Each day more than 250,000 new websites join the world wide web. But, only 17% of these websites remain active for more than a year.
Many more never even rank anywhere near the top of the search results.
If you’ve launched a business, how can you get found on Google, and improve your chances of long term success?
Various factors influence how quickly (or, if ever) sites rank for specific keywords. According to research done by Ahrefs, it usually takes around 61 to 182 days for websites to gain a visible position in the Google search results pages (SERPs).
With so many new sites popping up on the internet, it’s challenging for a site to stand out.
Well, lucky for you, we’ve summed up the best ways to get found on Google in this post.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
If you’re looking to rank organically, meaning for free, you’ll need to pay attention to your SEO – or search engine optimization.
This means using a number of best practices to make your website indexable and crawlable, and create content which the search engines will rank for certain queries.
One of the most popular SEO software companies, Ahrefs was able to go from 121 to 121,830 visitors within 6 months (case study). If you’re wondering how to do this yourself, well, it helps to be an SEO expert from the start and have a team dedicated to building your organic content strategy. In short, it’s not as easy as you might think.
But building your understanding of SEO and understanding how this helps you get found on Google is essential. It also helps you to stragteize your long-term organic content goals.
And frankly, having your root search terms on the first page of Google is a minimum requirement for any business establishing itself in a market.
SEO is a long game. And although there are ways you can zoom up the organic search results.
To get started, it’s a good idea to take a look at Google’s starter SEO guide. They’re still the most used search platform, and if you’re looking at how to get found on Google then anything from the giants themselves will help you.
If you’re looking to get found on Google, here are our quick SEO steps:
1. Your website
First things first, your site needs to be quick to load and well laid out. Not too many plugins or elements that might slow it down.
You should also have a valid SSP certificate (https) which may be a ranking factor when it comes to competitive search terms.
2. Optimize your site for your focus search terms
Whatever your industry or product, you most likely have a focus service. Make sure this is clear on the main body of content within your site. For example, if you’re a watersports rental company, include your main search terms (lets say; jet ski rental and water-skiing) into your home page and about pages.
Keyword stuffing is not recommended. Write for your intended audience and make it clear what your service is (with those keywords in there).
3. Have a blogging strategy
Regular blogging is one of the best ways to get found for specific search terms. Assuming you’re running the above-mentioned watersports rental firm, you might want to run blogs on subjects such as ‘How to water-ski like a pro’, or ‘the best places to explore by jetski in [your location]’.
Of course, you’ll have done your keyword research, right?
And by strategy, this means having a schedule of posting and sticking to it. Regular quality content is the best way to get found on Google and build organic traffic.
Alt-tags in images, meta descriptions on your blogs, search friendly URLs – just a few of the factors that influence your search engine rankings.
Doing it properly means you’re more likely to rank higher for your targeted search terms.
You might have heard of search ranking factors like Domain Authority (Moz), Domain Rank (Ahrefs) and Trust Flow (Majestic). These are all third party methods of measuring the strength of a sites relevance via backlinks and online mentions.
Yes, these can be a huge help to your search rankings. Nurturing backlinks is essential to your long term SEO success.
Not all backlinks are created equal. There is a huge universe of low quality ‘paid’ backlinks, which are often generic websites set up as glorified link farms. Avoid these sites (even if they do offer a backlink for $5) and focus on links from quality publishers.
You can also leverage the power of social media and social shares does contribute not just to organic rankings, but also to your online visibility.
But it’s not all about organic. There are other ways to get found on Google.
Pay Per Click Ads (PPC)
PPC is a faster method of ranking on top of Google search results page, in fact you can be ranking at position one in just an hour.
But yes, this comes at a price of paying for each click you get. (Although you can pay by impression or customer acquisition if you choose those sales goals).
Another benefit of PPC ads is that it allows you to target specific audiences and demographics. Of course you can do this with SEO, by doing your research. But PPC is so popular precisely because you can be seen by target audiences across multiple platforms in a short amount of time.
Another benefit of pay per click advertising is that it allows you to set your campaign goals. For example, you might be looking to generate more sales, get more leads for your upcoming campaign, drive more traffic to your website or bring people to your physical location.
The flexibility and the opportunity to run multiple campaigns with different goals means you can be found on Google whatever your aim.
