You might already have a really pretty and easy-to-navigate website, but if it doesn’t really show up in Google searches, all the effort will be wasted. If your site is not ranking well, it will be difficult for new and would-be clients to discover your brand online. Thus, having an online presence is simply not enough. It has to be optimized so you have better chances of landing page 1.
What Google-Friendly Means
You might ask: why does it matter that I rank well on Google, when there are other search engines like Bing or Yahoo? Simple. Among all of them, Google has the widest reach — and for a business, that’s what matters. You need to expose your name to as many people as possible. In fact, in a recent survey among website owners, 90 to 95 percent of traffic has been driven by Google. This is because Google is the go-to search engine of just about anybody in the world.
Being Google-friendly means its search and classification mechanism is working in your favor. That means its machinery can easily locate your website, scan through it and give it a good ranking. There are two ways you can boost traffic to your site. One is buying advertisements that appear on results pages when specific keywords are entered. This is done via AdWords. Second is to invest time and effort on building your site’s content to get page one results.
The former will cost you, but the second one is free. The latter is the one that requires work, however, but the rewards are great. Organic traffic lasts longer, too, and is not bound by any payment period or contract. Here are some tips on how to put your site on Google’s good side.
1. Your URL should be keyword-rich.
Your website’s URL is your address. For a person to get exactly to where you are, you have to put in something specific. For instance, if somebody types in “red apples,” a URL like fruits.com/products/juicy-red-apples.htm will rank better than something like fruits.com/products/123.html. You see the difference?
2. Your titles should be descriptive and clear.
Similar to the concept of a good URL, your website’s title should also be targeted. Continuing on the “red apples” example, the title Red Apples | Organic Online Grocery will fare better than “Fruits | Online Shopping.”
3. Generate incoming links.
A great way for your potential market to find you is to develop quality content regularly. Aside from helping position your website as an authority or a trusted resource on the product or service, you could also gain traffic from people who don’t initially set out to look for you online. For example, red apples are one of the highest sources of vitamin C among fruits. If somebody searches for “vitamin C rich foods,” your website may come up.
4. Stay away from underground SEO strategies.
They’re a quick fix, but they can also harm your business in the long run. Samples of these sketchy tactics are link exchange programs and actually buying links just to boost your ranking. These SEO tricks are frowned upon and Google might remove you permanently from its index.
5. Be original.
Do not post duplicate content. Make your update fresh, original and engaging. Post photos and videos about your product. Post regular updates. Just don’t copy and paste from another source. This will hurt your credibility. Remember, the Internet can make or break your business, so work on the safe and legal side at all times.