You probably know that showing up higher on Google is key. When people want to buy something, their search usually begins on Google. Are you showing up? Your competition could be showing up higher and snagging potential clients. So let’s dive into common mistakes that prevent your company from ranking higher…
Not Knowing or Using Industry Keywords
Hopefully, you and your team already understand why showing up higher on Google is important. If you’re not aware, here’s a brief explanation. People who have high intent to buy (or any intent at all) usually start with researching. And where do they usually start? Google. People are already searching for what you have to offer. It’s your job (or mine if you don’t want to or know how to do it) to make sure that you’re showing up for these prospects.
Here are a few mistakes you’re probably making that is preventing you from ranking higher on Google:
Guessing to Come Up With Keywords
We need to base everything we do on proven data. I see lots of businesses emphasizing keywords that they THINK people are using or get a lot of traffic but when you actually do the research, the numbers say different.
What is keyword research? This means picking valuable keywords for your industry that will help you show up in front of the people who are searching for you. It’s important to start with a list of 50 solid keywords that are relevant and have high traffic with low competition. If a keyword or phrase gets thousands of searches every month but 200 other companies are competing for it, it’s no good.
Once you have these keywords, you should incorporate them throughout your site and blogs.
Need a keywords list? We offer them for $99. Send a message to get started.
Your Team Isn’t Doing Anything to Acquire Links
Link building is the process of gaining links on other websites that direct back to your own site. This is one of the most difficult parts of SEO. Google will crawl the entire web to understand who you are and what you do. When you have high authority websites referring back to your site, it helps establish your credibility to the search engine which helps your ranking. High authority meaning an established and trustworthy source like the NY Times versus a brand new, no-name blog.
Here are just a few simple ways to build links for your business:
- Guest post
Be careful here. Guest posting has gotten “spammy” (this is coming from Google’s former Webspam Team himself). Here are a few things to consider when you’re guest posting for someone:
Make sure their site is relevant to yours.
The guest post can’t be paid for
- List your site in trustworthy directories
If you’re a local business, this is essential for you. By claiming profiles (or citations) on established directories are a reference of your useful information about your business like its name, address, and phone number on various sites. This improves your local ranking. Here are a few directories you have heard of and should definitely have profiles on:
Google My business
By having profiles set up on these trusted directories, you’re sending signals to Google that your business is who it says it is and the information is consistent on several different directories which helps boost your ranking.
A blog is a great way to keep your website updated with fresh content (something that search engines love to see) and also a way to incorporate important industry keywords. I always encourage clients to have a blog because their clients are already asking questions and searching for answers on search engines. By addressing these questions within blogs, they’re the industry expert that has taken the time to thoroughly answer their questions which means they establish themselves as an industry expert and gain more trust from prospects.
When writing a blog, make sure you’re linking out to non-competing, high authority websites as well as linking to other related blogs and pages on your own site.
Your Site is Not Secure
You may have noticed the little lock to the left of a website’s URL. Or maybe you’ve been browsing the internet and come across a site that isn’t secure. If this is the case for your site, you might be ranking lower on Google.
Google made securing your site (HTTPS://) a ranking factor years ago. Google wants to give its users the most relevant content from high authority and safe sites. Because of this, secured websites will be favored over those that don’t have the HTTPS domain distinction.
You Haven’t Submitted Your XML Sitemap to Google
I know it sounds extremely technical. An XML sitemap is a map of your site that leads Google to all of the most important pages on your site. The easier you make it for Google to identify what your site is about, the better it can rank you to show up for the right searches.
To submit your sitemap to google, you do so through the Google Search Console.
- Generate your sitemap using third-party tools like this one
- Download the file and upload it to the root directory on your site (you can do this through Cpanel if your site is on WordPress).
- You will now have a link that looks like yoursite.com/sitemap.xml. Submit this link into the console. Sitemaps > Add a sitemap
Your Site Isn’t Optimized for Mobile
Google wants its users to have a great experience and get the information they need as quickly and easily as possible. Half of the traffic in the USA is done on a mobile device. For this reason, when building a new site or making changes, we always build on mobile first THEN optimize for desktop.
If you’re doing any social media marketing (which hopefully you are), I’ll guarantee that the traffic from there is going to be done via phone. If you’re not making sure your site is 100% functional and attractive on mobile, you’re not ranking as high as you could on Google. You’re also most likely leaving money on the table by not giving your potential customers an easy experience.
Your website is basically your first impression to your potential customers. If it loads slowly or looks wonky, people will simply leave and go to your competitor whose website gives them the information they need without requiring them to jump through hoops or waiting for “forever” (AKA more than 5 seconds).