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One of the most common questions I am asked when designing a website is “how do I get to the top of Google”. And my answer to most of them is the same “the same way you get on the front page of a newspaper”. Either by spending a lot of money, or causing a lot of trouble!

Ten years ago creating a website and getting found on Google was not hard to do, but with Google’s more recent quest for quality, authenticity, authority and usability, many of the tips that could get your thought with new Google top ten a couple of years ago, will not produce the same results today. But there are a few things that can push your ranking up, and make you easier found on the search engines, the buzzword is a SEO (search engine optimization) 

A lot of people do not realize the importance of social media, and by social media I do not just mean Facebook, you need to increase your digital footprint and to do so you need to have an active Facebook page, an active twitter account, an active blog and all of these things point back to your website, you need to direct traffic to your website, in simple terms it is called marketing. Having a website without a digital footprint is the equivalent to having pamphlets printed and leaving them on your desk. They are not going to get anyway on their own, you need to put it out there. The same applies to your website! 

Search engines are based on a couple of things, one of them being keywords and meta-tags. These are things that are done by your web designer in the background and enable the search engines to understand what is on your website. You need to do your research and see what keywords your competitors are using, there are several tools on the Internet that are free that will help you to do this. Your web designer does not understand your business, you do! It is up to you to give him the information to ensure that your website is easily and quickly found. Listing your website on free business directories also helps, because it creates back links to your website and often these free sites are ranked higher than your own site resulting in you being found there, long before the client actually sees your site appearing on Google. 

One also has to remember that when a person searches on a site like Google, Google uses not only the data that the user inputs for the search, but also uses a lot of demographic data that it has connected on the user already, and the more common the industry or the keywords are, the more hits Google will find for that particular search. For example, if I client searched for handyman and Durban they would get thousands of hits, but if they searched for handyman and the area specifically to where they lived and may be included what they wanted that handyman to do for example fencing, that would narrow the search down a lot. Your business will appear according to the keywords that are used.

There are two other common ways of marketing your website, but as with everything in life, the good things don’t come cheap. Creating Facebook campaigns and using Facebook marketing is a great way to get your website noticed and improve your rankings. The good part about this is that it is target driven so you can choose the audience that you want in relation to your business, and the same applies to Google ads. You do not have to spend a fortune on the advertisements or the campaigns, you can set a budget beforehand and let them do the rest.

Here is a really good video explaining all of the above : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L50PcDFK9es