Here at LinkNow Media, SEO is what we do best. We’ve studied the Google Quality Raters’ Guideline. We keep up with all the most recent debates. And we’re constantly A/B testing to sort out the facts from fiction. We spend a lot of time figuring out what works and what doesn’t for SEO.
Over the past while, I’ve worked closely with our organic SEO and local SEO teams to come up with an SEO strategy that works. And although it’s in our best interest to keep it a secret, we’ve decided to share it with you! Use these SEO tricks and get the leads you need to take your business to the next level.
If you're looking for tips on improving your local SEO, make sure to check out our article on how Google's E-A-T relates to local marketing.
If you want to find out how to get your site ranking Google, read on!
1. Rank for the Services You Focus on with Keyword Research
If you want people to find your website, you need to use the right keywords in your written content.
The basic idea is pretty simple: whenever people want to find a product or service, they search Google using specific words or phrases. Those are keywords. By including those keywords in your content, Google will see that your page is relevant to those searches.
When Google sees that your page is relevant to a search query, it indexes that page for the keyword. When others use the same keyword, they’ll find your page. However, not everyone uses the same keyword in their search. Your keyword research should reflect this. Find five or six alternate keywords that people might use to search for your page.
Remember that keywords are all about indexing. They are the first step toward ranking. While it’s important to use the correct keywords in your text, don’t just jam them in. Use them strategically and sparingly. Keep your text natural!
2. Turn Your Keywords into a Ranking Factor with Searcher Intent
Keywords are the only way to get your page indexed by Google. But if you choose your keywords carefully, they can also help you to out-rank the competition.
The secret is searcher intent. Searcher intent divides searches into three categories:
- Transactional: where a user wants to buy something.
- Informational: where a user wants to get information about something.
- Navigational: where a user wants to go straight to a website.
Google users use different keywords to get different search results. That means that their intent is coded right into the keywords they use. If you’re selling a product or service, use keywords that people would use if they wanted to buy something. This will make your page more focused and more relevant to a searcher’s intent. Google will put you ahead of those pages that are confused, unclear, or worse, bait-and-switch pages.
For example, let’s say you service water heaters. Don’t just use the keyword “water heater”. Most people who search ‘water heater’ are either looking for information about water heaters or are looking to buy a water heater. Be more specific. Use the keyword ‘water heater services’ or ‘water heater repair’ or ‘water heater maintenance’.
And if you want to get locals, make sure to include the area that you’re marketing to. ‘Water heater repair in Boston’ will narrow down the possible searches so that you can rank for high-competition keywords.
3. Create SEO Optimized Title Tags with Keywords
This might be the most important piece of advice in this whole article. Create straightforward, keyword-driven title tags for all your web pages. Title tags tell both Google and searchers what your page is about and why it’s relevant. This is the easiest thing you can do to improve your ranking in seconds!
Let’s use the water heater example again. If you’re trying to rank for ‘water heater repair in Boston’ your title tag should look like this:
Boston Water Heater Repair | Peter’s Plumbing Inc.
Start off with the location you want to target, then add the keyword, and end with your company name. Don’t exceed 55 characters. To avoid Google thinking you have duplicate pages, create a unique title tag for each page. Nothing more, nothing less.
When your page shows up on Google’s search results page, your company name with show up first, followed by your city and location. That way searchers will know that you offer exactly what they’re searching for!
4. Keep Your Meta Descriptions Short and Sweet to Get Clicks
Unlike title tags, Google doesn’t consider meta descriptions to be a ranking factor. And that’s okay, because the point of having a website isn’t just to rank—it should also get you great leads! Otherwise, why bother?
The meta description is the short two-line description of your business that shows up on the search results page. It’s meant to convince Google users to click the link to view your webpage. Keep your meta descriptions around 140 characters so that there’s no risk of them being cut off by Google. And them simple by including only:
- • your company name
- • the keyword you’re targeting
- • the location you’re targeting (if you’re targeting a location)
- • a call to action
Although meta descriptions aren’t technically ranking factors, we do know that Google keeps data on the types of actions users take on the search results page. If your page is getting a lot of clicks (and clicks that don’t result in users bouncing back to the search page), Google will consider your page to be more relevant than the competition. And that means you’ll quickly climb to the top.
5. Be Relevant and Rank with Keyword Optimized Headers and the Correct Header Tags
It’s hard to say which is more important (or easier to optimize), title tags or headers. Just do both. It literally takes no effort.
Like title tags, headers help Google crawlers (the bots that scan the web for new pages to index), figure out what your page is about. From that information, the headers help Google index your page.
It’s absolutely essential that every header has a keyword in it. Sure, make them catchy, punchy, funny. But you still need keywords to rank!
And don’t forget to use the H1 and H2 tags when you’re uploading your content. Google starts by looking at the text in the H1. This tells them what the page is about. The H1 should include the primary keyword (the subject of the page) and the location you’re targeting (if there is one). It should be pretty similar to the first half of your title tag.
