How to Rank Higher on Google [SEO Tips]

As a followup to our previous post (I Want to Rank #1 on Google), here’s a few more tips on how to improve your Search Engine Optimization and get your website to appear higher on Google and other search engines.

We really want to help our clients get a higher rank in Google, but often to do that they need to learn to help themselves!

Proper Markup

This is what we take care of when we build your website. Using proper web standards to code your website allows search engines like Google and Bing to properly index the content (more on that in a moment) on your website.

It’s a bit like how you see a website or brochure. If everything on your brochure was all the same font size and colour, a person looking at it wouldn’t know where to start viewing. You wouldn’t have any control over informing the viewer of your brochure what is important – other than just repeating the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And over.

Properly marked up code allows Google to know that your headings are headings, your bold text is bold and the fine print is the fine print. It’s what we do best and we’ll do it every time on each website we build.

Make Great Content

This is where you come in. And it’s perhaps even more important than the proper markup we take care of. Google can index your site as many times as you want, but if there’s nothing on there that anybody wants to see then it’s all for nothing because nobody is going to click on your website in the search results on Google.

If you run a wedding dress cleaning service, make sure that there’s a description of how well you clean wedding dresses and the process you do to make sure the dress is really clean that seats you apart from that other wedding dress cleaning service down the street.

Also make sure there is actual useful information on your website as well. Don’t fill it full of marketing speak and technobabble (we’ll do our best not to let you) – make it readable by humans and make sense to humans. Humans are the ones you want to come to your website and ultimately your business, not Google.

Update Your Content

There’s nothing worse than going to a business’ website and seeing content that is obviously from 2002 (as of this writing it’s 2010, nearly 2011). In this day and age, an outdated website tells your potential customers that you don’t take care of your business, plain and simple.

Also, having fresh content daily/weekly tells Google that your website is up to date and that it should keep coming back. Just like Cookie Monster is always on the hunt for more cookies, Google is always on the hunt for more content.

Here’s a few options for how to keep your content fresh:

  • Write a blog: Write about your industry. Write about what sets your business apart. Write about why you chose the colours for your office. Write answers to frequently asked questions (not in a boring, static FAQ page though!) Write about what makes an ideal client for your business. Write about stuff you’d want to read – chances are it will scratch an itch for someone else.
  • Record a podcast: Think about it. If you were debating which optometrist to go to and so you visited two competing optometrist’s websites and one of them featured an audio or video podcast of them educating people about what goes on in your eyes – which optometrist are you going to pick? Obviously the one who’s voice you’ve heard or video you’ve just watched because they are going to be more familiar to you, provided they’ve demonstrated that they know what their talking about.
  • Twitter / Facebook: Social media is a great way to do simple, quick things to update customers on what’s going on. And we can easily integrate Facebook/Twitter into your website so that updates on one service will automatically update your website with fresh content.

Keep It Simple

Set aside 1 hour a week to update something on your website. Ideally this would be a blog but it could even just be the copy/photos on your website so that repeat visitors see new things.

Time and again, businesses set up a website with the goal of keeping it current (typically assigned to an overworked administrative assistant) and then 2-3 months down the road, enthusiasm drops and pretty soon the website is off the radar.

Take action this week to update your website with new content. And then repeat that next week. You’ll be amazed how quickly Google takes notice!

Fine Print

It should be noted that, as we said in the previous post, anyone who guarantees you a top ranking in Google is not telling you the whole truth. Be sure to read our previous post that talks about why they can’t guarantee that, straight from Google’s web-spam team.

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