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So you’re tired of being digitally invisible?
Navigating the Google jungle is no walk in the park.
Every website beyond the first page of Google gets breadcrumbs, while top-ranking results rake in all the traffic. Just look at this analysis of 5 million Google searches.
The first page results end at the dashed line. After this point, the number of clicks takes a nosedive deep down into Google oblivion.
Don’t let your website collect dust in the search traffic desert any longer.
When figuring out how to get your website on Google, remember that multiple roads can lead to page one. You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket in the hopes of ranking.
It’s much more effective to implement multiple strategies that work in tandem to lift your site ranking.
Need an idea on how to get your website on Google?
Here are seven different ways to help your website reach the first page of Google.
Search for any product on Google. Chances are, the first thing you see is a carousel of items that you can click on to shop.
For instance, a simple search for dog treats produces an assortment of different brands.
The shopping bar used to be “pay to play”, so big companies with large budgets outshined smaller stores. But earlier this year, Google said “that ain’t fair to small retailers” and decided to open the shopping section as a free tool.
Here are Google’s exact words on the matter: “… we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.”
If you’re not taking advantage of this resource, you’re missing out on potential customers.
How to make the most of Google Shopping
In order to submit your products, you need to set up a Google Merchant Center account. This allows you to input your store information along with product data.
Then, you can opt to have your information show up in Google Shopping and other areas in which users are searching for products.
Your product feed refers to all the products that you sell. To increase your chances of showing up, make sure that each data point that is relevant to your product is filled out. These include things like:
- Product category
- Product type
- Title tag
- URL to link to the product on your website
Write descriptive product titles that align with user search intent (what your target customer is searching for). Additionally, fill your feed with more than top-selling products. You may learn that certain unexpected products perform well on Google.
2. Paid ads
What if there was a way to buy site visitors rather than earn them organically?
With Google Ads, you can bid on target keywords so that your message appears at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages). You can also craft ads to appear on websites your customers visit, in certain geographic locations, and on mobile and tablet devices.
Google Ads (formerly known as Adwords) is the most popular pay per click (PPC) advertising platform in the world. This is no surprise considering Google’s ability to target users and the fact that PPC is one of the top three generators of online conversions.
A benefit of Google Ads is the targeted nature. Essentially, you are paying for every person that clicks through to your site. You can tailor your campaigns to reach people searching for products or services similar to yours so you’re more likely to get qualified leads.
Imagine you’re looking for a plush dog bed for Fido. The SERPs features dog bed ads from Chewy and Petsmart.
Both these companies bid on the target keyword so that their brand would show up on a search for this specific product. And Google deemed the brand’s ads relevant to this search.
How to show up in Google using paid ads
To make the most of Google Ads, keep these two tips in mind.
1. Quality Score is king
In order to calculate your cost-per-click, Google determines the quality of your ads and its relevance to the searcher. The higher your Quality Score, the lower your advertising costs will be. On top of that, Google uses the Quality Score to determine the positions of ads on the SERP.
Here are three ways to improve the quality of your ads:
- Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices
- Create relevant ads that align with the user’s needs
- Group keywords into organized categories to make creating specific ads easier
2. Use keywords with commercial intent
The users most likely to buy a product are those performing transactional type searches on Google. Someone searching “dog bed materials” is not at the same stage as someone typing “buy plush dog bed online”.
Keywords like buy, deals, promos, and free shipping have high commercial intent. Targeting these will help to increase the click-through rates on your ads. You can also target product category keywords that cover a range of products. Things like dog accessories or home workout equipment fall into this category.
Video content provides yet another road to a coveted first-page spot on Google. In fact, a well-optimized video can boost your chances of appearing on the SERP by 53x.
Sticking with our dog treats example, let’s say you decide to take the DIY route. You search “ how to make dog treats” and this row of video results appears near the top of the SERP.
These channels all vary in their primary focus and amount of subscribers. But they all have key commonalities that help boost their positions on the results page. Read on for a closer look at ranking videos on Google.
How to use video to boost SERP ranking
With so many videos swirling around the internet, how can you get yours to stand out on Google? Here are three tips:
1. Target a specific problem or question with your video
Each video should have a unique purpose and target a specific keyword.
If you own a pet food store, a video detailing the difference between organic and non-organic dog food addresses a specific query. It’s much more likely that a user will click on that rather than a “5 reasons this dog food rocks” video.
2. Pay attention to the name
It’s no secret that writing a compelling title and description for a video is necessary for optimization. But a little known fact is that you should be starting this step before ever pressing the upload button.
Before you upload your video to youtube, make sure to rename the file to the exact title of your video or something similar. This is because Google looks at the name of the raw video file to determine what it is about.
For more information, check out this video on why naming your Youtube file is important.
3. Place videos on your website as well as YouTube
While Google is likely to pull Youtube videos onto the SERPs, placing videos on your website is still beneficial. A study by Wisita found that users spent on average 2.6x longer on a page with video than without.
Plus, Google does occasionally pull videos from other websites onto the SERPs. So filling your website with engaging videos serves as another way to get your website on Google.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But for those of us looking to improve search engine optimization (SEO), a better question is how many clicks is it worth?
Google Image SEO is not as widely discussed as other SEO areas like local or technical SEO. But this underrated section of Google offers a source of potential web traffic.
Many businesses rely on images to display a portfolio of work or products. For example, an interior design company in Texas may display before and after pictures on their site.
But if that image is going to pop up in the SERPs or in Google Images, it needs to be optimized and surrounded by good content. Below, we’ll look at three best practices for images.
How to appear in Google Images Results
When Google feels that images would best answer a search query, it will pull images from different websites to the top of the SERP.
That’s what happens when we type “sleek modern kitchen texas” into the search bar.
