B Y T O M T O R T O R I C I
Every day, somewhere, some company gets a brand-new website.
They’ve invested some serious time and money with a web designer, and after some fine-tuning, they’re happy with the result. The company owner is looking forward to all the fresh, profitable business their modern-looking site is going to bring.
And they wait. And they wait. And eventually, it dawns on them that having a website out there doesn’t mean that it’s going to occur to anyone one to visit it. Funny that no one had mentioned this. They do a Google search for their business category, and inexplicably, they’re nowhere to be found.
Like I said, it happens every day.
If it’s happened to you, the good news is, there are things that can be done to attract Google’s attention in a way that eventually brings ready-to-buy customers. The bad news is, there’s typically a lot of work to be done and/or money to be spent to eventually reap the rewards you had originally expected.
The truth is, the Holy Grail of appearing on Google’s Page 1 has become soul-crushingly competitive. At least, in all but the most unique business sectors. With that happy thought in mind, if you’ve got what it takes – as well as more patience than most – here are some places to start.
1. Adding Content
Google likes to see that a website is “active,” and that means adding pages/ content on a regular basis.
This is typically done with once-a-month blog posts or articles. These should be at least 500 words each, and offer helpful tips and insights. Other than a brief pitch at the bottom (with a link to a “sell” page), articles should not be promoting your product.
Another way to add meaningful content is to create additional, more specific pages about your company’s services or products. For example, a home improvement store with a web page of “Electrical Supplies” can add pages for “Electrical Outlets,” “Electrical Switches,” etc. This also gives them the chance to appear in Google listings for more types of customer queries.
2. Internal Linking
It’s a good SEO tactic to link each article to other articles you’ve done, whenever appropriate. You can also include links to the articles from your other web pages, again, where appropriate.
On occasion, also link to information on other ‘authoritative’ websites.
Articles will be even more effective if the appropriate “keywords” are determined, based on the terms people are using to search for your deliverables. These terms should be used in the page’s headlines, text, and ‘SEO Title Tag.’
One approach for drawing visitors is to start with a Frequently Asked Question, and use that as the article title and keyword. Another approach is to use a Keyword Tool. Typically, longer, more specific keywords are easier to rank for than broad one- or two-word terms.
4. Social Media
Promote each new article in your social media accounts, with a link back to the article. This will drive traffic to your articles, which is a positive indicator to Google.
5. Inbound Links/Backlinks
Whenever possible, get other websites to include links to your website.
One way to do this is by registering at various online business directories. Note that some of these may attempt to sell you additional services but your listing is typically not contingent on that. Be sure that your company name, address and phone number appear exactly the same in each of these listings.
If you are involved with professional organizations, there may be a place in your profile, to include a link to your company website.
Beware of unscrupulous offers of “thousands of backlinks.” These will hurt more than help.
6. Google Maps and Search
Previously known as Google My Business, this is the “Knowledge Graph” that usually appears on the right side, when you do a search using your company’s name (not your website URL).
Be sure to create an account if you don’t have one, and to complete the required information. Also urge satisfied customers to post a review here; this counts a lot for Google, as well as for future customers.
7. Local Pages
If you serve various geographical markets, it may make sense, SEO-wise, to create location-specific pages for searchers in each of these markets. For example: HVAC Services in Marietta; HVAC Services in Decatur; etc.
Make sure your website works well, and loads quickly, on phones and tablets, and work with a website professional if needed. This is important to Google.
A dedicated SEO company has many more tools at its disposal to help improve and track your search rankings. However due to increasing competitiveness for improved rankings, this is typically an expensive, long-term effort.
SEO professionals typically start with an SEO Audit of your website, and a list of recommendations. Ask them to prioritize those recommendations for getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Got all that?
Don’t give up hope. Growing a business has always been hard; remember endless hours of cold-calling? No? In any case, keep in mind that if your competitors are even slightly less motivated, smart and patient than you are … that’s the smell of opportunity.
If you’re ready to start at the top, let’s chat about how a monthly blogging program might work: 404-606-2715.
About the Author: Tom Tortorici is an Atlanta copywriter and web content writer who helps companies make a genuine connection with their audience. His classes and conference presentations have focused on how writing, strategy and design can work together to grab attention and interest even among readers with short attention spans. In addition to working directly with businesses, Tom regularly partners with web designers and marketing agencies.
Tom Tortorici Inc. | Tom@TomTortorici.com | 770-934-7861 | 3101 Rockaway Rd | Atlanta GA 30341