Getting on the first page of Google can be a daunting task. Your customer will perform a search and say, “I am not showing up but our competition is.” or “I searched for ‘X’ and found my competition on the map but not me. Don’t get discouraged as there are tricks and techniques that you can implement to get your site listed and climbing fast.
The purpose of this article is to outline a process that will get you going in the right directions. Getting to the top won’t happen overnight organically, but you will be able to see your website rise over time. If all goes well, your efforts will get you to the number one spot on Google.
If you have not done so already, the first thing you should do is setup Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Analytics is pretty straight forward and easy to setup, but with webmaster tools (also called the Google Search Console) there are a few things you should get implemented right away.
- Make sure you have a sitemap on your website and that it is submitted within webmaster tools.
- Verify that your robot.txt file is not blocking anything that it shouldn’t and blocking what it should
- If you are going for local and/or targeted traffic, set your target country.
- Setup your rich cards and structured data (OK, we will get back to this one later)
Setup Google My Business and make sure your location has been created and is validated.
This includes making sure that your website has the Company Name, Address and Phone Number listed exactly the same. Making sure these match is imperative.
If you have some photos get them added and make sure you have your correct hours and target categories set as well.
The better the page is setup the better you will fair. You may want to grab the Google My Business App from the play store. It does make it easier to manage your listing.
Once you have that set up, I recommend finding your google listing through google search and get your reviews started. Google loves reviews so don’t delay on this.
Getting started with reviews is easier than you think. – Draft a nice, concise email and send it your your favorite customers. Remember, reviews don’t just have to be from customers. There is nothing wrong with an employee or two reviewing the company as an employee and you can even get your favorite vendors to review your business as well.
- Customer Reviews
- Employee Reviews (what they enjoy about working at your business)
- Vendor Reviews (what they like about doing business with you)
Work up a plan/reminder to send a review request 1 week after your sale or project has completed with the customer. This is also a good time to upsell or cross-sell your services.
You can ask if there is anything else you can help them with or let them know about additional services or products you may be offering.
The link that you will need to share is sometimes really long. What I do is use the free Google URL Shortener. This also gives you the ability to track clicks. – BONUS!
Now we move into the fun part, – Design and build a landing page to focus on 1-2 keywords for the location you are trying to get ranked.
Your landing page should have the keyword in the page name, and if it is not too long, display the city name there too.
Make sure that your landing page has the keyword and location in the page title and meta description.
Make sure that you have at least 350 (recommend 550+) words on the landing page and that you have included the keyword 2-3 times for proper density. As of late, Google actually prefers varying keywords that are all related to your primary keyword, so get a little creative, however ensure that they make coherent sense for your topic.
Include 2-4 images and use proper alt tagging in your images here as well.
Include a local phone number and address. Link to your Google My Business page as well as a few other internal links pointing to various services or products within your site.
When including the phone number add an href=”tel:” to make the phone number clickable on mobile devices and some desktop devices.
It is also recommended to include a contact form and Google map of your location.
The next thing I recommend is building 3-4 posts entirely about your services and business in the area/location you are targeting, and link these posts to these pages and vice versa.
Same rules apply when it comes to the amount of text you want to include: title, meta, link density, etc…
You should not go for the exact same keyword on each landing page. Instead vary your keywords around the same subject and interlink each page together.
Once you have your landing page built out along with your content pages, ensure that they are indexed in Google by submitting them to GSC.
You can do this by going to Google’s search and typing: “site:domain.com/page.html”
If your page is indexed you can move to the next step..
If it is not indexed, you can submit it to Google’s index by searching… “Submit Page To Google Index” or just click here. If it is not indexed, do not submit it more than once.
Your last step is to promote the page as well as all of the associated pages. You can do this through a press release, social media posts, Google AdWords, and a solid back link strategy.
These are all subjects for another time… For now we have to run this strategy through for one of our clients with 10 different office locations, so it is time to get to work.