There are so many ways to increase the search engine visibility of your website. Most sites need a large combinations of many of these, and that is going to be difficult to do yourself. There ARE things that you can do to help yourself along though. This is going to focus on things that can really help you rank, on and off your site, without resorting to black hat SEO techniques, or even Gray hat, that could get your site blacklisted down the line.
1. Rank For The Little Things
Many businesses make the mistake of going for the best and largest keywords first. Google doesn’t know you, and they certainly aren’t going to trust you with search volume for important, highly searched keywords.
But if you pick 10 easy to rank for keyword phrases then you can rank for all 10 of those and then Google will trust you more with the more popular keywords as well. This takes time and patience. Here is an example of keyword options for a Law Office out of Beverly, MA. Now they may want to target “lawyer beverly ma” so when someone types that into their search engine, they will come up and can potentially get a new client. Obviously that will be easier to rank for than “lawyer” alone, but it will still be highly competitive. They might be better off, to start, by choosing something targeted like “divorce lawyers beverly ma” which is still pretty tough to rank for. So maybe you write an article to be focused on “divorce lawyer salem ma free consultation” or “best female divorce attorney in salem (beverly, boston, etc.)”. There may not be a ton of traffic for those, but they will be easy to rank and Google will trust you after 6 to 7 months when you try and rank for better keywords and also implement the other techniques.
2. Utilize “Google My Business”
Google loves when you use it tools, and this is a big one because it is what Google maps uses. There are little tricks you can do to drive local business to you, even if you are a national or global presence. There are a few tips that are technical but very important with Google My Business:
- Make sure your address, hours, and phone number matches EXACTLY everywhere. If on your website you put the street address as 100 Cummings Ctr. and abbreviate “Center” then make sure your Google My Business listing, Yelp, your website, and any other place has it the same exact way. Same with phone number and hours. If your phone number on your website is “(123) 456-7890” then do NOT make it “123-456-7890” in other places.
- Fill in as much information as possible, including adding images to all of the image spots, team, interior, exterior, etc.
- Add geotagging to the images you upload, to Google My Business AND your website. Basically, this is adding an address to your images. Go here to easily add geotagging: https://www.geoimgr.com/ (use the free version for 5 per day)
- Make sure your address is in the footer of your website on every page.
3. Write Helpful Content
Many websites get caught up in trying to fool the Google algorithm, and honestly, many are really successful at it, but you are always vulnerable to Googles updates and figuring out the latest hack and how to undo it. You are FAR better off just writing really useful content to rank for. Sticking with the attorney example you could write articles about really specific topics that would help with #1 as well. An attorney might want to write about divorcing a specific type of person. Searching “divorcing a” gives all kinds of potential topics on divorcing someone. The first is “divorcing a narcissist”. Which has 3600 searches per month, but still might be hard to rank for with a new site, so digging a little deeper “divorcing a covert narcissist” might be easier to target specifically. You could even localize that with a specific area, like Massachusetts. “Divorcing a covert narcissist in Massachusetts” should be really easy to rank for.
Then write a really helpful article that people will read and actually get something out of. This is what Google does best. If someone goes to your article and immediately bounces, Google knows. If they read your entire article and then go back to Google and click on the next link, Google knows. This is why good content will always eventually outrank poor, highly optimized content. Google is very good at figuring out valuable content.
4. Write Longer Content
Google doesn’t like to rank short content. You can answer a question someone might have right away, but you will want to think about the follow-up questions. What should they do next after reading the article? How do they take action? What should they look out for? etc. Google doesn’t like to rank articles that are less than 1500 words, so if you are looking around for something to write about, and you see that someone is ranking and has a relatively good article, but you copy and paste it in a word counter and see it is only 800 characters, then that is a good opportunity to dominate it.
5. Split Up Content Into Sections With Headings
Similarly to this article, you want to make sure that you are using headings to split up content, and UNLIKE my article, you will want to try and use keywords in them if it makes sense to. But do not force it and do not put keywords in all of them, it will hurt your SEO. The headings split the content up so Google can see each section easier, but more importantly so can your readers. They want to be able to quickly scan through and see the type of information they get, and sometimes, even if the content isn’t exactly what they are looking for, scrolling down the page, to read the headlines is just enough time for Google to not consider it a “bounce” if they leave after reading them.