As discussed in the last blog, if a referral comes to you from a client or associate, it’s likely to be based on your name or your business name, so you need Google to find your site for that specific search term. But that is only half the battle. Once a client find and visit your site, it’s important they get the information they need to move to the next step and take the action you want.
Here are some tips on how to build a website that can be found in Google for your three key searches: your name, business name and niche and what to do when they get there.
The focus on each of these three sites will depend on whether you are working for someone else or have your own business. The idea is that you will appear for all three regardless. However the focus will be on your personal website if you are working for others, and your business website if you run your own company.
If you already have a website, check its quality by running it through a website grader.
We recommend Hubspot website grader as it gives you an overall score and a good breakdown on each important categories with recommendations to resolve the issues, plus it’s free. Google also has some great free tools here - Google tools
Build an effective website - SEO tips
Before we rush off to build a new website, let’s see how your current websites are performing. Google your name, business name and niche to see how many times you show show up on the front page of Google? The goal is to show up number one for all three, but also to have at least 50% of the other links pointing back to your brand. If you can also get the Google plus (G+) advertisement on the right of the search results, that’s perfection!
That type of search dominance takes time and effort. The best place to start is to have a website dedicated to each of the three search terms. You may think it’s overkill to have three different websites, instead of one that includes all?
Below is the logic in our strategy.
- The URL matters
Google appreciates having a website dedicated to one specific topic. When the URL is an exact match for the search term it is likely to get first link in a search result. Therefore if your company name is Social Star but you want to be found for Andrew Ford and e-ttraction, it is less likely these will show up. You can see the relevance of the search results as Google bolds these terms in the results URLs.
- Choice of software
The choice of software or platform in which you build your site will matter. The more the code matches Google's criteria, the more likely it will show up in the results. There are many choices with the popular ones being Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, Weebly and others. They all have benefits and challenges. We recommend Squarespace because it provides high quality code, great SEO and makes it really easy to build a website. With no code to worry about, your focus goes into the quality of your content not the technology. It also has the benefit of being easier for your to update the content yourself, faster to get to market and cheaper than other software.
- Regular content
One of the best ways to get your website loved by Google is to provide high quality and relevant content for your target audience. This provides four big SEO wins: it updates your website regularly, provides long tail search terms for your customers searches, gives people a reason to come to your site and provides backlinks to others websites. Content really is the best way to improve your website SEO so get blogging!
The issue with building great websites is that there is no standards for business people to follow. There is so much conflicting information out there and opinions, it’s hard to know who to trust. My advice is to start with a marketing and sales strategy for your specific career, market and business. Then decide on a budget and priority for the websites and get a referral to find someone to assist you.
Best of luck and visit our website for more free guides on website and SEO.