There’s no denying that SEO can be a frustrating affair, especially if you are doing it alone. Trying to encourage Google to rank you highly can feel like beating your head against a brick wall, particularly when you take into account the regular stream of algorithm updates Google rolls out.
But never fear! We have five practical things you can do right now to give your website a boost in search rankings. The best part is, this will take you an hour, maximum!
In an attempt to match search to user preferences, Google has embarked on one of the biggest changes to its ranking process we have seen for a good many years: mobile-first indexing. Basically, the mobile version of your website is now the starting point for what Google includes in their index, with the standard desktop version as the secondary resource to be crawled.
What does this mean for my site? – you may be asking. It’s important to note that this is ‘mobile-first’ and not ‘mobile-only’. If your site isn’t responsive for mobile visitors, you aren’t going to disappear from the internet. However, if Google’s Smartphone Googlebots can’t read your site, it will no doubt impact on your ranking.
Fortunately, Google has a handy testing tool for you to check how responsive your site is: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. Simply enter your URL and see how you fair.
If you are at all worried that your site may not be ready for mobile-first indexing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a conversation on how we can help.
Backlinking is still a fantastic way to show Google that your site is worth the top spots in a results page. It is however, a very tricky balancing act since the technique was abused by so many a few years back. Google will penalise you for obvious misuse of the backlinking technique and you could see your site rank dropping quite considerably if you are found to be cheating the system – i.e, littering your page with invisible links or obtaining backlinks from dubious sources.
However, this tip can very easily help you acquire a good handful of backlinks safely, organically and fairly. Have a look for websites that talk about the name of your organisation, your domain name, your name and the names of your founders/execs/bosses. Search for a combination of these in quotation marks (this requests an exact phrase match). For example, I might try “Toby Walker” + “Workshop Marketing” in Google which should then give me a list of everywhere this exact phrase is used on the web. All you need to do then, is make sure this ‘mention’ is also pointing to your current site with a link. If it isn’t, get in touch with them and request one!
Get a Google+ account
There is evidence to suggest that Google still considers Google+ as a ranking factor. Google+ has never really faired all that well in the UK, in fact, it’s probably entirely defunct as a social media channel here. Nevertheless, Google still gives you SEO brownie points if you have an active account – that’s right, you actually have to use it.
If your business regularly posts to other social media channels, you can simply duplicate the content over to Google+ and release a steady stream of posts so Google knows you’re using their ugly social media baby. This could give you a big thumbs up from Google and hopefully positively impact your search ranking. If you need help with Google+, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Check site load speed
Google’s initiative to respond to user trends means that if your site is fast, it is likely to fair better in search results. After all, site speed will affect the overall user experience so the faster the better.
Have a look at Google’s super handy PageSpeed insight tool: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. Simply input your URL to be informed on how fast your site is and what might be holding it back. Fixing any issues is sure to positively impact your ranking.
Check business listing consistency
Our final tip may seem a little basic but you may be surprised at how many businesses fail to list the details of their organisation consistently across listing platforms. It is a huge ranking factor for Google, particularly with regards to local SEO and it’s so easy to rectify.
This brilliant tool from MOZ will tell you where your business is listed and inform you of any inconsistencies between the listings: https://moz.com/local/search. If your company doesn’t appear on the any of the listing sources, be sure to create a listing with the appropriate site – it will really help not just Google but all search engines to see the details of your business.
We really hope you have found at least some of our advice useful! Please get in touch with us if you need help with anything SEO related, we’d love to hear from you 😊