Whew. 'Tis the season for SEO questions. I totally get it - for some of my "newer" clients, I've been working with them since January...and they want to know where they are and, more importantly, why they're not on the first page of a Google search.
First of all, this is why I require my clients to sign a 6-month commitment (and I'm thinking about increasing that). Changes to Google rankings take TIME and even though that's something I thoroughly discuss with everyone before they sign on the dotted line, it's still something that's hard for them to digest.
So, let's talk about where you might be in the Google search process, why that is, and what you can be doing to move yourself up.
Yes, let's go back to that "time" thing again because it's one of the worst things about ranking. According to a new article on Business2Community.com, "most page #1 rankings are at least 2 1/2 years old."
TWO AND A HALF YEARS.
So, if your website is 6 months old...you've got to be patient and, unfortunately, new websites have a somewhat uphill battle against established sites.
There are other variables when it comes to different industries. How many people are vying for that space? How does your website compete when it comes to keywords? Have you invested in SEO for your website?
What's difficult about SEO and ranking is that Google tends to change the rules mid-stream. So, in some cases, what's working for you today could change next year. In fact, Google just changed its algorithm for the third time in 2018, mainly to keep up with new voice and AI technology, like Siri or Alexa.
I would recommend taking a look at this article for tips on how to help your website and insight into what you might be doing wrong: How Does The New Google Medic Algorithm Update Affect Your Website Ranking?
In almost every single article you read about SEO and ranking they're going to tell you that you MUST HAVE CONTENT. Google wants that.
In this article on Nine Google Ranking Factors You Can't Ignore in 2018...Quality Content is the first on the list.
More than anything else, Google exists to help searchers have a positive experience, so content it believes provides genuine value is key. Don’t confuse quantity (of words) with quality – long content doesn’t equate to good content. It’s far better for your users, for Google and ultimately your website if you think more about intent rather than hitting a keyword milestone. Thin content just won’t do it these days, so make sure you are offering something that serves a purpose, and consider related areas that might be of interest to someone landing on your page.
- The Telegraph
So, if you thought you could throw a website on the internet and just let it sit with your contact information on it...those days are over.
You must have a reason for people to keep coming back to your website. You must optimize every post for SEO. You must have images for each post. You must include those important keywords in each post.
Yes, let's try and look at the positive.
What Google is doing as far as requiring content as part of effective ranking is forcing businesses into this new age of connecting with customers. We no longer necessarily meet face-to-face, at least at the beginning. It's a "digital introduction" by way of your content and your website.
This forces businesses to think about the client. What can you do to engage your ideal client? What tips or information can you offer? What sets you apart and how can you communicate that in a digital world?
These are things that businesses should be thinking about anyway.
And now you have to.