You built a nice-looking website but it isn’t showing up in search results. Why isn’t it? How do you fix it? Many factors determine where your website shows up (or whether it shows up at all) in the search engine results. For this reason, we highly recommend paying someone skilled in search engine optimization rather than trying to do it yourself.
Many website designers claim they can optimize your website for search engines but the harsh reality is that very few web designers truly understand the multi-faceted formula for search engine optimization (SEO) success. Before taking their claims at face value, be sure to do your research and ask the right questions.
How do Websites Show Up on the Front Page of Google?
We hear this question all the time and the fact is, there is no simple answer. There is a plethora of factors that go into search engine placement. First and foremost is good content. If you don’t have good, quality content, no matter what else you do, your site will not show up high in the search results.
Know Your Target Audience
First and foremost, it is important to know your target audience. Know the way they think, the way they speak, etc. Know the problems they encounter in an average day. Without this intimate knowledge of your target audience, you won’t show up when they search for you because you won’t know what kind of questions they’ll be asking, what words they will use to look for the goods or services your company provides and you’ll be stabbing in the dark hoping you might be providing what they are looking for.
Researching and learning all about your target audience is really something that should be done in the very beginning, when just creating your brand. If your brand has already been created, then research who might be looking for your brand and why. Look at previous clients to find some of these answers but take it a step further and create an aggregate persona of your “typical” client. What are their likes, dislikes, problems, etc.
This knowledge is absolutely crucial to any kind of online success.
What is good, quality content? It is content people looking for your business or goods and services would be interested in reading. Many times, it is telling them how to do for free what you provide for a fee. It sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? We’ve all heard the phrase “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” but surprisingly, that doesn’t apply here. It’s quite the opposite.
People usually try to figure out how to do things themselves or on the cheap before they know everything that is involved. Write great blog posts that answer the questions they have and give them enough knowledge that they could do it themselves *if* they want to. Sure, some will read your articles and will do it themselves but others will realize the DIY version is much more expensive or involved than they originally thought and will contact you to do it instead.
In the case of those who contacted you to provide the service, that’s a win because you got a client and made money. In the case of those who read your “how-tos” and do it themselves, you still win, because they keep coming back to your site for more information on how to do other, similar things. Their frequent engagement with your content will boost your “trust score” with the search engines. A “trust score” is one of the factors in search engine algorithms that determine whether or not your content will show high in the search engine results.
Social Media Engagement
The second most important factor that determines your search engine ranking is your social media presence. You may have noticed that a lot of times, a business’s social media pages and posts will show up in the search engine results before their actual business page. If their website was optimized correctly, this likely wouldn’t be the case, though their social media accounts would still show up in the top results, along with their website.
Do you have an active social media presence on multiple social media platforms? Do you share relevant content? Do you engage with them by going to their page, liking and commenting on their content?
Social media marketing is not like traditional marketing where you tell them about your business, about your prices, etc. Social media marketing is about engaging people and building trust by interacting with them. They see your business name with each interaction and read your comments and interactions so when the time comes when they need your business, they will contact you.
This isn’t to say you should, never tell them about your business, prices, etc. You definitely should, but it should be minimal in comparison to you liking, commenting on, and sharing their content. A good rule of thumb is that 80% of your social media involvement should be interacting on other posts and sharing fun, non-business-related content, and only 20% of social media involvement should be sharing information and content related to your business.
A Current, Content-rich, Responsive Website
Just having a website or a “web page” isn’t enough in this digital age. Your website should not only contain lots of relevant content, it should be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and look fresh. Static webpages are a thing of the past.
Statistics show the majority of people searching for businesses, goods, and services, do so from their smart phones. Your website needs to be created in such a way that it displays nicely on desktops but also works just as well on smart phones, tablets, and other portable devices.
Even if you have good, quality content and an active social media presence, if your business website is one static page that looks like it was designed in 1999 and has had no updates or content changes since then, the search engines will not deem your website worthy of placing in the search engine results.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of factors that go into determining search engine placement. Though the factors listed here are of heavy importance, these are only a few of the many dozens of factors that go into search engine result placement.
If you’d like to learn more, contact Carmik Design for a free consultation, today!