Just about everyone wants a chance to rank highly on Google. After all, this is usually the easiest way to get in touch with potential customers and leads. However, reaching that goal can sometimes seem impossible, and consistently adding content to your site might not always be feasible.
Thankfully, Google offers a variety of tools to help boost your rankings that don’t involve writing another keyword-rich blog post. Below, we’ll discuss a few opportunities to consider that can help you achieve higher organic search results.
If your business is a local service or has a brick-and-mortar location, achieving a coveted spot in the Google Maps “three-pack” is a pretty big deal. This means that your contact information and website link will show up in the first three Google Maps spots when a person searches for a specific local solution. To increase your chances of securing this ranking, be sure to claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing, a public profile that displays important information about your organization.
Google Maps is one of the first things people see when they look for a specific business within their local area. If you aren’t listed, it makes it much more difficult for customers to find you. Furthermore, there’s a good chance that your competitors are already using this method, so you must follow suit to ensure your potential leads aren’t going straight to them.
Adding your organization to Google Maps is relatively simple. First, you’ll need to sign up for a Google My Business account. Then, you can add your company by searching it on the GMB website and choose whether you want your location to appear on Google Maps. After adding in the requested information, such as your business category, you’ll need to verify your identity to Google (either by mail, phone, or email).
Another option is called FAQ schema markup. This should be added anywhere there is a question and corresponding answer on your website. When someone searches that question, the special code allows for a portion of the answer to show up in search results. In short, this can be a valuable way to score added traffic.
One of the easiest ways to connect with your audience is to position yourself as a knowledgeable leader in your industry. Using these schema markups, you are making it easy for Google users to see that you have answers related to what they want to know. This puts you in a prime trust position when they’re ready to make a purchase or invest in your services.
To start using FAQ schema, you’ll first need to write and publish question-and-answer style content. You should format the text so that the question is in bold or uses a header tag. Then, you’ll need to insert the schema markup, which requires a bit of HTML knowledge. Here is the official explanation of how to do this from Google’s developer site.
Of course, it isn’t just Google Maps and FAQs that achieve the upper level in Google search results. Other snippets happen when content is deemed informative and valuable. While there isn’t a way to do this on your own, the easiest method is to continue to add engaging content regularly and keep track of what’s working well.
Again, this goes back to positioning yourself as a leader in your industry. Google uses snippets all the time, so it’s crucial that internet users see your content – not your competitors’. Therefore, you need to secure as many snippets as possible to maintain visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are a variety of strategies to optimize for certain Google snippets. For example, using H2 and H3 tags or highlighting top learning points in your text can really help. Again, this comes down to publishing high-quality content on a regular basis.
Another great tool to consider utilizing as a part of your Search Engine Optimization strategy is Google Discover. While there’s no way to control whether or not your website is featured, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. First, make sure the content you create is centered around a specific key entity, which is the term Google uses to describe particular interest groups. Next, create blog posts and articles for your website that are generally time-sensitive. Google Discover only includes content on what’s happening now and for a short period of time.
More than ever, people are turning to the internet to stay connected with what is going on in the world. By looking up topics on Google Discover and publishing content on your website that could be featured, you’ll put yourself in front of a wider audience. In the end, this equates to higher traffic and more potential for leads.
Take a look at Google Discover to see where other businesses in your niche are featured or identify specific trends. Then, publish content on your website that includes these categories or topics.
With so many different ways to use Google to increase your organic search rankings, choosing the best strategies can be somewhat overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to work with a digital marketing partner you can trust. These experts can help you cut through the noise and determine which additional steps to take—or skip—to improve your overall ranking and increase traffic. Best of all, they usually have a whole list of other tips to get your entire marketing plan on the right path, which often means the difference between success and spinning your wheels.
Alyssa Anderson is the Content Manager at Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM), a digital marketing agency in Madison, CT. ZGM is known for developing overarching marketing strategies and specializes in Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Content Marketing, Social Media, Development, Design, and eCommerce services.
5 campaigns you wish you thought of
The strategic and creative possibilities offered by mobile devices are the future of advertising and marketing. People spend more and more time on their smartphones and less time watching TV. As a logical consequence, promoting a brand means to rethink the allocation of advertising budgets between old and new channels of communication, even if things seem to be moving at a slow pace: while 37% of the total time dedicated to media was spent watching TV and 24% on mobile, advertising spending on TV remains at 41% compared to 8% on smartphones and tablets (source: KPCB). (more…)
The present trend is that of mobility and the same applies to computers as well and that is the reason why more and more people are opting for internet enabled smartphones as they help them stay connected even while on the move. However, this has posed a certain type of problem for websites and website developers as many of them are not mobile friendly and hence not accessible through the mobile. The inability of websites to connect with the customers through mobiles could mean a loss of customers, which no business can afford. Therefore, website owners and developers have to work towards creation of websites that are available for the mobiles as well.
