SEO is simply the process of making your website or web page visible to relevant users on the search engine. The beauty of this is that you don’t pay Google for these search results which are also referred to as organic search results.
In this age, one can not underestimate the strength of digital marketing. which is why smart businesses understand this and are using this strategy to gain competitive advantage.
SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.
It is needless to say that organic search traffic is a proven driver of business growth.
Nevertheless, organic SEO is an inexpensive strategy of digital marketing that yields greatly if done right. In fact, it all boils down to one question – how do I appear on the first page of Google search engine results in my category?
Let’s dive into these 6 tips to help your business rank above your competitors in Google search engine results page.
Tip 1. Own Your keywords
Too many people make the mistake of seeing SEO only as a source of free traffic. While It is true that free traffic is the end of it, SEO works beyond that. The real purpose of SEO is to help people who are looking for you find you. For that to happen, you need to match the content on your website to what people are trying to find.
The subject of those contents are the keywords. Keywords are search queries or string of words that a search engine user types into the search box.
For instance, when you type ‘digital marketing’ in Google search box, you are likely to land on Google search engine results page linking to Wikipedia and other sites with information about digital marketing. The phrase ‘digital marketing’ are the keywords. However, if you tweak it a bit, and type in ‘digital marketing in Ibadan’ which obviously means you have narrowed your search locally, you will find Big Field Digital ranking as number 1 on Google search engine results page (SERP).
How did we get there? We identified and used a long tail (unpopular) keyword to create a niche. With an understanding that there will be so much competition around ‘digital marketing’ as a keyword, we chose the less competitive keyword by adding our location and being the leader there. Although, this also means that there won’t be as many queries around our keyword but it is better to be found first on google search engine results page in our location than to be buried on the 3rd page that people rarely reach not to talk of the 10th on high traffic keywords.
This whole idea of using the right keywords to rank high on Google SERP makes the difference between being found online and losing clients to competitors.
Tip 2. Content Is King
After identifying the right keywords, it’s important to craft contents consistently.
You must have heard the popular saying that content is king. That is a fact, nevertheless, keep in mind that you must not publish someone else’s content on your site. This creates duplicate content, and search engines will likely penalize you for it.
However, your contents must be relevant and useful to your target audience.
As Neil Patel says ‘You can improve your search ranking by writing resourceful and detailed content. That will help attract raving fans, get your content shared on social media platforms and garner relevant and high PR links naturally.’
You can also use a data-driven approach to creating contents backed up with facts, this will help people see your contents as authoritative.
You can create contents using stories to captivate your audience and to evoke emotions, this improves your conversion rates and makes your content shareable on online.
You definitely need great contents to rank above others on SERP. Note, however, that even if your web page is ranked #1 on Google’s results page, it still doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get the most clicks. In this case, you should pay attention to your headlines, meta-descriptions, the quality of the content and freshness.
Tip 3. Social Networking
A better approach to improving your SEO after getting the right keywords and crafting great contents is to get on social media and increase the visibility of your contents. This helps in many ways like increasing engagement and visibility of your brand when your contents are shared. One of the most important benefits of social networking to SEO is to increase your chances of getting linked to.
In the words of Brian Honigman: ”Today, links are mainly achieved through developing original content that is in turn, shared across social media. Links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engines understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.”
While SEO experts seem to have different views on whether social media shares may or may not affect a website’s position in search listings, one thing is certain that social media profiles definitely influence the content of search results. In fact, social media profiles are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names.
Google especially will put a Google+ profile to the fore.
Tip 4. Linking
Links are perhaps one of the most important parts of SEO. In this regard, the more valuable websites that link to your website, the higher your web pages will rank.
The reason links have a high value in SEO is because it is hard to convince hundreds or thousands of websites to link to you. In the eyes of a search engine, the more sites are linking to you, the more authority you appear to have on the topic.
When trying to build links, avoid links from spammy or irrelevant sites. Do not buy text links, doing this can get you penalized by a search engine. Also, try to avoid reciprocal links where you make a deal with people on (I link to you and you link to me) basis. These are not effective link building strategies.
To build links effectively consider taking the time to submit your website to directories, at Big Field Digital, we submitted ours to www.businesslist.com.ng and www.vconnect.com, these are some of the available business listing directories in Nigeria.
Like I said earlier, social media networking is also a good way to build links provided you have crafted irresistible and engaging contents.
Another easy way to get links is to find out who links to your competition, then write them an email telling them the benefits of your website compared to your competition.
Building links is not an easy thing and neither is it a day’s job, but if you get intentional about it by first creating great contents and seeking relationships. You will be linked to and your site will rank high on Google SERP.
Tip 5. Google Business
To rank above your competitors online, you really want to be there when customers look for you online.
You can use Google Business to show up on the web so that customers find you when they need to. Playing hard to get is good for dating but bad for business.
With Google Business you can make it easier for customers to find information about your business online, including open and closing hours, contact information and directions through Google map, reviews on Google + and much more across all devices.
This does not happen by itself anyway, you have to log on to Google Business and submit the right information.
The benefits of using this medium include being the first to see when people are talking about your business and tracking your ratings over time.
With Google Business, customers will find you easily, you will be able to see the number of views you have had, how they got to you, the number of clicks to your website and much more through Google business insights.
Just make sure to submit your information, That’s how to get started.
Tip 6. Reviews
Do you know that reviews can also influence internet search engine results? Yes, it can because search engines like Google take into account how many times your business name is mentioned in reviews. You are likely to appear higher if you’re mentioned more times in reviews than competitors who have few or no reviews.
Reviews are attestations by a customer which comes in form of free advertising for your business. You might need to ask a happy customer to review your business if you don’t have any yet.
However, In the case of negative online reviews, make it an opportunity to resolve a customer’s problem and seek suggestions for improvement. On the other hand, positive online reviews could mean a lot, as research shows that consumers generally trust peer recommendations more than they trust advertising.
Truth is, it takes some time to appear on the first page of Google’s SERP, but the efforts and patience will be worth it.
Get intentional by starting today with these 6 surefire ways to rank high on Google local search. Your business will grow exponentially.