Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That translates to 3.5 billion searches per day, or 1.2 trillion per year. With the Internet moving faster than ever, and with the number of search options rising by the minute, it’s become even more difficult for organisations to stand out – especially when the vast majority of us don’t move on past the first Google results page!
Fear not, we’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to make sure you stay above the fold, raising your ranks on Google’s search engine results page, and maximising the chances of people clicking onto your site.
- Spread fresh content all over the web. Sites with dynamic content often rank higher than those with static content. That’s why blogs and directories (like Wikipedia), which are constantly being updated, do so well on search engines. As well as this, the more sites and social media profiles an organisation maintains, the more links will appear on search engine results pages.
- Crosslink. Cross-linking refers to the process of linking two sites – either a webpage to a webpage, or a webpage to a social media account. This is a very effective way of raising your organisation’s search ranking, as it increases the value, importance and relevance of the website from Google’s perspective. If you manage to do this well and people do click your links, this tells the search engine that you are a trusted authority on your particular topic.
- Optimise your content. Google uses automated robots to examine websites and identify which words are most important. It then uses these as keywords, under which websites are categorised. To make the most of this, firstly identify words that reflect your organisation’s operations and purpose, and the desired benefits or services your audience is looking for. Incorporate these key words into your topic headings, page titles, URL names, metatags and other content, so Google’s robots can easily detect them.
- Use a permalink structure that includes keywords. Some sites have “ugly” permalink structures that use numbers to identify pages. Not only do these make your URL unappealing, but they also pull down your search ranking. Instead, use a URL structure that includes your keywords. So instead of having your URL read as http://fiftyacres.com.au/p=15f23, it should be http://fiftyacres.com.au/who-we-are/.
- Integrate your social media and search strategies. Google now considers social media activity in its organic search rankings, so a tweet that gets 1,000 retweets will boost a page higher in the rankings than one that gets 10 retweets. You may even consider investing in social media advertising to give your organisation’s social media accounts an extra boost.
- Remove anything that slows down your website. Loading times can often determine whether people stay on your website or click that dreaded red X. Get rid of any non-essentials that bog down your website. This could include music players, large images, flash graphics, and unnecessary plugins that hinder users’ experiences.
- Write like a human. None of these tips matter if you create content that sounds like a robot wrote it. Write great stuff, follow the steps above, and before you know it, you’ll see results.