When technology companies explain how likely your website is to show up on Google’s search results, it sounds very complicated. “Search Engine Optimization,” they’ll say, “is based on an algorithm with over 200 factors, and they’re constantly changing.” None of this is incorrect, but it’s also not helpful. It’s not that difficult to figure out how to achieve great website search results – but it can be very difficult to make it happen.
Google makes its billions of dollars by selling ad space to companies. In order to sell those ads, Google has to have billions of people using their search engine. The way Google gets billions of people to use its search engine is to provide answers to the questions those people have – quickly. All of the complex technology Google uses to rank websites is simply there to help answer Google users’ questions quickly.
Google has a standard to determine how likely a website or web page is to answer people’s questions quickly – relevant, informative, up-to-date information from a source that can be trusted. If Google thinks that your website fits the bill, you’re going to search well. Here are four ways to provide exactly this type of information, and to show Google that you deserve great website search results.
Provide Relevant Content
Provide relevant content by making sure that all of the search terms you care about – whether that’s interior painting, painting contractor, or even deck refinishing – are included on your site. This is the most basic requirement in order for your site to search well – called “keyword placement” – and it’s been important for longer than any other factor. Twenty years ago, there were so few websites that most relevant sites automatically searched well. Today, there are thousands of relevant sites for nearly any search term, so you need to do far more than just mention a few keywords to search well. You also want to be sure you are not just stuffing keywords into your copy. Google will penalize you for doing that and you will not search well.
Provide Informative Content
Provide informative content by answering the questions customers ask Google. For instance, “how do I select a paint?” should be answered on your website if you want to attract people who are getting ready to paint their houses. “What do I do to finish a garage floor?” should be answered if you want garage floor coating jobs. When you address these issues, you should do it with as much depth as you can. Google gives you extra points for page length and quality content. In the case of Google, their machine learning algorithm determines quality.
It’s also very important to make sure that your business name, service area, and phone number are easily visible on the front page of your website – if people are asking “who paints houses in the area?” you definitely want to show up!
Provide Up-to-Date Content
Provide up-to-date content by updating your page frequently – even if it’s only to add new pictures or mention a new service you offer. Google doesn’t trust pages that aren’t updated on a regular basis – it’s a fact of life that information gets less reliable as it gets older. If Google sees changes to your page, it assumes that the information on that page is being kept up-to-date.
Provide Trusted Content
Provide trusted content by linking your page to other trusted companies in the industry. If you’re part of a professional paint program or an associations, ask if they can link to your website somewhere on their site. If your business performs any community service or sponsors community events, try to get those organizations to link to your site as well. Your site will also become more trusted as it is kept up-to-date over time – Google rewards dedication to providing information, just like customers trust businesses that have been around longer.