Every business, no matter how big or how small, has a relationship with Google.
That’s because search engines like Google are one of the most widely used tools that consumers use to find answers online. So whether someone is searching for your individual business or the answer to a problem that your business can solve, having a healthy relationship with Google will improve your chances of being found by your next great customer.
How do I build a relationship with Google?
Like you, Google provides a service to a customer base.
Their goal is to provide the best possible content to the people searching on their site.
There are things you can do to help Google achieve this goal. By doing so, you’ll build a stronger relationship and have a better chance of showing up in search results.
The good news is you won’t need any of the technical expertise to do it.
Here are a few simple steps you can take:
1. Make your website easy to navigate
When someone lands on your site, they should be able to tell right away: who you are, what you do, and how you can help.
From there, they should also be able to find the most important details about your business right away. Provide descriptions of your business, your services, and the products you sell. Add links to additional resources and make sure people can easily navigate the content on your site.
The easier it is for people to find that information, the easier it will be for Google to pull your content into a search result.
2. Regularly publish new content
Content in various forms is the driving force behind the many ways that people can find you online. By consistently publishing new content that’s relevant and helpful to your target audience, you can begin to build authority.
As your content starts to generate more traffic and engagement from your readers, Google will give your content more support. This will not only help you attract more readers, but will provide a new door in which potential customers will soon be coming in through.
3. Be social
Helping you get discovered is one of the advantages of sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest that’s often overlooked.
Google recognizes that the size of your social media audience and the number of people sharing your content are reliable factors to consider when determining a source’s credibility. By maintaining an active social presence, sharing content on a regular basis, and engaging with your audience online, you’ll not only grow your community, but will strengthen your relationship with Google as well.
4. Take control of your online listings
From online review sites like Yelp, mobile apps like Foursquare, and city guides like Citysearch, it can be difficult to keep track of all the places your business is listed online. As a result, the information that’s being found can differ from site to site.
This will confuse potential customers and could make it difficult for Google to identify your business and recognize the right information as well.
Make sure your information is consistent across all sites. If you need help, we have some tips to get you started.
5. Take advantage of what Google has to offer
One of the things marketers have come to realize in recent years is that Google loves Google. By that I mean, Google loves people who use the tools that are offered on their site.
Have you ever noticed that certain search results on Google are accompanied by a headshot of the author? That’s because those pieces of content were published by people who had set up their Google Authorship within Google+.
By setting up your Authorship, you’ll have more opportunities to build credibility as a source of information, which can improve your chances of showing up in a search result.
You should also make sure to claim your Google Local Page.
Put a plan together ASAP
Don’t wait to start working on this crucial business relationship.
Start to map out the places where you have room for improvement. Is your website in need of a refresh? Have you been on the fence about starting a blog or making more of a commitment to your social media marketing?
You won’t have to do everything at once, but you should set realistic expectations to help get the ball rolling in 2014.
Over the next three months, we’ll be exploring all of the different ways people find your business when it comes to online marketing. So be sure to stick around. (Are you subscribed to our Hints & Tips Newsletter?)
Want to learn more about how consumers are finding new businesses? Download a free copy of our latest guide: How Mobile Search Can Help You Find Your Next Great Customer.