Google search is the catalogue of the Internet. Imagine you get into the first page of this vast internet catalogue!
By climbing up on the Google search rankings, you are getting a chance to make use of the world’s best marketing tool for free.
Average Reading Time: 10 minutes
Here you will learn:
- Why do you have to improve your Google search ranking
- How Google search works
- What is organic search and SEO
- Step-by-step SEO plan
- How to do a keyword research
- Advertise on the google search (or SEM)
Google search is the greatest marketing tool ever. And, the most fantastic fact is, it is entirely free to use!
First, let us find out why you must climb up on the Google search rankings.
Why do you have to improve your Google search ranking
Imagine that you are selling baby clothes in Melbourne.
If someone searches on Google for “baby clothes in Melbourne”, this implies the person who is searching is ready for action, right now.
So, if you can show up in their search results, that is FREE advertising and the most effective sort of advertising.
Why is it the “most effective” sort of advertising?
Let us compare.
If you run an advertisement on TV, Social Media or Newspaper, when people see your advertisement, they might be getting ready to sleep or to eat. Unless you have a perfectly attractive ad copy to trigger an impulse buyer, your advertisement has a low value per impression.
But, on the other hand, if you get a chance to get an impression on someone’s Google search results, that impression is a result of the searcher’s action.
They have searched for a particular keyword that has triggered your appearance. And, most importantly they are ready for action. 😉
So, the possibility of a conversion (making a sale) is exceptionally high with Google search traffic.
This means, if you neglect to improve your Google search rankings, you are leaving a whole lot of money on the table. 😐
Well, we are not saying that you don’t have to care about other marketing methods for your online business. But, as you can understand, being on Google search should be one of your primary goals in your marketing strategy.
How Google search works
Google changes their search algorithms every day. But, the underlying idea of Google search remains the same.
When you publish your website on the internet, and if you permit Google to index your site, Google bots (bot is short for robot) crawl over your website.
And, while crawling, Google bot reads your website content (like text, images and videos) to identify the keywords to learn what is it all about.
Then it starts indexing your website. The index is a massive list of the web content found by Google bots. They use this index as the source to feed the search results.
Finally, they assign a rank to your website for the relevant keywords. Here is where you get a Google search ranking.
Poor Google bots never stop indexing. They follow the links on these pages to go to the other pages, and they visit and re-visit every page. By jumping from page to page via links, they decide the best position for web pages in their rankings.
Well, Google bots do not index everything. Of course, if you don’t allow indexing, they won’t crawl your website. Also, they don’t index duplicate content.
This is extremely important in ecommerce retailing. If you sell someone else’s products, and if you copy their product descriptions on your website, Google bot will see that as duplicate content. So, they won’t index your page!
Google always rank up the original and useful content, which can serve the searcher with better information. So, make sure to add useful and unique content on your website.
By the way, Google bots don’t see the site as we can see them. They use the code (HTML code) behind the web pages to read the content.
Even for the images, they use the “files names” and “alt tags” to understand the purpose.
So, do not name your images as “asdad.jpg” or “image.jpg”. Instead, use meaningful names for your webpage images. So, it will help you to improve your Google search ranking.
What is organic search and SEO
Before we talk about the organic search for SEO, let’s have a look at the anatomy of a Google search page.
When you search for something on Google, usually it shows you a number of paid ads and 10 unpaid (organic) results. Also, depending on your search terms, you may get things like a map or a list of videos.
Usually, the paid results (SEM results) are at the top of the page, you can identify them by the green box with the “Ad” label. Then you get the unpaid organic results.
The beauty of the organic search results is that you can have a rent-free position, right next to a position that would cost thousands of dollars.
So, how can you get your FREE position of Google search?
Well, apparently you can have a position in Google search. But, securing one of the first few positions of Google search rankings is the real game.
This game plan to improve your Google search ranking is called Search Engine Optimization (or SEO).
Step-by-step SEO plan
Google always wanted to present the best possible results for any search term. They do this by gathering almost all the possible information about web pages.
- Your website content
- What other websites say about you
- The keywords in your content
- How people behave once they visit your site
- The searcher’s location
- The searching device, and many more.
You can follow this step-by-step SEO plan to optimize your content and website to address the above factors.
First, you need to start with keyword research. Keywords for your website should be the actual words that your potential customers are searching for. (We will discuss the tools and methods to do proper keyword research little later).
Once you have identified the keywords, if you already have a business website, use the Google search console to see, your actual Google search ranking for these keywords.
Identify the keywords/ phrases that your website performs poorly in Google search rankings, and create a to-do-list to address these weaknesses.
For example, you can plan to add five blog posts to your website targeting a specific keyword. Or, you can invite a content creator (I.e. Blogger) to write an article about your business and have a link to your website.
If you are going to write blog posts, on your own, make sure to use correct grammar, avoid slang and create original and useful content. Always target for 1000-2000 words articles with a proper keyword density. Also, you can use free tools like Grammarly to correct your basic grammar.
Also, you can hire a freelancing article writer to create SEO friendly articles for your website. But, then you have the challenge to find original content. Find a writer with good reviews, and use a plagiarism checking tool to see whether they are original.
Sometimes people use word spin tools to create new articles from copied articles. These may not get tracked from by a regular plagiarism checker. But, Google will know. So, do not use them!
The easiest way to write a blog post is,
- Find out a good blog post related to your topic.
- Read it out loud and grasp the idea.
- Close that blog post.
- Disconnect from the Internet.
