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Website Rank: Which Factors Are Most Important?
At Internet Local Listings, we strive to help small businesses get more visibility on the internet. Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands of businesses learn more about website rank and the effort and strategy that goes into the process of getting your site to show up on the front page of search engines. As you probably already know, getting a website to rank on Google can be tough—there’s often a lot of competition, and if you don’t know much about running a website, it can be overwhelming to try to figure out the formula to rank—only to find out that there is no magic formula. It takes time and consistent effort.
So if you were to choose a few factors to focus on, which ones should you choose? Which factors are most important for your website rank?
Website Rank Factors
1. Getting your local listings in order. There are lots of places to list your business across the internet. As mentioned in a previous article, you can be listed on places like The Yellow Pages, WhiteSpark, Brownbook, eLocal and more. Between desktop and mobile, local listings found in searches are among the top foundational ranking factors—and seem to make the biggest difference in terms of competition. So if you have a storefront, make sure that you list your business—complete with physical address—across as many free listings sites as you can.
Some tips to keep in mind for local listings:
- Ensure you’re listed in the proper categories.
- Optimize your listings with keywords relating to the services your business offers.
- Make sure your physical address matches the city you want to rank in. You’d be surprised at the number of people who forget this.
- Verify your business listing wherever possible. There may already be existing listings that you can claim once you verify yourself as the business owner.
2. Updating your site frequently. We’ve also mentioned this in previous articles, but it’s so important to remember that it needs to be mentioned again. Many small business owners think that blogging is pointless and don’t bother with it. This is one of the things that hurts their website rank the most. Google looks for relevant search results. So think about it: if a site never updates, why would Google consider that relevant? It’s gathering dust, while other sites work hard to provide fresh data and content. Of course it’s going to rank those higher than it would a site that hasn’t been updated since 2007.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- You don’t need to blog every day to provide fresh content for Google. However, you should aim for at least once a week. A great way to make sure you do this is to sit down and write about 100-150 words a night. By the end of the week, you’ll have 500-750 words to put into a blog post. When you break it down like this, it becomes a much more feasible task.
- Talk about topics relevant to your business. Many business owners give personal status updates—their new puppy, their Easter dinner, etc. And while it’s important to give your customers that personal connection, it’s not going to help your business rank. If you’re a pet groomer, talk about the Westminster Dog Show. Ask people to send in pictures of their pets after visiting your store. There are plenty of ways to get creative and still help your website rank higher!
- Posts with images tend to do better. Make sure you include a nice featured image at the top of your post and name it something descriptive—Google prefers posts like this.
3. On-page SEO is still relevant. There’s been a lot of debate on whether or not on-page SEO will matter in the future. Skeptics say Google will always try to shut down efforts to game its algorithms; fatalists claim SEO is dead and there’s nothing that can be done about it. As long as search engines try to return relevant results, SEO will not die. The rules will change, and the game will get tougher, but there’s always going to be ways that improve your chances of being placed higher in search results. Everyone wants their website rank to improve—that is something that will stick around for years to come.
You can do on-page SEO by updating content, ensuring the “about us” and other static pages (i.e., “products and services”, image galleries, etc.) are optimized, and your site is easy to use and easy to navigate. Make sure your site loads quickly and that your customers can always find a way to contact you, whether by email, phone, or a contact form.
Some tips to consider:
- Define your keywords before you even begin building your website. Know what your services are and how you’re going to advertise them. Consistency is key to getting your website rank higher.
- Develop a plan B in case your first attempt doesn’t turn out well. Many times, you simply won’t see results for a specific keyword. SEO isn’t magic. There’s no way to guarantee results. Instead, switch to another option and try again.
- Remember to include links on your site—to your other pages, to helpful sources, to your sponsors and suppliers. This is an important part of on-site SEO because Google wants to see sites that contribute valuable information. The whole point of the internet is to find and follow links!
No matter where you are in your website marketing process, the most important thing to remember is this:
You must have patience.
If an SEO company tells you that you’ll be ranked overnight if you use their services, they’re lying. If a friend tells you they got their site to rank in a week, they’re using illegitimate tactics. Google rewards sites that use honest, consistent, and quality SEO practices. Your site should be among them. You owe yourself that.
Furthermore, Google changes its algorithm often. Even if you rank highly right now, you need to stay caught up with the algorithm changes and make adjustments when needed to keep your website rank secured.
As always, we hope this has been helpful to you. Remember that Internet Local Listings offers a wide range of internet marketing services, from free websites with the purchase of an SEO package, to directory mega-boosts and social media management services. Feel free to browse our site or contact us here for more information. We look forward to helping you make your site the very best it can be!