releases, articles and guest post bylines, question and answer sites, image and video descriptions, profile pages and forum signatures.
The best starting place for citations is directories. Here are a few recommended for local businesses in the UK:
Google My Business and Maps
It’s highly recommended that you sign up for a Google My business account, this is an effective way of getting an additional boost to your local search rankings, while also getting your business details to show up in both Google search and Google Maps. Your Google My Business page also allows users to leave comments and reviews, which can be seen by anyone who finds your business via Google search, the more positive ratings you have via this method, the more confidence it will give to people who see your listing in Google.
Google Maps will take your business page information and use it help create a listing within the Google Maps application. This will allow people who search for a broad term such as ‘Martial Arts’ to see your Martial Arts school not only in the search results but also in the Google Map results. The map results provide additional information to people’s searches, such as your business address, contact number, customer reviews and a handy button that allows people to plan a route to your location.
There is a slight catch to this service being activated and verified, however. Google will require you to prove that the details you have entered are correct and the business you have identified is indeed at the address you have specified. Google will require you to pass an authentication process before it begins listing you on Google maps, so better get started sooner rather than later!
For additional details and help, take a look at Google’s Search Engine Optimisation Guide. This guide goes over a majority of the points covered in this blog but with additional levels of detail and other useful tips and tricks you may wish to consider.
If you have any questions on any of the points mentioned in this blog, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0115 945 5030.