Remember the Attention-Getter in junior high? You know…the class clown, the flirt, the show-off?
What about the Worker-Bee – another common junior high species? While the Attention-Getter was busy soliciting stares and laughs – along with the well-deserved ire of the teacher – the Worker-Bee dutifully finished homework, handed out papers for the teacher and kept his/her pencil razor sharp at all times.
We know the stereotypes because we lived them, and in some ways, we never left them. Look at the way businesses and other organizations use the Internet, for example. There are those that grab a flashy website, set up some great graphics, and aggressively push people to use their websites.
Then there are those who painstakingly create a perfect framework for their service or product, keep it organized and clutter-free, fill it with excellent content and wait for users to discover their brilliance.
Ok…so those are extremes, and most of us live somewhere in between. But in this day and age of Google search algorithms and the changing face of Internet usage, we could all use a little help getting the right attention for our websites. Whether we’re flashy or just plain brilliant, it would be best to be findable.
How can you start?
Without further ado, here are North Star’s top five ways to get Google’s attention and to rank better in searches.
1. Make your site “crawlable.”
Google utilizes data robots to “crawl” all the pages published on the web, analyze them with a sophisticated algorithm and rank them according to value. One very simple, but critical, component of online marketing is to make sure your website is set to allow “crawling.” Check with your website administrator to make sure this is set correctly.
2. Keep it fresh. Keep it relevant.
Google demands quality content. What does this involve?
- Basic information: Helpful content that explains your services or products thoroughly.
- News: Interesting and noteworthy content related to your industry or market.
- Blog: Engaging and personable content about your business, organization, service or product that draws users to the site.
Another basic content guideline is to make sure your pages/news/blog posts all contain more than 300 words.
3. Do the basics of search engine optimization (SEO).
Even without an expert SEO team to shape up your keyword strategy and keep your site dynamic and viable, you can ensure that you are at least labeling page titles and descriptions to correspond with the on-page content.
Check out Google Analytics (again, you can use your Google login for this) and SEOmoz for site traffic reports, keyword information and search engine optimization tips.
4. Simplify navigation.
No one wants a map they can’t read. Similarly, no one wants to explore a website with menus so complex and tangled that they get lost in the jungle. If you’re guilty of this, what can you do to clean up your site?
- Consolidate menus and pages where possible
- Use categories and tags to keep your blog posts and news items organized
- Consider restructuring your home page to be audience-focused instead of product-focused
- Ask clients/customers/patrons for feedback on ease-of-use
5. Claim your Google+ Business page
According to Google’s research, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. Your Google+ Business page is an easy way to make sure you show up in Search and Maps.
If you don’t claim it, you lose credibility with Google and you give up control over what people say about you in those forums.
The Google+ Business pages are closely related to the Google Places pages. If you have already claimed and verified your Places page with Google, go ahead and set up and verify your Google+ Business page and link them. If you haven’t set up either Places or Google+ for your business, start here: http://www.google.com/intl/en_US/+/business.
We Can Help
Burlington, N.C.-based North Star Marketing provides online marketing services for businesses, schools, non-profits, churches and more. We work with clients to develop a coherent online marketing strategy, research and implement keywords, write new website content and edit and streamline old content, advertise online, and align website content to meet best-practice conventions.
Explore our Services
It starts with a conversation. Click here to talk to North Star about online marketing for your organization.