Improving the search rankings of your content and controlling the results that appear when your name is searched on Google are critical to all aspects of managing your online reputation. Whether you are trying to spread awareness of your brand and attract more leads, increase trust in your brand, or fight a recent controversy, improving your Google results should be a central goal.
This article covers the basics of what you can do to start improving your search rankings and ensure that when people search for you or your business, they only find neutral or positive content.
Before getting into the content and strategies you can use to improve your search results, it is worth discussing the basic technical aspects of SEO, as these can seriously hinder your ranking efforts, even if your content is great.
Having a site that is easy to get around is important for two main reasons. Firstly, users arriving at a poorly structured site are more likely to leave faster and click less links before leaving. Google tracks these signals and uses them to update search positions, therefore placing you lower in the search results. Secondly, Google’s crawlers are not guaranteed to find and index every page on your site, and if they can’t index a page it won’t appear in search results at all. A strong site structure will therefore make it much easier to improve your site’s search results.
- Duplicate Content
Multiple URLs displaying identical content indirectly lower your search ranking, as Google favours variety within the search results, and must therefore decide which version of the content is on the higher authority page. These can often be resolved simply avoiding posting duplicate content, or by proper use of redirects, for example redirecting a HTTP URL to the HTTPS page instead of having two different URLs leading to the same page.
Google considers page loading speed as a factor when ranking search results. This is especially important for mobile, where load times are often longer due to mobile internet signal being intermittent.
Mobile versions of websites are now indexed separately for when users search on a mobile device, so it is vital to consider the above points equally for mobile as well as desktop. If in doubt, think mobile first and ensure you website is responsive (can be browsed easily from a touch-screen mobile device).
- Native and Content Marketing
Despite the name, native and content marketing often do not directly market your products or business, instead focusing on providing high quality informative or entertaining articles and videos. This is done with the idea that educating customers on your industry moves them further towards a purchasing decision while increasing their trust in your business.
By maintaining a regular output of this kind of content, you can generate more clicks and keep users on your site for longer while they read or watch, both of which have a direct impact on your site’s search ranking. Posting to other sites as a guest blogger is also beneficial – not only can you build authority to your social media profiles to help them rank higher for your brand name by link building, the guest blogs themselves also have the potential to rank for your keyword. Guest blog spots on high-authority sites can be hard to get, especially for small or new businesses. If you are struggling to secure guest blog spots on a regular basis, consider joining a community like Quora where you can give detailed ‘mini-article’ answers to questions about your industry, thereby attaching your name to more positive and informative content.
Specific tactics vary wildly from platform to platform and from audience to audience, but there are definitely a few rules that apply universally. Again the goal here is to attach your name to positive content that generates views and interactions, in order for that positive content to appear in your search results. Create and share posts which are interesting and relevant to your audience, and promote interactions on your social media pages by asking users for their opinions, or by offering rewards for users sharing and commenting on your content in order to boost those numbers.
Many companies make use of social media bot services to artificially inflate their numbers by paying a network of fake accounts to follow and interact with their accounts. We do not recommend this, for a number of reasons. Fake accounts are easily spotted by real users who will lose trust in you, you risk punitive measures from the social media platforms themselves, and once your bots are inevitably detected you will be back at square one with a worse reputation.
If you want to improve your Google results, as an individual or as a business, ReputationDefender’s team of specialists can help you achieve your goal. Speak in confidence to one of our trained reputation experts today by calling +44 800 131 0700, or emailing us on [email protected].
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