Google said recently that they handle over two trillion searches every year. That means that everyday people are searching online for what services or products your business sells. If your business is not showing up when people are searching, that business is going to your competitors.
So here are 5 easy ways that you can make your business website more visible in the search results.
1) Claim Your Google My Business Listing
The Google My Business listing is the lynchpin to local business-related searches. It’s also the only way have a chance of showing up on the Google Map for geo-based searches.
Start off by going to google.com/business. In the upper right-hand corner of the site, there’s a big green button that says ‘Start now’. Go ahead and click that and you’ll have to type in name of your company, your address, and your phone number. Then Google will search and see if your company is already in their database and showing up on the Google map.
If Google already has your business listed and you have not verified your business, you should click on the link that says “Is this your business?” That will give you the option to verify that business.
Google wants you to prove that it’s really you, that you have a real business and that you really have a physical presence. They don’t like PO Boxes or shared office space like WeWork. Google will allow you to verify in a couple of different ways. They can call you with a recorded call and they will tell you a code. You write that code down, then you go back to Google My Business or google.com/business, and you’re going to enter that code in the field that Google provides. They can also text you the code. So again, you have to have a phone number at your business where you can answer it and make sure that you record that code. Or you can go old school, and you could ask Google to send you a postcard, and they’ll mail it to your business address. You have to be able to retrieve that postcard, get that code and put it into Google My Business.
When it comes to optimizing your Google My Business listing, you want to make sure you fill everything out. The key things you must fill out are your address, including your street, the name of the business and the zip code. You also want to add your phone number as well. You also want to put your business hours in, don’t ignore those. Next, you also want to add some photos. Ideally, the photos should be of the interior and the exterior of your business. You could throw a logo in there, so you have a few options. But you want to add five to ten photos into the listing to optimize it.
Google also recently added the option to also display a link for appointments that can go directly to online scheduling software if you use it. You could link it to Calendly or another online scheduler and make it easier for people to connect with you and do business with you.
Once you do the Google My Business optimization, you have a much better chance of showing on the map on the search results, but you will definitely improve your presence on Google and on Google Maps.
Next, you want to go to Bing Places and Apple Maps Connect and do the same thing, fill everything out completely. Apple Maps is important because iPhone voice searches don’t pull from the Google database.
2) Make sure your business Name, Address & Phone Number are on your website and consistent around the internet
We call the Name, Address, and Phone number, the NAP. It’s important that your NAP is on your website and matches EXACTLY wherever your address appears around the internet. You should start with the three sites we mentioned in number 1, Google My Business, Bing PLaces and Apple Maps Connect. Then make sure that you have your NAP correct on Facebook and any other places that you know of.
If you’d like to find other places to check your business listings try moz.com/local and whitespark.ca. Both sites help you normalize your NAP around the internet.
3) Make sure your website talks about your prospects and their problems more than it talks about you
Why will this help you be more visible in search? It’s simple really. When someone has a problem that your business can solve, the first thing they search for is a solution to that problem. So when you address those problems on your website and their solutions that you provide, Google is more likely to show your site when people search.
Having increased visibility in search is vital to generating leads for your business because the number one thing that the internet has changed is how people buy. Back in the pre-iPhone days all of the power in the buying and selling process was in the hands of the sellers. The seller had all of the information that the seller needed to make a purchase decision. Now buyers have to ability to do all their purchase information research right on the phone in their pocket. So the power in the buying and selling process has shifted to the buyer. As a result, when you try to sell before the buyer is ready, they push back and you will lose them.
A helpful content strategy along with Search Engine Optimization can really crush it when it comes to increasing your search visibility.
Bottom line when it comes to your website, your content should help, not sell.
4) Create and execute a targeted content strategy
One of the most amazing things about the online world is that everything you do is targetable. Plus you can use content to allow your prospects to self-filter based on how well you target your content towards their needs.
Different prospects have different needs and problems that you solve and meet with your products and services. So you can target each audience by creating content around those different needs and problems.
A great way to get started with a targeted content strategy is to write down every question a prospect or a customer has ever asked you. If people are asking you those questions when they meet you, all the people who haven’t met you are Googling those questions. These questions are great content to release blog posts.
If you really want to ramp up the effectiveness of this content strategy, make your blog posts 1,000 words or more. We are seeing longer content make a big impact in Google rankings these days.
5) Track your analytics
Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website? If not, go install it right now. Google Analytics is crucial to understanding how your website is doing.
Google analytics is a complex program that can track very detailed metrics but it can also give you some top-level data that you can use to help make better business decisions. We’re going to show you two top-level metrics that you can use to do just that.
We want to look at how many people came to your website and how did they get there. These metrics should be tracked over time and evaluated as changes are made to the website, you work on your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and any other digital marketing efforts like social media. You want to make sure you are increasing traffic to your website over time.
To see how many people have come to your site go to Google Analytics and go to the menu on the left and select Audience the Overview. This will give you this screen.
Users are the number of people who came to your website during the selected timeframe. Sessions are the number of times people came to your website. One user can have multiple sessions. Pageviews are the number of pages on your website that were seen by a person. Each session will have multiple pageviews.
Tracking these numbers from month to month will allow you to see growth and how rapidly it is occurring.
By going to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels you can see where your users were before they came to your website.
Direct is a channel where Google Analytics puts all traffic with no referrer information. So that traffic could be people who typed your URL into their browser. Email often falls into the Direct source if you aren’t correctly tracking traffic from email clicks to your website.
The Organic Search source is traffic that comes from people clicking on the results in a search engine. The Organic traffic does not include traffic from Ads. Ad traffic will be tracked separately if you are running search ads.
The Referral source is traffic that comes to your website through links on other sites.
The Social source is traffic that came to your website through social media.
These five tips will get you started on the way to getting your website to be more visible in the search engines. That’s the first step to filling the top of your sales funnel with great prospects.