(As published in Whats Hot March Issue)
Imagine Google as a recruitment company and imagine your website as a candidate applying for a position – and in this case your website is actually applying for a position – a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Position.
A SERP Position is the way Google and all other Search Engines display search results. The difference of a first page result vs. a second page result is far and wide and businesses on the first page of their industry’s major keywords reap the benefit of 62% more traffic* than a second page position.
In this metaphor, the end users are your Customers. It will be up to them to ‘hire’ your service/s or altogether ignore your application. There are many facets to this but that is another article and another issue of What’s HOT altogether.
What three simple things can you do to improve your position on Google without heavily relying on your webmaster? This is probably the single most frequent question that my clients ask me and I have narrowed down the answer to these three simple and effective ways of improving your online presence.
Easy Tip #1: Write an Effective Page Title – the page title is located on the very top of the browser (it doesn’t matter whether you use Explorer or Firefox). The Page Title is what the search engine robots first see as they crawl your site. That’s why its imperative to insert as much information about your location and services and not just your company name.
*based on a whitepaper study done by iProspect, a leader in Search Marketing behavior
Helpful Tip: Write the page title in this structure and keep it to 65 characters long (including spaces):
1.) Country / Location
2.) Main Service or Product
3.) Company Name
Example: The Page Title of Easywebsites.ky is “Cayman Islands website design and development: www.easywebsites.ky”
Now, try searching on Google for “Cayman Islands website design and development”
You will notice that easywebsites.ky has the no.1 position on the SERP and its NOT for our company name and is instead for the services we provide. That is a simple enough example but for competitive keywords, it is not enough to simply write a good page title.
Very Important Note: Having the correct Page Title does not guarantee top placement or even a placement in the SERPs. However, writing a good Page Title can increase your position especially when the page content supports the page title.
Easy Tip #2: Content is King – Search Engines love unique and frequently updated content. There is a fine line between writing for Search Engines and writing for users and you must be very careful when threading that line. Writing for search engines is defined as focusing on your keywords / key phrases even if it no longer reads properly to a user.
You must also know how to balance content and graphics – too much content will turn off your users unless it is worth reading and has valuable information.
Helpful Tip: Before beginning to write content, it is imperative that you know what keywords you are targeting. Use keyword tools such as Google Adwords to help you decide. But remember – the content has to read well to users.
Easy Tip #3: The More Links the Merrier – but before you start linking to everyone requesting for a link please continue to read this. Links to your website ONLY count when it is relevant to your industry and / or location. If you are a business located in the Cayman Islands it would be wise to solicit links from other businesses located here AND links from a similar industry. ie. Wedding sites and photographers sites, car sales and car maintenance sites, etc. There are also many directories that offer linking services and it is best to qualify them before paying for listings.
What is the best strategy in getting links? Creating a website that is an authority in your field. When you become an authority – people will just link to your site without asking for a link in return.