If you are trying to grow your business and you need leads then you have to design a website that gets listed on first page of Google when someone searches for the product or service that your business provides. At Capstone IT, if a business owner in Rochester or Buffalo, NY searches for computer support, we want to make sure our website shows up in the first 3 spots on Google. If your website isn’t easily found then it doesn’t matter how beautiful it is, you won’t get new business.
Getting found online, by people seeking services by typing phrases into search engines is now so important to businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses, that they can fail or thrive on these rankings. This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become such a big business in itself. SEO is the science of moving a website up in the search rankings so that it appears, hopefully on the top, or near the top of every Google 1st page.
And yes, Google really is the most important web browser to consider. It still has around 72% of the search engine market in the USA. Bing is catching up, but Google is now reaching into so many areas of our lives that it has become the place to be seen, whatever business you are in. In this online world, some 93% of buying decisions start with an online search and it's Google that carries most of this traffic.
Let's first look at why being at the top of Google rankings is so important. As you probably already know from your own searching experience, it tends to be the first three results (organic, not the paid for sponsored ads) that get you the information, or the company you want. It's only when you get a little more desperate that you start looking at lower rankings. As for page two or three or beyond, they are like a no man's land. Look at the statistics. On average in Google, 71.33% of searches result in one organic click from the first page. And on the first page, the first 5 results get 67.60% of clicks, while results 6 through 10 get a mere 3.75%. Pages two and three get only a tiny 5.58% of clicks. Coming first really does matter if you want your Rochester or Buffalo New York business to be found by people locally or nationwide. What's more, when you achieve a high listing, you are not only getting more web traffic, but your company instills more trust in customers that it's a worthy and an important source.
Well this is becoming a bit of a science. How Google ranks you is based on a rather complex algorithm that the company is rather secretive about revealing the details of. But basically, the websites that Google ranks on the 1st page of its search results for any given search term are the ones that they consider to be the most relevant and useful. Their algorithm determines this by taking into account over 200 different factors which are constantly renewed, updated and reviewed.
But one constant factor is that quality content on a website is what matters, and it has to be topic and keyword focused. It's also worth building your website with news, video, blogs and social updates, and also to try to get links from other, older and more established sites. Social media is a factor too with Facebook likes and shares, Tweets and Instagram hits all doing their bit to push you a little further up the rankings.
So, if you take the time to always publish good content, garner some good backlinks and ensure you have a rich media blend of images and videos, you are going the right way to get a good Google ranking. But, whatever people tell you, there are no backdoors or tricks to get to the top. Google knows all the ways that people try to game the system and manipulate rankings. And when they catch you, they'll penalize you by ensuring your results only appear in the back end of nowhere - and what's more, you'll stay there for a long time. So while keywords are important, totally loading every sentence repetitively will not help you, nor will adding hundreds of pages of needless content - you're not Wikipedia, remember. Such tricks certainly turn off any readers or prospective customers on your site.
Anyway, surely it's better to spend this time on better, quality content rather than trying to trick the system. Like everything in life, a high Google ranking has to be earned. It's a constant battle of course, but at the end of the day, you're going to come out of it with a much better web presence that will be useful to your visitors and maybe even help turn them into clients.
And in many cases, it's probably more important to make sure your website can be linked across a range of platforms - especially locals ones. Most searches for small and medium businesses, some 97% in fact, are local searches, so it's worth taking the time to make sure you are found locally. Make sure you have a Google+ presence. Don’t forget Yahoo and Bing and ensure you're listed in Yelp and Citysearch. You can also look at being listed in niche directories like TripAdvisor (if you're in the hospitality business, or Urbanspoon, if you run a food outlet). It may make more sense if you target your potential customers in Rochester, New York and Buffalo via more localized channels. But the rules are still the same, make sure you're putting good quality content out that people will want to read and share.
Do you feel that you're not being found online? Would you like to get a better Google ranking? Why not come and talk to the team at Capstone IT? We can help you get the web presence you deserve and the SEO advice that helps you shine online. Check out our Websites That Work service or call 585-546-4120.