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Please note: We, in no way, can guarantee the results listed below. This is simply a combination of all our efforts and the results we found.

We also recommend companies work with an S.E.O. (and/or) marketing firm if their budget allows. Please contact us if you are in need of any recommendations.

1) Blog consistently and on-topic.

One of Google’s top methods of moving sites up and down rankings is continuous improvement. This means that the content on your website should always be improving, updated, and reliable. We like to make the comparison that a website is like a human person (especially with the constant upgrades Google is making to their algorithm) — it’s virtually impossible to trick or find short cuts. In other words, Google likes it when a website is found to be interesting and accessible to the public. Are you considered an expert in your field? Do you have valuable resources that match what your target market wants to read? Are people taking an interest to you?

Our own experience:

It wasn’t more than 4 years ago that ArtilleryMedia.com was no where to be found on the Google rankings for “web design Lincoln, Nebraska” and definitely not “web design midwest”. We began blogging regularly (every 2 weeks or so) on topics that we believed potential clients and past clients would like to read about. These articles sometimes fizzled, but a few caught on. Like this one. It took quite a bit of time to find what folks were looking for, but once you do and an article really serves people, Google notices. Your traffic climbs up and so does your rank.

2) Show social proof and become the expert (Google Reviews)

There are several great articles on the benefits of Google Reviews for your rank. Check out this article as an example. But the bottom line is what we referenced above: Google will listen to the community more than it listens to you.

Our own experience:

Around this time, we started asking each client we served for a Google Review. We didn’t offer any sort of reward for it or a discount… we just asked. What we discovered is that collecting reviews does more than just establish your business as an expert in the field… it:

a) Forces you to re-evaluate your process. Looking over what people liked and didn’t like about their experience allows you to push the good parts on your website and in your sales call and fix the bad parts.

b) Gives future clients an endless supply of references from real people they can relate to.

c) Bumps up your search ranking. See the article linked above. This is specifically helpful for physical businesses. Since Google’s search now includes a map feature, your business could be ranked high in organic search but very low in “Map search” due to your reviews. Or, vice versa. Your reviews could be the saving-grace of your ranking due to the community’s praise.

3) Great tech: A solid host, an SSL certificate, and proper security.

a) A proper host. Take it straight from the horse’s mouth — Google takes into account “site speed in web search ranking”. This is pretty ambiguous but some general “best practices” are usually the best way to account for this. Artillery shoots to get each site around a 2-second load speed for all customers on our Hosting, Maintenance, & Security Plans. A whole lot goes in to this like page and image compression, mobile testing, etc. For more information on speeding up your site, check out this article.

b) An SSL certificate. The folks at Google, like us, are massive proponents of web security. An SSL certificate is a small data file that allows the web browser to connect securely to the host. This is very important for your site visitors to ensure their information is being protected. Check out this article to see more about what SSL certificates are and how they effect SEO.

Does your site have an SSL certificate? Artillery includes SSL certificates FREE for each member on our Hosting, Maintenance, & Security Plans.

c) Proper security. One of the biggest fails for a website is forcing Google’s page of death. This can be caused by many things… but a common one is a plugin or theme within WordPress that gets out of date and corrupted. Fixing these issues can be extremely time consuming and expensive. Make sure your website has proper website security installed.

Our own experience:

We developed a plan for all our customers that we use ourselves to take care of each one of these issues and more. Visit our Hosting, Maintenance, & Security Plans for more information.

4) Using your website like a tool and not like a billboard.

Since Google takes into account traffic, clicks, and interaction on each website, why not take advantage of that within your business processes? Say, for example, you’re a construction company. A big mistake people make is having their phone number slapped front and center on the website which is pretty much saying, “don’t look at this website — just call us!”.

I’d invite you to reconsider that tactic. Keep your phone number listed, but make your customers click on something. Let’s say the most common phone call you get as a business is “what do you charge?”. Why not create a landing page that addresses these concerns? Or simply an FAQ page that you can direct your users to in order to find more information. This not only serves your customers in a much more efficient manner, but also gets them to peruse through your website and CLICK.

Or you can take it a step further and make your customers keep coming back to your website again and again… To put it another way, use your website like a sales tool with many simple steps instead of a static billboard that only says “CALL US!”.

Our own experience:

We have a contact form on our site (here). It’s a very simple, non-committal form that collects leads. Once we receive a lead, we invite the customer to fill out a more advanced form (here) and we schedule a call with them to go over it. Then we direct our customers to our hosting landing page (listed above) for additional information.

With each lead, we’ve now encouraged at least 4-5 clicks on our website and at least 1 form submission.

Google realizes that the public is clicking. That helps our SEO.

5) Overall, just be a website people want to read.

We mentioned it above, but we’ll say it again for the people in the back: treat your site like a human. Do people like listening to humans who only talk about themselves? Do you like listening to someone drone on and on? Even if they are talking about the world’s most interesting topic… it’s still just so boring.

Keep the copy on your website simple. Talk like you’d actually speak to a customer. Deliver what you’re selling and stay consistent. This keeps people’s attention and get’s them to click.

Our own experience:

We use the StoryBrand (and MyStoryBrand.com) method on each website we build. Check out more there, but the gist of it is to keep your copy simple and have very clean design with clear navigation. This allows users to get where they want to go and have a fun time doing it.

Are you struggling with a few of these topics? Are you looking to have a team of specialists handle a few of these issues for you?

Check out our Hosting, Maintenance, & Security Plans or just drop us a line on our contact page.