Do you want Google to love your website as much as you do?
Do you want to increase your chances of ranking on the first page, when a prospective client searches for your product or service online?
That was rhetorical, by the way. I’m assuming that’s why we’re all here.
There’s something I tell my clients quite a bit and that is…
“Think like Google.”
The top techies at Google have the opposite goal. They are trying to make their algorithms so clever that eventually it (Google) will be able to think like a human, thereby producing an exact match for whatever search query you type (or speak) into the search engine.
But they’re not there yet, so for the moment we have to come down to their level and understand what makes Google recognise and rank one web page over another for the same search query.
Now, in future blogs we’ll be tipping our toes into the fascinating world of search engine optimization (SEO), then diving right in. For now, we’re going to look at the most important element and that is, your content.
You may have heard the phrase bandied around “Content is King.” That’s true because it serves two very important purposes:
- It helps Google (and other search engines) understand what you do and therefore where you should rank.
- It communicates an idea to your readers (hopefully) in a way that will inspire them to perform a desired action. That could be to buy a product or subscribe to a mailing list.
With me so far? Good.
By far, the most important element in the above is number two. You are less likely to rank high if your content alienates your readers. Google looks at popularity as well as readability and purpose when ranking a web page. If people are not engaging with your site it will be seen as not fit for purpose.
I want you to look at each page in your current website if you have one (or if not, start your initial design now). Pen and paper in hand, write down the web page title and next to that write what the purpose of that page is.
After you have done that, realise that you have probably been very general in your description and that description could probably apply to a million other websites. Do it again and be very specific:
Write down in as much detail as you can what the purpose of YOUR web page is.
What we are creating here is a niche. With a niche comes a certain set of keywords that will clearly define your niche (we’ll go into that in a little bit).
Now look at your content on each page and answer the following question with a yes/no:
Does this web page cover EVERYTHING your user would want to know (Not YOU, your user) when reading this page with no questions left unanswered?
If you answered yes to the above then make sure.
With no leading statements ask a target group to read your page and come up with questions. Have them communicate their understanding of the page. You might also ask the user how the page makes them feel and if they are inspired to perform your call to action in the page?
It’s handy if your target group are not friends and family but a small section of people who ‘should’ be likely to want to part with their hard-earned cash to purchase what it is that you have to offer.
Doing this on social media (which we’ll go into in a future post) can be very useful. If people feel like they have helped you then they are more likely to feel a sense of ownership and be engaged with what you have to offer.
Once you have these results then back to the drawing board you go, to re-write your page (Or congratulate yourself on being a content writing genius).
If you answered ‘no’ to the above then rewrite your web page, answering your own questions then follow the steps above.
If you need help with the actual content then please see my previous post:
Ok, by this point we have a website that engages your potential client base. That’s great. Well done you.
If it is important for you to rank high on Google too (it isn’t always important, which will be explored in a future post) then jump into stage two.
Earlier you heard me speak briefly of keywords. They are important, but not as important as many people would have you believe.
John Mueller of Google stated in 2014. –
“keyword density, in general, is something I wouldn’t focus on. Search engines have kind of moved on from there.”
My advice is:
- Definitely include keywords and synonyms but don’t overdo it and above all make it sound natural.
- Once done, test it with your target group. Offer them something free for their assistance and get them signed up to a mailing list or a Facebook group. They will do some of your marketing for you in referrals.
There is more to ranking high on Google. This will be continued in my next blog post:
How to write Content that Google and your Customers will simply love (part 2).
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Till next time…