Steps to a better Google ranking

Step 1: Select the right keywords to target

Stay away from using generic words. They might produce large volumes of searches, but they'll also have the most competition and therefore require more time and effort to rank highly for. Weigh up the number of sites already ranking for search terms versus the search traffic those key terms are generating, and then find a balance.

HINT: Shorten the path it takes for potential customers to find your site e.g. the search volume for ‘Bread’ might be enormous, but it's better to focus on ‘wholegrain bread’, ‘white bread’ varieties. Better yet, include the word ‘buy’ so that only visitors who are searching for ‘buy white bread’ will see your page, not people who want to know how to make it. If you only ship locally, include ‘Buy white bread Sydney’. Voila!

Step 2: Optimise your Title Tags

That little block of text at the top of your homepage in any browser is known as your ‘title tag’. Search engines use these tags as the main source for understanding what your page is all about. Titles are what people see when they get search results. In other words, it's your free ad on Google so make the most of it.

HINT: Things to keep in mind when writing your title tags:

The best title length is between 60-70 characters. Anything over 70 characters won't be seen on the search engine results.
Always use the keywords you are trying to target for in the page title, and place them as close to the beginning of the title as possible, even before your company name.
Use a different title on every page so each one is optimised.

Step 3 Get on the ‘Link-building’ bandwagon

Google and other search engines highly favour websites that have lots of inbound links (to the site from others). That doesn’t mean you want just any sites to linking to yours – search engines analyse the popularity of your pages based on not just the number of links, but who links to you. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites and visa versa.

HINT: Some easy ways you can start building links right now are:

Start up a business blog, and write topical articles such as ‘Top 10 tips for..’ etc – these are pages that regularly get picked up and shared across social media channels
Submit an article or ‘guest blog’ to an association or well respected body website in your industry and include links back to your own web pages.

Step 4:  Build your business presence on Social Media channels

With the introduction of Google’s answer to Facebook (Google+), search engines are placing more importance on social mentions and recommendations on social platforms. So if you haven’t already created a Facebook fan-page, Twitter handle, LinkedIn Company page, Google+ Business Page and started communicating directly with your customers there, now's the time to start.

HINT: If your business is in the retail sector ‘the next best thing’ in social looks set to be Pinterest – a virtual pin-board where you can ‘pin’ photos of your products, and others can comment, like and ‘re-pin’.