How to Improve Google Search Rankings in 10 Simple Steps

How to Improve Google Search Rankings in 10 Simple Steps

Your Google search ranking influences your audience’s awareness of you and the amount of engagement you receive. The better your ranking, the more likely you are to be seen by customers.

However, in today’s age of internet advertising, many businesses choose paid ads over organic search. Money, on the other hand, will not increase your website’s search engine ranking.

With all of that being said, today we are going to highlight some of the most effective ways to improve your rankings in Google. Through the list of the ten suggestions listed below, along with a combined work effort, marketing strategy, and commitment, anyone can see an improvement in their Google search rankings in a short period of time.

Keyword research is key!

To determine the ideal goals for each page on your website, use search data and research your competition. Start with the pages that have the most information and are beneficial to your customers, depending on the size of your website and the resources you have available. Your top one or two product/service pages, for example, or a well-written blog article that gives specific information your consumers are seeking, are both excellent examples.

Write copy that people want to read

You know more about your field than anybody else. Create content that is useful and includes keywords and synonyms that will help Google and other search engines find your website. Include keywords throughout the page to boost your search engine ranking, but don’t go crazy with keyword stuffing. Make sure your content is something that people want to read. To develop clear and appealing messaging, we recommend using the Storybrand method.

Give your page a title to assist search engines and people 

The title tag, also known as the meta title, is used by search engines to determine what the page is about. Because your title tag is also the blue link that everyone sees on a search engine results page, be sure it contains the keywords people are looking for. This title is distinct from the bold heading that everyone sees on your page, usually the heading tag. As a result, you can create one title for the search engine results page (SERP) and another heading for your webpage if it helps you obtain more clicks.

Use HTML header tags to create pages

The most significant heading on the page is the first heading or H1 tag. The H1 tag is usually the first thing a visitor sees when they arrive at your website. Header tags are frequently used for style. However, they should be utilized to organize information instead. 

One of the most effective strategies to increase search engine ranking is to employ subheadings. Heading tags have more weight in search engines than ordinary content, making it easier for users to browse the page. If you’re having difficulties updating your heading tags, you’ll almost certainly need to hire a developer to make the necessary changes.

Give your URLs purpose 

Don’t be one of those people that ignore the URL of the page! Keyword research should also be applied to URLs. The name of the page will show in the URL if you use a CMS like WordPress. Check the URL and what you named the page before launching it.

Link to additional pages inside your site

You’ll frequently find yourself referring to other things that you’ve already written when creating content for the page. Selecting a sentence and adding a hyperlink to the blog post or page you’re addressing is internal linking. 

These links will encourage some readers to go through and read your other pages, but search engines will also crawl them. Anchor text refers to the terms that you hyperlink. This provides context to the user and search engines about the website you link to. Therefore it’s critical to utilize relevant keywords in the hyperlink.

All of your photos should have ALT tags

Images visually support the message on the page. Users and search engines alike adore them. As a result, every one of your photos should include descriptive (keyword-rich) ALT tags. Alt tags also make your site more accessible, which might help you avoid a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Page speed and mobile-friendly design

It’s no secret that mobile visitors are increasingly visiting your website. Check to see if your website is mobile-friendly. Optimize graphics, code, and content to ensure that each page loads quickly. Slow websites will lose visitors, and search engines will notice. This is why having a quick website can help you rank higher in search engines. When it comes to making your website rank, you need great content, but website design and development are crucial.

Avoid duplicate content

Search engines favor new and unique information. Find any duplicate content and change it significantly or delete it entirely. Saying the same thing over and over has no benefit, and Google will punish you for it. You’ll most likely have duplicate content in one of two circumstances.

You’ve written a lot of content over the years and sometimes forget that you or someone else has already written a page or blog post on the same subject. This isn’t a total duplicate, but if the information overlaps considerably, you should combine it into a single powerful page.

Your website contains numerous versions of the same page that you aren’t even aware of. You can also use a site checker tool to help in the process of finding and removing any duplicate content from your site as well.

