If you’ve paid attention to the marketing world in the last five years, you’ve undoubtedly heard about SEO. Well, getting noticed on Google is one of the most sought-after prizes in business, and for good reason. SEO is often more cost-effective and offers a greater ROI than PPC campaigns in the long run.
Luckily, with the right tools at your disposal, your company can experience the same benefits. Let’s talk about how to get found on Google as we go into 2022.
Why You Need to Get Found on Google
Before we discuss the process of optimizing your website content, let’s first discuss the purpose. SEO isn’t just a marketing fad. It’s been around for years and it isn’t going anywhere.
Like it or not, Google and just a couple of other search engines have total control over organic traffic on the internet. Organic traffic is the traffic that isn’t prompted. They find you, you don’t find them.
Well, organic traffic is far more likely to trust your website, make conversions, and remember your brand. However, it’s also highly competitive for that same reason.
That’s right. Google ranks each website and their individual pages for specific searches, making competitors struggle to get ahead and stay ahead. However, when you do, traffic flows for a long time.
Unlike PPC campaigns, you don’t have to keep pouring money into an SEO strategy to see results. Once you’re ahead, it’s easier to stay ahead. This could bring in plenty of web traffic and the fruits of your labor could last for years to come.
To compete, brands use search engine optimization (SEO) to optimize their website content, rank higher on relevant Google searches, and bring in more online traffic. Luckily for your brand, many businesses haven’t yet caught onto this trend, since 70% of businesses don’t have an SEO strategy.
Okay, so if most businesses don’t even bother, why should I? Believe it or not, the top 3 results get the majority of traffic from every page combined. So, how do they do it? Glad you asked.
How to Get Found on Google
Think about the need for optimizing from Google’s perspective. Although it seems unthinkable, the average user may start looking for other search engines if Google was constantly promoting low-quality content. Well, Google’s employees can’t monitor every page on the internet.
Because of this, they rely on sophisticated algorithms to “crawl” through sites and index them. They then place “scores” on each page and site to allow them to rank for different searches.
Consequently, producing high-quality content is the best way to build your Google rankings. Here’s how to get started.
1. Fix or Build Your Website
If you don’t have a website, then you’re not competing for any web traffic let alone Google traffic. First, you need a website. Second, you need a modern website.
If your website looks like it was made in 2006, then it’s probably going to perform that way. A DIY website doesn’t cut it anymore. Think about where the average user spends their time online.
Most online traffic goes to websites like Google, Amazon, and the major social media sites. These are companies with vast resources and expert web development teams. While a small business can’t exactly compete with them, they do set the standards for the internet.
To compete with other companies in your industry, you need to have a modern website that users don’t have any trouble using. Poor websites stick out like sore thumbs these days.
The reason you need a quality website for SEO is that your website acts as the foundation for your strategy. Google has over 200 ranking factors based solely on the quality of your website. Among them, the most important are:
- Page loading time
- Linking structure
- Page structure
- Target keywords
- Navigation (crawlability)
The list goes on. Overall, Google ranks websites based on their user experience (UX). A quality website that’s designed for users will rank the highest.
There is a lot you can do to improve your website, no matter how good it is, and that will set the foundation upon which you can build a killer SEO strategy. That starts with quality content.
2. Create Quality Content
One critical ranking factor we didn’t mention is quality content. Google’s algorithm isn’t perfect at determining the quality of content, but it is close to it. We strongly recommend that, like your website, you create content for users, not Google.
Google’s job is to try to match users with the highest quality content. Because of this, they even have the “Panda Penalty” for websites that manage to rank higher with low-quality content, which can destroy your ranking.
Overall, for a long-lasting SEO strategy, it’s always best to focus on promoting quality content designed for users. Essentially, we’re saying to optimize for users first, and Google second.
Create a Blog
If your website doesn’t have a blog, then it doesn’t have a chance at ranking. A website with five pages has five (highly specific) chances to rank at the top of a relevant Google search.
However, if you have a blog and you publish two posts every week, you’ll have over one hundred new chances to rank by this time next year. If done correctly, those chances for each page will be a lot higher than your “services” or “contact us” pages.
Well, people don’t search for brand names nearly as much as they search for information. A blog is the best way to offer that information, rank for it, and bring new traffic to your site. That starts with keyword research and is followed by a lot of content research.
