There is no magic way to make your website instantly appear at the top of Google and other major search engines (Yahoo and Bing).
Search Engine Rankings and SEO Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) must be an ongoing process of first getting search engine page rankings and maintaining those page rankings by providing new content for your website visitors.
After doing SEO for many clients for over ten years, we’ve learned that there are certain factors that you can control while other elements are out of your control.
Before you spend money on SEO, directory listings, paid advertising or content marketing that could help you improve your page ranking, do your homework and read on. There are basic ways to improve your rankings that will produce lasting results without breaking your budget.
Factors for ranking on the search page that you can control:
Make an excellent first impression: When you launch your website, make sure it is appropriately formatted. There are many template website builders on the market today, where most of the coding is created for you. WordPress, Wix and other similar solutions are ones that most people have heard of and offer basic website templates.
When the internet started to gain momentum in the 1990s and 2000s, even simple websites had to be built by a web designer working on a brief given by the website owner. A web developer would use custom code to create a website making it as unique as a fingerprint. If not coded correctly, it ran the risk of getting penalised by search engines that valued consistency.
Most template website platforms don’t offer SEO already built-in, so you may have to pay for it or hire someone to do the “optimisation” for you.
Building your website is usually the area where most of your budget goes when you start your internet business; after all, everyone wants a great looking website. This often leaves business owners with hardly any budget left over for SEO.
Some DIY website builders do not offer SEO at all, so you think you’re getting a cheap website solution, but then you find that the search engines don’t even know your business exists. Then do at least some basic SEO, i.e. mention your product or service on the website; this helps search engines understand what your website is about.
Once your website is built, it’s time to launch it (go live). When your website notifies the search engines that it is live and invites the search engines to start “indexing” (checking it out), the search engines will crawl your website using “bots”, which report back to the search engine which uses the gathered data to rank your website. By linking to Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can view data from Google and what they know about your website and any problems found.
At this point, if you have “optimised” your website, the search engines have a pretty good idea of how to rank it. If your website is not “optimised”, the search engines will use their best guess and rank your website where they think it should be. For example, if you are a plumbing companies website and the search engines see lots of pictures of plumbing products and “plumbing” mentioned in the title and heading tags, that might give the search engines some clues.
The issue of a small budget can often be overcome by investing more time in optimising your existing content, creating new content, and building your social network – all of which can help improve your search engine ranking.
Search engine ranking factors that you can’t control
Your products or services – the product or service your website offers depends on its rankings. So if you have a product or service that many other people also provide, then these are your competitors in the search engines. If you have a unique product or service, it may bring you to the top of the search rankings, but will it bring you search traffic (are people looking for your items)?
At Bee Spotted, we can target keywords related to your website that can bring you to the top by being specific.
It would be best to find keywords related to your product or service that people are searching for and rank your site better for those search terms.
Your competitors – You can’t control how much competition you have for your product or service, how long they’ve been in business, what they do daily, and how much they spend on things like paid advertising.
Directory Sites: If you are in an industry where there are many established directory type sites, such as the local tradespersons, the search engines will prioritise the established directory sites. It is doubtful that your website can rank higher than a website like Checkatrade, Trustatrader or Yell without a substantial marketing budget.
These directory companies will also want you to advertise with them on their sites, which can help if you have the budget, but remember you are also adding another search wall between you and potential customers. Your potential client wants to find people like you to help them quickly, not having to carry out endless searches to find you.
Your location: Geography matters on the internet, even if you think of it as a global network. If your product or service targets specific markets, you need to consider the competition. Hair/Beauty salons, dentists, and restaurants all need to consider geo-targeting.
Your target keywords: competition for keywords is the big moneymaker for the search engines; paid ads are a significant factor in how well the keywords relevant to your site will rank you in the search engine pages.
Time: depending on the competition and the keywords your website targets, the time it takes to improve search results pages can vary from weeks to months.
Your budget: if you’re in a competitive market, the budget you can spend to keep up with your competition may be an option you didn’t anticipate when you started.
Algorithm updates: search engines are constantly trying to provide their users with the best results, so algorithm updates are regular in search engine rankings. Your website may be at the top of the search engine rankings, only to slide back down the next time there is an algorithm update. A well-built, optimised website to which you are constantly adding new content such as blog posts and white papers are the best way to keep your website’s search engine rankings high.
The search engines like to see that a website has fresh content and offering valuable content to searchers.
Slowly and steadily gaining search page rankings.
In the internet world of search engines, it is better to be like the tortoise than the hare. While you may desire to get your site to the top of the search engine rankings as quickly as possible, the only way to make sure your site gets to the top of the search engines and stays there or near it is to do good SEO and give it time.
There are too many external factors for anyone to promise you a magic wand that will suddenly bring your website to the top.
The relationship between the SEO agency and the website owner must be one of trust and should be a lasting partnership that is mutually rewarding. Within reason, the marketer should work within the owner’s budget to provide solutions that can show improvements on the search engine side.