By Michael Zhou
Optimization is essential today, because there is so much competition online between businesses. Google is the most used search engine among all, and if your business website is not optimized to the fullest, you are losing customers and conversions to your competitors. The good news is that optimizing your business site is not all that hard. In fact, even the smallest changes can add up down the road to better Google rankings.
You can take Google’s word for it, “Search engine optimization still a great technique to increase your website traffic, brand awareness, leads, sales and revenue. It’s an important element that should mix in your marketing strategy and helps to boost your business.”
Let’s take a deeper look at how you can employ a few Google search hacks to maximize your business’ online visibility for better ranking, conversion rates, and sales.
1. Begin with an audit of your business website to identify issues
This is probably one of the most time consuming Google search optimization hacks you will do. But the rewards from doing an audit of your website are plentiful. For example, you can identify 404 page errors, duplicate content, poorly developed URLs, meta descriptions, and SEO titles.
You can also take a hard look at internal and external links too. This allows you to find issues and make a list to fix them. You can utilize SEO audit tools from Moz to do a crawl of your website and get key insights into issues.
2. Ensure your business website is optimized for mobile
Mobile optimization has become a must for any business looking to improve their online visibility on Google. Last year, Google rolled out their Mobile-First Index, giving ranking priority to websites that provided a stellar mobile user experience.
“Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for,” Google Webmasters explained in a press release. If you want to know if your business site is mobile ready, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
3. Increase the number of positive ratings and reviews via Google reviews
Reviews and ratings online have returned the power back to consumers. In fact, 84 percent of people trust reviews and ratings as much as personal recommendations from friends, family, and coworkers. Google also trusts reviews and rankings, potentially increasing ranking power for websites and businesses that have four to five star Google review ratings. And Google is not the only place to boost your reviews and ratings to optimize your business. For example, the Welcome Wagon review page via Trustpilot gives them more power when it comes to increasing CTR and conversions.
4. Bake in better long-tail keywords to maximize online visibility
The use of keywords to increase business search engine rankings is certainly nothing new. However, the type of keywords and amount used has changed a lot. Instead of keyword stuffing singular words throughout your business website, you can capitalize on greater search engine rankings by using long-tail keywords. These are a string of three to five words, or even phrases that can help boost your websites online presence.
5. Boost engagement from visitors by using more visual content
Engagement has also become a big optimization hack when it comes to Google search. Engagement is simply the time a visitor stays on your website engaging with your content. It is also tied to the Google Analytics metric of “time on page,” a strong ranking factor. You can increase time on page by adding more visual content to your business website via videos, detailed infographics, and high quality images.
6. Increase your business’ social media presence
Links that point to your business’ website was once the only social ranking factor Google search used to rate the worthiness of your site. However, search engines are now taking social mentions into account as well. For example, the more your business is mentioned via social media channels can now boost your online visibility. This means that the more active you are on social media the better. This has traditionally been a pain point for businesses, but with a bit of due diligence, your social presence can increase your overall online presence.
7. Links are still very important to outrank competitors online
Building a strong link portfolio for your business website is still a very strong ranking factor for Google search results. Links can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but getting high quality sites to link to your website is a must-do to maximize optimization and online visibility. You can use HARO, have executives get bylines in Forbes or Entrepreneur.com, guest post, and more. The bottom line — do link building.
In Conclusion . . .
There are certainly more than the above seven Google search hacks to implement into your optimization strategy. They are, however, among the most important. Don’t let your competition run away with Google rankings. You can easily tweak and optimize for better results and more conversions.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.