Cosa significa veramente migliorare il posizionamento del proprio sito, o meglio ancora, della propria presenza online? Significa rendere il proprio brand forte agli occhi del motore di ricerca, guadagnando posizioni nella SERP di Google. Quindi per guadagnare un miglior posizionamento è necessario attuare una serie di strategie di marketing mirate, tra cui SEO, SEM e gestione del Blog aziendale.
Every day our company fights in the market to try to acquire new customers; every day our employees are committed and try to provide the highest added value within their tasks to meet the needs of customers. However, in the modern market the classic paradigms on which a company was based years ago have changed: to be able to maintain its market share or to grow faster than its competitors, it is necessary today, even for SMEs, to be able to invest effectively in the online market. More and more users search online before buying and that is why it is necessary to be able to find your company before your competitors on Google. Here are some methods to improve your positioning on Google!
#1 SEO: reach #1 position in a natural way
When people talk about "improving your Google ranking" they immediately think of SEO. This acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization. What is it? It is a process that, through a series of specific actions, leads us to occupy the top positions of the search engine results. Everything is based on the fact that nowadays consumers turn to the Internet for many reasons: not only to listen to music or to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives, but also to search for information or products. Even before entering a physical store, even the most distrustful of new technologies look on Google for the answer to their problem and, once found, study the specific details. It is precisely in this context that SEO acts, allowing a company to be found when searching for certain terms.
How does SEO work and how can a business leverage this strategy to become first on Google? It all kicks off with an analysis of effective SEO keywords for the business. This involves figuring out what terms that will be searched for by the user you want to make the pages of your business site appear for. This analysis must be done carefully upstream of the optimization process to avoid wasting time and money on keywords that are too generic or poorly searched.
Let's try to make an example to make the concept clearer. Our company sells sporting goods: not only clothing, but also balls, rackets, skates and everything that can serve an athlete. It would be great to improve our Google rankings for the keyword "sporting goods", but it's too general a term that would hardly benefit our company. Consumers who rely on Google typically transcribe exactly what they need: "basketball", "inline skates", "ski suit", these might turn out to be some of the many keywords for which we could optimize our site for the search engines. What does it mean to do SEO for keywords? It means that our business will appear among the top results, focusing the attention of the potential customer on itself.
After establishing the keywords that will allow users to find us, we must make sure that Google positions them, if not in first place (difficult to achieve, especially when "fighting" against multinational giants), at least within the first page of search results. In fact, not many users look for an answer to their problem by going beyond the first page, partly out of laziness, partly because, in most cases, the result suitable for their needs is found among the first ten. This is why, through a series of actions that are part of the SEO process, we will have to make sure that our pages are considered better than those of our competitors. What are the elements that Google considers a priority in this sense?
- The quality and length of the content of the pages of the site. The main objective of Google is to offer the user the best possible result, responding to his need. Would you like to search for the solution to your problem and find yourself in front of a semi-empty page, with 2 lines of text and no usefulness? Surely not: that's why even Google doesn't particularly like sites with these characteristics;
- An excellent user experience. Our site, to be well positioned, must be easy to navigate by the user, who must not get lost among thousands and thousands of pages and must not get impatient in front of a too long loading time: Google evaluates positively the speed of a domain, its being mobile friendly, the presence of a certain organization for the order of the internal sections;
- An authoritative and credible domain. Exactly as in real life we blindly trust the opinion of a friend about a certain store, in this sense also the search engine acts: if our site is quoted and/or linked by a domain considered "reliable", Google will start to look at us with a good eye and to increase the ranking - that is the SEO positioning - of our site;
- Page security. Especially if we manage an e-commerce and ask for credit card data, it is essential to ensure maximum protection of the user's personal data. How to do it? Thanks to the https protocol which, unlike the more traditional http, creates an encrypted communication channel, we are able to guarantee greater confidentiality of personal data. Keep in mind that Google focuses on the user's well-being and safety when browsing: this is why it positively evaluates those who have already implemented the https variant and prefers these sites to those who, instead, have remained with the old http.
These are just a few of the key SEO actions that can help a business become first on Google. If you'd like to explore this topic further, below you'll find more insights from our blog:
#2 SEM: REACH #1 POSITION WITH PAID ADS
Another widely used method to improve the ranking of websites on Google as quickly as possible is SEM, an acronym that stands for Search Engine Marketing. Initially, this term was used to refer to all the marketing tactics that the owner of a site developed to be present within the search engines (thus, including SEO). Today, this term has taken on another meaning: SEM indicates that online marketing strategy that allows us to pay the search engines to reach the top positions in a short time.
You may have noticed that when you search for a certain keyword, in addition to the classic "organic" results, another type of results appear, which are defined "sponsored ads" and are distinguished by the presence of the abbreviation ANN on the side. These are sites that have decided to implement SEM:
But what exactly is SEM and how is it implemented? SEM can be represented as an activity of promotion of the pages of your site on the search engine: exactly as in the most common traditional marketing methods, you pay someone (in this case Google or Bing or any other platform that allows it) to get advertising and be put in the foreground. Usually, within the results page corresponding to a given keyword the first four positions are precisely occupied by this type of ads. But SEM is not only an announcement on search engines: it can also be an advertising banner that appears when you enter sites particularly similar to ours.
