A huge part of any marketing strategy should include SEO (Search Engine Optimization). And since Google remains the top search engine, improving your business’s Google Search ranking should also be emphasized in your SEO strategy.
If you’re less than impressed with your Michigan business’s current Google Search ranking, keep reading! Below, you’ll find five tips to improve your rankings — and hopefully bring more clients to your business:
1. Make sure your website is technically sound
In order to rank your website in the Search results, Google needs to be able to read your website. While that might seem simple, the way the algorithm reads your site isn’t the same way you — or any other humans — read your website.
Even though you probably put a lot of effort into the design and content of your website, all Google can see is text and links. Other design elements and photos are invisible, so they don’t do anything to improve your Search rankings. That’s why it’s important to include ALT text for photos — and to keep your website structure simple.
Make sure your website is easy to navigate, and try to keep your URLs short. Double check that all of your links are working properly, and keep links as text only. Optimize your image file sizes, employ browser caching, and keep your titles short. And don’t forget about adding meta descriptions! Get more technical tips here from Search Engine Journal.
Speed is another important factor. If your website runs super slowly because it has too many plug-ins or is behind on updates, it’s harder for Google to “crawl” and index your site. If your webpages are loading too slowly, try these tips from Hubspot or use the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool.
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2. Keep your content up-to-date
Regularly adding new content — and updating old content — is necessary to keep your website “relevant” in the Search rankings.
If you don’t have pages on your website you need to regularly update, like product inventory, special announcements, etc., consider starting a blog. A blog will not only keep your website in the Search rankings, but it’s a great way to keep customers engaged and informed. Learn more about how creating a blog can help your business here.
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3. Keywords really are key to SEO
To have good SEO, you need to use keywords. But remember: Quality, not quantity, is key. Using too many keywords will actually hurt your Search ranking — it’s against Google’s guidelines.
Instead, you should focus on which keywords are most relevant to your webpages. Make sure you’re choosing keywords that are the most “searchable.” Typically, people use Google Search in a conversational tone. So when you’re coming up with keywords, think about how you would search for your website on Google.
For example: If you were planning a Fall hike in Virginia and wanted to find the best place to view Fall foliage, what would you Search? Probably something like “best Fall hikes near me” or “best places to view Fall foliage in Virginia” or maybe even “where to see fall leaves in Virginia.” Keep this conversational tone in mind when coming up with keywords. If you need a little more help with keywords, check out this guide from Hubspot.
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4. Add relevant links to your webpages
Linking to other websites — and to other pages on your own website — will also help your Google Search ranking.
But like keywords, it’s important to remember quality over quantity.
Yes, providing a lot of links on a webpage can certainly help. But like keyword stuffing, it’s frowned upon to just make every other word on your webpage a link. Any links you add to your website need to be relevant to the topic and useful to your readers.
5. Use Google’s Business Profile to increase your Local Search rankings
Beyond employing the basic SEO strategies, you should also complete a Google Business Profile. A business profile will help your business rank on Local Search results — including Google Maps. So when a potential customer is searching for a particular service you provide or item you sell in your area, your business will be more likely to show up near the top of the Google Search results.
Want to further improve your SEO strategy? Check out this Hubspot blog packed with resources about the ever-changing SEO rules. Take it a step further by learning how to perform an SEO audit from Search Engine Journal.
Make sure you provide a detailed business description in your profile. Follow these other tips from Google to optimize your Local Search rankings.