Cover image for blog about high ranking websites. Image of iPhone displaying Google landing page on left. Image credit for iPhone: charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

It’s simple. Pick a random search term that no-one will use, and boom! There you are – top of the listings on Google.

Don’t believe me? Google “Katie Jo Copywriting”. See? I can write number 1 ranking websites.

Does that help generate business though? No, because very few people use the search term Katie Jo Copywriting. They’re more likely to look for “HR copywriter” or “write HR websites” so just finding a random term where you can sit at the top isn’t really the answer.

Just before you read on, it’s important to know I’m not an expert in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). They’re specialists in the technical pieces which help your pages rank and will be able to tell you all about things like meta-titles.

I am a copywriter. So, you won’t find technical help here. Instead, you’ll find useful tips to improve your writing, which in turn will help boost your rankings.

So, let’s get started.

 

Option 1 – The “you’ll rank #1” promise

You’ve got the brand, you know what you want to sell, you’ve even written the website. Now, you wait for the calls to come rolling in.

Time ticks past. Days, weeks, even months.

Tumbleweed.

Zip.

Nada.

Nothing.

No-one is buying from your website, when suddenly, you get an email. You can rank number 1 on Google! James from random company you’ve never heard of assures you he can make it happen.

Well, that’s exciting. Let’s jump on that and get those leads in…

(You probably already know where I’m going with this).

This isn’t a real option.

It’s a way of handing over your hard-earned cash to people who will get your site ranking for a few hours against a search term like “HR Consultant specialising in grievances, redundancy and mediation in Margate”.

(Incidentally if you do that, at the time of writing, they may still only be able to get you to number 5, because the first 4 listings are sponsored ads, and I’m guessing that will be in the small print somewhere).

So, don’t do it.

Save your money and explore the other options first.

Option 2 – Be specific, and genuine in your writing

Think carefully about what people are likely to search for when looking for you.

Your site will likely perform better if you use what are called long-tail keywords (or keyphrases). They use more words e.g. “HR consultant Nottingham” or “employee conflict expert in Stoke-on-Trent” but are often easier to rank for. Why? Because there’s less direct competition for them.

Getting known as the go-to HR Consultant in Nottingham is much easier than trying to hit that spot for the UK.

So, once you know what search terms you want to be known for, you can add those (and other similar phrases) into your content.

You might have a home page which is specific about the locations you cover. Maybe add a registered address which links you to the right city. Focus your blogs on conflict issues and how you resolve them. And share case studies which demonstrate how you’ve supported similar clients (and you might include their location details).

The trick is not to overdo it. Don’t just insert “HR Consultant in Nottingham” 300 times over your three-page website. Google will penalise you – it knows a kiss-ass who’s trying to buy it’s affections (or rankings) when it sees one, and it is not a fan.

 

Option 3 – Write more to rank higher

Get recognised as an expert.

Create content your potential clients want to read.

Blogs that help them understand what this HR stuff is all about, and why they should care about it. Checklists of paperwork they need for a new employee. Updates on legislation and what it means for their teams.

You might also want a free managers guide on how to deal with a grievance, which encourages people to head over to your website, look around, and sign up for “the thing”.

The more you get people to your website looking for topics that are relevant to what you’re selling, the more credit Google will give you for it.

Share your areas of expertise so people come to you for your areas of expertise. Simple, right?

 

Option 4 – Improve your website’s SEO

As I said at the start, I’m not an SEO expert, but taking some basic SEO steps will help, so learn how to:

  • Use headings effectively so they support the search terms you want to be listed for.
  • Edit page summaries (snippet) for Google so people can see why your page is so relevant.
  • Amend other details which tweak how your web page is listed (e.g. meta descriptions, keywords) so it’s more likely to get found.

(And if all of this option is gobbledygook, scroll to the links at the bottom for a couple of SEO contacts you might find useful).

 

The magic Google-ranking wand

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be one.

Like most things in life, consistency and determination are your best friends here.

Google algorithms change how they rank things. Someone with a paid ad can always trump your top spot. The key is to create content your clients actually care about – blogs they want to read, services they want to buy. That’s really the answer to a high-ranking website. Because the more visitors you get, and the more readers who consume what you’re sharing, the better your visibility (online and offline).

 

That said, if writing your own content feels too much like hard work, there is one shortcut – Katie Jo Copywriting offers one-off and retained packages for blogs and web pages. Just send me a message to find out more.

 

People who know waaay more about SEO than I do (in case you want one)

 

In alphabetical order:

Alice Rowan – Alice Rowan Content Marketing

Holly Christie – This Demanding Life

Iain Bell – LV Media

Michael Nagles – Kickstart SEO

Nikki Pilkington – Nikki Pilkington