If you want your business website to both reach and stay on the coveted Page 1 of Google for your particular keywords, one of the things you need to know is that you’ll probably be inspected by an actual human working for Google at some point once you make it there, so they can be sure that the site they’re promoting high up is legitimate, offering information and/or services that people are really going to want. And with the top 3 spots getting 80% of the clicks, and 90% all staying on Page 1, the last thing you want to do is fail to pass inspection once you get there. Google wants to be sure people aren’t just using a bunch of spam or other forms of trickery to get themselves ranked – and I think we can all agree that it’s in everyone’s best interest as consumers for them to do this. What that means for your business is making sure your website has the ‘right stuff.’
Here are a few things to consider:
1. You need to look like a real business. While this may seem obvious enough, unfortunately there are so many people trying to make a buck through less than scrupulous means that you need to be sure your website looks like it represents a real, honest business. A few things to consider including are:
* A physical address, and possibly a Google map of your location
* Mailing address
* Telephone contacts
* Special awards, certifications, accreditations, etc.
3. Include customer reviews and/or testimonials, but remember that you may not have the right to just take them off of places like Google or Yelp.
4. Don’t clutter your website with so many sales ads that it looks like your website content is just “filler” and the real purpose of the site is your ads. That doesn’t mean you can’t have ads, but they should not be the dominant focus of the site. Consider whether your site would be useful to people if the ads were removed.
5. Don’t cram keywords into every nook and cranny. While keywords are important so that Google can correctly determine how your website is related to searches, you don’t want to over-do it. Your website can up looking like one big spammy concoction designed to trick Google rather than make sense to visitors. Everything should make sense from a human point of view.
6. If you don’t mind the work involved and dealing with spam etc., consider permitting and encouraging people to actively engaged in conversations with you on your website, and especially include social sharing in such case. This shows that you’re a real person offering real services. It’s also a terrific way to grow your brand, since if people ask you questions, you can take that as an opportunity to create and post new content in response, both solving their issue for them while creating new quality content at the same time.
In summary, remember that if you make it onto Page 1, Google is going to have an actual person come look at your website. They want to be sure that you’re a real business offering quality services and content – i.e. that you actually *deserve* to be on Page 1. The main key to passing this evaluation is just to always keep your reader in mind. Spend less time worrying about Google and more time worrying about the people who will visit your site. If you design for the end-user in mind and ask yourself what would a visitor to your website want to know about you then you’ll probably be okay.