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  • Writer's pictureDan McAulay

Improve your Google ranking in 3 easy steps

Ranking high in Google’s search results can have a phenomenal impact on the success of your business.

In fact, there is a whole marketing discipline around improving rankings: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

There are plenty of firms in Cumbria that can help you with your SEO, but if you have the time and fancy getting stuck in, there are some straightforward and highly effective steps you can take to boost your search rankings.

Step 1: Keyword Research

What keywords do you think your customers would type in Google to search for your products or services?

A keyword can be one word (e.g. “optimisation”), but multiple keywords or keyword phrases are usually better, because they are more specific and more likely to be what your customers are looking for.

Write down as many as you can think of.

Think of alternative words.

Also, get some ideas from your competitors’ websites.

Then think about geographical phrases, as they are probably important to your customer (e.g. “house cleaning Carlisle”).

Try to make a list of 20-30 keyword phrases.

Choose the two keyword phrases you think would be searched for the most. But also remember, the more competition there is for a keyword, the harder it is to achieve top rankings. If you want to rank high in Google for the keyword “insurance”, you have a very long and arduous journey ahead! So try your best to select two keyword phrases that are the most relevant to your business but that are not vague nor competitive. It’s a good idea to have 2 or 3 words in each phrase (e.g. “wedding catering services”)

Once you’ve selected your two best keyword phrases the next step shows you how to make some improvements to your home page.

Step 2: Web Copy

Web copy refers to all the words or text on your website.

Because content is king in the world of search engines, your keyword phrases need to be placed strategically on your webpage to convince Google that your content is highly relevant to those keywords. The more prominent they are, the better.

Remember – although Google ranking is important, your customers come first, so make sure your text also reads well!

Here’s how you can increase each keyword’s prominence:

• Place your keywords in headings

• Include keywords towards the top of the page;

• Bold or italicise keywords where appropriate;

• Instead of having a link to another page that says "Click here to read more ", reword it to include your keywords, e.g. "Read more about our van hire in Carlisle".

An important tip is to also include these keywords in your HTML “title tag”. Use your content management system to make these changes yourself, or perhaps ask your web developer to do it if you’re unsure how.

Once you have fine-tuned your home page, consider adding new content, such as detailed descriptions of what you offer, FAQs and informative articles about your products and services.

Step 3: Linking

Each link from another website to your website (not from your website) is considered by search engines as a vote of popularity for your business and will improve your rankings.

But it is the quality, not quantity, of the links that is crucial. The other websites should be relevant to your industry, and preferably highly regarded themselves.

Brainstorm all the relevant websites that could link to you, such as Cumbria Crack, Cumberland News, non-competing companies, and industry bodies and organisations. Get a press release out, or write a friendly email to each describing the benefit their visitors would get in knowing about your business, and request them to create a link to your website.

How do I know if it has worked?

Monitor your rankings in Google over the next few months by typing your chosen keywords into the search box, and recording your ranking. Also look at your Google Analytics reports to understand what search terms your visitors are using to find your website.

The above process can be also be repeated for each page of your website. Remember to keep updating your content, and continually increase the number of links to your website.

As you see your rankings climb you should see a corresponding increase in web traffic and a substantial increase in sales enquiries.

Be sure to record the source of your customer enquiries, so you can measure the success of your marketing efforts. Remember, if you measure it, you can improve it!

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