Why Your Brand Doesn’t Appear on the First Page of Google
A major worry for most businesses, particularly SMEs, is failing to appear on the first page of search results for keywords related to their business. While your website may show up on the second pages of searches, less than 3% of searchers make it to the second page. This means you cannot afford to rank on the second, third or fourth page if you want to be top of mind to your target audience.
The first step to establishing your business online and increasing visibility is officially ‘telling’ Google that you are a business, by registering it with Google My Business (GMB). GMB works alongside Google Maps and helps to generate directions automatically for local searchers or people trying to find your business online. It allows you to list the hours, website, address and upload photos of your business on the platform.
Another reason for the low ranking site is targeting a keyword that is too broad, such as ‘lifestyle’ or ‘fashion’. Those keywords open you up to competition from anyone in the fashion industry. Instead, your visibility improves when you target a narrower niche, such as ‘Lagos men’s casual wear’ or ‘Popular women’s corporate outfits in Lagos.’
If you are not sure you are using the words your customers use when searching, do some keyword research to be properly aligned.
Also, ensure your keywords are in the right places. Every page on your website should improve your visibility. Each page should address a specific keyword or group of keywords you are targeting.
In addition, your brand won’t show up in searches when your site is not indexed by Google. To index your site on Google, start by creating an account on Google Search Console. This allows you to direct Google to your sitemap.xml and request it to crawl and index your URLs. However, if your site is new, it may take time to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Another critical aspect of your site ranking is how optimized your website is. What is the loading time when visitors come to your site, anything more than two minutes is a turnoff for people’s attention span. Delay in loading a website often leads to visitors hopping back to the search engine results page (SERP) for an easier answer – a signal to Google that your site should not rank. This is where the term “bounce rate” comes into play when searchers hit the back button because their answer takes too long to find.
A slow-loading website usually happens when it is packed with heavy pictures and videos. Also, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly so that visitors can have a full experience of its functions and aesthetics when using a phone.
Closely related to the above point is when you are not speaking your customer’s language. Avoid using too many technical terms and industry jargon that your audience is not familiar with. Let your website content take its keyword from the everyday vocabulary of your customers. To further improve your web content, create a blogging session that meets the needs of your customers. We use this strategy at Detail and Avedia for brands we work with, in addition to building a highly optimized website and performing other marketing strategies.
Again, most brands that appear on the first page of Google search usually have an active and highly engaging social media page that helps to draw traffic to the site. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter easily rank in searches because of what is called Domain Authority. Ensure to integrate social media into your marketing plans.
Furthermore, running ads subsequently improves your ranking. Note that the first three positions on SERP are often reserved for brands that pay for it to get visibility. These are the pay-per-click (PPC) listings with a little “Ad” sticker next to them to indicate they are advertisements related to your search query. Therefore, have a budget to run Ads if you want to improve your ranking on Google search.
In conclusion, getting your brand on the first page of Google search is not easy, but it is possible if you put in the necessary work and time. Applying the above techniques will significantly improve your visibility in search engine rankings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ernest Ademola Ehigie is a Copywriter, Content Developer, Author, Brand Consultant, and Communications Manager with over 5 years in marketing communications. He has written several articles, policy documents, press releases, radio and TV adverts for businesses and organizations. He’s the author of the book, “Why You Must Lead” and currently works as a content manager for Detail and Avedia, a leading retail and media consulting firm.
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