It's the holy grail of all website goals, but if your business isn't managing to hit the front page of Google’s search results, does it really matter? Well, according to research, most web users never look beyond the first five listings! Websites which appear on the first page of results get a massive 95% of all onward traffic, meaning the second page onwards? That’s pretty much the online equivalent of Siberia…
Whatever sector you operate in, it's clear that improving your site’s organic ranking is crucial. But with so much depth to the subject, where do you begin? Turns out Google tools themselves are a great way to begin...
Register Your Site
Google Search Console is a tool which lets you submit your sitemap directly to the search engine giant for indexing - as opposed to waiting for it's bots to find you. It can also highlight any site errors, let you check backlinks to your site, and see the kind of search terms which are generating most of your web traffic. When you register, you’ll receive an email from Google containing some useful pointers to get your site further up the rankings, so make sure you implement it.
Take Advantage Of Google My Business
Another free and easy tool you must use if you aren't already is Google My Business. This tool is based on geolocation, meaning your business will appear on the map at the top of the search results page. You’ll need to verify your address after submitting- Google.dispatches a postcard with an unique PIN to the address you provide. This can be a valuable tool to make sure people in your local area can easily find you. For example, if you run a recruitment consultancy in Wales, and somebody with a local IP address runs a search for ‘careers wales vacancies’ you’ll be among the top results - and because the search terms are quite specific, users are more likely to click through to your site. It also gives you a Google+ page. Posting links to this page gets them indexed more quickly by Google. You can also let other people share your content and links by inserting a social sharing tool easily onto your site using a widget like Addthis or grabbing a coding snippet from Google to insert into your HTML.
Pay Attention To Loading Times
The speed your site loads isn’t just essential to avoid frustrating your customers- site loading speed is also a factor that Google use as a ranking signal, so it's important to get it right. Improve your website loading speed with some simple fixes such as ensuring image file sizes are kept small, writing concise, effective web copy, using fast hosting and keeping use of scripts to a minimum to lower the number of HTTPS requests on your site. Google have another handy tool to use here - Page Speed Insights. This lets you test out exactly how fast your site loads across different desktop and mobile browsers and gives you a checklist of actions you can complete to improve performance.