With SEM a "fight" is established with other related sites to get the first position. The winner of this struggle is established through an auction. How is payment made? SEM is normally characterized by the concept of cost-per-click, abbreviated CPC. Every time a user clicks on the sponsored ad, the campaign manager is charged the predetermined cost per click, which can vary from a few cents to a handful of euros, depending on the search volume and competition for the keyword. Obviously, it is possible to establish a daily budget, i.e. a maximum spending limit for the ad.
SEM represents an online marketing strategy that, if carried out carefully and with the support of an SEM Specialist, can immediately lead to significant results, attracting many visitors. The biggest benefit is not only to reach the top positions of Google in the shortest time possible, but also the fact of being able to target the ads. What does that mean? Each ad we write can target a qualified audience with well-defined characteristics. We can decide to show the ad on soccer balls only to a male audience and that falls within a youth age group; likewise, if we sell cosmetics it will be more intuitive to target only the fairer sex. There is also a method, which is called "remarketing", which allows us to attract users who have already visited our site and, therefore, already know our company.
The main tool to carry out the activity of SEM is given by Google Ads, specifically for the creation of paid ads. In our dedicated article you can find a deepening about it: "Exploiting Google Advertising: how and why". If you want to know better the difference between SEO and SEM marketing, read the dedicated article.
#3 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS: REACH #1 POSITION GEOGRAPHICALLY
In this guide I have decided to highlight Google My Business, because it is a tool that, especially in recent times, is gaining particular success and can become a useful tool to improve the positioning on Google. Have you ever found yourself in a city you don't know and wanted to search for a pizzeria to have lunch at on Google? It happens to me often and the result is usually similar to this:
The panel that appears when we search for something locally is part of Google My Business, a tool made available to companies free of charge to allow them to improve their visibility on Google. It is important to use this service not only because it allows us to be found when someone searches for a business in our sector in the area, but also because it helps to improve the ranking of our site on the search engine.
How do we insert our company profile in Google My Business? Very simply, you enter the dedicated section, at the link https://www.google.it/business/, and fill in all the required data. On what basis, then, Google will decide to show our result and not that of a competitor? The search engine is essentially based on 3 principles:
- Relevance. As we saw in our article dedicated to the Google algorithmic update of summer 2018, the search engine is giving more and more importance to the quality and relevance of the page that appears as a result with the keyword typed by the user. For this reason, if we sell sportswear, it is very unlikely that our company will appear on the Google My Business panel searching for "formal wear".
- Distance. When we talk about Local SEO we can not avoid imposing as a parameter the distance of the activity from the user who has an immediate need. If our company is located in Milan, it will never appear for a search made in Verona.
- Evidence. This is the parameter on which our activity can have the greatest impact. Let me explain: let's assume that we can perfectly meet the criteria of relevance and distance. At this point, how do we overcome the competition? For example, Google takes into account the completeness of the data entered. If the phone number is missing, we are unlikely to appear better than competitors who have entered this information. Google also evaluates the quantity and rating of reviews: that's why if you decide to gear your strategy towards Google My Business, you should push your customers to release as many reviews as possible, which should be, of course, positive. Even having a good number of photos available can become an added value in this sense.
These are just some of the many features of Google My Business. Would you like to know from top to bottom the tool offered by Google that allows you to develop an effective Local SEO activity? Here is the complete guide to Google My Business!
#4 THE COMPANY BLOG: REACH THE #1 POSITION FOR MANY KEYWORDS
It may seem trivial, but one of the best ways to improve your Google ranking is to open (or improve) your company blog. Not only: this tool, which is part of the Content Marketing, is also essential in order to offer a professional and credible corporate image. Thanks to the blog you are able to offer quality content, which can fully satisfy the thirst for knowledge of the user, and at the same time to position your site for certain keywords, increasing its ranking. Finally, if the articles are written in an effective way and are equipped with internal links, it will be possible to increase the average duration of the user's stay on the site: it's another factor that Google takes into account.
In its origins - it was the 90s of the last century - the blog was used simply as a diary that contained thoughts and opinions. Subsequently it took on a new role, sometimes even becoming the fortune of many companies or freelancers. But at this point let's ask ourselves: in an online world dominated by millions and millions of sites that manage blogs, what could we do to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and take full advantage of this tool? First of all, it is important to set up a specific approach towards the user: we should be clear that, through our articles, we don't necessarily have to sell him our products, but to become a resource for him. The first step to be successful online is to show to be available to offer a solution for the good of our potential customer.
The concept is not entirely clear? Let's read the following examples:
- "Buy from ABC srl: our sporting goods are the best on the market!"
- "Are you looking for a solution to not having to change balls every week? ABC srl's balls are specially designed to withstand even when they come into contact with thorny plants and rough terrain."
