Love your brand and Google will love your website
As much as we’d like to say that great design is the most important part of getting a brand successfully marketed on Google, it isn’t. Like all things with your brand, your website needs time, attention and love. Do that and Google will love your website back.
Continuing our series of loving your brand, here we outline some of the very basic things you need to know about Google. Getting noticed on Google and reaching the universal panacea ‘page 1’ is now really hard. Time to face facts. If you have a business in a popular sector with lots, or even reasonable amounts of competition, page 1 is a long way off.
Want to be top of the tree for a key term like ‘branding agency’? Well, time to get really real. Work and effort will be needed. Even location specific terms that help reduce your competition can be hard, especially if you need to be found in a popular metropolitan area.
We’re not SEO’s, but looking at our site and what other businesses are scrambling to do to get noticed we’ve listed a beginners guide to get you some basic knowledge:
- First it’s worth re-thinking the way you think about a website. It can’t be viewed as a quarterly task like booking magazine ads. It needs constant love and attention. When setting up a business think about the time spent running it, then the time you’ll need to spend marketing your website and brand on the net. It’s a weekly/daily commitment.
- Secondly, you’ll need to take an interest in Google. It’s constantly changing the way it displays and ranks results. Expert SEO companies can help you and explain what will work, but what worked a few years back will get you nowhere now, or even get your site penalized. Spend time understanding Google and it will love you back.
- Google likes links to your site from other sites. But it no longer likes any old link. If an SEO says they can get you 500 links to your site in just a couple of weeks, run away. A quick wham bam won’t work – you need to be really careful and find links that work. What used to be a numbers game has, in the last few months, become a quality ‘what looks natural’ game. Links to your site from relevant, quality sites are a must. If Google sniffs out that you’ve employed someone to get thousands of poor links with tags that exactly match your keyword then you’re stuffed. Pick an SEO that knows what they are doing because Google knows if your cheating.
- Google loves sharing. Social media, like it or loathe it, proves to Google that your website is worth a look IF people are talking about it, tweeting it, liking it, +1’ing it or pinning it. If you don’t know what these are then it’s time to find out. Share your opinions, your products, imagery, offers, what’s new or what you’ve just done. Again this takes time, but with no effort comes zero Google love.
- Google likes great content. Your website should grow. It should also be written with care and love just like looking after any brand. And this is where you can be more of an expert than any SEO. Your products are what you know about, so write good, easy to read and (vitally) original content. Don’t treat writing product pages as a bit of a chore, you’ll need to spend time writing descriptions and specs for each and every product or category – don’t duplicate copy. Write about your brand in a way that people find engaging – so they buy, and so they share (see point 4). Google likes to see an active site that grows so consider a blog, like this one, where you’ll be able to talk about your brand and your field of expertise – if it’s content written with love and attention people will share it. Show case studies and latest work.
Google has placed more and more emphasis lately (in the last few months) on content rather than the old ways of stuffing your site with keywords and tags.
What Google wants is for you to love your website, so people will love reading what you have to say. Bottom line, there’s no easy way of cheating the system, so be prepared to invest the time. It’s why this article is brought to you from a car park on a Saturday waiting for a ballet lesson to finish* – with no time in the working week, you gotta show the website some love!! Good luck.
*We ourselves don’t do ballet lessons, so please don’t expect a demi-plié at meetings