This may be the result of someone duplicating a page by accident, or you’ve made numerous copies for different languages or tracking. You can use a canonical URL to tell search engines that you copied a page on purpose. If you need canonical URLs, the Yoast plugin for WordPress makes it simple to do so. 

Make an XML Sitemap and keep an eye on crawl errors

Sitemap submission

Search engines will index your pages faster if you provide a sitemap. After you’ve validated your site with Google Search Console in the first step, you may submit your sitemap to Google. You may also submit a sitemap using Bing’s webmaster tools dashboard.

Crawl warnings and errors

Search engines also crawl Links on pages. To give your site the best chance of ranking high, keep an eye on any mistakes or broken links and correct them or establish redirects. On Google, you can discover free broken link checkers.

Google Rankings Improvement Summary

Search engine optimization isn’t just a trend that will fade away shortly. It’s something your website should focus on right now, as well as in the future. If you’re just getting started with SEO, you’re already behind, but it’s not too late to apply the ten steps outlined above.

5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates]

5 Steps to Create an Outstanding Marketing Plan [Free Templates]

Do you take a good, hard look at your team’s marketing strategy every year?

You should. An annual marketing plan helps you set your marketing on the right course to make your company’s business goals a reality. Think of it as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth.

Without one, things can get messy — and it’s nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you’ll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you’ll encounter over the course of a year if you don’t have a plan.

Keep in mind there are variations to the marketing plan you need, depending on your industry and the goals of your marketing team. To make your plan’s creation easier, we’ve put together a list of what to include in your plan and a few different planning templates where you can easily fill in the blanks.

Download Now: Free Marketing Plan Template

To start, let’s dive into how to create a marketing plan and then take a look at what a high-level marketing plan has inside.

In this article, we’re going to discuss: 

1. Conduct a situation analysis.

Before you can get started with your marketing plan, you have to know your current situation.

What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats? Conduct a basic SWOT analysis is the first step to creating a marketing plan.

Additionally, you should also have an understanding of the current market. How do you compare to your competitors? Doing a competitor analysis should help you with this step.

Think about how other products are better than yours. Plus, consider the gaps in a competitor’s approach. What are they missing? What can you offer that’ll give you a competitive advantage? Think about what sets you apart.

Answering questions like this should help you figure out what your customer wants, which brings us to step number two.

2. Define your target audience.

Once you have a better understanding of the market and your company’s situation, make sure you know who your target audience is.

If your company already has buyer personas, this step might just mean you have to refine your current personas.

If you don’t have a buyer persona, you should create one. To do this, you might have to conduct market research.

Your buyer persona should include demographic information such as age, gender, and income. However, it will also include psychographic information such as pain points and goals. What drives your audience? What problems do they have that your product or service can fix?

Once you have this information written out, it’ll help you define what your goals are, which brings us to step number three.

3. Write SMART goals.

My mother always used to tell me, “You can’t go somewhere unless you have a road map.” Now, for me, someone who’s geographically challenged, that was literal advice.

However, it can also be applied metaphorically to marketing. You can’t improve your ROI unless you know what your goals are.

After you’ve figured out your current situation and know your audience, you can begin to define your SMART goals.

SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This means that all your goals should be specific and include a time frame for which you want to complete it.

For example, your goal could be to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months. Depending on your overall marketing goals, this should be relevant and attainable. Additionally, this goal is specific, measurable, and time-bound.

Before you start any tactic, you should write out your goals. Then, you can begin to analyze which tactics will help you achieve that goal. That brings us to step number four.

4. Analyze your tactics.

At this point, you’ve written down your goals based on your target audience and current situation.

Now, you have to figure out what tactics will help you achieve your goals. Plus, what are the right channels and action items to focus on.

For example, if your goal is to increase your Instagram followers by 15% in three months, your tactics might include hosting a giveaway, responding to every comment, and posting three times on Instagram per week.

Once you know your goals, brainstorming several tactics to achieve those goals should be easy.

However, while you’re writing your tactics, you have to keep your budget in mind, which brings us to step number five.

