There are lots of scam artists out there that try to promise you top three search engine rank. While they may be able to help you initially, if they get caught gaming the system then they (and you) run the risk of getting banned form search all together. If you understand how Google determines search engine rankings, you’ll realize that most of it you can do yourself.
So what’s the number one thing that small businesses should do to get ranked by Google?
Provide high-quality, unique content on your website. And you should pay particular attention to your home page. The pages on your website, should include useful information and be designed in a logical way. The content should be well written, unique to your site, relevant to your business and easily readable. If you have an information-rich site, then Google will find you. You can also submit your site to the search engines yourself or hire a service to do it but that’s no guarantee that they will rank your site well.
Once Google finds you, then what?
Google and other search engines rank pages based on proprietary algorithms. These algorithms are complicated formulas that basically work by trying to understand your site is about and then looking at all the other sites that link to your site and the sites that you link to from your site. They assign a search ranking based on all this data.
As your site matures, it will naturally get inbound from around the web. Google tries to distinguish between these naturally generated links and those that may appear to be unnatural or created specifically to try to make your site look more popular to the search engines. Natural links occur over time and the better your content/site, the better off your link profile will be.
Google also frequently updates its algorithm so if you’re thinking about trying to beat the system with link building tactics then you run the risk of getting put in the penalty box or banned all together. Find out more about Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Things to Avoid When Setting Up Your Website
We said earlier that your website content should be relevant to your business and easy to read. You may be tempted to fill your content with keywords. A few keywords are fine but don’t overdo it. If you have multiple keywords that you’re trying to rank for, you’re better off creating multiple pages focused on one or two specific keywords rather than trying put them all on a single page.
While most search engine optimization (SEO) services are legit, there are many who offer ways to improve your rank by using techniques that Google frowns upon. You need to understand that high-quality SEO is not done overnight. A good SEO provider will tell you that it will take some time and will explain to you the steps that they’re going to take. No SEO provider can guarantee you a specific placement. Beware of providers who won’t explain the techniques they’re going to use or guarantees a specific placement in a short time-frame. SEO should be just one part of your overall Digital Strategy.
Avoid replicating content in multiple places. It used to be you could write one keyword filled article and upload it to multiple sites across the web and improve your search ranking. With recent updates, Google has placed more emphasis on original content. Duplicate content on your site or on the web can actually hurt your rankings. You should focus you efforts on creating unique content for your web site.
Executive Take-Aways on the Basics of Search:
- Create high-quality content related to your business for your website.
- Good content will naturally drive search rankings and traffic in way that Google likes.
- There’s no short-cut to the top of the search engine rankings.
- SEO takes time and should just be a part of a broader digital strategy.
- Don’t duplicate your content across your website or the web.