Have you Googled your business lately? Since Google’s search algorithm update Panda 2.0 – a step in Google’s crusade to free the internet (and consequently, the world) of irrelevant content, search is no longer about using SEO to trick search engines into showing results. Search is now all about building trust and providing users with the best possible information available, which is great news.
Today, around 80% of people search online to find business information before buying products or enquiring about services. A staggering 75% of these users don’t scroll past the first page of Google results.
This is why it’s important to have positive search hits on the first page of Google search engine results page (SERP). One unhappy customer or bad review can leave a black mark on your business’ search results page, potentially detracting business leads.
Here’s 4 tips to help tailor Google search results for your business.
1. Get positive
Ensure your website is packed with positive, up to date and high-quality content that speaks directly to intended audiences.
Focus on generating positive online PR. Get local on and offline press articles published about your business. Develop content partners to collaborate with. Engage with, and support positive content by sharing it via social feeds, pushing it out there for the world to see.
Another proven strategy to help boost search results is to create a regularly updated media or awards page on your website that contains links to positive articles and awards won. This is easy to do and generates trust for your brand by associating it with positive influencers, brands, coverage, companies, people, etc.
2. Start a blog
If your business doesn’t already have one (it should!), start a blog. A regularly updated company blog can be incredibly powerful in online search, especially when you’re writing high-quality posts, with fantastic content that is of use to your audience. This content can be disseminated elsewhere online (i.e. via social feeds), creating backlinks to your website and boosting positive results in search rankings.
3. Get active on social media
Create social profiles that are optimised for your business on each of the platforms you want to share content on. Active platforms for businesses are commonly Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. The more you share content from your website to these social profiles, the more authoritative this content becomes. After time, these articles will begin to appear in rankings for your business-related search terms.
4. SEO your website
When a user types words into the search bar, Google tries to serve you the most ‘relevant’ search results for that specific term. Relevancy is determined by a number of on-page and off-page ranking factors. SEO your website, both on and off-page to ensure that when people search for your business, the most relevant, positive results are shown on the first page.
On-page SEO involves:
- Quality content – longer, well-written original content that provides lots of value to users is considered by Google to be of a higher quality and will therefore rank well in SERP.
- Keyword optimisation – the core search terms, words and phrases you want to rank for in search results. Make sure your website content contains these organically.
- Outbound links – Google sees these as a signal of trust. Provide your audience with links out to authoritative sites in your industry that will be of value to your users.
- Site architecture – making sure your website easy to navigate, with the hierarchy of information displayed in a logical way that addresses user needs will greatly improve SEO.
Off-page SEO is simpler, and involves:
- Backlinks – quality backlinks matter. They drive traffic back to your website, boosting SEO. Create useful content for target audiences and encourage them to share it online.
- Social engagement – as above, build your brand across your social network, grow your following organically, and share your content to get the most out of your social connections. The aim is to get your network to share your content, creating more backlinks to your website.
- Personalisation – local search is becoming increasingly important for search rankings. Register your business’ address on Google+ and properly set up your location in all social profiles. If your site gets lots of backlinks from sites related to your location, setting up location will help it rank in targeted location searches.
Following these basic steps will help your business search listings stay positive on at least the first page of SERP. Fundamentally, the key is to create a strong brand identity online. Shout about your successes, make your positive reviews and content visible and share it with the world.