Have you ever wondered why certain websites rank higher than others on a Google search? Google’s search engine uses a variety of methods to determine which pages are displayed first in the results. Their exact formula is a secret, but there a few things you can do to rank your websites higher or improve your positioning.
David de Souza, contributing author of Search Engine Land and a partner at Go Fish Digital, shared with Forbes.com some strategies to help your website get more links or turn up on the first page of a Google search.
Pool your votes. Business owners don’t realize www.yourwebsite.com and http://yourwebsite.com are seen as different pages by search engines. This can result in any links that you receive being diluted between the two pages. It’s the equivalent of a political party splitting up and the votes being shared by the two new parties. The solution to this common problem is to tell Google you want all the votes from www.yourwebsite.com to be counted toward http://yourwebsite.com. This can be easily implemented by using a permanent (known as a 301) redirect from one of the pages to the other.
Donate to charity. Often, charities will list their donors and benefactors on their website. If there is a relevant charity your business can donate to, ask to be listed on this page, with a link back to your website.
Locate references without links. Look for web pages which mention your business or website. Without a link back to your site, Google will not count the citation as a vote. You can use Google Alerts to create an automated notification, so anytime a website mentions your business, you will receive an e-mail. You can then get in touch and ask them to provide a link back to your website.
Book speaking engagements. A short biography of the speaker is usually included on the event website. This is an excellent opportunity to include a link back to your business. If members of your staff spoke at events for a previous employer, ask them to update their biographies to include a link to your company (the person’s currently employer) also.
Target the right keywords. One of the biggest mistakes websites make is targeting the wrong keywords. Take the time to analyze the keywords which produce conversions and bring you clients. One way to do this, is to have analytics software, like Google Analytics, installed on your website so you can see how visitors are interacting and finding your site. Often, businesses target broad, high-volume keywords which convert well, instead of ranking keywords based on multiples of volume, competitiveness, and conversion rate.
To get Google to rank your website higher, also consider design, image optimization, content, and the “extras.”
Design: Your design needs to quickly and efficiently communicate what your website is about and demonstrate how it can add value to the user. Design is as much about responding to user needs, as it is about visual appeal. Design and content should work hand-in-hand. Design maximizes the impact of the content. Use shapes, lines, color, texture, and content to create informative, engaging websites. To design a quality website, a lot of thought should be given to the navigation, layout, color, and fonts.
Images and Content: Images send search engines important relevancy signals. Writing for the web is writing for both users and robots at the same time. You can create more engaging content by selecting the content medium which best communicates your message. As such, copy, text, and images can all be used, cohesively, to create a very effective content-rich page. Be sure your content is proofed and edited. If possible, pay a professional editor to read the copy before posting live.
The extras: Testimonials, blogs, and links to articles, as well as a form to fill out when visiting your site, are all important elements to include when creating a site to rank higher with Google.
- As important as it is to give testimonials, it’s just as important to have them on your site from real clients. Testimonials show potential clients you are trustworthy, reliable, and that you offer great service and/or products. Make sure the testimonials are real and, if possible, provide contact details of the person who supplied you with the testimonial. If you don’t have any, right now, get them! Simply email your clients and ask for feedback on your business and service.
- Blogs drive traffic to your website, help increase SEO, position you and your practice as an industry leader, and help you develop better customer relationships. Your blog gives you the opportunity to create relevant content for your customers. Use this as a marketing tactic to drive traffic back to your website. Make the blog on your website the foundation for all of your social media platforms. Be sure to post inbound links directly in your blog articles to drive traffic to specific landing pages of your website and use images and video with your blogs.
- Creating relevant, engaging, and frequent content can help drive traffic to your site.
*Advisors – please ensure your website is compliant with your firms’ policies.
Summit Brokerage Services is a member of Cetera Financial Group, RCS Capital Corporation’s (NYSE: RCAP) retail investment advice platform.
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