The goal of most websites is to get found – amiright? You want people to know where to find your business, what you do, and how to contact you. And then the dump truck of money gets dropped at your feet, and you can swim through your gold coins like Scrooge McDuck.
Before you can do swan dives into your money pile, you need to learn how Google thinks. What does Google need in order to rank you higher? Google takes a lot of things into account. I could write a book on it, but since you probably don’t want to read a book on Google, I’ll give you my Cliff’s Notes. These are my top 8 must-dos to get to the top of Google.
1. Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool (https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner) - You don’t need to use Google Ads to use this tool. Use the tool to search for keywords you’re thinking about using on your site. You can look up how many people are actually searching for those keywords. There’s no point in focusing on keywords no one searches for. You can look by geographic area, if you are a local business, as well. Aim for keywords that rank “medium.” High has too much competition and low has too little searches.
2. Use long-tailed keywords – “Long-tailed” keywords means phrases. Too many people are focusing on “lawyer,” for example. Instead, focus on “bankruptcy lawyer Illinois.” You have much better odds of being found now!
3. Use your keywords in varied ways, so it looks natural – Google hates robotic writing. They want copy that is natural and written the way people speak. So, when you choose which keywords to weave throughout your site, make sure you place them naturally and use synonyms.
4. Add your website to directories – Google search looks for backlinks. It shows your authority when other RELEVANT resources reference your URL. Add your business information to legit directories to get more backlinks (spammy, link farm directories will have the opposite effect and hurt your ranking).
5. Add your URL when posting comments – Use Q&A forums and blog comment areas as a way to get your domain out there. Whenever you add a comment to a blog, add your domain along with your name. If you answer a question in a forum like Quora, add your domain. The more relevant backlinks, the better.
6. Write press releases – Another way to get backlinks to your website AND possibly get some media attention is to write, or hire someone to write, press releases. Distribute them to press release distribution sites and your backlinks will quickly build up. Bonus, your company news will end up posted in Google News and other media channels.
7. Mobile-friendly is a must – Google will lower your ranking if your website is not mobile-friendly. You can test your website here.
8. Write a blog – Google likes websites that have frequently updated content. What better way to have frequently updated content then a blog? It’s great to post daily, but if you don’t have time for that, aim for at least one post per week.
Google isn’t the Flintheart Glomgold (Scrooge McDucks arch-nemesis. I Googled it ;) of your website. If you know what Google is looking for, it’s completely possible to get to #1 in Google.