Every business wants to be noticed by Google, to be at the top of the list and the first on Google’s mind when customers search for your product or service. As with all worthwhile pursuits though, developing a long-term relationship with Google takes time, hard work and commitment.
You’ve got a business to run and maybe you don’t have time to keep up with the ever changing digital landscape or study the sorcery of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Your website is doing its best, but still falling further and further behind in Google’s rankings. Sadly, without SEO, your business could be buried in the digital undergrowth, customers will be unable to find you and you will lose sales every day. What a tragic ending.
We don’t want that to happen, so we’re going to share a few secrets on how to charm and woo Google, then build a loving and lasting relationship.
First, figure out why people leave you
You take a quick glance at Google Analytics and realise your bounce rate is over 90%. The bounce rate is high because people are landing on your website and then quickly jumping back off. If this is happening to you, it’s probably for one of these 5 reasons:
#1 - It takes forever to load
These days, people have absolutely no patience. According to a KISSmetrics report, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less, and 40% abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Even a one-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by about 16%.
#2 - It isn't optimised for mobiles
If your website has only been designed for desktop computers, you are missing the majority of your customers, since mobile phones and tablets account for more than 65% of internet traffic. Are your mobile customers still forced to scroll from side-to-side, pinching and zooming to navigate your content? Google wants to shelter users from this painful experience, so they announced a major mobile algorithm update in summer 2015 which penalises websites that aren't mobile-friendly. Today, Google strengthens the ranking signal from mobile-friendly websites, boosting those that were optimised for phones and tablets, while relegating the others (probably) to page 56 in the search results.
#3 – Poor navigation
When someone lands on your site, do they know what to do? Where to go? What their next steps should be? Greeting customers and helping them find their way may sound like good common sense, but research by Small Business Trends suggests that 70% of small B2B business websites lacked a call-to-action (CTA). Visitors don’t know where to click, what to buy or how to buy it.
#4 - Excessive pop-ups
Excessive pop-ups that disrupt the reading experience can be seriously annoying, especially when they send you on a guilt trip. You know, the ones that include a button that says something like, "No thanks, I don't want to improve my life." There is a right way to do pop-ups, and they do work if used properly.
#5 – Multimedia auto play
There you are at work, when all the sudden the website you have just opened starts blasting Abba´s ‘Dancing Queen’. Have you ever been in this situation?
“Shhhh...I’m not supposed to be on this site at work!”
Sure, we’ve all been there. Embarrassing to say the least. Silence is golden and besides that, we’re sure your company theme song rocks in your mind, but most of us will slide straight up to that ‘back’ button. Don’t force your multimedia, either let your browsers choose to play it, or at the very least have it start with sound off.
Getting Google to fall madly in love with your website
These are the early lessons in Google seduction. It starts with building strong site architecture and providing clear navigation to help search engines index your site quickly and easily. This will also, more importantly, provide visitors with a good experience of your site and encourage repeat visits. It turns out that you and Google want the same thing – for your users to have the best experience on your website. Here´s some simple rules to follow:
#1 – Find a niche and be yourself
You’ve been told this all your life by your parents, teachers and friends and it´s still true – if you want Googe’s love, simply be yourself. Don´t stuff your website with popular keywords that have little to nothing to do with your niche. Show how you are unique and you’ll get more traffic.
#2 – Be open and generous with your knowledge
You’re an expert in your field, right? Don’t just tell this to people, show them. Share quality content so Google gets to know the real you – over time you will be rewarded with better rankings. Quality content is something we’ve been shouting about for years – write original articles that exist nowhere else on the web. Make them useful, thought provoking, engaging, or funny, but always precise. Google changes their ranking algorithm every day, but one rule remains steadfast – “Content is King”.
#3 – Be affection but not too affectionate
Keywords are the language of love with Google and you do have to press all the right buttons, but don’t get too pushy and rush the relationship. Including too many keywords is like saying “I love you” far too soon and way too much. It can be a turn-off and make you look desperate. So, be mindful with your content and don’t stuff it full of nonsensical keywords.
#4 – Strong relationships are built on clear communication
Google loves two-way communication…like a lot. Have a two-way conversation with your customers and encourage feedback. Make sure you allow comments and more importantly make sure you respond to them.
#5 – Build your social media following and influence
Content may be King but social media is Queen. Use social media, not only for the traffic it can bring to your website but also because Google picks up ‘social signals’ of your popularity, which contributes to your ranking in Google searches. Without social media, you will never rank above your competitors. You may not like social networks, but billions of people use them every day. Your customers are there, waiting for your service or product.
If you follow all these rules, Google will embrace you. If you need help optimising your website, building your social media following or generating quality content, get in touch with Redline Company to see how we can skyrocket your business with one of our monthly marketing packages.