Between algorithms and acronyms, understanding how to improve your rank on Google’s search engine can be a bit puzzling. We talked with John Vaughan, owner of 417 Local Business Video, and Tim Roark, digital media specialist at ADsmith Marketing & Advertising, about boosting a business’s Google search rankings.
Know why it matters
People searching for a service are more likely to click the highest listings on Page 1 results. That’s why boosting Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so important. If Google search results are good, the user is happy. If a user is happy, Google can sell more ads. “That being the end goal, you have to do everything you can to make your site the best answer to the queries of the user,” Roark says.
Establish a good website
Roark recommends establishing a website URL. User-friendly engagement can help build relevance and authority, which in turn can help grow your Google ranking. Make sure the website is mobile-friendly—another important ranking factor. Check yours at thinkwithgoogle.com.
Help people find you
The biggest misconception, Vaughan says, is that businesses are easily found. “Most businesses are invisible to the general public, and they just don’t know it,” he says. People seeking a service will search for “what you do, not who you are,” he adds.
It’s crucial to determine what key search phrases they’ll use. Roark suggests asking employees and friends what words they would use to find your business. Keyword planning tools can be found online, too. Consider also what makes your service stand out, Vaughan says.
Use relevant keywords throughout your website. At the very least, Roark says, make sure they are contained in your website’s title tag, the bold blue link text above the URL in search results.
Update your Google profile
One often overlooked step is to claim and update your Google My Business information, Roark says. It’s free to update your details including address, phone number, hours of operation and more. Add a logo, photos and video for even better results. It’s particularly important for being listed in the “local pack,” the map and three listings at the top of most Page 1 results. Also check across platforms to ensure business information is consistent. Inconsistencies can hurt your Google rank.