Looking to try to get to the top spot in Google? If you want to rank for your services locally then look no further. You can follow what I did here and see similar results.
So by searching for a local graphic designer or logo designer for the West Sussex area in the UK particularly Horsham you may have come across Hub Graphics in the top spot.
This is basically what I have worked on which I will share with you. I am sure by your perseverance and applying the techniques I have you can achieve similar results.
So where did I start?
My first step was choosing a name for my business which I not only liked and had a meaning but included a keyword with the services that I offer. I then headed over to Namecheap and brought the domain name. Box ticked if you have done this, or give yourself a pat on the back, personally I find this a little difficult as I’m not that flexible.
After doing this I then brought hosting to setup a WordPress website. In deciding who to go with you might be spoilt for choice. I would recommend Bluehost or Siteground. Both have a cpanel platform to manage your hosting. There is lots of tutorials for cpanel on YouTube etc which I still refer to from time to time so if you need some help you would certainly find the answers you’re looking for. The support you get from Bluehost and siteground is very helpful for when you setup WordPress as well, they also have online chat facilities.
So once I had WordPress setup I choose a theme for my website. There are a few options here. I recommend elegant themes, theme forest and template monster. What you need to consider is whether you have good support for the theme and whether the developers are consistently updating it. I started out with a simple theme from theme forest then after a couple of years switched to Divi from elegant themes, both have served me well.
I may have gone off on one here about choosing hosting and a theme but it is important to get right as it will contribute to you ranking well. Good hosting means quicker page loading times for your website which is a small but another important factor for Google to pick up on.
The purpose of having a good theme is that it will be mobile friendly. 99% of themes nowadays are built to be responsive because of the increased emphasis that is put on mobile viewing today.
Once I had my theme setup and ready to go I focused on content for my website. I made sure I included keywords in the content around the services I offered. Over time the content has developed in creating separate pages for each service. Having good content is a very important factor when it comes to SEO. What I have learnt since putting together my content is that it is more beneficial to get a copywriter to do it. This could have affected my position in Google for the better had I known that these services were easily available online.
I recommend looking for a copywriter from Upwork. There will be many professionals to choose from on this platform.
So after putting together the content I focused on the SEO metadata of each of my pages. I used yoast SEO for this, which is a highly recommend wordpress plugin. Again I made sure I used the correct keywords in the titles and descriptions for each page. What I love about yoast is they show you how your page listing will appear in Google. You can adjust to make sure everything fits and is optimised, see below.
The scoring traffic light system they have is also very helpful, you can see how your pages will favour in regards to its readability, keyword density and more.
Another factor I did not overlook was including services offered and the location(s) I was targeting in the meta description of my pages. I mainly focused on my homepage then the service pages and blog posts where relevant. Alt tags on the images have also been another small but necessary part to my SEO, with these tags I also targeted the type of services and location(s) I want to be found for eg. website_design_horsham_westsussex.jpeg.
Optimising my websites performance was my next area I looked at. I found out about a really helpful website GT Metrix. By putting in my websites url I was able to see how it performs in different areas. I then installed WP Total Cache plugin on my WordPress website. By simply installing and activating the plugin with its basic settings I was able to tackle nearly every area highlighted by GT Metrix. One thing that I couldn’t deal with via GT Metrix was my image sizes. I then resized my images so that they were within the correct proportions for my website.
The next thing that I focused on was my NAP details. (Name, Address, Phone Number). Having your NAP details on your website is critical for businesses to rank well in the local organic search results. These details I have clearly placed in the footer of my website and also on the contact page.
Google will pick up on having your address on your website and then also relate this to any directory listings. Which is the next thing I started to do. I put together an extensive list of the best business directories and started to submit my details to them.
I completed around 40 directory profiles over a 4 month period. I made sure I didn’t do to many at once so it looked more natural to Google.
The next major thing I think contributed to getting position #1 of Google locally is something which I know will frustrate some. It was simply a matter of time. Sorry to drop that one in but it’s something you can’t avoid. Whatever you do when it comes to trying to rank well in any search engine is that you have to give it time. I used this to my advantage by checking Google Analytics and making necessary changes to my content and pages. Whilst also starting to write blog posts around my niche.
In regards to actively building lots of backlinks I didn’t heavily focus on this. I simply stuck to the directory listings and when I found a helpful blog post I could comment on with a link I submitted it. I went for quality over quantity. If you do things to quickly it can be hard to measure and track what has worked and what hasn’t. Take things slowly and surely.
When it comes to moving up to position #1 in google you will also have to take into consideration your competition. It maybe a very competitive industry that you are in locally so this will affect how easy it will be to out rank those businesses and how long it may take. Take into account what they have to offer, what they have on their website and what backlinks they have coming into their site. You can check these with this free tool. https://www.seoreviewtools.com/valuable-backlinks-checker/
The next to mention is the submission of reviews to Google. This is something that was done over time as I built up my client base. I sent out a generic email stating I value their feedback and could they submit a review on google if they had an account. I provided a form on my website if they didn’t. So I had some reviews I put directly on my website and some were submitted to Google.
Lastly over time I have continued to submit blog posts targeting different areas of my niche and shared them on Pinterest and other Social Channels. I made sure that I was active on my website improving its content and performance across all the areas that I talked about.
I hope this article has been helpful to you and gives you things that you can apply yourself when launching your business website.