Consultant’s Corner: Search Engine Rankings

Consultant’s Corner: Search Engine Rankings

Q. We recently created a website for our business, but it is not showing up whenever we search for our business name on search engines. What can we do to improve our search engine rankings?

Timing

For a new website, it is important to note that it is can take a few weeks for search engines to recognize a new site. The following GoDaddy information explains:

“The search engines haven’t indexed the site yet. Sometimes it can take a week or more for a search engine to find your website. This is because your website is new and doesn’t have any inbound links. Once your website is crawled, it usually takes another week or two for it to be pushed out to the index. A long time ago submitting your website to the search engines used to be a good way to speed up the process. But these days there are so many requests that the feature doesn’t work. It’s much easier to create links to get the spiders to crawl your site…”:

https://www.godaddy.com/help/why-isnt-my-site-showing-up-on-search-engine-results-pages-6540

https://en.support.wordpress.com/search-engines/

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The SEO rankings are a result of a specific search algorithm that Google has developed over many years. The most important thing Google and other search engines look for is relevance. The relevance of the content provided on your website is the key. Google defines relevance as Click Through Rate (CTR). CTR is how many times people click on your website over how many times people saw your website. For example, if a person types “home appliance” into Google, the most likely top results would be for Best Buy, Sears, or Walmart. These companies did not pay to have their websites be the top results, it was based on the amount of people that clicked on the site before you. In Google’s mind, if a website is relevant, people will click on it, and vice versa.

As to keywords, the term “keywords” means the keywords in the content of your website. Do not try to spam whatever keyword you are trying to optimize, Google can tell what you are doing and will penalize you for doing it. The key is to write good quality content with the keywords peppered in to your writing. The higher the quality of writing, the more people will want to read, the more clicks you will receive, the higher your ranking becomes.

There are other factors that go into the organic search equation as well, such as the back linking. Back linking, which relates back to relevance, is when a website other than your own references your website and “links back” to it. They put a link on their site that leads back to yours. It is important not to try and game the system by buying backlinks, Google can tell what you are doing and will penalize you.

Some people have heard about “meta-keywords” and how Google uses them; well they are no longer relevant to the search algorithms. A great way to encompass all of these things in your website is to identify and then target the types of customers you want to go on your website. The more targeted you become, the more relevant it will become to your target audience. The following is related Google information:

http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag.html

As to online marketing in general, there are specific tools to help maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results; however, the impact of the SEO tools can vary by business situation and search engine criteria varies and changes periodically. We do not know what success you are having with search engine rankings and website traffic; however, relevance, search engine registration, keywords, and Google geographic search tools are the basic resources to reach the first page of search engines. Also, testing different keywords and other website content is typically necessary to improve Google and other search engine ranking. Read below to get other useful information:

http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

Keywords, viral marketing, contact or landing pages, and other inexpensive tools can be used to drive website traffic. The best website marketing tools vary by website based on the purpose (e-commerce, business information, networking, blog, etc.), target audience, geographic trade area, and other factors. You can review example industry discussions on free and other website marketing tools at websites like the following:

http://sbinfocanada.about.com/cs/ecommerce/a/drivetrafficmm.htm

http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/viral-principles/

http://www.ehow.com/how_2084407_first-page-google-search-results.html

Keyword analysis and selection tools:

http://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/

http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/

http://www.wordtracker.com/

Search engine registrations

Below you will find a list of links to the popular search engines and links to information and forms on their sites to assist you in submitting your website address (URL):

Google – Add URL info: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6259634

Open Directory: http://dmoz.org/add.html

Bing – Add URL info: http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url

You can and consider other search engines and registration information and services at the following websites:

http://www.smartz.com/web-marketing/search-engine-optimization/submit-site-to-search-engines/

http://www.yext.com/

WordPress SEO plugin

In order to help improve your overall SEO ranking and ensure you are utilizing the proper techniques, we recommend installing the FREE Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. This plugin will provide you with all of the guidance and assistance you will need. It will help with on page analytics by telling you if your content is proper. Also, it will provide you with meta title and description help. In addition, it will generate a sitemap in which you can submit to the major search engines along with much more. The plugin can be downloaded and installed within your WordPress dashboard or by clicking on the following link and manually installing it:

https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/

About the author

Bill Wortman

Bill Wortman is the Chief Business Consultant for GoSmallBiz.com, with over 40 years of business experience. In addition to 12 years consulting small business owners, Bill’s professional career includes a big-eight CPA accounting firm, national consumer finance, big-three automotive manufacturing, Arby’s fast food, marketing, and other industries. He’s held multiple executive-level positions and fulfilled the role of CFO at large, publicly held (NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX) corporations. In addition, he’s been an owner of private ventures involving residential real estate development and a General Motors new car dealership.

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