PPC in action
An example of a successful PPC campaign stepping in for SEO is this case study about South African hotel brand, Southern Sun.
The company decided to redesign their website, which eventually led to the falling organic reach of their website compared to what they had in the previous website.
Due to the ongoing drop in search engine rankings, there was an urgent requirement to keep the flow of bookings smooth.
The Southern Sun needed a way to initiate traffic again to the website despite the ranking loss. So they decided to analyze the search behavior of visitors to their website, and capture the confidence of search engines to get their website back up on the front page of the SERPs.
Campaigns were set up to identify the best possible advertising message to discover whether different personas were swayed by different marketing messages.
The goal was to increase the number of leads and booking on the new website, with international tourists and the business travel market being the target.
The result? The website had a significant lift in monthly clicks with an average of 7,500 clicks per month for the first three months.
The split test analysis showed that the Southern Sun emerged as a “Local Brand” due to the highly competitive keywords that led the hotel chain to have a high click ratio. This also meant that the hotel needed to look for more innovative ways to strive in the international markets.
Online advertising proved to be more effective compared to the offline campaigns thanks to PPC marketing. The offline campaign had a conversion rate of 0.38%. However the PPC ad campaigns brought in a great conversion rate of 3.8%.
Get Found Via Google My Business
Google My Business allows businesses to manage their online presence, including reviews, photos, hours of operation, location details and other essential information.
The idea behind this tool is to make sure customers find what they need when searching for local services or products.
With a Google My Business profile, your business will show up on Google Maps and is more likely to show in local searches or when people search for a specific service in their area.
So is it that simple? Create a My Business profile and watch the search traffic fly? Well, not quite. There are some things that can help you get found on Google using My Business.
Tips for success with Google My Business
Assuming you’ve set up your Google My Business profile, and you’ve populated it with enough information, you can optimize your profile for better results.
1. Use more pictures
Add images of your product, your offices, your view, the team… Whatever you can use to illustrate your business.
2. Ask for reviews
Like everything online, reviews matter. We don’t recommend doing anything underhand like paying for reviews in your Google profile – in fact this is exactly the sort of behaviour we frown on here at ClickCease, But, reaching out to past or existing clients and asking for feedback is always a good idea.
Google makes it clear that positive reviews help with your local business ranking in My Business. Backlinks and other standard SEO factors are also going to help your search visibility.
As with SEO, backlinks are relevant to your My Business profile too. In fact, it’s kinda the same deal. Nurture links back to your My Business profile by using local directories or asking past clients to link to your profile.
Google My Business case study
A good example of success with Google My Business is of a company called Levy and Co.
Levy and Co. is a barbershop based in London. The company was newly established and lacked leads and customers. When the COVID-19 outbreak happened, and the city was put under lockdown, the company suffered losses.
When the lockdown was over, the business experienced a significant fall in its organic reach. And that’s when the company realized how important Google My Business is.
The approach was simple. Levy and Co. started uploading photos in its profile and set up an online booking system, an improvement to pre-covid times when bookings were made by calls or by visiting the shop.
With the quality of photos and positive reviews, the shop managed to lift its booking by 70%. This approach saw a significant surge of about 400% in the traffic from mobile compared to what it was in July.
Maximize your reach
If you’re looking to get found on Google, you’re probably going to use all of these channels in some capacity.
If you’re looking to maximize your reach and get the most results for your time/money, pay attention to your traffic quality. Although this is especially true with PPC ad campaigns, it’s also an issue with organic traffic too.
Invalid traffic, such as bots, click farms and malicious clicks, costs marketers over $35 billion a year in mis-placed ad revenue. This doesn’t even factor in the lost sales and the continued loss of spend on retargeting campaigns and fake leads.
Read more about click fraud in our complete guide
Fake traffic even impacts organic search results too. Those bad bots can clog up your marketing funnels, use your website for payment fraud and generate fake accounts. Web scrapers can steal your web content, lowering your organic results quality, and bots can even overload your servers which can put you offline (and damage your search engine rankings).
ClickCease offers the industry leading invalid traffic prevention tool, filtering out bad traffic on your paid ad campaigns.
Run an audit on your site with our 7 day free trial.
If you’re looking to get found on Google, and maximise your return on investment, don’t run ads without us….
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