4 Things You Can Do To­day To Boost Your Web­site’s Google Rank­ing

ForbesWeekly - - NEWS - BY JIA WERTZ, FORBES CONTRIBUTOR

Launch­ing your own on­line busi­ness is a very ex­cit­ing mile­stone in life. You’re on the path to fi­nan­cial free­dom, you can cre­ate your own work hours, and you no longer re­port to some­one else from 9:00 to 5:00.

But more of­ten than not, the dread of try­ing to stand out in the never-end­ing World Wide Web kicks in. Let’s as­sume you have a great, unique idea with proven de­mand for this new, must-have prod­uct you’re sell­ing, and you’ve launched a beau­ti­ful site—now what? Crick­ets. No traf­fic means no money.

How do new cus­tomers find you? These four tried and true tac­tics will help you in­crease your Google rank­ing and,

in turn, in­crease traf­fic to your site. Cre­ate a link-build­ing strat­egy. Back­links are in­com­ing hy­per­links from one web­page to an­other web­site, and they pass eq­uity to your site. Think of it as a vote of rec­om­men­da­tion. Back­links are the most im­por­tant fac­tor de­ter­min­ing your site’s search rank­ing. Start your link-build­ing strat­egy as early as pos­si­ble be­cause it can take months for Google to up­date your rank­ing and for you to reap the ben­e­fits of your link-build­ing ef­forts.

As with most things in life, aim for qual­ity over quan­tity. A sin­gle link from a well-known au­thor­i­ta­tive site goes much fur­ther in in­creas­ing your SEO rank­ings than get­ting hun­dreds of links from smaller un­known web­sites. There are many ways you can go about build­ing links, in­clud­ing pitch­ing to COURTESY OF WDNET STU­DIO edi­tors of ma­jor mag­a­zines or news sites or part­ner­ing with pop­u­lar blog­gers.

Google can pe­nal­ize you if it seems as though you are get­ting back­links un­nat­u­rally, so it’s best to be pa­tient and put in the work. In­crease your site speed. Do you re­mem­ber how you re­acted the last time you tried to visit a site and it wouldn’t load? Like most peo­ple, you prob­a­bly ex­ited the tab and moved on. If your site load times are slow, it won’t rank high in search re­sults. Not to men­tion, the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence won’t be positive if your site isn’t up and run­ning in sec­onds—3 sec­onds to be ex­act. For ev­ery sec­ond that goes by, your aban­don­ment rate will sky­rocket, leav­ing un­happy cus­tomers and po­ten­tial sales on the ta­ble. So, what can you do about it? Use tools like ping­dom to test your site speed and get a com­pre­hen­sive re­port show­ing you where and how you can im­prove time-con­sum­ing pro­cesses to gain speed. Up­date your site fre­quently. Hav­ing a com­pany blog will do won­ders in achiev­ing this task. Google wants to see that you have a dy­namic and ac­tive web­site. Of course, you won’t al­ways have new prod­ucts to launch, or up­dates that need to be made to your site. That’s where the blog comes in. You can reg­u­larly pub­lish blog posts on the lat­est top­ics and trends within your in­dus­try, which helps your search en­gine rank­ing in the long run, and the new con­tent gives your cus­tomers a rea­son to re­turn to your site. Op­ti­mize for long-tail key­words. New web­sites have a hard time com­pet­ing for top key­words; that’s why it’s best to start off by iden­ti­fy­ing long-tail key­words (a phrase con­tain­ing three or more words) that your site can more eas­ily rank for. The task of iden­ti­fy­ing what those long-tail key­words should be is tedious. There’s no way around it. Google’s Key­word Plan­ner is a great place to start plug­ging in key­words that are rel­e­vant to your site to see what the com­pe­ti­tion for each of those key­words looks like. This will help you elim­i­nate the ones you shouldn’t be op­ti­miz­ing for and se­lect the ones that can work best to drive traf­fic to your site. The three key things to look for are: Key­words Monthly searches Com­pe­ti­tion (num­ber of search re­sults Google re­turns)

If you spend a few days do­ing some home­work and iden­ti­fy­ing the best key­words for each prod­uct/page of your site, and be sure to plug those key­words onto the ap­pro­pri­ate pages, your site will clearly com­mu­ni­cate what you’re sell­ing to google. This will al­low you to at­tract tar­geted cus­tomers who are look­ing for ex­actly what you are sell­ing.

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