Ensuring your business ranks high on a search engine results page not only boosts your business's ability to generate traffic and leads, but it also increases the degree to which your audience sees your business as authentic. Read our suggestions to get your ranking up!

Search 101
    <h3>Key benefit:<span style="font-weight: normal;">&nbsp;<i><i>High ranking of your business when people search in Google – for free!</i></i></span></h3> <p>A study by Research International-TNS showed that 97% of internet users now research online before making a significant purchase and Google is the place where that research now often begins. It’s a crucial part of the customer journey on the way to the ‘moment of truth’, or the time when they make a purchase.</p> <p>According to Visa, the first result at the top of the page gets about 30% of all the visitors who searched for a given search term. The second result gets 15% of the visitors and the third result only 10%. You can imagine how few potential customers go to the second page of results, so it pays to be near the top or you won’t be seen.</p> <p>Search algorithms use a range of signals to compile their results, and those signals are always evolving. Understanding those signals is a time-intensive pursuit and it can get complicated, so a specialist SEO partner is worth looking into if you want to get results. But if you’re keen on some digital DIY and hope to rise up the relevancy rankings, Xero suggests small businesses focus on things like:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Keywords</h3> <p>When people search they use keywords, the search engine scans the internet to find websites and content that feature those keywords and then it shows the most relevant examples. To be among those examples, you need those relevant keywords to be on your website. So choose words that describe your business but also what people might type in if they were looking for a solution that you offer.</p> <p>Use a keyword research tool and include these keywords in your copy. But don’t go overboard on the keywords or Google may punish you for trying to game the system (or, ironically, sounding like a robot). You should always write for humans, not for robots.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Title tags, heading tags and meta descriptions</h3> <p>These are the words and explanations you see on search results that tell people what the page is all about, so make sure to add this information in the backend of your website. And make sure you use descriptive text in your image titles and filenames too, as they can help search rankings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Backlinks</h3> <p>If partners, customers or media outlets include links to your website, the search engine will think your site is more credible and give it a higher ranking, so ask them to add links within relevant content. And don’t forget to link back to your website from your own social media profiles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Publishing fresh, unique content</h3> <p>Whether it’s blog posts, slideshows, or company announcements, this activity helps Google know you’re still operating – and still useful to the people searching for information.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Include video content</h3> <p>Your audience loves video, and getting a higher level of engagement will result in higher traffic to your website, thereby boosting your SEO. Here’s a <a href="https://digitalresources.nz/article/7rgYJft " target="_blank">handy guide</a> for making quality videos.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Update your details on Google’s My Business listing</h3> <p>Make sure Google has all your basic information like address, contact details, and opening hours so that it automatically comes up on searches and Maps.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Customer reviews</h3> <p>Customer reviews on your Google Business page or online marketplaces can also have a positive impact on search rankings. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to post their positive feedback.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Mobile-friendly</h3> <p>Having a website that loads well on the small screen is super important in boosting your SEO rankings. Check to see how mobile-friendly you are&nbsp;<a href="https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly" target="_blank">here</a><a></a>&nbsp;or take a look at this guide on&nbsp;<a href="http://digitalresources.nz/article/2Iae2jU" target="_blank">responsive web design</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h3>Improve page performance</h3> <p>Slow loading speeds can harm your rankings so make sure your images are optimised to load quickly or be sure to use small file formats and sizes.</p> <p>If you're not getting the results you want, consider using the paid-for advertising tools that can boost your content and target new or existing customers.</p>