For a lot of business owners, when they launch a new website, they have an assumption that it will magically show up in Google immediately. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Remember the great famous line in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.” While that might work great for a ballpark, it doesn’t work quite that easily for search engine rankings. There are a few questions to keep in mind if you find yourself in that spot.
One of the most important things to keep an eye on with a new website is the keywords that you’re targeting. The big question is, are you using the right keywords for your site and business? There are a number of tools available on the web to identify keywords. One thing many businesses will need to do is look at long-tail keywords. If a website is focusing on a fairly broad keyword (such as “web design”), ranking for that keyword is all but impossible. Try looking at a long-tail variation such as “Green Bay Web Design.” While this will likely bring a lower search volume, it will be significantly easier to rank.
So using the right keywords is essential. Along with using the right keywords, you must ask if you are using those keywords the right amount of times. And this is for each page.The goal is to use the keyword 2.5 – 3 percent of the time on a page. Calculating out how often this needs to be done is well beyond my math skills. Thankfully, with the Yoast SEO plugins or WordPress, it is easy to find out if a keyword is being used the right amount. If the keyword isn’t used enough, simply write more content. If it’s being used too much, look to some of the other variations of the keyword to use instead (such as using “web development” instead of “web design”).
This is a big concern for a business owner when a site first launches. Google isn’t going to want to index a page until it sees enough users manually going to the site on their own. Google is only going to show sites it deems to be the best fit and most authoritative for a search query. Consequently, you may need to get creative and find ways to drive traffic directly to your site. One of the most effective ways I have seen clients use is to incorporate traditional mailing pieces. In these mailers, don’t include things like phone numbers or email addresses. Simply list the web address. Users will then need to go directly to www.yourwebsite.com in order to get in touch with you. This could possibly result in a sale and an increase in direct traffic.
Another effective measure could be using various presentations and elevator pitches that you give for your business. Including your web address in a networking group or presentation are great ways to get more users directly to your site. The goal here is to be as creative as possible. Look for ways to drive as many users directly to your home page as you can. Think Stickers! Stickers are great for promoting your company. You can simply stick them wherever you find a great spot to attach one.The key is to provide a balance when promoting this way(without being a pest).
One of the keys to SEO is keeping track of what your competitors are doing. If your competitor adds 1000 words of text to their home page, you’ll need to add 2000 words of text. If they add 10 new images, you’ll need to add 20 new images. If they add 1 new video, you need to add 2. Since there is no way to push the competitors down like in a game of king of the hill (such a fun childhood game. Lots of scars and bruises. But a fun game). We can’t push the competitors down. All we can do is build ourselves up better and make our sites more authoritative to Google.
Here is one great way to make Google notice you. Use Google reviews. It will show how you are an authoritative business and a true expert in your field. It could be extremely beneficial for you to email some of your clients and ask them to leave a great review of your business on Google. If you do this, you can ask them to use some specific words – your keywords – in their review. Be careful not to dictate the full review for them as you still want these to be genuine and from the client. For example, I’ve asked clients to include phrases like “Full Scope helped us build our new website for our Green Bay business….” and then add in whatever they might want to say about working with us.
One of the great things about focusing on Google reviews is it can pay off in several ways. Obviously it can help you to get indexed by Google quicker. It will also show to other searchers what your company truly has to offer. When other users see what your current clients are saying about you, they can be much more likely to get in touch. Even a 4 star review average is far more appealing than no rating at all. Additionally, when you ask your clients to leave a review about your business, it’s one more chance to talk to that client. Plus one more way to build that relationship that much stronger. When I’ve had businesses ask me to leave a review, it almost feels like I’m helping them out in a whole new way, as if I became part of their team. And it’s a great community building tool. Of course if they say yes to leaving a review, it’s pretty easy to ask them to follow you on social media as well.
This is good information to know. That’s because Google can at times take up to 6 months to really start ranking a site. It’s almost like they are wanting you, (the site owner), to prove yourself as a real and legitimate business. Now that we know about this time lag occuring it’s a great time to strategize.. We should use this time to make your site more attractive to Google. For example, use this time to write more blogs and hone your writing skills. Take the time to focus on building a great social media following and drive that traffic to your site. Work with a quality designer in your area to send out print mailings to drive direct traffic.
The time is going to be there so maximize this into a golden opportunity. Use it to take your already great site by making it better and more authoritative. There are countless actions you can do to use this time wisely…so get creative! This is how you will find what works best and which has the best return. If a print mailing had a great return rate, keep track of that and schedule more to be sent out. Print mailing, tied with digital media, is a great tag team.
There are many reasons Google might not be ranking your site just yet. Take a look at your competition and keyword review. When you spend time reviewing good SEO tactics you will probably start to see ways to improve your site.
While your site might not currently be ranking, taking the time to focus on good SEO can help. It will prove to Google just how authoritative and expert your business has become. Consistency, over time, can pay off huge in search engine optimization.
Remember, “If you build it (your website) (and market it with good SEO techniques), he (Google) will come.”