Google launches new algorithm changes regularly, and keeping up with the digital world of changes and trends is almost impossible. Even being in the industry, we have a hard time keeping up with the whats, hows and whys because it literally changes Every. Single. Day.
We’re going to attempt to make the latest in searching very simple, so everyone can understand it and implement it into their businesses. At least until it changes.
Google has ONE goal: they want to give their users exactly what they are searching for. If you do a Google Search for “how to prevent weeds with products at home” you will see sites or blogs rank at the top with several ways to rid your lawn of weeds using products at home. If you were to do a search for that same thing and sites were to pop up selling lawn services, chances are, you would not click on those links because you have already demonstrated to Google that you want a cheap and easy do-it-yourself fix. This scenario is why Google has certain criteria they use when ranking your site to ensure users are finding what they want.
Do keyword research. How do you know what your customers are even searching for? Look at your competitors or successful businesses in the same industry. Use SEMrush or Spyfu (free for the first few searches) to research which keywords are working for them and which are not. Once you figure out which ones are working, implement those keywords on your site.
Use long tail keyword phrases within your site content. Usually, when people do a search, they type in a keyword phrase instead of just a single keyword. “Fifty-eight percent of search queries are three words or longer. So having keyword phrases on your site increases your chance of appearing higher on the page rank (because more keywords match the search query).” If you use one word to search for something your results will be extremely broad. Specific keyword phrases allow the user to find exactly what they are looking for. Just be careful not to “Keyword Stuff” or you will be penalized. Keyword Stuffing is when you try to pack extra keywords together just to rank higher. Make sure the content flows naturally.
Use simple language when writing. Using simple language allows those search phrases to be found within your site’s content. The words you use within your content should be understood at an 8th grade reading level. Use this free Hemingway App tool to measure your content’s readability. Never write over someone’s head, or they will feel dumb and leave your site.
Look at your Google Analytics. Find out what pages people are staying on and which ones they are bouncing away from. Go adjust the content on the pages your customers are leaving to reflect more keyword phrases that are relevant to them. Read up on Google Analytics here to learn more.
Update your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. I know you may have never heard of these words before now, but your web developer should be able to fix these items with the right feedback and direction from you after you do your keyword research. To start your research, Google Search your company name and see how your individual web pages look on a search result. For example, the text in blue is the ‘Title Tag’ and the text in black is the ‘Meta Description’. How does your company pull up on Google right now?
Write articles and publish them regularly. Google likes fresh and relevant content. When you update your website, Google crawls the new content, assisting with your search rankings. Share the article link from your website across your social media channels encouraging more traffic to your website — also helping your search rankings.
Use thoughtful backlinks when writing. If you are writing an article to educate someone, use a few links here and there to assist your customer with things they may not know about. Give credit to other sites when you are using their content. Backlinks help with rankings as well—just don’t go crazy and overuse them.
This article does not include every single thing you need to know about Google’s search rankings, but it is a great place to start and will assist you in your journey to improve yours.
Blog written by:
Noël Freeman, Marketing Strategist and Client Manager
Feeling brave? Here are some useful websites to dive a little deeper: