How To Rank On Google First Page In 2015
Being found on Google is crucial if you want people to be aware of your business but the strategies and tactics of being ranked on Google are constantly evolving. If you have never undertaken search engine optimisation before, or it has been a while since you have reviewed your SEO strategies, it makes sense to refresh yourself with what Google is looking for in 2015.
Why you should get your business online
Hopefully everyone is aware of the importance of being found online and having an online presence. However, there will still be many businesses who utilise more traditional forms of promotion, overlooking what an online presence has to offer. One of the key reasons why you should get your business online is down to the fact that traditional print media (newspapers, Yellow pages) is declining.
People at home are looking for your contact details online. Even if you have a physical store that provides a physical product from your store, people will want to check your address, telephone number, opening hours, and they can do all of this online very quickly and easily. If people cannot find your store online, they will not come to your store or contact you. 95% of users only choose results shown on the first page of Google. This emphasises the importance of being found on the first page of Google.
80% of users click on organic results as opposed to clicking on the adverts. People trust the organic results, believing them to be more relevant to your needs. Clicking on organic search results will help you to find local businesses or major companies that have a store or presence in the local area.
140 billion searches take place every month in Google, and this is growing all the time. There are 4.6 billion searches on Google every single day and 191 million searches every hour. Technology is changing and improving all the time.
Tom-Tom Sat Navs are now linked to Google and can search and provide you with information. The Apple Watch is upon us, providing you with search capabilities from your wrist and the next wave of development for internet connection will come with TVs.
50% of searches have local intent. This means that it is a search for a local business and this is a growing market. It used to be that Yellow Pages and business directories would provide people with contact details for companies but nowadays, local consumers are looking online for details for local customers.
40% of searches are mobile searches and within the next year, it is believed this figure will reach over 50%. There is also a growing capability where Google search engine results on iPhone and iPad devices inform you, before you even click on a site, is if the site is mobile friendly or not. It is likely that most users will opt for a mobile friendly option, so you need to make sure that your website is mobile optimised.
This is something that businesses need to consider, and the most effective solution is a responsive design. This will ensure that your site is optimised for the user, no matter what device they use. 93% of searches that take place on a mobile device take place on Google and 70% of searches on a desktop take place on Google.
To compare the size of Google with traditional media, you should consider that Yell, the online version of the Yellow Pages, the traditional business directory in the UK, receives 400 visitors per day. This means that Yell undertakes fewer searches in a day than Google undertakes in a minute.
All of these factors mean that you need to shift towards Google and base your strategy on it.
How to get on to the first page of Google
You should always look to work within the Google Guidelines, and these are some of the key aspects to bear in mind when looking to rank highly on Google.
On Page Optimisation
Meta Tags – key phrases that are in the page. They should be short and punchy, relevant to your page or product/service and you should separate them with a comma. Meta tags used to be very relevant and while this is not so much the case these days, they are still important and you should consider including them as a matter of good housekeeping. If you are looking to rank for local listings, make sure that you include the location in the same phrase as your product/service/description – such as “plumber London” or “London butcher”.
Meta Descriptions – This should be a sentence or two that informs users about your business. It will also help search engines to understand what you offer. You should look to include a call to action or some information that encourages users to clock through to your page. Identify the key phrase you want to rank for and the key phrase should be less than 5% density for this phrase. Keeping the sentence as natural as possible is important, so you should focus on the user, telling them what you offer, as opposed to being solely focused on search engines.
Alt tags – These are in images and they are of tremendous benefit to users who have sight disabilities, but they are also utilised by search engines to understand the content on the page.
Title tags – Think of your title tag as a newspaper headline. This is the aspect where you can grab people’s attention and drive them to your site. A title tag should have your keyword and your selling point. You should also look to encourage people to click through. In this regard, title tags can be seen as being similar to email marketing in that you can have great content but if your title isn’t enticing, many people may not find your site.
You should look to have a unique page for every keyword phrase you are looking to rank for. Remember to keep the keyword density low and have unique and relevant content on each page.
Link Building – The more sites that link to you, the higher up the searches your site will be. Link building is a very important factor for SEO and the quality of links is important. The following methods are useful in link building:
Social Media – Link to and from your site and social media pages like Facebook or Twitter. Social media is a great way of showing that you are alive and you can engage with customers, hopefully receiving shares, showcasing your content to more users.
Press Releases – Google announced that press releases are not as good as they used to be for search engine optimisation. You should NOT use free press releases; you will find that paid for press release services, such as promoted by PRWeb, it is of benefit. Promoting your business is a natural action for companies, and Google will appreciate the fact that you are acting in a traditional and normal manner. You won’t get search engine ranking benefits from Google with press releases but it will grow awareness in your firm and it should help to increase the number of links to your site as other sites or news agencies pick up on the stories.
Directory Submissions – You should only use the very best directory sites that are recognised by Google. Again, avoid poor quality directory sites as these can harm your ranking, but viable options include:
• Touch Local
• Trust Pilot
You can add free listings to these directories and there is no need to pay for the premium services.
Blogging – If you provide good content that people want to read, you will see people coming back to you and it is more likely that your content will be shared. Offering content relating to your industry or your local area can position yourself as an expert in the industry, improving the perception people have of your firm and hopefully increasing traffic towards your site. You can create a blog that draws people to your site, and you should be looking to update regularly, while also providing links to your site.
Articles – Article sites have been hit in the same manner as press releases but again, if you choose high quality sites, you can benefit from effective links. Examples of reliable article sites include:
Trade Bodies & Suppliers – If you supply a certain good, say Sony Headphones, contact Sony and ask to be included on their site as an official vendor or supplier of their products. Being listed as an official supplier on a company site will provide you with a link and Google will appreciate the authority that comes from this style of link.
Social Marketing – Similar to using Tumblr and Reddit, finding ways to get links from these sites will be of benefit. You will find that YouTube is a tremendous place to get links from; it is the second biggest search engine in the world. Make a video, post it on to YouTube and in the description box below, make sure you link back to the story and your site. This will create a link to your site and it will further increase your credibility.
If you want to rank your business, look at who is number one in your local area or for the keyword phrase you want to rank for, take their website address and then use backlink tools to see all the links that your competitor has. You should then obtain all of these links and then add more links, and this will help you to be the most authorities search on Google for “free backlink tool” and you will find good options, especially if you are a local firm. If you are a major or national firm, investing money may be of value. This is a simple process but it is a highly effective one, allowing you to be quickly regarded as the leading firm or option in your field.
The impact of Google Penguin
The Google Penguin algorithm update is one that penalises over-optimisation.
It is difficult to recover from a Penguin hit, and if you have bene hit by Penguin, it is probably better to start from scratch with a new site. If you have poor quality links, you will be hit by Penguin. An example of this would be using poor quality press release sites or directory sites. If you use link networks, you will be punished. If you buy links in bulk, you will be punished. If you have poor quality content, you will be punished. All of these elements mean you should reconsider your SEO and content strategy and quality is far better than quantity. This is a marked change from previous SEO strategies and if you haven’t revisited or renewed your marketing activities in recent times, it may be that you are at risk of being penalised by Google.
With respect to quality and proper content, even the “anchor text” of your link, the wording included in the section where people click, is important. Links have to be useful and if you are using links, use your brand name. You need a small amount of anchor text to use keyword phrases but generally, using “click here” or your brand name is important.
These steps and guidelines will help you to rank well on Google in 2015 and if you follow them all, you will have a strong opportunity to rank on the first page of Google.
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