However, the task of creating or building a mobile version of the website is not very difficult as there are several tools that ease the process of creating mobile versions of websites. Some of these tools are discussed below:
With Google and other search engines increasingly trying to ‘humanize’ their algorithms so that their preference of websites reflects that of their physical users, there has never been a more important time than now for website owners to make sure that the content they use is fully up-to-scratch.
It is no secret to anybody that Google is a bit of a bookworm, with its head of webspam Matt Cutts frequently using his Webmaster Central vlog to point out that, while intelligent use of images, infographics, videos, and audio files helps a website’s ranking, the search engine is still hungriest of all for text.
Content should be viewed as the bricks and mortar of your site. If you view your website in the same way as your house, of course you want it to look pretty and stand out on your street, but there’s no point doing that if it’s made of sponge bricks and uses porridge as mortar. Nobody would want to visit such a house more than once, and it would fail in its purpose. Aesthetic features on your site should be there to accentuate its solid foundation of content – not in place of it.
On the Ecommerce Outtakes blog, we talk a lot about what not to do online. In fact, our main focus is to point out where websites go wrong—with the intent, of course, to help improve the e-commerce experience across the web. One trend we’ve been noticing a lot lately is a lack of good filtering and sorting options. It’s a widespread e-commerce epidemic, and it’s high time we cured it.
January 2013 – Last spring Google posted about Responsive Web Design on their official webmaster central blog and though the flavor of their article was fairly mild, they made it very clear that their “commitment to accessibility” includes a very important message to web designers – “Mark up one set of content, making it viewable on any device.”
Mobile technology is changing business faster than the Internet did at the time of its birth. The web opened opportunities for all businesses and even created a few new ones, but with the speed in which consumers are adopting mobile technology the impact on almost every industry is going to be profound. So with apps for just about everything where are the SEO tools? Sure customers are searching from their phones, their tablets and theirTricorders or whatever but as a search engine optimization professional what mobile tools are available to us? It would seem there are plenty.
Here are three qualitySEO tools available now for Android users that will help any webmaster keep up with his or her online business on the road or in the yard. Not all of us are road warriors after all but it’s still important to keep our finger on the pulse of our business while hanging out next to the pool.
Aaron Wall of SEOBook recently predicted that, in 2013, SEOs who “remain overly-public will continue to invent language to serve their own commercial purposes while chastising those who do not fall in line.” I appear to be living up to (the first part) of that promise because I’m calling it: the breakthrough ranking factor of 2013 will be “waves,” a term I just made up.
This will be a somewhat speculative post, so I feel compelled to say that these opinions are my own, and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Northcutt as a whole.
Where did this crazy idea come from? It started with the realization that, back in 2009, Google’s Chief Economist told McKinsey Quarterly “I keep saying the sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians. People think I’m joking, but who would’ve guessed that computer engineers would’ve been the sexy job of the 1990s?”
Part II in this series covered the importance of the roles of testing and modification in the development of successful conversion optimization. Now we will attempt to make sense of what we convert.
I must admit, I thought that was pretty cool and used it myself a time or two to impress people. But experience has shown me that quality data is really the key, because today we can measure things to the point of becoming overwhelmed.
Metrics are everywhere. Just watch a sports show on TV and you’ll see how every aspect of player performance has some sort of statistic. And if you have ever witnessed a presentation of data in a meeting you have probably also witnessed eyes glazing over and slow little pools of dribble accumulating out of the mouths of those present. Try and avoid that.
Quality data starts with the basics first:
Once you have these core metrics you can compare them based on historical data over time and then you’ve got half the battle won already. But there is more to know. And the more you immerse yourself in simple data, the easier it becomes to start to peel out more granular information that turns into actionable data, such as:
In Part I of this series, we examined what to measure, The Funnel, and landing pages. In Part II we will put this preparation into action.
After all the effort people put into setting up programs and campaigns, nothing amazes us more than how seldom site owners or managers check to actually see if their whole process works. Emailed form results that disappear into cyber oblivion, missing images, or simple broken links are among the most common things we witness.
But these mistakes can be far worse.
I recall a client coming to us several years ago with a very nice healthcare supplement website he just had built. It was well designed and e-commerce equipped and he had product ready for fulfillment. He asked us to see if we could strengthen some of the marketing copy on his order pages as his orders just seemed to be “way down.”
We dove in to take a look. The site was organized and some of his product names were very clever. After spooling through several categories and pages, we decided to see how easy his purchase process was. And we liked his site so well, we thought, What the heck, even if we end up buying something just to test it out, it’s worth it. Some of us could certainly use that Ear Nibbler Female Pheromone! We zeroed in the product, chose our quantity, resisted the add-ons and upsell items, broke out the credit card, armed ourselves for purchase, and hit BUY NOW.
Only to stare in disbelief as an error page came up. FAIL.
Can you imagine? All the time and money that went into gathering that sale ended in error. And he didn’t just have one page like that, he had many. Needless to say, all the slick copy in the world wasn’t going to improve his sales. But the larger point is, while we’re not saying you have to be perfect, if you don’t test to see if your setup works, all you’re setting yourself up for is failure.