Hardly a day goes by when I don’t go on Google, type in a few search words and sit back while links to a dozen or so websites appear before me on the screen.
And that’s just page one of the results! Search for something reasonably generic – such as “cure for migraines” – and over a million website links stretched out over seemingly endless pages are at my disposal.
But let’s face it, most of those “endless pages” might as well not exist. I don’t plan on going past that first Google page. OK. Maybe I’ll click “next” and get to page two. But the odds are overwhelming that I’ll never see page three or beyond and I’m betting the same is true for you.
In fact, as astonishing as it sounds, roughly 90 percent of people who conduct a Google search never move on to page two of the results, according to research by Chitika Inc., an online advertising network.
That’s why understanding Google rankings – and strategies for moving up those rankings – is so important as you try to market your brand and set yourself apart from the competition.
I’ll confess. The analytics behind online searches aren’t my area of expertise, so for insight into Google rankings I turned to two members of the EMSI team – Will Candler and Jay York – who have a much better understanding of how this all works. Thankfully!
Here are a few tips Will and Jay offer for improving your Google-search positioning:
- Reduce your website’s bounce rate. You want to manage your site so that the bounce rate – which relates to how long visitors stay on your site – is low. Will explains that the “bounce” refers to people who come to your site and quickly leave because they find nothing that intrigues them. This is why the quality of your content is so important – you want to keep your visitors engaged in your message and spending time exploring your site’s pages. Will says “Time on Site” and the number of pages they visit is vital for search-engine optimization, or SEO. The visitor’s interaction with your site essentially sends a message to Google that this site has value and that helps move you up the rankings.
- Use social media to your advantage. Google ranks the tweets on Twitter, which is just one more reason why being active with your social media accounts is important. And whenever possible, you want to use social media to tie yourself to news events that relate to your area of expertise. For example, if you are an astronomer you missed out these past couple of weeks if you weren’t tweeting and blogging about Pluto.
- Appear in print articles online. I preach to clients about the importance of online coverage all the time, so it’s nice to have backup from Will and Jay on this. The more online coverage there is of you or your business, the better because it increases the odds of being included in higher search results. But don’t just let those articles sit there. The way to get the most value out of this online coverage is to post a link from your website to the print publication where the article appears. This creates a backlink between the two sites, which helps build your site’s rankings.
Each of these strategies represents a piece of your overall Google-search puzzle. Jay likens all the inter-workings to a Rube Goldberg machine, where an action at one end sends off a chain reaction of events that, hopefully, leads to the desired result.
With any luck, you will Rube Goldberg your way to the top of the rankings.
P.S. If you want help implementing these strategies to build your brand and increase your Google rankings, give us a call at 727-443-7115 ext. 211 or start by getting your Free Media Analysis here!