For your blog, but also across your entire website, keyword research is important. Understanding relevant keywords to your brand and using them correctly will help you grow your SEO prospects significantly. It all starts with brainstorming and punching in some relevant keywords into free keyword research tools.
However, you need to develop a solid keyword strategy. Always use long-tail and short-tail keywords in tandem and use them wisely. Short-tail keywords are high-stakes poker and long-term keywords are low-hanging fruits you can grab.
Short-tail keywords are keywords like “cybersecurity” or “tech support”. In the IT industry, those are the keywords the average user would search for the most, but they come at a price. Because of the high traffic volume, there’s also plenty of competition.
Long-tail keywords would be “cybersecurity firms in Boston, Massachusetts” or “cybersecurity and infrastructure security agency near me”. These also have a trade-off; lower volume with less competition.
Combining these two types of keywords will help you stay afloat on your strategy as you work toward more competitive keywords. Once you start ranking for these relevant searches, you’ll likely see results for years to come.
Have Something to Say
We said that quality content requires a lot of research, and it does. There should never be “fluff” in your pieces or Google (and users) will catch on. Need an example?
“In fact, the most bizarre but fascinating topic to study during the Junior year of your undergraduate program is almost certain to be applied physics because of the…”
In this example, there are too many filler words. The sentence could have easily been “Physics is the most fascinating topic because…”
For another example, if you start off with that last quote and follow it up in the next paragraph with “People believe physics is the most interesting subject”, then this is an example of duplicate fluff.
Whenever you’re writing or creating new content, always have something new and useful to say. You can fit it into an SEO framework, but that’s not the primary objective. Every sentence needs a purpose, first and foremost.
The reason this becomes a conflict is that Google does want to see a higher word count, but it’s not as important. 900 words with nothing but quality information is better than 1200 words with a lot of fluff.
3. Build Backlinks
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, backlinks are the links from other websites to yours. This is the primary off-page ranking factor for your website, as it helps Google establish your website’s authority in the industry.
An easy example is a large news outlet like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. They both have plenty of journalists and thought leaders publishing new work every day, and smaller outlets and blogs down the line will link to their stories around the world.
Because of this, if the WSJ writes a column about ice cream that’s only a couple of hundred words, they’re probably going to beat a small blog that has 5,000 words of highly-researched material on ice cream. They have the authority to do so.
Backlinks are another foundational step in SEO like website quality, but there’s one key difference. Quality backlinks often require a quality website and content strategy first.
Building backlinks from reputable sources within your industry takes time. You can always reach out and ask for them, but giving other websites something they want to link to is even better.
4. Be Consistent
Changing SEO trends mean that you need to consistently update your content, but that’s not all. Your content will also become outdated over time, which means you will have to keep it relevant in order to stay on top.
Not only that, but with your entire SEO strategy, including uploading new content, consistency is key. Google wants to see consistent content that’s of similar quality, which will only help you rank.
The best thing you can do as a business owner or marketer is to sit down and develop a strategy. Conduct keyword research, use the right keyword mix, use consistent timing, stay on-brand, and determine how you intend to grow in the short term and long term.
Sharing posts on social media, leaving social widgets for users, including your content in your emails, and reaching out to affiliates for backlinks are excellent strategies for short-term growth.
For long-term growth, a consistent, quality content schedule is needed. Creating topics, infographics, outlines, and even completed content in advance is very helpful for maintaining consistency.
Just remember, a proper SEO strategy takes time to develop. However, if you’re consistent over the course of a few months, the payoffs are likely to last a lot longer.
5. Get Professional Help
Lastly, if you want to get noticed on Google, the best way to ensure you rank highly is to call in the experts. With professional SEO services, you can start seeing results as soon as possible and build website traffic that lasts for years.
Professional services will come with reputation management, site cleanup, business review management, technical audits, and business directory listings. All of this will help with backlinks, cleaning up citations, and improving your entire digital presence.
If you need help with your website, most SEO services include web development or cleanup, which will help you either build or rebuild your site. Remember, your website is the center of your entire digital marketing strategy, so neglecting it isn’t an option.
While it does take time to build an SEO strategy, you can eliminate the guessing game with professional help and know you’re working toward something that will pay off!
Get Started Today
Now that you know how to get found on Google, the sooner you start developing and implementing your strategy, the sooner you will see results. SEO takes time to grow but the results are often far better than an ad could ever hope to be.
Stay up to date with our latest marketing news and feel free to contact us for any help!