Google’s core search algorithm has always strived to offer the most relevant search results using its unique page rank formula. Even those who rarely use the internet are familiar with Google and the term ‘to Google something’ is often used interchangeably with ‘to look for something online.’ However, webmasters need to stay on their toes because of Google’s habit of regularly changing its algorithm, much to the frustration of businesses who were keen to remain on top. Google’s main reason for doing this was because of unscrupulous webmasters who would build content farms and link farms, use low-quality machine-spun articles and auto-generate their links to get their dubious content ranking highly on Google.

To counter this, Google introduced various algorithm adjustments such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird. Google was forced to do this or lose respect and relevancy. The semantic search was improved while scammers and spoofs were mostly weeded out. As a result, though, many legitimate website owners no longer know how to conquer Google’s search results and are either looking into online marketing packages for business or trying to improve their own SEO.

Something that greatly appeals to Google is the age of your site plus its content. A new site is going to have to do more to rank than an older, established one with plenty of relevant content. Even a top online marketing consultant will have to work much harder to rank a brand-new site which doesn’t yet have a lot of content. Google also likes to see quality links from across the web coming into your site and also what kind of content you offer. The phrase ‘content is king’ applied more pre-algorithm tweaks than today, but it’s still important to offer good quality, unique content.

Even if your website is large, has plenty of quality inbound links and has been ranking well on Google for years, you will still need to keep it fresh and stay on Google’s good side. Every day there are more websites springing up, eager to take your place on Google’s top pages. And if your site is new or has sparse content or few inbound links, you have the choice of hiring a good online marketing consultant, considering the best online marketing packages for business, and/or taking your own measures to improve your website’s performance by first attending a good SEO marketing workshop. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to get your site to the top and keep it there.

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1) Stay Up-to-Date and Relevant

There are many ways to keep your website fresh. Include videos, including live streaming and recorded information. If you sell scarves, what about a video showing 7 different ways to wear one? If you sell ice cream makers, how about a free e-book with 30 ice cream machine recipes? Feature real reviews and testimonials on your site as well as reviews on Google and Facebook. Every positive review counts. Issue press releases. Regardless of what business you are in, there will be something newsworthy to say. Launch a product or do a study. If you’re not a writer yourself then hire a good one. Even if this costs you in the short term, it is going to make money in the long term. It will take you a while to make videos or create a free e-book. It will take some time to compile an impressive number of reviews and testimonials, and also to write new relevant articles. Don’t take any shortcuts because all these steps are essential. Don’t use copied or low-quality articles or consider using fake reviews.

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2) Get Noticed by Potential Customers

Complete Google My Business listing to appear on Google Maps. Ensure you’re listed in every geographical and topical directory which applies to your industry and Hong Kong. If you serve a smaller area, ensure you’re listed there. Check out Hong Kong Free Press, TimeOut Hong Kong, Coconuts Hong Kong, and so on. Another way of ensuring potential customers find you and have a positive experience is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. More people browse the internet on phones and tablets than ever before. Mobile searches are outpacing desktop searches and Google is strongly focused on mobile. A mobile-first design is a great idea because if your site doesn’t look good on mobile you are going to frustrate and lose customers within mere seconds.

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3) Quality over Quantity – Always!

Quality always trumps quantity, as any online marketing consultant worth their salt would say. It is better to ensure you are offering good quality content than pushing out a certain amount of words or articles per day. Google cares more about good quality than vast content which is largely irrelevant or repetitive. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, article spinners and link-generating software are always a waste of time. Google can see through inferior content and your website will end up sinking through the ranks. Online marketing packages for business will always emphasise the quality of what you are putting out there. If it doesn’t make the grade, don’t use it.

4) The Importance of Keywords

Striking a happy balance is key here. Neither keyword-stuffing nor omitting keywords is the strategy to employ for the best results. Online marketing packages focus largely on ensuring the right balance of keywords which should look and sound natural within your articles. Google uses an algorithm to check the frequency and relevance of your keywords. Your content should sound natural rather than forced. It’s a good idea to use LSI keywords so Google can determine what your website is about. For example, if someone searches for apple, they might be searching for information about the fruit or about the company. Using a range of keyword terms helps Google decipher what exactly your site is about, so include secondary keyword terms and similar keywords to assist with this process.

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5) It’s True – Size Matters

Any online marketing consultant will tell you that thin content is a bad idea. A standalone homepage with two or three other pages isn’t going to cut it as a good website these days. Some websites deliver unique 1000-word plus articles on a regular basis while others barely update their websites at all. Guess who is going to rank better on Google. Rambling content is not going to impress the search engines either. Your articles should be clear, concise and unique. Even the best writer isn’t going to get you on Page One of Google without knowing something about SEO writing, so if you’re serious about conquering Google’s search results, ensure you use the best online marketing packages and/or ensure your content is sizeable, relevant, unique, regularly updated and clearly better than what the competition is putting out there.

 

By Victoria Haneveer, an experienced freelance writer specializing in food and drink, travel writing, fiction and SEO. Find out more here.

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