Google my business, Cultivate Media Company. Go ahead; I’ll wait.

If I did my job right, it should come up as the second result. And the third, fifth, and sixth. Bonus: It’s also featured in the right sidebar with two five-star reviews.

Odds are you’ll click on one of those links. Since 75 percent of people never scroll past the first page of a Google search, and 60 percent of all organic clicks go to the top three organic search results, ranking high is key.

This visibility translates into increased success for your business. 

SEO

How do you make this happen? It’s all about Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. An excellent site to help you come up with the right keywords is Ubersuggest. Type a keyword in the search box and it’ll tell you the search volume, SEO difficulty, and how competitive the word is. 

To test it out, I typed in “Google,” which is competitive, with a SEO difficulty score of 61 (hard) and a 39 percent chance of ranking in the top 20. Specificity matters, so I modified the keyword to “Google search,” which has a SEO difficulty of 48 (medium) and a 52 percent chance of ranking in the top 20. Now we’re getting somewhere. The more specific I get, the better my chances, and this website offers options with useful information for each.

It’s important to remember that each page of your website should have its own SEO and the keywords shouldn’t compete with one another. Don’t use the keyword too much either. Keyword is also a misnomer, as it can also be a phrase, not a singular word. 

The keyword has to be strategically placed in the following areas: Title, Meta Description, URL, and Alt Tags. Content Management Systems like WordPress are user friendly when it comes to implementation, even giving you a green button when you’ve done it right. So is Squarespace, the web provider I use the most for my clients.

Other strategies to improve visibility include:

Google My Business Listing

Claim your business listing on Google before someone else does, and populate it with as much information as possible. Adding photos and reviews will attract more customers. Make sure you keep your business page up to date. 

Along with this, get your business added to local search directories – both online and in print. Does your town have a print publication that’s disseminated to all residents? Put an ad in there.

Backlinks

A backlink is when another website links to yours. Building contacts, being active, and getting your name out there will drive traffic to your site. You know what helps with this?

Social Media

Create accounts on all social media platforms, and be active on each. You can link them and even schedule posts in advance. Don’t be shy. Follow like-minded accounts, promote your blog posts, share your thoughts on your field of expertise, and engage with your followers. 

Content

None of this matters, of course, if you don’t have quality content. This includes frequent updates and incorporating different forms of media. A text-only website is boring. Add graphics, pictures, color, diagrams, even video, to appeal to your audience.

Granted, all of this takes time and effort, but it’s worth the investment. If you need help cultivating your business, you know where to find me.