First the Quick and Easy Stuff
July 18, 2019How to Rank on the First Page on Google| Category:
Think of Google as a PersonThink of Google as a pe rson whose job it is to refer people to organizations and businesses. Now pretend that person was YOU and you were paid $1.00 for every referral. Youwould want to give out as many referrals as possible right? That is how Google works. Well not exactly but it’s the same idea: Advertisers pay Google because they are the best referral company in the world. Google refers more organizations and businesses than anyone or anything in the history of the world. So, in a way, they are paid x amount for every referral they give.
It makes sense, therefore, that Google wants everyone to come back to them time and time again so that they can make as much money as possible. How do they do this? Google proves its value by ensuring the business or organization they refer is good, honest, and competent. That’s what keeps people coming back to Google. They refer organizations that have a reputation for honesty, integrity, and competence.
If you have this reputation, then you are poised to rank. You just might have to jump through a few technical hoops for Google to catch wind of that reputation. If you don’t have that reputation, work on it! Remember when I said to think of Google as a person? People want to know you are trustworthy before dealing with you and Google has the same concerns. If Google refers bad businesses, then they will lose the search engine war.
I know the title of this post is “First the Quick and Easy Stuff” but I had to get that “Google is a person” thing out of the way so you can appreciate what I have to say next. The first thing you need to do is ensure that any nice thing anyone has said about you, or your business is digitized and online. Don’t let a happy customer walk out of your store happy without reminding him or her to leave a Google review.
Build Your ReputationDon’t merely thank a customer who left you a comment through email. Reply to that email with a “Thank you so much for those kind words. Here is a link to my Google page where I would be honored to see a review from you. Side Note: Be careful with this as Google does not want you to solicit reviews. There is a right way and a wrong way to ask for reviews which I will address in a separate post.
The next quick and easy thing you have to do is claim your Google My Business account. Why does this come in second and not first? Because you do not need to have it claimed for people to leave reviews. Of course you could claim it first and I admit it does seem to make more sense to do this first but this post is about being “quick and easy” so it is definitely quicker and easier to tell a customer to leave you a review than is to fire up your laptop, search for your Google My Business account, submit a claim, and then go through the verification process.
That said you need to follow these steps to ensure you are in full control of this account: Navigate to business.google.com/add and enter your business name. You might see your business appear. If so click on it. If you get a message that states “This listing has already been claimed” then you or someone in your organization probably already claimed it. Don’t worry if you think someone else stole it from you. That probably didn’t happen as it is very difficult to get past all of Google’s verification process.
Nevertheless, it is not perfect. There is a small chance someone took it. Still, don’t worry, you are the real owner of your business and you will be able to claim it back As long as you are who you are and located where you say you are, then you will get it back. Just follow the prompts that Google gives you. You may be asked to verify your email, phone number and mailing address. The whole process might be completed within a minute or it could take a few weeks if Google decides it needs to verify your physical address.
Protect Your ReputationOnce your Google My Business listing is claimed, you can start responding to complaints. Yes, this is the next step: protect your good reputation by responding to bad reviews. Why? Because if you don’t respond, the impression you are leaving potential new customers is that the bad review is justified. You are leaving the impressing that you or your business are not trustworthy. Remember: Google is a person right? What would you think if you saw an unanswered negative review? These bad reviews need to be answered but you have to be careful. It is easy to let your emotions take over. If you can’t keep a cool head, then get a friend or hire someone.
People are watching. Google is watching. Anyone can read the negative review but no one really knows the truth. Maybe the bad review is accurate or maybe the person who left it is an idiot, or a competitor, or someone who mistook your company for another. The point is the reader does not know and he or she will judge you based on how you answer the review.
Don’t say “I didn’t return your money because you’re a moron”. Instead, say “I am so sorry you were not satisfied with the sandwich. I would have gladly returned your money if you had informed me that you have a gluten allergy before consuming it. Unfortunately, we do not presume to know people allergies.” An answer such as this provides context that the reader can appreciate and maybe even relate it to an experience of their own. Just be truthful in your response. If the customer told you about their allergy and you mistakenly assured him or her that the bread was gluten-free, then you should own up to your mistake and invite that person back for a full refund. If you don’t, your reputation will suffer, Google will trust you a little less, and your ranking will drop.
To recap, Google is a person. Well, not really but it has been working on an algorithm for over 20 years and has become extremely sophisticated. As the owner of SmartWebPros.com, official Google Partner, I have successfully ranked hundreds of websites onto the first page of Google over the past 2 decades. Watching Google evolve has been a fascination of mine. I do not bother trying to reverse engineer Google’s Algorithm, as I think this would be a waste of time. It is much quicker and easier to just understand the main principle behind the algorithm: Google is like a person.
I know that I have focused almost exclusively on reviews in this post and there is much more to share. Furthermore, reviews are not the only quick and easy things you could do to improve your rankings. If you would like to learn more quick and easy solutions please refer to our SEO page which outlines Search Engine Optimization strategies for top Google ranking. You may also book a consultation with myself or any one of our Google ranking specialists. Your first SEO consultation is free. To know more, please check out our Smart Marketing Consultation page.
If you are able to appreciate the analogy of Google being like a person, you could probably use your imagination for many of the other things that can be done like, complete your Google My Business profile, get a good professional website, register your business online with other organizations, get involved with the community, start a blog of your own, showcase your services, products, and accomplishments on your website for Website Design ideas please visit our Web Design page. These are all different strategies that will help your Google ranking and all of which will be the subject matters of future posts.