Every business wants to be found on Google right? After all, Google is the number one search engine in Australia, with 93% of the market share. That is why the inquisitive minds of business owners everywhere want to know: “How do I get my business to show up on Google search results?” Add the following ‘10 things Google’s search algorithm loves’ to your online marketing toolkit to improve your business Web presence.
1. Quality Content
Generating fresh content has to be one of the number one rules for online marketing today. All content you post needs to be original, relevant and timely for it to appeal to people searching for terms related to your business. The best way to actively share your content is via a blog. Finding time to create and share content can be hard, but while long-form content is important, you can keep the majority of posts short and sweet. It’s a good idea to plan ahead with an editorial calendar, so you can pencil in some upcoming projects, discounts and promotions, events or product announcements.
2. Search Advertising
Search ads are particularly well emphasised by Google on the first page of local search results. This applies regardless of whether you intentionally search for local terminology or if Google detects local search intent. For example if you search for a plumber in Sydney on Google you’ll see most of the results above the fold (the portion of page you see before needing to scroll) are paid ads. Google also shows a number of map listings, and up to 10 organic results – so of course competition for these spots is rife. By having a balanced approach that utilises both search engine optimisation and search engine advertising, consumers will find your business.
3. Mobile Devices
Mobile search is rampant among smart phone users in Australia, and often leads to positive action being taken with a business after the initial search. 86% of smartphone owners search for local businesses on their phone and of these, 88% have gone on to take action with the business. That means it’s more important than ever to not only invest in mobile advertising, but also to make sure those mobile searches and clicks take consumers to a mobile landing page or website that’s optimised to capture those leads.
4. Map Listing
Regardless of whether consumers are searching via their desktop or mobile, your map listing is crucial in getting found on Google. Claiming your map listing via Google My Business pages and keeping them updated is important because consumers will often see these before they find your website. Optimise your listing with your business keywords, category, address, hours etc.
5. Google My Business Pages
Of course Google loves Google My Business– they own it! And that makes having a Google My Business page vital to your online marketing strategy. An optimised Google+ profile is key to making your maps listing more robust and handy for searchers, plus it’s a great way to share content and connect with your audience. This in turn will aid in increasing brand exposure, comments and backlinks, which can boost your SEO.
6. Social Media Pages
It is also essential to claim and optimise your social media profiles on sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn as this will help you claim more territory for your business on SERPs. However just having these pages won’t be sufficient, you need to consistently post engaging, sharable content that signals to search engines your page is a useful, active resource. Facebook shares and Tweets via your website or blog can also serve as indicators to Google search.
7. Localised Keywords
Always use geo-specific keywords to get your business found by consumers in your target area. Google search ranking factors indicate that the target keyword you’d like to rank for (‘emergency vet Sydney’ for example) needs to be present in various places on your website, including page title, links and anchor text. It’s also important to repeat these same keywords on your directory and review site listings, your Google My Business page and other social media pages you utilise to drive visits from local consumers. Be mindful not to stuff your Web pages and profiles with too many keywords as this can have a negative impact on your results, not to mention make it hard for consumers to read your content.
Backlinks are links to your website from other sites across the Web, and they’re counted as signals of authority to Google’s algorithm to help determine the usefulness of your content. However, not all links are weighted equally, Google emphasises the importance of high-quality links, those from content on sites and influencers that have authority and credibility. This demonstrates the importance of having interesting and engaging content so other sites will want to link to it. When you share engaging content on your blog, social media pages and marketing emails always include a call to action that asks your fans, followers and customers to share it. This will help spread your content and increase quality backlinks that Google loves.
Reviews for your business on your Google My Business page are valuable because they feature alongside your map listing on the SERP. Of course no one wants to highlight their business prominently with one-star reviews. Ask your happy customers to leave you thoughtful, positive reviews on your Google My Business page so new prospects can see great things about you. Plus, your map listing will display higher in the search results if you have more reviews with your target keywords.
A handy feature on Google+ is Authorship, which lets you link the content you publish on another domain directly to your personal Google+ profile. Your profile picture will appear next to content you have written in the search results, emphasising your article and helping increase clicks to it. This is perfect for not only building your personal brand, but also in helping you build credibility for your business by establishing yourself as a field expert. Plus, using your personal Google+ account is a handy way to spread the word and drive interest and shares throughout your personal network.
Have you noticed anything else that features prominently in a Google search? Let us know in a comment.