Ok so here is the secret to getting onto the first page of Google: 

Prove to Google that you are popular and earn Google’s trust. That’s it…

Google is basically the 300kg Gorilla that guards entry to the most popular club in the world.

You want into the first page club? 

Follow these 6 tactics and you will be well on your way to earning the trust of the king of the online jungle. 

Step 1 – A properly formatted website

**If you have had a website designed by us you can skip this section because we will have made sure you website ticks all the boxes**

Your website is analyzed by Google and it better ticks all the boxes if you want any hope of moving up the rankings. 

If your website sucks the Google Gorilla is going to give you one look and give you the boot. Having a website that is not technically formatted correctly is telling Google “I cannot be trusted!”…

These are a few things to check to see if your website is technically going to pass the Google test. 

(WARNING this is a bit technical) 

  • Is your website mobile friendly? (90% chance if your website was built before 2013 it is NOT). Google has said publically it will penalize websites that are not mobile friendly. 
  • Have you set your website title, page titles and HTML tags with the keywords you want to rank for?  If you don’t know you can ask us to check for you 🙂
  • Is your website hosted on a super fast server? Google has also said they will reward you if your website is super fast. 

There are like 100 other things to check but I don’t want to bore you so let’s move on…

PRO TIP: Google can only rank you for the keywords you put on the website so carefully format the headings and page titles for your primary search terms and business name.

 

Step 2 – Links and Directories: List your business everywhere

 

Ok, let’s assume you have a killer website so Google is willing to look at you more closely.

The next step is to prove you are popular. 

Google only puts websites on the first page that are super popular!

The more places that mention your business name online the more popular you are! So how well known is your brand name on the internet? 

These are the most important steps you can take to build your brand online:

  • Create social media accounts in your business name and make sure to link your website and other business info on them. 
  • Find any directories that your website is listed on (Yellow Pages, Brabys, Yellowsa etc…) and then edit the details to include your website address. 
  • Try to get other websites to link to you. Are you a part of any organizations? 

Again this is just scratching the surface but the point is: 

Make sure your website and business are listed on as many different sites as possible. Social media profiles & directories are a great start. 

PRO TIP: Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) are all the same everywhere online, Google LOVES consistency!!

 

Step 3 – Google my business account

Do you have a Google my business listing?

Click on Google Maps and search your business name. If your business name does not come up then it is very important that you submit your business to Google to create a ‘my business’ profile. https://www.google.co.za/business/

If it is listed but the details are wrong then be sure to ‘claim’ the listing and make the changes. Google Trusts businesses that have Google my business accounts (It’s free so make sure you have one).

This is the most important step you can take if your business is not listed with Google. DO THIS NOW!

PRO TIP: Once you have claimed your listing be sure to add pictures, ask for reviews, add content. The more the better. 

 

Step 4 – Create content | Post to your social media

Like I said in the beginning of this post, Google wants to see that you are popular! The more you make a buzz and post content online in your business name the more Google will trust you. 

So post to your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and anywhere else that you think works for your business. 

Don’t forget to occasionally put a link to your website in your posts! 

Here are some tips on what kind of content to post: 

  • New projects (be sure to include pictures)
  • Customer testimonials
  • Any interesting news 
  • Even interesting books you are reading or business advice you have

 

PRO TIP: If you have technical chops then use a software called IFTTT to automate your posts to spread to all you accounts automatically.

2. Is your business listed on the major internet directories?

Check that your business is listed on the major online directories such as Yellowpages, Brabys and Snupit.

If it is not then Google does not know your ‘business name’ and your website will struggle to rank well. The best thing you can do in order to help your business rank is to Google your business name and check that your business is listed with at least 3 directories. Then the most important part – check that your business details are correct and the same across all the directories. If the details are different, even slightly, Google does not trust you as much, and trust me, you want Google to trust you.

 

4.  How long has your website been online?

For Google AGE MATTERS.

Google does not like young websites and in particular domain names should be as old as possible. If you had an old outdated website and we have created a new one for you then you will rank higher than a business that did not have a website before. The reason is that Google sees that the domain name has been around for a while and therefore ‘trusts’ you more than a business with a brand new domain name. It can take anywhere from 3 – 12 months for Google to really start trusting your domain name if it is brand new.

5. How competitive is your local market?

This will greatly impact how your business ranks.

If your business is in a very competitive local market then it will take time and extra work to get your business ranking.

For example Bed and Breakfast in Cape Town is very competitive and I can assure you that a brand new domain name will not rank on the first page for a long time unless they hire a SEO expert. Bed and Breakfast in Eshowe (a small town) will rank onto the first page much easier because its less competitive.

6. Do people visit your website?

If Google sees that people are visiting and searching for your website it will trust you more. Tell people about the site, friends, family, clients. Put your website on your email signature under your name. Add it to any new signage, business cards, on your company vehicles etc…

 

In conclusion:

When we design your website we follow the best practices to ensure that you have the correct keywords and other technical elements so that Google trusts your website from that standpoint. But there are plenty of things that you can do to make a difference as explained in points 2,3 and 6. Added to these points if you post regular ads to OLX, Gumtree and Facebook and you add your website this will help also. If you are part of any trade organizations or are an agent for any products be sure to ask them to put your website on their website, this will help MASSIVELY.

Lastly getting your website onto the first page of Google is not the only purpose of your website. Your website is your businesses online profile that your customers can visit directly to learn more about your products and services.

Even if you are not on the first page of Google a well designed website is still an important asset that every business should have.

If you have any questions we are happy to answer you please email us at info@localbizonline.co.za

If you are too busy but you think your website could use some work on the Google Maps listing and directories (points 2 and 3) we can facilitate this for you. Please enquire and we will send you a quote.

 

Ok, let’s assume you have a killer website so Google is willing to look at you more closely.

The next step is to prove you are popular. 

Google only puts websites on the first page that are super popular!

The more places that mention your business name online the more popular you are! So how well known is your brand name on the internet? 

These are the most important steps you can take to build your brand online:

  • Create social media accounts in your business name and make sure to link your website and other business info on them. 
  • Find any directories that your website is listed on (Yellow Pages, Brabys, Yellowsa etc…) and then edit the details to include your website address. 
  • Try to get other websites to link to you. Are you a part of any organizations? 

Again this is just scratching the surface but the point is: 

Make sure your website and business are listed on as many different sites as possible. Social media profiles & directories are a great start. 

PRO TIP: Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) are all the same everywhere online, Google LOVES consistency!!

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