It’s possible to compete with established companies and big brands if you prepare your website properly.
Getting to the top of a google search is today’s equivalent of hunting for the Holy Grail for many people. But there are some simple tricks to getting your business or product high up the rankings (page 1) on key search terms. And it’s possible to do it without spending a penny.
1. Understand where the demand is
Spend some time understanding what people are already looking for, and then align your services and language around that. Google’s Keyword Planner & Google Trends are free tools to use, and will give you an idea of what people are searching for online. You can also use browser tools to view the page source code of high ranking sites to see the keywords contained in their metadata.
(*1) so long as you have a Google adwords account, but it is free to sign up for.
2. Prioritise key words
Think about how relevant that term is and how you can best compete. For example, if we are looking for a painter and decorator in Liverpool we target the term “decorators in Liverpool” rather than just “local decorators.” Despite having far fewer searches, this keyword is far more likely to convert to a lead.
3. Keep your site in order with good internal linking
This will help Google understand what pages are important for you and will allow users to find other helpful content. And there are many tools online to help you spot and fix code errors, one example is the IIS Toolkit. Just make sure every menu item and button actually goes somewhere. If you can link to other relevant complimentary businesses and ask them to do so in return. these backlinks can quickly help establish a new website on the block.
4. Track everything – for free
There are a number of tracking tools available to help you understand how well you’re doing online. Google Webmaster Tools will help track traffic to your site and Twitter Analytics will help you track your social media impact. Google Webmaster Tools will give you an indication of exactly what Google sees when it visits your site. Factors such as site speed, 404 errors, broken links and site significance are all listed here. If you see a problem amend your website or let your website managing company know asap!
5. Ask others to link to your site
Make a list of the people your business deals with on a daily basis and then ask them to link to your site in return for a link on your site. Start asking suppliers, customers and aquaintances for a start. You can point out the fact that such reciprocal links will also benefit them. Also try searching your own brand name online to find people who already talk about you, then ask them to add in a link. Another easy win is to submit your site details to relevant directories. Always add links to your website on Social Media posts. You can shorten the URL using services like bit.ly. The more links the better! But avoid spamming services that offer to provide you with 100′s of links for a fee! Google is wise to this and will punish you when your caught by demoting your website down the rankings.
6. Get your business out there
Get involved with your customers on social media. Share your insights, advice and thoughts with potential customers and people on relevant forums, social media or groups to show search engines you’re an authority in the space. Not only will this give you an advantage over competitors, but it will encourage customers to recommend you on social networks, or write positive reviews online. Google considers all the signals it can when ranking sites, so the more you’re doing, the better.
None of the above need cost you a penny. It takes a bit of time and some dedication. Social media can take over your life so be warned! Always keep in mind that the internet is a big shop window and you want to put on your best face for the public! Avoid making controversial statements on Social Media or retweeting those that do. Stay positive and be persisitent, you will quickly see your website climb the google rankings to that treasured first page.
See my article on choosing the best hosting provider HERE. My overall choices for the best hosting providers are –
Best Budget UK Based Shared Hosting Provider
Best Overall Hosting Support & Platform Shared & VPS Hosting
Best Cloud, VPS & Dedicated Server Hosting Provider
*A relatively new type of hosting, ‘Cloud Hosting’ has emerged in recent years. I will write another article on this subject and or amend this article when I have firmed up my thoughts on this development.