So you’re here for most likely one of two reasons. You either have a sparkling brand new website and it’s not ranking, or you’re still in the research stage and looking at what you need to do to have your website found once it is published.
“So why isn’t my website coming up on page one, and how do I fix it?” Is one of the most common questions we hear. The answer is, as you would expect, not as simple and straightforward as we hope it would be. There is no easy way, or silver bullet, to get the best ranking on Google.
There are, however, a few things – if done correctly, which will help to improve your website’s traffic and rankings. So let’s get to it, and get that site ranking!
Step 1: Speed test your site – it needs to be super speedy!
Google & Bing like a fast loading page! Check out Googles Page Speed Insights to analyse your website. It’s a great way to see what needs fixing on both mobile and desktop environments. It also gives you helpful “how to fix” suggestions as well as user experience issues.
Another service to try is Pingdom Tools Website Speed test which can highlight bottlenecks in your website build. Both of these tools are free to use and a great way for you to see how your website performs across the board.
Step 2: Your website must be responsive. Mobile friendly FTW!
Google has made it a ranking factor in recent years that websites which are “mobile friendly” will get a ranking boost over competing websites which are not “mobile friendly”.
Desktop computers are no longer the be-all and end-all. In this day and age, we need to consider the number of people now accessing the web on devices such as mobiles, phablets, tablets, hybrid laptops to fitness watches!
How do you check if your site is mobile friendly? Well, there’s a tool for that, Google has provided a helpful tool to check out the Mobile-Friendly Tester.
Step 3: Keywords! How to target the right ones?
Ok I won’t lie, it’s incredibly hard to rank high with some keywords, actually, it is difficult to rank high with most keywords nowadays. There is just way too much competition out there on a lot of the keywords you will want to use, and going up against the much larger companies that can throw money at SEO like there is no tomorrow is a battle most of us won’t win.
There is however another path you can take – looking for keywords with less competition.
Any given month you can find keywords ranking well but lack competition, choosing keywords like these can allow you to draw more traffic. For example “Gold Coast Taxi” might have way too much competition, whereas “taxi Gold Coast” might still have a high search rate but not a lot of competition.
So how does one work this magic out? Well, there’s a tool for that too! Google has provided the Keywords Research Tools, here you will be able to see search volumes on your specific keywords and be able to work out the best ones to use.
Step 4: Optimize your website around these Keywords.
I will cover the main points here briefly, you can read my other blog post “How to write a blog that ticks all the boxes”, which goes into these points in greater detail.
URL Optimization: The best way to do this is to have the URL describe the page and content so it’s easier for Google to crawl and see the relevant content provided. I generally will use the title of the page or something very similar to it. For example www.yourdomain.com/name-it-like-this-to-do-it-right.
Keywords in the title: You want to work in your keywords here within a descriptive title, keep it short – under 60 characters. Say your keywords we’re “Surfboard Ding Repair” your title would be “Joe’s awesome tips for surfboard ding repairs anyone can do”. Another tool that’s worth noting is the Moz: New Title Tag Guideline & Preview Tool.
Header Tags: The H1 HTML Header tag is the most important tag to optimize with your keywords.
Image Names Alt Tags: I tend to use naming style similar to the URL, again optimize with your keywords. If it’s a picture of a scary spider on the wall, call it scary-spider-on-wall.jpg and make sure the ALT text describes the image as well. So to look at in in code <img src=”/scary-spider-on-wall.jpg” alt=”scary spider on the wall in my house” />.
Meta Description: This is a short description that gives users more information than your title, make sure it does not exceed 155 characters, or the search engine may truncate it.
Internal Links: Link building isn’t just reserved for external sites linking back to your website. You can also link internal pages within your website.
Link to other posts that might be related and have more information about a certain subject matter you might be covering in your current blog post.
If you can also make the “Anchor text” link relatable or keyword optimized to the page your linking to, this is great for your SEO as well.
External Links: Link to quality external websites, link building goes both ways.
Main point here is this; wherever you add keywords make sure they flow seamlessly in the description or wording. Always make your content feel natural, without overusing your keywords.
Step 5: Keep your Page Updated regularly
Search engines love new content so it’s a good idea to be continually updating content on the pages of your website & blog.
Step 6: Content is King – Blog often, blog now!
Blogging is a great tool, providing a place for quick and relevant content creation! Blog posts can be shared on social media, optimized with your keywords, and build that ever desired trust with your users – cementing you as a verified source of information on the topics you cover.
With great content easily accessible and shareable from your blog, you have a great tool appear as an authority in your field. This will generate organic traffic to your website, which is the main goal of all SEO practices.
Don’t know how to write blog posts? I have a blog on that, “How to write a blog that ticks all the boxes”.
Step 7: Get Social on Social Media!
One of the first thing you should be looking at is social media, if you’re not sure which ones are right for you, make sure you read my other blog Top 7 Social Media your Business needs. A huge amount of traffic can be generated from Social Media, and Google loves links that come from social media sites. If you don’t have a Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest they’re all really easy to sign up for – Simply Google: “how to setup a LinkedIn or Facebook Business page” to get started.
Once you have your social media portals ready you can share your blog content to try and drive people back to your site.
Also join Facebook or LinkedIn groups related to your industry and/or field. Give relevant and helpful information and always link back to your page. If you can, help with questions asked by linking to previously written blog post or article.
Step 7: Link Building – Offsite Optimization
Google gives you more credit for quality inbound links, a.k.a. backlinks. The basic goal here is to get other website to link back to you.
One of the best way is to reach out to other business in your industry or that you work with and ask them to link back to you. Another option can be to submit blog posts to popular blogs in your industry or field.
You can also submit your site to local, business and industry based directories. One important note is to not use directories that have nothing to do with your industry or business, as these will likely be low quality links.
Step 8: Get found on Google by setting up Google My Business!
Setting your business up on Google My Business and Places is very easy and it will allow users to find you on Google Maps and across all Google services. This is a no brainer so if you haven’t done this yet make sure you do.
Step 9: Monitor your results, adjust and monitor again.
Now the last step to making sure you’re ranking higher and better: analyse the results! How is this done?
Firstly, you will need to set up Google Analytics and allow it to start tracking your site. You can learn a lot about your visitors and monitor all your traffic and even set up goals, which can let you see what keywords lead visitors to a CTA or form on your website.
Now you can use other tools to monitor a lot of metrics, 2 of my favourites are Raven tools and Authority Labs. Both have 30 day free trials so you can set them up to track keywords, analytics as well as social media and even SEO performance Audits.
Step 10: Content is king
Remember that fresh relevant engaging content that users can easily access, and consume, is the best way to get organic traffic and rank higher. So always update and always blog.
To wrap it up, if you follow these suggestions you will be in a much better standing to receive traffic, and Google and Bing will be a lot happier with your optimized site. Hopefully you will start seeing this translate into an increase in the traffic your new site is receiving.