On the other hand, someone might go straight to Google Images to search. While the main Google search results page has a very limited number of spots for the taking (10 organic and about 6 Google Ads), Google Images results are more densely populated. So there are more chances to show up.
Set your images up for success with these three best practices.
1. Optimize your images
Just like the tip in #3 about naming video files, the same goes for images. A file named 4xcJh223#.jpg will not have the same value in Google’s eyes as a file named sleek-kitchen-austin-texas.jpg.
Also, you should compress your images so they don’t slow down your website speed. Using a tool like compressor.io, you can reduce image size while maintaining quality.
2. ALT text
ALT text is important for two reasons. First, it allows users who can’t see your images (due to poor connection, load time, etc.) to at least get an idea of what they are about. Second, it allows search engines to “see” your image.
Your ALT text should be descriptive and include keywords that are needed. Google provides an example of a range of alt text options.
3. Be aware of the surrounding content
Your images exist on webpages surrounded by other content. When ranking images, Google pays attention to the quality of this surrounding content.
According to Google, “Good content on your webpage is just as important as visual content for Google Images – it provides context and makes the result more actionable.”
As you can see, taking a little extra time on images can provide a path to getting your website on Google.
5. Organic search
It would be SEO malpractice if we didn’t mention organic search in a piece on how to get your website on Google.
Unlike paid search, organic search results appear on the first page because Google sees them as having the most useful information (and good UX) related to the query.
Attention-seeking SEO articles proclaim that organic search is dead. However, we are helping companies increase sales through organic search and small business SEO on a regular basis.
It is true that organic search has evolved A LOT since the birth of Google. But it is still a viable and cost-effective way to make it onto the first page.
How to appear on Google using organic search
First-page worthy websites take time to rise organically. But investing in user experience and content pays off. Users are more likely to pay attention to organic search results than paid ads.
1. Create content for people, not search engines
As you learn more about SEO and how it works, never forget that at the core of all your efforts is the end user. When crafting content and planning website layout, have a specific buyer persona in mind to guide your efforts.
The more authentic and relatable your content is, the more likely people are to share it and link back to your site. This improves your domain rating, signaling your authority to Google. Websites with higher domain ratings are more likely to rank on the first page.
2. Lay the foundation
If you’ve been producing content for a while now, you might have pages that cover similar topics. With editing and the addition of relevant updated information, you can consolidate this content into a cornerstone piece.
Cornerstone content acts as the foundation of your content structure. It helps to bring in visitors to the site, build links, and establish site authority.
Hubspot is well known for killing the cornerstone content game. For instance, they released a guide on converting Facebook followers to customers. It adds value immediately and is easy to digest, making it a great cornerstone piece.
3. Optimize your URLs
A URL is more important than many assume. They are among Google’s top 200 ranking factors, according to a recent Backlinko study. Shorter URLs tend to rank higher on SERPs. Of course, there are other elements to keep in mind.
- Use HTTPS rather than HTTP: https is more secure and well respected
- Include the keyword in the URL
- Make sure it’s easy to read
- Separate words with hyphens instead of underscores
Like anything worth having, a top organic ranking takes serious work. But with the right SEO strategy and some good old fashioned patience, you can snag yourself a piece of prime Google real estate.
6. Local search
Google Customer Insights reports a 500% increase in searches containing “near me” in recent years.
To take advantage of this popular vein of searches, consider local SEO. Local SEO can boost your visibility both on Google Maps (more on that in a minute) and in local searches.
In order to be featured in these places, you need a Google My Business (GMB) profile.
How to show up in local search results
1. Set up a Google My Business Profile
If we search the term “ pet stores Scottsdale”, the very first result displays three local businesses pulled from Maps.
These pet shops have one thing in common. They all have GMB profiles with lots of details about their unique stores. So, sign up for a profile and verify your business on GMB.
2. Give Google information about your business
The most highly ranked businesses are those with complete profiles. Don’t skip out on filling out fields of information including the business phone number, hours, category and services, images, FAQs and more.
Don’t be afraid to input multiple business categories as this helps Google gain a more complete picture of your business. For example, a pet store might also list themselves under the category of dog daycare center if that is relevant to the company.
Today, no one is looking at a map that doesn’t have the word Google (or Apple) in front of it. A record number of websites are using maps technologies with Google Maps far surpassing others in terms of usage.
Source: Built With
This is good news if you have a physical store location that you want more people to patronize.
With some optimization and updating, you can lift your ranking on Google Maps.
How to get your business to appear in Google Maps
1. Get on Google Maps
To reap the benefits of Google Maps, you first need to have a listing. Simply head to Google Maps, search for your business and claim the listing. You will need a Google My Business profile to claim the listing and add details about your business.
Once your location is claimed, embed the map onto your website. This makes finding your location more convenient for customers. PetSmart embeds Google Maps on its website to help customers have a clear picture of the store closest to them.
2. Use Google My Business Posts
As mentioned above, Google My Business is key to showing up on Maps and on the SERPs. Once you’ve followed the steps outlined in tip #6, you can step up your GMB effectiveness with posts.
Social media posts allow you to connect with your current customers. GMB posts are a great way to speak to people who have never heard of your business before.
For more on the types of posts, check out this guide to posting on Google My Business.
Looking for first page rankings but don’t have time to learn SEO?
Partnering with an SEO agency could be the perfect solution! Markitors is dedicated to helping small businesses stand out on Google and connect with customers.
We take a data-driven approach, analyzing metrics that matter rather than vanity metrics that don’t contribute to the bottom line. With a track record of generating real results and a team of SEO experts, we know how to get your website on Google.
Take a minute to receive a free SEO audit of your website and learn the areas that need improvement.