Where’s the best place to hide a dead body?
On the second page of Google
OK, not the funniest joke ever; but it does illustrate the importance of being in the top ten search results.
A website that doesn’t attract visitors is just a waste of your money. A website that has plenty of visitors but never brings in any business is just a wasted opportunity.
Getting people to visit your website and giving those visitors precisely what they were looking for transforms a time-consuming expense into a very valuable business asset.
I can’t guarantee that if I build your website it will automatically be successful. No designer of digital agency can. But if there’s just one thing you take away from visiting this site; it’s this.
Getting a small business to appear on the first page of Google is far easier than most small business owners realise.
The fact is that most small business websites fail to achieve the rankings they should, and the reasons are:
- poor on-site SEO
- poor off-site SEO
- poor user metrics
Below I give a quick overview of what these three things are and how they impact search results and how I would go about helping you avoid making the above mistakes.
On-site SEO refers to everything you can do on your website to improve its ranking potential. It’s not so much as what it looks like, it more about how it was built.
No one knows the exact impact these on-site technical factors have on ranking a website; but the more enlightened experts now consider that on-site SEO is just as important as off-site SEO.
I analyse hundreds of small business websites and I know the vast majority of them could rank for very profitable keywords just by improving their On-site SEO.
What is indisputable is the diminishing importance of backlinks. For sure, backlinks are still very important, but Google knows rankings can be manipulated by buying backlinks.
To counteract dodgy link building practices, Google is placing far more importance on the overall quality of the site. Site quality is now the dominant factor in ranking web pages.
How does Google measure the quality of a site? The answer is user metrics.
User Metrics are data that Google collects when you visit a website. How long you stay on the site, how many pages you visit, in fact Google maps your whole journey through a website.
It’s the perfect solution for how Google can gauge the quality of a website. If users are hitting the back button and clicking on results lower down the results page it tells Google that this site not providing what the user wanted.
No prizes for guessing what happens to the rankings of that website. It doesn’t matter how many backlinks it’s got, it doesn’t matter if it has a million Facebook Likes, that site will disappear down the rankings like a lead balloon.
Google knows backlinks and Facebook Likes can be bought. It can’t be expected to find every site that has broken it’s guidelines.
The hardest thing to fake how people react when they click on a search result. If a page on your site provides a relevant answer to a search query that page will show up in the search results.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What would they type into Google to get the service or product you provide (or are going to provide)?
Type that search query into Google. Visit the top few results. Do they provide the content your ideal audience would want to see? Do they solve the problem the visitor has? How do they prove their expertise?
Chances are they won’t satisfy the your ideal audiences query. Chances are, you can outrank them with virtually no off-site SEO whatsoever.
By providing the best answer to the search query you can outrank virtually any site for that query.
The essence of web design is to do exactly that.
It’s not about pretty pictures, it’s about establishing your business as a trustworthy, reliable place that provides the best solution to the visitors problem.
By providing the best answer to the search query, in the mind of the searcher, you have automatically make yourself the leading expert in that field.
It doesn’t matter how many backlinks you have, or how strong your social profiles are; without getting the on-site stuff right, you’ll be pushing an elephant up the stairs.
When you do need backlinks?
Sometimes you’re in a market where your competition has done a good job with both on-site SEO and off-site SEO.
Off-site SEO takes us into the world of backlinks and/or social media.
It’s actually pretty rare to find small businesses that do both well, and it’s generally not too difficult to improve on their off-site SEO efforts.
Feel free to email me if you are thinking about entering a market and would like know your chances of making it onto the first page of Google.
Just let me know where you are and what your business is about. This offer is not so I can grab your email and spam you with my services, it’s a genuine offer to help.