How to get your new business ranking on Google. Even if you don’t have a website yet.

  

Following this step by step guide will show you exactly how to give your new business the best possible chance to rank on Google. Best of all it’s totally beginner friendly!


Like many others, you might have found yourself out of work and looking to go out on your own. Or, like a lot of people, you might have used these past few months as the boost you needed to get your dreams off the ground and become your own boss. Either way, it would probably be useful to know where to start when it comes to promoting yourself on the internet. That’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do in this article. I’m going to show you the step by step process you can use today that will give your business the best possible chance of ranking on Google. Even if you don’t have a website yet.

Everyone uses Google to search for things, right? So if you want people to find you, this is where you need to look. Now, it’s no secret that navigating Google’s algorithms is a complicated business, but there are things you can do really easily and quickly that will certainly point you in the right direction.

Follow these steps and you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance. Who knows, you might even come out on top! Okay, let’s not beat around the bush here: it would be amazing if you had a website, but fear not, there are things you can do without one.

No website? No problem!

  1. Sign up for Google my business here. This is what will get you showing up on the local map pack.
google local map pack

You need to fill out as much of the business information as you possibly can. Google will need to verify that you are actually operating from the address you put on. It will do this by sending you a postcard in the post with a verification code.

  1. Set up a Facebook business page to give yourself a social media presence. Ask all your friends and family to ‘like’ and ‘share’ the page to get your name out there. Make sure the content on this page represents exactly what you want people to know and think about your business and you as a professional.
  1. Get yourself some reviews from people who have seen your work or used your services previously. Get them to post these on your new Google my business listing and your Facebook page.
  1. Post regularly on your social media page(s) with images and statements that will catch your audience’s attention and give them useful information, like top tips. Are you running an offer? This might be the thing that draws people to your page.

Following these four steps will give you the very best chance of showing up in a Google search without even having a website.

This nail studio doesn’t have a website yet their Google my business profile and both of their social media pages have come top in a wide Google search. If they hadn’t have completed these, they would not appear in any search.

    facebook twitter google

    So what are you waiting for?

    Ok, so what to do if you DO have a website (or are planning on having one very soon)…

    Let’s assume you have done all the above. Because all that stuff will help your website too. Then the first thing for you to do would be to decide what platform to use for your site. Watch the video below, which sums up the pros and cons of the three main platforms very nicely. 

    I would recommend WordPress, without doubt, but it’s your choice. Depending on what you have chosen will determine how easy/difficult the following steps will be to implement. But following these steps will give your website the best possible chance of ranking.

    1.  Figure out exactly what you should be ranking for. This is not as obvious as it sounds and later on you’ll need some help. Fortunately when you get to that stage there are tools you can use to figure this out. I use SEMrush, but more on that later. You should start by trying to rank for each service or product you provide and the area you serve. So let’s say you’re a solicitor in Bradford, you’ll obviously want to rank for ‘solicitors Bradford’. But that’s quite general so you need to narrow it down. Google prefers specific narrow content, to general content. So if you’re a family solicitor, you’ll probably want to rank for ‘family solicitor Bradford’ and terms like ‘divorce Bradford’. Let’s say you also write wills, you will probably want to rank for ‘will writing Bradford’ etc. Now you have a list of search terms and it looks something like this:
      [Family solicitor Bradford]
      [Divorce Bradford]
      [Will writing Bradford]
    1. Create pages for each of your main services. Now exactly how you do this depends on if you already have a website or are building one from scratch and what platform you chose. If you already have a website you should rename your pages, add 301 redirects to the new URLs and add canonical links so Google knows which version of the page to rank. Either way your URLs should be an exact match to your main search term for the service that page represents:
      i.e. www.yourdomain.co.uk/family-solicitor-bradford
      And your page titles should follow this format:
      [your top exact match keyword]|[your business name]|[your location]
      i.e. Family Solicitors | Reid & Co | Bradford

      //If at this point you’re thinking, this is going to mess up my URL/site structure and I’m already ranking for some keywords. This is making me a little nervous. You might want to consider professional help. A professional SEO agency should be able to perform these changes with little to no impact on your rankings.// 

      If starting from scratch, you should now have a website with some blank pages for each of your products and services.

