Practical Steps to Rank Higher in Organic Search
Ranking in organic search is critical in securing traffic for your website and subsequently generating leads and/or sales for your business. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most important digital marketing functions to manage this. Given the central role that the internet plays in daily life now, it makes sense to prioritise the tool which facilitates online targeting and optimisation.
Growth of the World Wide Web
Before taking a look at some practical steps to improve your website's rankings it is important to understand why ranking in organic search is so imperative to success. There are around 1.8 billion websites worldwide and this number is constantly growing. The chances are that there will be a significant number of websites offering the same products and/or services, in the same country and probably in the same region, that your website does. That's a lot of noise to be heard over.
How Do People Find Websites?
Search engines are still the most popular place that people turn to when they want an answer to a question or want to look for a product and/or service.
Google processes 2 trillion searches every year worldwide, which equates to 5.5 billion searches per day and 64,000 search queries every single second. When people type their query into the Google search box, a large number of results are likely to be returned, Google delivers them in an order they believe to be most relevant first, reducing in relevance as the list progresses. The goal is for your website to show as high up the results list as possible when someone types in a query that is related to your business’ offering.
There are of course other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo!, but Google has an 85% market share in the UK compared to Bing’s 12% and Is therefore undoubtedly the leading search engine.
3 Practical SEO Steps to Rank Higher in SERPs
There are a number of things you can do to improve the chances of your website ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs). In this article we’re going to take a look at 3 key things you can do to help your website rank higher.
1. Define What Keywords You Want to Rank For
Your SEO keywords are the key words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your website via search engines. You need to decide what you want to be found for and then find the keywords that are most relevant to your products and/or services.
The best way to do this is to conduct keyword research to identify opportunities and then create high quality content targeting these keywords.
There are a number of keyword research tools that you can use. SEMrush is a highly effective tool for performing in-depth keyword analysis. Add a keyword to this tool and it will generate a number of related search terms including the search volumes for these keywords and the competitiveness of the term.
This tool is very effective, but also costly. A good digital marketing consultancy should have access to a tool like SEMrush or similar, and this is where seeking search engine optimisation services can be beneficial for your company, as the consultancy can use these tools to provide you with an in-depth keyword analysis but will also have the experience and skill to pair that data with good quality advice and practical help. If you are not confident, you may decide that it is a better use of resource to pay for high quality SEO work that spending a lot of time doing it yourself to a lesser standard, with no guarantee of results.
Alternatively, if you feel confident, there are some free tools that you can make use of to get started.
This free tool from Google allows you to enter a term and get a trend graph showing how the popularity for that term has evolved over a custom date range from 2004 onwards to the last one hour. The tool will also provide a number of ‘Related queries’, which can provide an idea of what else is searched for around the term you originally entered and show content creation ideas.
This is another free tool that will provide you with great content creation ideas. Simply visit AnswerThePublic, enter your keyword into the search box and click ‘Get Questions’. This will generate a number of related questions around your search term.
The drawback is that you do not receive any search volume data for the questions generated, so you are not able to tell which queries are performing best from the organic viewpoint. This can make it difficult to prioritise content creation.
A tool like SEMrush will give you search volume statistics, which can help you to make better informed decisions on what content to create.
2. Provide Useful Content
Content is key to being found online. It doesn’t matter how ‘pretty’ your website is, without quality content it will never rank. It is important to produce high quality, optimised content.
Remember, Google aims to show people the best possible answer to their query. This means that to rank highly in SERPs, Google must believe that your content piece must be better than everyone else's.
If your piece of content doesn’t provide the best answer to the questions, then it won’t rank highly.
'Best' is a subjective term, but a good way to make sure your content is useful is to make it detailed, relevant, specific and include resources and tagged images where possible. Also, let it evolve. Add to your pages, enrich the content and keep it updated.
3. Optimise for Local Search
Have you setup your Google My Business listing? Google My Business offers a free opportunity for your business to appear in Google search results. It is highly recommended to set up your business listing in Google, because it will help your business to appear in local search results and appear on Google Maps. All of which helps with SEO.
Improve your business’ local search visibility by setting up and optimising your Google My Business listing.
Your Google My Business listing will dominate page real estate if fully optimised, so make sure to fill in all the details on Google. You can share blog posts, events and product/service offers via the post function to further promote your business.
Your business will then have a Google Map result, which makes it easier for people to find you. In addition, you can embed a Google Map on your website easily. It's ok if you don't have the sort of business that people visit, you should still have a Google My Business listing.
The power of Google Maps goes beyond someone just searching for your business name. It can also be a great way for your business to show for more generic searches. For example, one of our clients Tanshire Park, is a business park in Surrey and when you type ‘business parks in surrey’ into Google Maps Tanshire Park shows as the top result.
As you can see from the screenshot the more information that has been filled in on the Google My Business listing, the more information can be displayed on the map result, including the address, the type of business, opening times, web URL and reviews.
Reviews are a a hugely rich and valuable source of quality content, both in your advertising and on your website. However, Google My Business has the facility to allow users to filter by review grade, (ie 1 stars, 2 stars, 4 stars and above etc) meaning if someone selects 4 stars or above and your listing has one bad review that’s dragging down your average, you won’t appear in the results. It's easier said than done, but it's well worth knowing that it's key for your business to get high star reviews in order not to fall foul of this filter.
Google My Business Insights
In addition, to the benefits described above you can also get data in the ‘Insights’ tab in the Google My Business dashboard. You can get data about your Google My Business listing performance, which can prove the value of time invested in optimising the listing.
Improve Your Organic Rankings
Taking steps to improve your website's organic rankings can have a number of benefits for your business. Increased relevant website traffic can lead to increased leads and sales and subsequently increased profit for your company. SEO is not a one time think, it's a constant race for the top, as other website also change and improve so you have to adapt and adjust to maintain and/or grow your position. It's a long term, ongoing and constant commitment that, done well, certainly delivers results and ROI.
The Innovation Visual team work with a number of clients to maintain and consistently improve their organic rankings. If you would like to find out more about our search engine optimisation services, then please contact our team to find out how we can help get your website to rank.