1. Define your target audience.
Sure, this may sound obvious, but so many websites fail to properly cater to their ideal customers. Review your homepage and all inner pages, and ensure that every page is targeted to this group.
If your audience includes different types of people, or people with different needs (perhaps your business has B2C and B2B components), don’t try to cram everything into a “one size fits all” site. Provide direction for each type of user, and use clear navigation to point visitors to the content most relevant to them.
2. Determine what your target audience looks for when seeking businesses like yours.
Specifically, what keywords and phrases do they input into Google? There are several tools available to locate this data. If this is your first time performing this research, the most user-friendly (but limited in scope) is Google Trends.
Think about how restaurants and retail shops do market research to identify the best building locations to be found by prospective customers. This is exactly what you need to do: ensure your site even has a chance of ranking for the searches your target audience is performing on Google.
Taking this a step further, identify the searches that most closely line up with your goals and objectives.
For example, a query for “architect ideas” likely belongs to a searcher with completely different needs than someone that searches for “architects near me.” Don’t blindly go after all popular queries; only target those that correlate with your objectives.
Once you decide on a list of 5-10 keywords, create a spreadsheet that records the keyword and your current rank for that keyword. You’ll need this to measure your progress over time.
3. Rinse and repeat.
Creating content isn’t a one-time process. If you truly want to get more traffic from search engines, then you need to regularly update your website.
How much is enough? We advise at least one update per month, but the more the better. Just like anything else, the harder you work, and the more you outwork your competitor(s), the better your results will be. Two to three updates per week is not far-fetched, and will pay dividends if done properly.
4. Create editorial calendar and assign responsibilities.
You’re probably still reeling from #3…Updating your website often is a lot of work. The key is to simplify the process and ensure everyone understands not only what they’re doing, but why they’re doing it. We recommend creating an editorial calendar with specific responsibilities. Example:
- John will have a post ready by the 1st Tuesday of each month
- Jane will have a post ready by the 2nd Tuesday of each month
- John will create a “What’s New” post featuring our latest services/products for the third week of each month
- Jane will create a “Customer Spotlight” article for the fourth week of each month
These assignments should be in stone. No exceptions! Make it clear that updating the website is not to be relegated to the bottom of to-do lists; it is just as important as any other marketing activity.
5. Monitor your progress.
A few weeks after you begin this process, begin checking Google Analytics (or whatever analytics service your website uses) and see how much traffic your content is receiving from search engines.
Specifically, you want to see how many visits/sessions your new content is a landing page for. This means users were served this link as an option within their search results. Ideally, and hopefully, the traffic each page receives will increase as time goes on.
However, as you’ll learn, different types of content, different subject matters, etc. achieve different results. Pay attention to the content that is bringing in more traffic, and focus on creating more of that content going forward.
Think of it as a point guard continually passing to the hot hand–if something is working, keep feeding it until something changes. In this case, that “something” could be industry changes, demographic trends, etc.
6. Don’t stop.
Very, very few websites maintain an active blog of update schedules for extended periods of time. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “then why should I care?” Instead, have the mindset of “If few, if any, of my competitors are doing it, this is an incredible opportunity to outwork them.”
Increasing your Google ranking is not easy–if it was then everyone would already be ranking highly! It requires a significant investment of time and resources, but the benefits are well worth it.
Be sure to remember–and remind your team–that this is a medium to long-term strategy. Being at the top of Google tomorrow would be great, but being at the top for the next three years would be better. Results take time, so don’t let delayed gratification frustrate you. As always, if you need help during the process, get in touch with us for a free consultation. We would love to help you increase your Google ranking!