Effective marketing today requires an SEO strategy. Consumers rely on search engines like Google to get answers to questions and make decisions throughout the day. However, consumers rarely ever find businesses by searching for specific business names. Rather, they search for information, products, and services, and they come across businesses that provide it. You might think that with a website and a few directory listings, consumers can easily find your business on Google—but can they? If you search for your business on Google, are you able to find it? If you can’t find your business on Google, read on to learn about some culprits that could be burying you in search engine results pages.
Search engine optimization isn’t just about meeting searchers’ needs. In fact your first priority is to optimize it for crawling so that search engines can index it and serve it up to searchers. If you don’t have keywords in these places on your webpages, Google will have a hard time indexing you, and users with finding you.
• Title Tags: This is the title of your pages or post, and the first piece of information Google collects to “read” it.
• Meta Content: This is the brief snippet that appears on search engine results pages and further describes your page or post to search engines
• URL: The URL is the unique address for each page or post
• Alt Tags: Alt tags create a text alternative of photos that Google can read them
When people search for products and services, they commonly type in [industry, product, service] + [their city or town]. If your website does not make your business’s location loud and clear to search engines, you’re less likely to be found this way. It will also throw your website into the larger industry bucket, rather than your local area, making it even harder to rank.
Make sure your website is responsive or mobile-friendly. Google loves to provide websites to users that are easy to use and meet their needs. If your website crashes, loads slowly, or functions poorly on mobile devices, Google will want to hide it to protect its users from a poor experience.
Having a working website is not enough. Users need to be able to move around on it easily and intuitively. Google can detect poor navigation structure through its users’ behavior. Make sure your website is optimized for seamless navigation and longer engagement. Otherwise it will get buried under competitors’ websites that are more user-friendly.
Each page on your website should target a different keyword, and the keywords should be placed into the body of the page naturally. If you can’t find your website when you type relevant search terms into Google, make sure the page associated with that keyword has accurate, up-to-date, useful information.
The keywords that you should use are ones that your customers are going to be most likely to look for. To find this, it’s best to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and figure out what they would search for based on their priorities and experiences. For more information on how to use local keywords and keyword tools, check out this post.
The faster Google can index your business, the more quickly users can find it online. Setting up a Google My business page can help Google learn about your website faster. In addition, you also set your business up to get online reviews, which can further help with your ranking and visibility.
Even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, being on Google Maps is essential for getting found on Google. If you can’t find your business on Google Maps, it’s time to create a listing. If you do find your business but don’t have access to it, you’ll want to claim it.
Getting listed in online directories isn’t enough. It’s important to be getting positive reviews regularly. The better your reputation is on review sites like Yelp, the more Google will know it can trust you and rank you higher in its results.
Having a website and directory listings is only the first step in ensuring that you can easily find your business on a Google search. If you want to stay visible despite your competitors’ efforts and the volume of content online, optimize your online presence with the tips above. Once you can easily find your website on Google, you can rest assured that potential customers can find it too.