Over 90% of internet users in the US are using search engines every month, and a good majority of those users won’t even look past the first page of Google search results. 72% of consumers (as of 2016) who performed a locally based search – “_____ near me” – will visit a store within five miles of their current location. In other words, if you aren’t on Google’s first page, you’re missing out on a lot of potential website traffic, and even potential customers. So how do you get your website noticed on Google’s first page? Here are a few of the best practices to help your website achieve optimal SEO (search engine optimization).
1. Relevant Keywords & Content are Key
Keywords are one of the most important things that Google uses to determine website rankings on search results. The content on your website should be relevant to specific keywords that your target audience is searching – for example: “hair salon near me”, “Des Moines realtors”, “restaurants in Ames” are all examples of keywords you could be using on your website. Obviously, you would want these keywords to be relevant to your business. Placing these keywords throughout your site is going to be one of the best practices to help your website rank higher on Google searches.
Where you place the keywords is important as well. Google prefers websites that use keywords in a more natural way – in other words, don’t just randomly throw them around on your website. Make sure to use keywords in page titles, meta description, website URLs, alt tags, and naturally throughout the text on your web site.
Having a blog on your website is also a great way to use keywords in a natural way that Google will notice, and a blog can also provide genuinely useful content for your audience as well!
2. Responsive & User-Friendly Websites Rank Better!
Over half of Google searches are happening on mobile devices. It’s important that your website is responsive, and easy for users to navigate, especially on cell phones! Google places higher ranking authority on websites that are responsive.
Are you in need of a responsive website? Lucky for you, we can help with that! Check out our web design services.
3. Google My Business is a necessity, list your business with other directories too!
On the quick Google search for “restaurants near me” above, you can see that the first 3 listings and based off of Google My Business listings, and the next two listings are from TripAdvisor & Yelp – It counts to be listed on these directories!
Google My Business is a free tool from Google that helps business’s manage their online presence. If your business is seeking local exposure you need to make sure your company is listed on Google My Business! A Google My Business listing will usually include your business name, address, phone number, category, website, hours, description, photos, Q&As, reviews and sometimes some other fields that may be relevant to your business’s industry. Make sure that your listing is complete with all of these details – a completed listing receives 7x as many clicks, and are 70% more likely to result in a visit to your location.
It’s also important to make sure that your company is listed on other local business directories such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. First of all these directories have higher traffic & are heavily trusted by Google so they’re more likely to show up at the top of search engine results. Being listed on these directories and having positive, quality reviews is a great way to improve your online presence, and it will help customers put more trust into your company.
4. Run a Google AdWords Campaign
It takes time and effort to establish your websites SEO and to rank on the first page. Especially if you have a brand new website, or are new to implementing good SEO practices on your site. One easy way to show up at the top of Google search results is by running Google Ad campaigns. This will get your website to the top, and attract more traffic while you work on gradually improving your organic rankings.
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Getting your website ranked on Google can be challenging. It takes time and a conscious effort in order rank well! Following these tips is a great start for making sure that your website ranks well on Google!