This is perhaps the most common question that we hear as web designers. The answer can be as technical or as simple as you like.
Basic SEO For Local Websites
Let’s start with the basics, there are a few key things that you should do in order to make it easier for both Google and your website visitors to navigate your website.
Clear Navigation Menu
This is quite self explanatory. Try to group common things together into submenus. If you look at our main page you’ll see that we have a menu item called WordPress Courses, below that you’ll see we have created sub menu items such as WordPress for beginners etc. Further along the menu you’ll see that we have course locations as another menu item, below this is our locations such as WordPress Courses In Liverpool.
Look at what your content is about and arrange your menus accordingly. If you happen to mention something relevant to another page of your website then link to it like we have above. This helps both the search engines and your readers to quickly jump to other sections of your site and the link text sends signals to both about what the linked page is about.
Submit A Sitemap To Google
Register your website with Google Webmaster Tools. It’s totally free. Once you’ve done that, install a plugin called Yoast SEO. This plugin will automatically generate an XML sitemap that you can then upload to Google WMT. This provides Google with the URL of every piece of content that is on your website and even updates Google whenever you update your site or blog.
Register Your Business With Google
Again this is completely free. Pop along to https://www.google.co.uk/business/ and get your business registered. This will enable your to get reviews and more importantly to start to rank on the local map listings that you often see on page one of the search results.
Check Your Website For Duplicate Content
Google dislikes duplicate content. As a company, Google makes the bulk of it’s money from selling advertising via adwords, those little adverts that appear above and to the right of the search results. We’re talking billions of dollars per year income and in order to keep that up they have to ensure that people continue to use their search engine.
How does Google achieve this? By providing the most relevant and informative search results whenever somebody types a query into the Google search bar! So, with that in mind, you can see that Google dislikes duplicate content, it prefers to deliver results from websites that have original, detailed and informative content on their website.
If you’ve used content from a supplier or two that describes a new product or maybe a specification then Google will know that it’s seen that content before. Google and Bing and most other search engines have extremely advanced software that indexes every piece of content on the internet. It is then able to search that content to look for repeated sentences and phrases. From there it can determine where it first seen a piece of content and it will choose to rank that first and pretty much discard identical or similar results.
So, pop along to http://www.siteliner.com and run a check on your website. Again, the service is free, once you’ve identified any duplicate content then consider rewording it so it’s substantially different and more informative than it was before, add more content, more images, mix it up and aim to make it twice as good as it was before! Google will love you for it!
The Most Important Thing You Can Do To Rank On Google
Drum roll? Ok, here it is, it’s more simple than you can ever imagine!
Just continue to create original, informative content! That’s it! The more you create content centred around your business or industry, the more the search engines will consider you an authority on your subject. Once you’ve created it, then share it, Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Reddit, I could go on. Share it like your life depends on it. Don’t be afraid to link out to other websites if the text in your content warrants it. You’ll see that we’ve linked out during this text to relevant websites that will be of use to you.
Last But Not Least – The Golden Rule!
NEVER try to cheat your way to the top. We’ve seen countless business owners who have listened to snake oil salesmen who have promised to get their website to the top. They still believe that link building is a worthwhile method, it isn’t! Links are great but only if they are naturally occurring from websites that are relevant to yours. Please do not be tempted to pay for links or to pay someone to build links for you. It will end in disaster!
Do you remember we spoke about the complex algorithm that Google uses? Well that same algorithm can monitor the number of links that point to your website and the rate at which they grow, a spike in this pattern sends an alert and it will see you dropped from the results.
Hopefully this article has given you an insight into just how easily you can rank well on the search results. There are of course many other bits of fine-tuning that you can do and these are things that we cover in our advanced WordPress course.