It’s funny: this time last year, I didn’t think for a minute I’d be writing a post like this. I didn’t really know anything about the ins and outs of ranking high on Google let alone how to get to top of local Google search! Google is this big, huge, enigmatic monster of a machine that most business owners kind of fear and revere at the same time, but deep down we want to be able to hold hand with it and be its best friend.
Here’s how this came about: I’m currently relaunching my life coaching and spiritual work for women and planning how to get that started. So I looked at the exact steps I took to get this business, Blooming Lovely Cake, at the top of Google Local search, simply to see what I could glean and cross-purpose into a new business. It wasn’t long until I quickly I realised just how much I’d done and how much I actually know on how to rank high on Google! So as well as making some blooming lovely cake, I thought I’d help with some blooming lovely online visibility strategy!
By simply being committed to my business and processes, I managed to achieve what I once thought was an impossible task: ranking at the top spot on Google. By doing the reading and the research (yes, that’s the highly banal and mundane task that almost always start with a ‘where-do-I-begin’ mentality) and learning what I needed to do to get found on Google and get visible as a service-based business, my website (bloominglovelycake.com) slowly made its way up to the top of Google local search listings.
Now, please note that this isn’t one of those ‘how to’ posts where I have no idea of what I’m talking about and simply re-purposing and regurgitating information that someone else has talked about: this is hands-on experiential. In fact, it’s quite ironic: there are many people out there who claim to be online experts yet when you Google specific key phrases and key words for their niche, they don’t rank! I’ve managed to achieve what a lot of service-based business providers want and need, and that’s ranking high on organic Google search listings, getting found online, getting organic enquiries and getting booked!
So very quickly in between bakes, I want to share my top 5 tips on ranking No.1 on local Google search (please note, I’m talking about local search listings here NOT national organic Google search) This post is for you if you run a service-business within a certain locality, looking for customers within that locality and these are the steps I took that worked for me:
- Site title
- Home page copy
- Alt texting images
- Site Title
That’s the blue writing that appears in organic search listing. Make sure your site title reflects the keywords that users are searching for. Also, ensure your meta description also reflects common keywords for your niche. Plugins such as Yoast will help you to do this quite easily. Just go into the dashboard of your WordPress website, click on Settings > then General and the ability to change your site title is there.
Getting a Google My Business listing helped me enormously. Simply go online and sign up for an account. And one of the the great things about a GMB listing (apart from the analytics and the ability to post offers) is that customers can leave reviews for you. What I noticed is that when your chosen keywords feature in your reviews, it helps your ranking. And the more reviews you have, the higher you rank (as you’re more trustworthy!) ASK for reviews…!(don’t be shy)
3. Home Page copy
Ensure that your keywords feature on the home page of your website (if it’s the home page that users are being redirected to on searches). You’ll also need to ensure that your keywords feature as much as possible on all pages of your website. This is front end SEO. And ensure the meta description of your page (the bit of text that appears in grey underneath your title) is worded correctly with what your users want and are looking for. Again, Yoast will help you to do this.
Yes, the dreaded blogging! But done right, it’s a god send for you when you want your website to be found on Google! Ensure the long tail of your blog features the keywords of what your users are looking for and of course, mention the correct target keywords in your blog posts for your target market and audience. Remember blogs can be shared anywhere and they stay online FOREVER (unless you delete them but then why would you want to do that???)
5. Alt Texting images
I had heard about this before and read about it but had NO IDEA how to do this effectively. So, with a bit of reading and research and A LOT of time (yes, it is mundane and time consuming but worth the time) alt texting your images will really helping your ranking. If you’re going to do this yourself it’s worth the bother. This is back end SEO and it’s made a HUGE difference to me!
Of course this is isn’t an exhaustive list on how to get ranked high on Google and there are other things that I’ve done to get my business ranking high and getting found on Google. But I guess these are the key things that come to mind immediately of where I switched focus and began to pay more attention to. This work is ongoing and I NEVER rest on my laurels. EVER! So if you want a quick fix my answer is: forget it. Everything needs work, the online world is always changing and if you’re looking for a quick fix, then stick to Google Pay Per Click…(and even then you’ve got to stay on top of your game!)
If this all still feels like a bit of an overwhelming deep ocean for you, and you’re needing genuine help & support in online visibility, then download my FREE training Get Found On Google which will walk you through in more detail, the exact steps I took to get my business from nowhere to the top of Google in my niche. To download the training, click here.