After reading the H1, Google will move onto the H2s. Each of those need to have keywords as well. Make them creative—but don’t forget to include well-researched keywords in each one!
By including a keyword in your H2s, you show Google not only that your page is relevant to queries that use those keywords, you also show that your page is focused and consistent. You show that it’s about one subject—the one tied to your main keyword in the H1—and is, therefore, very relevant to that query.
For Google, it’s all about relevance. Be the result that people want. Be relevant and rank!
6. Rank with Content People Want to Read (but Don’t Have to!)
So far, we’ve been trying to drive home the importance of telling Google what your page is about. But with recent advances in machine learning technology, syntactic and semantic analysis is quickly becoming an important part of ranking. On top of grammar and spelling, make sure your content makes sense.
Google’s policy on this has been the same for years: write content that people want to read. Whether you’re writing a blog post or commercial copy, your content should be engaging, interesting, convincing. It should reach out and speak to your target audience. Basically, it needs to be well-written.
When you create content with your human readers in mind, you tell Google that your page is a relevant result for a given query. This relevance will help you rank. Don’t listen to the naysayers! Yes, you need everything else we’re mentioning in this article, but writing content that people want to read will set you well above the competition.
However, don’t forget who you’re writing for! A searcher with transactional intent (someone looking to buy something), won’t want to read pages and pages of written content. They want content that’s convincing in as few words as possible. Write your content so that people won’t read it—they’ll skim it and call you for a quote!
7. Load Speed is a Major Ranking Factor
Ever tried to open a page and found yourself waiting and waiting for it to load? We’ve all been there. And guess what? Most people won’t even bother waiting! Most people will click the Back button and find another company with a faster website.
Google has known this for a long time. Way back in 2010 they told us that load speed was going to become a ranking factor. Back then, they were targeting pages that loaded slowly on desktop. But as of July 2018, Google officially made load speed a ranking factor for mobile sites as well. And since Google now puts mobile first, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a fast site.
All this adds up to the fact that load speed affects both conversions (your leads and sales) and your ranking on Google.
The best way to improve your site speed is to simplify your site. Remember that you’re trying to get leads. Remove any images and videos from your site that won’t help turn your readers into buyers. Make sure that the images you keep are small enough to load fast, but not so small that they lose their resolution. Also be conscious of your plugins, landing page redirects, and any files that need to be loaded on each page.
Not sure how fast your site is? Why not ask Google by using their PageSpeed Insightstool?
If you want help improving your page load speed, LinkNow Media can help. We build our websites for speed—and our pages rank.
8. Improve Your SERP Ranking by Building Backlinks
Google loves to see web pages that link to each other. In the SEO world, these links are called backlinks. When another site links back to yours, it shows that people are not only interested in what you’re selling, they also trust it enough to present it to their readers.
Backlinks help Google determine which sites are authoritative and which sites are not. For example, sites like Forbes or Business Insider—or LinkNow Media—are considered high authority sites. When high authority sites post articles, landing pages, blog posts, etc., they’re likely to rank quicker than lower authority sites.
The flip side is that, when you get backlinks from high authority sites, you can very quickly build your own authority. In Google’s eyes, one high authority backlink will easily beat out 10 000 low quality links.
Build your own backlinks by doing guest posts for other blogs or by contacting online companies to do features on your business. Very quickly you’ll be climbing the ranks and generating huge leads!
If you want more tips on how to build authority through backlinks, get in touch with us. Our clients get the advantage of our high-profile industry connections to build their backlink profiles.
9. Be the Expert and Get the Leads You Need!
Like authority, Google values companies that show that they’re the expert in their field. They want to know who wrote the content on your site and if you’re selling something, they want consumers to have the resources to do a background check. This is especially true for companies responsible for the health, financial security, and the safety of their clients—but it applies across the board.
It’s not necessary for you to sit down and write all the content for your own website. The point for Google, is that you stand behind everything that’s written on your site. It’s your brand. It’s your product. And you’re the one responsible for it.
How do you show that you’re the expert? Many people include a little bio at the bottom of their blog posts stating their qualifications. A dedicated About Us page does a similar thing for your website as a whole. And most important, always include contact information that’s correct, up-to-date and easy to find.
While everybody’s scheming and bickering and debating new metrics and trends in ranking, it’s often the simplest things that will improve your position on Google!
LinkNow Media Can Help You Rank on Google
At the end of the day, SEO is not some mysterious, mystical, alchemical technique. Good SEO is about the simple stuff. Title your pages. Use keywords. Use headers. Get a fast site. Create content people want. Be an authority. Be an expert. Garner trust. Keep it simple.
And if you’re not sure what to do, LinkNow Media’s SEO services are perfect for taking your small business to the next level. We can help you every step of the way. From web design to digital marketing, we’ve developed specialized strategies designed to make you competitive online.
If you have any questions, ask us in the comments! And if you feel like talking to a human—give us a call at +1 888-667-7186!