How do I get to the top of Google search results ?

9 February, 2016

Architects ask me if there are any tricks to make sure their website comes out top in Google search. To which my short answer is, not really.

However, you should start with Google’s own rules for ranking which are about being genuinely popular rather than – as in the old days – employing a SEO specialist who understands the way Google’s algorithms work.

This means you are in charge but it also means more work because you need to create regular content so that Google sees your website is active.

First and most importantly your content needs to be relevant to your target audience. If it’s not, it won’t get shared around on social media and no one will find it.

Second, your content needs to be optimised. Again a lot of exotic mist swirls around this word, but it’s quite simple. Just think of it like writing a catchy email subject line to make sure the recipient reads it.

If you use WordPress as your content management system, you should have a Yoast plugin that optimises your SEO and also acts as a guide on what to do, of which the most important are your key words.

This is what you should see if your content is optimised properly.

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.01.19

For example if you make your key word “ London architect” you will be drowned out by the competition. But if you write “Camden social housing architect” then it’ll do much better – but don’t get carried away. Four words are about the maximum – remember a larger engagement with fewer keywords is far more effective than the reverse.

You should also make sure the URLs for your website pages are easy to understand.

For example a blog post of mine is : http://archiboo.com/dear/weve-just-won-a-competition-and-the-client-has-agreed-to-a-press-release-do-you-have-any-advice/ – which means a reader and Google can quickly understand the subject area.

All architects have an endless supply of great images and while Google still has a tough time understanding if they’re relevant, they generally make a page more engaging which Google will note and will therefore increase your page ranking.

And because 50% of all search now starts on a mobile device and visual content is easier to digest than a long steam of content images, along with video, is now the most popular form of content on social media and social media is one of the most important metrics with Google.

Don’t forget to give the image file a description – that’s the box that says ‘alt tags” in WordPress.

Finally, Google now dishes out penalties for any bad practice it sees and elevates sites it deems easy to use across laptop, tablet and mobile phone. Basically, this means if your website hasn’t been optimised for mobile, you’re in trouble, which is why it has been dubbed “mobilegeddon”.

Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s Technology correspondent, wrote a blog about the mayhem this caused businesses that hadn’t upgraded their websites and watched as traffic, then sales, disappeared.

 Each time I come across an architect’s website that I haven’t seen before, I check it on my ‘phone and the results are revealing. I’d say about 35% are mobile friendly leaving the rest very vulnerable to tumbling down the rankings.

Ben Storey will be running an archiboo social media workshop and how it can help your SEO. If you are interested in finding out more please email us.