    1. Create/set your homepage. The main thing you want your homepage to do is rank on Google when someone searches your brand. Let your product/service pages handle the rest. The last thing you want is your homepage competing against your product pages for the same search terms. This is called “cannibalisation” and it’s bad for your rankings. So you need to make it all about your brand on your homepage. Your page title should be:
      [your business name]|[your tagline (optional)]|[your location]
      i.e. Reed & Co | Protecting your future | Bradford
    1. Create any other pages you need. The only other pages you’re likely to need are an ‘About Us’ page and probably a ‘Contact Us’ page. There is SEO value in a strong About Us page, as that’s where you get chance to talk about your qualifications/accreditations. Google likes to rank pages written by authorities on the subject matter, higher than ones that aren’t. There’s evidence to suggest Google looks at About Us pages to find out just how much of an authority you are.
    1. Use a simple navigation bar. The last thing you want to consider before starting to write, or enter your content for each page, is your site navigation. And for a small site it’s quite simple, everything should go in the primary navigation and your navigation links should be the same as the page URLs. If you have too many services and it won’t fit across the screen, use drop down menus for your services. It’s really important for a small website to have every page in the main navigation. Google looks here for the most important pages/posts on your website. We’ll discuss more later on other internal linking techniques you can use to help guide Google to your most important pages. Usually your product/services pages.

    So you should now be at the stage where you have all your web pages and navigation setup and you are ready to start entering or writing your content.

     

    1. Write and add your content to your pages. This step is pretty straight forward, but you DO need to think about the sub headings you will use later. First though, you just need to get your content down on each page. This can be tough if it means writing it from scratch but it’s got to be done. The most important pages are your product/services pages so focus your best work into these. These are known as your ‘landing’ pages. These are the pages you hope a new customer will land on when they search for what you do. Essentially, your sales pages.
    2. Set relevant H tags. Got all your content down? Great, let’s sort your headings out. Google uses headings to try and figure out if your page content is relevant to a searcher’s search. They are simply subheadings to your page’s main title. Since page titles aren’t always visible by default on your page (some WordPress themes do this, others don’t), your first heading, H1, should be your exact match keyword (phrase) for that page, e.g. Family Solicitor Bradford. If you’re using a WordPress theme that displays the page title by default you don’t need to worry about this step.
    3. Setup up your lower headings, H2, H3, H4 etc… Don’t try to over-optimise here. It’s nice to get a few keywords in but the priority is to breakup your text with meaningful subheadings that make your page easier to read. Keywords will come naturally, write for your reader.
    4. Use images with relevant alt tags! Try and have at least one unique image per page. Two would be great, but it’s hard so if you’re struggling one is fine. Make sure the file name of the image*, and its alt text are the exact match keyword (phrase) for that page. Google looks at alt tags so it’s another legitimate place to get your exact match keyword on your page, great for SEO.*One word of warning here. Because images have their own URLs you can’t have an image with the same URL as a page or post. So name the image something like, [keyword] image. Large websites would need an image naming convention for best practice but for small websites that’s not needed.
    5. Add some external links. Your best bet is to find areas in your content where you have quoted a fact from an authority e.g. Google have included page load speed to help determine SERP position since 2010 so it’s a really important factor for consideration from a SEO standpoint. I have included a link in that last sentence to Google’s blog that states how page load became a ranking factor and the blog is dated 2010. So I’m backing up what I’m saying and adding authority to my page. Google rewards this with better rankings.
    6. Write unique meta descriptions for each page. Meta descriptions are vital and should be unique for every page.
    meta description done right

    This is your meta description. It indirectly affects your ranking positions by being a major factor in your click through rate (CTR). Think about it, this is your chance to say something to the searcher to persuade them to visit your site. Think about what a searcher might be thinking when they search. One top tip here is to include the search term. Last thing here is that there is a soft character limit of about 155 so try and stay below that. If you go over, Google won’t display what you have written and may just make one up for you. You want to try and avoid this as is usually doesn’t do a very good job.

      meta description done wrong

      This is what can happen if you get it wrong, or don’t do it at all. Google will just take some text from your page and use whatever it can find. You really want to avoid this.

      1. Tweek your footer. The last thing to think about is your footer. You’ll need to make a global footer and have it display on each page. It should include your address, telephone number, email, your social links and links to your services’ pages. Anything else is a bonus. I’d avoid putting Google maps in the footer for page load speed reasons, but that depends on your business type. It might be a good idea if you’re a hairdresser for example. Have a look at our footer below.

      I hope you found this guide useful. Once you have been through the steps you should request a free SEO check here.