Getting the best of Google: How to stay one step ahead in SEO

Love it or hate, Google is the search behemoth that dictates just how visible your business is. It literally has the power to make or break your operation – ranking on the first page for your desired phrases can catapult a small business into the major leagues overnight. So how do you appease the giant? The good news is that you don’t need to be a massive company with an unlimited budget for SEO. Building your Google ranking and marketing your small business can be done in just a few simple steps.

Become a trusted source

The world wide web might as well be the Wild West – setting up a website and selling to customers is now a matter of a few clicks. So the critical attribute that Google is looking for is a very human one – trust. A reliable way to build trust for your site is by measuring and improving your engagement with customers. Analytics is the ideal tool to be able to understand where the majority of people head to on your website. Dwell time will let you know if they’re finding something interesting when they get there. Use this insight to develop and prioritize areas customers love and encourage them to interact.

Find your niche and make it clear

Knowing what you do differently is probably something that you had to spend time figuring out before you even started your business – so use that. Start by learning how to write an efficient ‘About Us’ page, as this is where people will head to find out about what you can offer them. Make sure you’ve considered effective design, include positive customer reviews and even video testimonials. Think of it as your chance to make an elevator pitch for your business, and you’ll find that search engine optimisation comes naturally.

Take a mobile-first approach

Use of smartphones and tablets for browsing has steadily been overtaking desktop browsing, and at the end of last year, Google recognized this shift by prioritizing mobile-friendly pages. So making sure that your site is developed with mobile optimisation in mind is now crucial to gaining page rank. Use a structured data testing tool to ensure you’re serving up a smooth browsing experience.

Craft killer content

Effective marketing is content marketing, so make sure that you have a plan in place to create original, shareable content that your customers will want to recommend and pass on. This signals to Google that you are a trusted source and also positions you and your business as leaders in the field. Focus on building up your network and earning quality backlinks – another thing that great content can help you out with.

Put your customers first

The easy win is that excellent customer service will also pay off in your rankings, so be sure to dedicate real time to understanding and defining who your customer is. Knowing their journey, concerns, and problems will identify opportunities where you can genuinely support them with great service. And that creates a positive feedback loop that will lead to high rankings and a halo of genuine customer satisfaction. Win-win!

*This is a contributed post

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