Ranking through search engines like Google, Bing, YouTube and others should be one of your goals. After all, if people don’t find what you’ve written, you’re a diarist, not a teacher, coach or business blogger. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re creating products, services and content as a business and want to increase your search ranking and help new clients discover you, there are a few visibility and ranking strategies to keep in mind.
Helping potential customers and clients find you through search is one of your most important marketing strategies.
Five Strategies for Boosting Visibility Through Search
1. Match Your Content to Your Brand Promise. This is your number one strategy. Google and other search engines factor into your credibility whether or not people re-enter their search terms after being directed to your content. In other words, if Google recommends your content to someone who searches for “life coaching,” but finds that most of the people who click on your site need to search again because you don’t share any thoughts about life coaching, why to engage a life coach, what life coaching can do for people or any other relevant material, then Google will downgrade your reliability on this topic. Make sure that the content you are posting is a good fit for the keywords you are using. “Bacon” is a great search term. Everybody likes bacon. But if you don’t sell bacon, teach bacon recipes, share bacon-related news or in any other way talk about bacon, Google will penalize you for using the term “bacon” as a keyword.
2. Create a Positive Digital Footprint. Create a detailed profile on LinkedIn with a keyword optimized bio, photo and clear descriptions of your current business as well as links to previous work. Connect your blog and consider connecting your Slideshare account so you can easily demonstrate authority by sharing presentations through Slideshare. Upload a current professional head shot and make sure that potential customers or client can easily identify you, understand exactly what you offer and connect with you. Create social media profiles with keyword optimized bios and the same or a similar photo on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and depending on your brand, Pinterest. Demonstrate authority in your field by communicating in your true brand voice on each of these platforms with consistency, clarity and authenticity.
3. Pay Attention to the Metadata. The individual keywords and phrases you use as descriptions on social media sites, blog posts and websites are metadata. Metadata is what helps search engines find you and recommend you when people search for what you have to offer. When people are searching for what you have to offer on search engines like Google, they are highly predisposed to take an action. They’ve professed a need, hopefully been pointed to your home base and now it’s up to you to convert. Think about metadata like digital breadcrumbs. You are leaving a trail so people can find you.
4. Create a Path to Purchase. You’ve optimized your keywords, left digital breadcrumbs, put out your welcome mat through social media and now you have people on your website. What do you want them to do next; sign up for a newsletter, buy a product, book a discovery session with you? Make their next action step crystal clear and easy to take. Add your opt in box to the landing page. Welcome them to your site with a video that gives them an opportunity to know, like and trust you. Give them an incentive to stay through a free offer. But you need to know and you need to project the exact next step you want people to take. Don’t leave them guessing.
5. Dare to be an Actual Person. There are many sophisticate ways to help verify your authorship to search engines and these are two quick and easy ones I recommend doing right away. Create a G+ account for yourself. Hyperlink your G+ account to your byline (see above where I’ve done this) in your blog posts to help Google verify that you are who you say you are. Link your YouTube account to your G+ account as well for the same reason. Authority trumps nearly everything in search.
I use multiple tool to increase my visibility and ranking on my brand keywords, and you should too. Don’t rely on any one method of boosting your visibility, but instead diversify and help people find you on or through multiple platforms. Earned traffic is traffic that comes to you because people follow the digital breadcrumbs of your content and stay because you deliver what they want and need. Paid traffic comes to you through ads, promotions, partnerships and joint ventures. Paid traffic is a good way to increase your visibility but focus on earned traffic first and explore paid traffic when you’re sure your site delivers on your promise and your content creates repeat visitors.
All of these brand building strategies are relatively easy to implement and can help boost your visibility. Which one will you try first?