In a world where finding the answer to a question is synonymous with ‘Google it,’ it shouldn’t be surprising that where a company ranks on Google’s search engine can have a significant impact on its ability to be found. Yet, many business owners still believe that customer loyalty and word of mouth recommendations are enough to draw in a steady stream of clients. But while referrals are crucial to having a successful business, being high up in Google rankings on a search results page will definitely go a long way in saving companies from corporate oblivion.
How important are Google Rankings?
People put more trust in recommendations from others (friends, family, and strangers on the internet) than any other form of advertising. This makes it a powerful tool that should definitely be utilized. But it is limited in its scope, and after a certain point, you exhaust your list of potential customers.
At this point, a high Google Ranking can be very beneficial. As this study from 2013 shows, the top Google search result receives a whopping 32.5% of traffic, and numbers two and three receive 17.6% and 11.4% respectively. The fifteenth entry receives a mere 0.4% of the traffic. This shows the direct correlation between Google rankings and your potential revenue.
How do I Improve my Ranking?
There are reportedly over 200 factors that the Google algorithm takes into account but the following are some things to keep in mind when getting started:
Speed/ Mobile Optimization:
Slower websites lead to poor user experience, which is what Google was presumably trying to eliminate when it announced in 2010 that site speed will now impact the ranking of that particular website. Additionally, since more and more people are now using their smartphones to consume media and research companies, it is also crucial that a company wanting to rank higher will have to optimize their website for mobile devices. You can visit our blog for information on building an effective website and how to enhance your website for mobile-friendly use.
Google My Business:
Having a Google My Business listing is beneficial in many ways. Not only does it increase your ranking, it’s free, and makes your business show up in the local results for a query related to your products or services. Having your information up-to-date here (Name, Address, Phone, Description, Menu, etc.) is essential to being found.
Since SEO plays a huge role in deciding how your page will rank, it’s important to have a sound SEO strategy in place while building your website. SEO is more than just using certain keywords to make your page rank. It includes knowing what your client is looking for, and how they will talk about their needs.
If you’re unsure of where you stand in terms of SEO, you can use a site like SEMrush to get some information about your website’s performance, or consult an SEO professional for expert guidance.
Google ranks pages based in part, the quality, diversity and relevance of the content. Therefore, to get to the ‘top’ of Google, a website would have to provide detailed information about any given topic on their homepage (which can also be used in Featured Snippets).
Additionally, Google’s Webmaster Guidelines specifically ask to avoid doing the following types of content:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
- Abusing rich snippets markup
- Sending automated queries to Google
In conclusion, ranking on Google can either make or break your business. It helps draw in new customers and broaden your sphere of influence. Good SEO, content, quality links, and a clean, engaging website will all contribute towards lifting your site higher in the ranks, and propel you towards your future business goals.
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