The world of advertising has gone through a revolution in only the past twenty years. No longer are print and television ads the preferred method of marketing a business, band, organization or any other entity that requires some form of promotion. The Internet is now where the aforementioned entities do most of their advertising; even if it is only done by creating a website. Unfortunately for some organizations, the top spots on Google are usually taken up by corporations that have been around for a while.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one way that websites can move up in the ranks of Google, but established websites have one thing going for them that no one can overcome by using SEO: older, more established domains. One of the things that Google examines when it is choosing websites to display near the top of results is the age of the domain. Older domains are trusted more than new websites, so these established sites already have a foot up in the game. There are still a few ways, however, that newer organizations can compete with the big dogs.
Backlinks are one of the things that Google’s ‘spiders’ (web crawlers) search for when deciding which websites are the most significant for specific keywords entered into the search field. Backlinks are links from external websites that direct to a person’s website. A page with more backlinks than another will usually rank higher. But, keep in mind, you can’t just get backlinks from any site, there is a strategy behind it.
The prominence and trustworthiness of the websites that provide these external links comes into play. A link from the New York Times website will be more valued than a link from a local mom and pop restaurant in a town of two thousand people, so it is important to strive for links from established sites. Backlinks must also be from websites that are some how relevant to your website.
Every website owner should create their own backlinks through the creation of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, but creating trustworthy content for the site will generate better backlinks. The owner of the site should have a section of their site that features articles about their industry, and the links to the articles should always be posted on their social media sites.
These articles should be knowledgeable and trustworthy. This will lead prominent websites to link to the articles in an effort to provide their users with reliable information. This will also help develop a reputation of being a ‘thought leader’ within the industry, which will drive more website traffic and increase customer loyalty. Becoming an industry thought leader is one of the best ways to overshadow established websites.
Learn to Work with Keywords
Keywords are one of the main things a website owner should focus on when optimizing their page to rank near the top. Focusing on popular keywords is important. The rule of thumb is to use keywords that a normal person would type in if they were looking for businesses within a specific industry. If someone owns a title loan company in Denver, for instance, ‘title loans Denver’ would likely be a very legitimate keyword to include within the content of the website.
Unfortunately, high ranking established websites use these keywords as well, so they will still likely come out on top for those specific keywords. This means that it is pertinent for a website owner to expand the repertoire of keywords that they use. In the aforementioned title loan example, for instance, a newer website may include the keyword ‘title loans Denver Littleton’. Fewer people will include this outlying city in their search, but the ones that do will be far more likely to see the new website that uses the keyword than the established one that doesn’t.
A website can have all of the best keywords and backlinks in the world, but if it doesn’t stay fresh, Google will start to notice. The search engine giant knows that websites that keep their content updated are far better for consumers. This leads Google to keep track of how often a website owner changes and updates the information on their page. This makes it imperative for the owner to add new content, update contact information or simply add new photos on a regular basis to ensure that the search engine ‘spiders’ continue to notice their page.
Put Time into Local SEO
Local SEO is an optimization practice that focuses on improving the rank of a website amongst other websites from similar local entities. These techniques mirror regular search engine optimization practices in several ways, but there are also a few unique methods employed to get more local recognition. When people search Google for a certain type of business in their area, the playing field evens out amongst industry giants and the little guys.
The first thing any business owner should do when trying to get their website noticed is claim their business pages on local sites such as Google + Local, Yahoo Local and the business section of YP.com. This will allow a person to enter information about their businesses that could include keyword rich descriptions, store hours and regular promotions. This will ensure that Google has the appropriate information to return search results that include that particular business. The first returned results for local businesses will be next to a map of the city, and this will give a small company just as much chance of being seen as an industry leader.
Appropriate backlinks can also be utilized through local SEO. Every marketable entity should have social media website pages. If possible, a company should hold events and create an ‘Event Page’ for the occasion. This page should have a link to the regular website so that people can learn more about the event. This backlink to the main website will also increase its ranking.
Competing with the top ranking sites on Google is never going to be a simple task. They got their position through hard work and sustainability. This doesn’t mean, however, that getting ranked near the top with or completely dethroning these established sites isn’t possible. This will also take hard work and the ability to outlast the competition. Around ninety percent of Google users never go past the first or second page of returned results, so it is imperative in the modern world of advertising to rank as close to the top of these results as possible. Using the aforementioned steps will greatly increase a website owner’s chance of being successful at this.