There are three ways to be seen on Google: paying for it, organic search and Google My Business. The disadvantage of paid advertising is that once you stop paying you disappear. The savvy operator will focus on organic growth through the use of Search Engine Optimisation (I can feel your eyes glazing over – stay with me!) and Google My Business.
While SEO sounds very technical, and it certainly can be, it doesn’t need to be. Google wants you and I, the SME’s (the Subject Matter Experts) to be able to compete with the big guys (think Nike, Coke) and to help us Google has a number of constantly changing algorithms that keeps the big guys on their toes. While these can impact on the smaller operators, overall Google is trying to support us and reward us for running our business and doing it passionately.
There are a number of static tactics that Google will recognise and boost our visibility within Google .. so lets have a look at just a few of them:
- Does Google know your website exists?
Lets find out: in your search bar type in site:yourdomain.com (so for me I would type site:www.felicityjane.com.au and press enter). If you can see the pages of your website – GREAT Google knows you exist.
If not, that’s ok … let’s tell Google that you are ready to be found.
Head over to Google Webmaster Tools (its not as scary as it sounds)
Follow the steps – easy peasy – that’s it! Google now knows you exist.
- Words are Wonderful– write regularly (500 words minimum, at least fortnightly) with fresh and new information
Google wants to understand what you are about so it can show you to people looking for you. Don’t worry about keywords at the moment – if you are writing passionately you will inadvertently be using the right words to attract your ideal clients. (Keywords are very important but if you are just starting out get the fundamentals right first).
- Sign up to Google My Business (the old Google+ Local and more)
Like the promo says “Google My Business puts your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ so that customers can find you, no matter what device they’re using.” It’s a free and easy way to get your business found. Google is hoping that this portal will assist small businesses to manage all of their Google products in one space.
Google has been the search industry leader for years and there are no signs of this changing. If you want to be seen in the Google playground you need to be at least aware of the rules of the game. Ensuring you get the basics right will have you jumping ahead of those who don’t abide by the rules!
These are just the beginning of many easy to implement steps, some other essential basics you may want to consider are rich snippets, as well as on and off-page optimisation.