10 techniques to help your business increase its search ranking.

I often get asked by clients, ‘How can my business appear on the first page of Google’s search engine results?’ The answer is, you must optimise your business’ local search ranking. When searching for a business, a user’s Google search automatically scans the web for businesses nearby. Once correctly optimised, your business will appear in the users nearby local search results – providing them with useful information about your business.

Below are ten techniques that can help your business increase its search ranking.

Start with NAP

List your name, address and phone number – and ensure the area code of your business phone number matches the location of your business address. It’s vital that both your NAP and the categories your business is listed in are consistent across online directories. This ensures your business can be uniquely identified by those searching.

Put your business on the map

It’s important to optimise your home page for your given location – or multiple locations if your business has them. Ensure your address (and phone number) is displayed on every page.

Create separate pages for different locations

There are hundreds of online business directories in which you can list your business. For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) these are referred to as “citations” – the more citations the greater the search ranking.

List your business in online directories

There are hundreds of online business directories in which you can list your business. For Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) these are referred to as “citations” – the more citations the greater the search ranking.

Add your business to places.google.com

This will result in Google sending a postcard to the business address with a PIN to confirm it is there. Here you can define things like business hours and payment methods accepted.

Use structured data

People can derive the meaning of a word from the context of the web page, but search engines have difficulty doing this. Structured data enables you to help search engines understand the content on your website and display it in a useful way to those searching. The main advantage of implementing structured data is that it gives your site more visibility as it creates rich snippets which provide users with detailed information relating to their queries.

Register with top search engines

Register and complete your business’ profile on major search engines such as Google – Google+ Local is one of the most effective tools for increasing local search ranking.

Other ways to increase your business' general search ranking:

Share videos

Creating videos and featuring them on your site is the first step, but to optimise for search engines it’s important you use key words and phrases in the file name, the captions and the descriptions. Once you’ve posted a video on your site, it’s essential to then submit the video using XML tools to Google (and other search engines).

Create a social media presence

Set up social media profiles for your business – in particular LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Don't forget mobile users

As more people acquire smart phones – with 37% of people in Australia now owning one and 49% using them for research businesses – it is important to ensure your website is optimised for mobile users. You can do this by implementing a local search strategy that enables mobile users to easily find your website when searching on their smart phones. Also, encourage the use of a ‘click-to-call-through’ button on your mobile site and include driving instructions for greater convenience for mobile users.

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