If I were to ask you what you think is the most effective way to communicate between the 2, I'm pretty sure you'd choose example B. In fact, although the first "slogan" is definitely closer to the sale, the second highlights "why" the potential customer should choose our balls and not those of the competitor. Above all, example B focuses on his "stomach ache", i.e. the problem that led him to enter our site: he is forced to change his ball every week because it keeps getting punctured. This is one of the characteristics that differentiates an effective corporate blog from an outdated one, which is unlikely to bring concrete results.
Another secret in the world of content marketing lies in finding the right keywords for which to position yourself. Unfortunately, the corporate blog no longer functions as a diary, in which you can write everything that comes to mind. In the world of online marketing, people write for business, as well as for passion, and it must be taken into account. It is in this regard that it can be useful to see which topics and keywords are chosen by competitors and which are particularly appreciated online: the most popular articles of competitors can be easily discovered with a search on www.buzzsumo.com. Taking a cue from the information gathered, it is possible to position oneself for the same keywords, trying to focus on a better quality and a greater length of the contents. Everything must be organized by means of an effective editorial plan, a calendar that indicates, week after week, how many and which articles to publish.
One last piece of advice? Recently, mobile searches are spreading like wildfire and according to statistics in the not too distant future they will represent half of the total online searches. This is why you should adapt your content to more discursive keywords than the current ones: we talk about this in our article entitled "Marketing in the age of voice recognition: Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant". Only by taking advantage of all these aspects will it be possible to get a special pass to have all the benefits that a corporate blog can offer.
#5 GOOGLE NEWS: REACH THE #1 POSITION WITH CURRENT NEWS
Going back to the previous paragraph dedicated to the company blog, we throw ourselves headlong into a new method to improve the positioning on Google: if we decide to deal mainly with current and constantly updated news, we can focus on Google News.
What is Google News and why could it benefit a business? It is a service that Google makes available to companies that want to publish interesting news and to users who want to deepen certain topics. It is a real container of news divided by topic and area.
Google News can be found at the link https://news.google.com/news, but it is easy to find the articles it collects also by searching for a keyword on Google and clicking on the "news" section.
If we have made a name for ourselves as a company and our articles are very well known, it could also happen to appear directly on the main SERP, the one that falls under the "all" section:
The principle on which this Google service is based is to offer new and updated articles of high quality. That's why the search engine is quite selective from this point of view: normally, in the list of the news are present sites that are authoritative (they get many incoming links) and that move a large mass of users. However, if we are sure to follow precisely the requirements imposed by Google, it is not certain that our site can not be part of the list and appear among the top results. This is an enormous added value, not only in terms of ranking, but also to show the world our professionalism and to improve the brand reputation. That's why Google News is not a service to be taken lightly, also because today there are not many who take full advantage of its potential.
But what can we do to be able to publish our articles on Google News? Google imposes very precise rules. Let's see together in the following list how our contents must be:
- Free of grammatical errors;
- Free of a large number of links that aim to promote our company's products;
- Free of personal and confidential information;
- Original and not copied from other sites;
- Must deal with topics that arouse interest and interaction in readers;
- Transparent in indicating the author's name and related information, contact information (email address and phone number);
- Specified with date and place of publication.
After making sure that our article fully complies with the general guidelines imposed by Google, we will have to request the inclusion of our company's site at the link https://news.google.com/publisher#p:id=pfehome and verify the ownership through Search Console. Remember that one of the main selection criteria of the search engine is to have a domain dedicated to "fresh" and original news: for this reason, in presence of a "static" blog, where there are mostly guides and generic articles, Google will hardly accept us. A solution to this problem could be to differentiate the 2 sections: the one dedicated to guides and the one dedicated to current news. From this moment on, we will have to wait from one to 3 weeks to have a negative or positive answer to our request.
In this article we've seen 5 methods, more or less known, to improve Google positioning and overcome online competition: it must be one of the main goals of all companies that want to grow in 2018. Thinking of giving importance to the brand reputation, to one's own products and services and put them in evidence compared to those of competitors without exploiting the potential of Google turns out to be an ineffective or incomplete strategy. The first method we have explored is SEO, the process of optimizing the site for search engines. Everything starts with the analysis of the keywords for which you want to position the content of the site, which must be relevant to the industry in which the company operates and the products and services it offers. Next, we covered SEM, the process by which you pay the search engine to reach the very first positions in the SERP. Continuing with our guide, we delved into Google My Business, a very useful tool made available for free by Google, which allows you to be visible mainly at the local level. This is a tool not to be underestimated, which allows a company to respond to the immediate need of a user. Another important tool to improve the positioning on Google is the company blog, on which it is necessary to write following precise rules, such as: keywords searched and contents that allow the activity to become a resource for the consumer, being able to get to his problem to offer him the best solution. Finally, we have dealt with a tool still little used by companies but very useful both for ranking and to improve brand reputation: it is Google News, another Google service that allows to be visible with updated and original news.
Which is the most suitable solution for your business? Contact me directly or book a free consultation to find out!