- Open a text editor and write your post.
- Do not stop writing to see the references. Once you finish, you can read your copy and add more flavour using the other references.
On-site and Off-site SEO
Your SEO plan should not only limit to your website content. Remember that Google bot who crawls from page to page following the links? Actually, they use these links to assess your site popularity too.
If other websites refer to your site, via URL links, Google assumes that your content is useful and popular. So, they improve your Google search ranking.
This links from the other websites are called “backlinks“. But, Google only assesses quality backlinks. That means the backlinks which are within relevant content. That means, just posting your URL somewhere won’t work.
In this article “How to get free traffic to your website“, we have discussed the importance of having relevant content surrounding your link.
Also, you can extensively use social media to improve your Google search ranking.
If you create resonating content on social media, you can share your links around the internet. We will discuss this strategy in another guide on how to start an online business.
Next step in your SEO plan is to repeat what you have just done. Frequently check the Google search console and find your weaknesses. Improve your SEO plan to improve your Google search rankings.
Also, keep track of the new trends.
For example, you may now want to change your SEO plan to target more mobile visitors with an increasing number of smartphones. Also, you may need to have page titles, which are voice friendly. You know, people don’t type in search queries anymore. They speak and ask.
You can always follow us and stay updated about what is new!
Remember, there are no short-cuts in SEO. SEO is a long term marketing strategy!
How to do a keyword research
Finding the right keywords is essential for SEO, and to improve your Google search rankings. By planning your SEO on the right keywords, you can start addressing the right audience for your business.
There are two types of keywords in use.
The short-tail keywords are generic keywords, which are super competitive and extremely popular.
And, the long-tail keywords are more specific, less competitive and less-popular keywords.
For example, if you sell French bread,
- The keyword “bread” can be extremely popular and competitive
- The keyword “French bread” can still be highly popular and competitive.
- The keyword “Homemade French bread” can be less popular and less competitive.
Likewise, when you the tail length of your keyword getting longer, your audience will get narrowed down, and it became less competitive.
It is tough to compete for the short-tail keywords, with less domain-authority. So, as a new website, you can easily target long-tail keywords and have more than 80% of chance to rank onto the first page in Google search.
Now, what if we stuff keywords in our articles? Would it increase the keyword density and help us to rank up in Google search?
Some time ago, people used to add a whole bunch of keywords at the end of their web pages and format them with white to hide from the visitors. Since Google bot is reading it from the code, those keywords will be anyway visible to the Google bot.
Actually, this keyword stuffing did work a few years ago. But, now you cannot cheat Google bots. They do not only read the individual words, but they read them with the context too. Smart, isn’t it?
So, do not try to cheat with Google bots. Something that might work today will be penalized in tomorrow’s algorithm update.
So, what is the best and free tool to do keyword research? Undoubtedly it is the tool from Google itself. Create free ad account in google and use their keyword planner to find out the most popular keywords.
Advertise on Google search (or SEM)
Now, if you recall the anatomy of a Google search page, you may remember the advertisements on the top. These are paid advertisements and called as search engine marketing (SEM) results.
As we have discussed earlier, being on the Google search results are super effective for your business. Why? Because the customer who is seeing this result is interested in that topic and they are ready for action.
On the other hand, if you broadcast an advertisement, the people who see your ad, may or may not be interested in your business at all.
So, Google provides a feature to be on the top of these search results by paying for your location.
By the way, even though you are willing to pay, it’s not guaranteed that you get a position on SEM results. It depends on your bid and the ad quality.
When someone searches for something on Google, within milliseconds, an online auction happens between the ads, and the searcher gets to see the winners in their Google search page.
When you publish an ad on Google, you have to define a bid for your ad. That means the maximum amount that you are willing to pay per click. The average cost per click (CPC) varies depending on the keywords.
So, if you are willing to pay $1 for a keyword and another bidder is willing to pay $5 for the same keyword, they will stay ahead of you in the bidding stage.
But, it is not only the bids that count. Your ad should be more relevant to that keyword.
Let’s say that someone searches for a tire repair shop, and there are two bidders with two ad copies.
The first bidder’s ad is for tire repairs and the second’s ad is for vehicle services. Both of these ads are related to the tire repairs, but, the first ad is more relevant. So, even the first bidder is willing to pay less than the second bidder, he can have a better chance of showing his ad on the Google search.
So, you can improve your SEM performance, and even pay less on Google ads by creating adverts that are relevant and making them closely match with the keywords.
We will discuss the ins and outs of advertising, later in our guide to start an online business.
Let us wrap up
As we have discussed, Google search is the best/ most effective/ yet FREE marketing tool out there.
If you can improve your Google search ranking and make it up to first few results for relevant keywords, it would be like having a rent-free shop in the heart of New York!
Understanding how Google search works will help you to think in the same way, and to optimize your web pages to improve your Google search ranking.
By following a proper SEO plan, which is targeted for the relevant keywords, you can increase the organic (free) traffic to your website.
Also, you can take advantage of Google search paid ads, to show your brand message to the people who are genuinely interested and ready for action.
One last thing you have to remember is, there are no short-cuts to rank up in Google search. You must have to create original and quality content, which is super useful for your visitors.
Google always improve their search algorithms to make their search better for the searcher. So, if you find a way to cheat their algorithm today, it won’t work tomorrow.
Follow a good SEO plan, and you would not need any cheat codes to improve your Google search ranking.
Next Step – Social media marketing strategy for your online business