Improving your search ranking on Google is the holy grail of online marketing. With more and more people searching online for any product or service, it’s imperative that your business is clearly visible on the web. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is key to this and is a methodology of strategies and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to your website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of any search engine such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. As opposed to paid advertising, it’s the process of getting traffic from the ‘free’, ‘organic’, ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines, based on what they consider most relevant to users.
Here are five steps you can take to improve your ranking and make sure you’re featuring above your competitors.
Get Google My Business set up properly
One area many brokers aren’t aware of or don’t exploit enough is their Google My Business listing. This is your direct line to Google so its importance cannot be overestimated. The listing is free and is your opportunity to register important information about your company such as your address, phone number and business hours. It’s no good just registering your business and then forgetting about it, though.
Take the time to complete your profile fully and this will help to increase your visibility in search further. It’s also important to keep reviewing your listing on a regular basis to make sure all the fields are filled in and remain accurate. Why not do an online search as though you were a potential customer looking for a mortgage and see if your business comes up in the right category? Take advantage too of the relatively new weekly update feature to show your business is active. For more information on how to generate more enquiries from Google my Business, get our Cheat Sheet here.
Get the Yoast plugin
If you have a Wordpress site, install the Yoast plugin (or ask your web developers to) and get every page optimised for keywords as much as possible. There are lots of handy 'how to' videos on the Yoast YouTube channel to get you started.
Get some reviews
Customer reviews on Google, Facebook and Trustpilot are important as they improve your search rankings and overall SEO efforts. They’re a strong signal to search engines of your trustworthiness and authority. When a customer reviews your business it shows that ‘real’ people are interacting with your site. If you’re a local business, reviews by customers in the local area can have a particularly powerful effect. They also provide additional content for the search engines to crawl over. So make asking for feedback a natural part of your customer service process - if you’ve not already tried it, have a look at our online review generator.
Do some PR
Publicity isn’t just important in the real world - it has a significant effect online too, in terms of your search engine rankings. Write some blogs, share an opinion on something or put yourself forward for an interview. When your article is published, ask the publication (it could be a local news site or a financial site) if they would link back to your website. They may not always do so but there’s no harm in asking. If they do, great - links are really useful for search ranking as they’re a form of external endorsement and show value to the user.
Do the same with suppliers or clients who have websites
Once you’ve done some of your own PR, don’t stop there. Think about your suppliers and clients - in fact, anyone in business you interact with on a regular basis who has a website. See whether they would be willing to write about you and provide a link back to your site. The principles in the point above all apply. In terms of SEO, the wider you can spread your net the better!