5. Set your budget.

Before you can begin implementing any of your ideas that you’ve come up with in the steps above, you have to know your budget.

For example, your tactics might include social media advertising. However, if you don’t have the budget for that, then you might not be able to achieve your goals.

While you’re writing out your tactics, be sure to note an estimated budget. You can include the time it’ll take to complete each tactic in addition to the assets you might need to purchase, such as ad space.

Now that you know how to create your marketing plan, let’s dive into the elements that a high-level marketing plan should include.

Marketing Plan Outline

Marketing plans can get quite granular to reflect the industry you’re in, whether you’re selling to consumers (B2C) or other businesses (B2B), and how big your digital presence is. Nonetheless, here are the elements every effective marketing plan includes:

1. Business Summary

In a marketing plan, your Business Summary is exactly what it sounds like: a summary of the organization. This includes:

  • The company name
  • Where it’s headquartered
  • Its mission statement

2. Business Initiatives

The Business Initiatives element of a marketing plan helps you segment the various goals of your department. Be careful not to include big-picture company initiatives, which you’d normally find in a business plan. This section of your marketing plan should outline the projects that are specific to marketing. You’ll also describe the goals of those projects and how those goals will be measured.

3. Customer Analysis

Here’s where you’ll conduct some basic market research. If your company has already done a thorough market research study, this section of your marketing plan might be easier to put together.

Ultimately, this element of your marketing plan will help you describe the industry you’re selling to and your buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional description of your ideal customer, focusing on traits like:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Title
  • Goals
  • Personal challenges
  • Pains
  • Triggering events

4. Competitor Analysis

Your buyer persona has choices when it comes to solving their problems, choices in both the types of solutions they consider and the providers that can administer those solutions. In your market research, you should consider your competition, what they do well, and where the gaps are that you can potentially fill. This can include:

  • Positioning
  • Market share
  • Offerings
  • Pricing

5. SWOT Analysis

Your marketing plan’s Business Summary also includes a SWOT analysis, which stands for the business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Be patient with your business’s SWOT analysis; you’ll write most of it based on your market research from the sections above and your strategy below.

6. Market Strategy

Your Market Strategy uses the information included in the above sections to describe how your company should approach the market. What will your business offer your buyer personas that your competitors aren’t already offering them?

In a full-length marketing plan, this section can contain the “seven Ps of marketing”:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • People
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence

(You’ll learn more about these seven sub-components inside our free marketing plan template, which you can download below.)

7. Budget

Don’t mistake the Budget element of your marketing plan with your product’s price or other company financials. Your budget describes how much money the business has allotted the marketing team to pursue the initiatives and goals outlined in the elements above.

Depending on how many individual expenses you have, you should consider itemizing this budget by what specifically you’ll spend your budget on. Example marketing expenses include:

  • Outsourcing costs to a marketing agency and/or other providers
  • Marketing software
  • Paid promotions
  • Events (those you’ll host and/or attend)

8. Marketing Channels

Lastly, your marketing plan will include a list of your marketing channels. While your company might promote the product itself using certain ad space, your marketing channels are where you’ll publish the content that educates your buyers, generates leads, and spreads awareness of your brand.

If you publish (or intend to publish) on social media, this is the place to talk about it. Use the Marketing Channels section of your marketing plan to lay out which social networks you want to launch a business page on, what you’ll use this social network for, and how you’ll measure your success on this network. Part of this section’s purpose is to prove to your superiors, both inside and outside the marketing department, that these channels will serve to grow the business.

Businesses with extensive social media presences might even consider elaborating on their social strategy in a separate social media plan template.

9. Financial Projections

Knowing the budget and doing analysis on the marketing channels you want to invest in, you should be able to come up with a plan for how much budget to invest in which tactics based on expected ROI. From there, you’ll be able to come up with financial projections for the year. These won’t be 100% accurate but can help with executive planning.

Free Marketing Plan Template [Word]

Now that you know what to include in your marketing plan, it’s time to grab your marketing plan template and see how best to organize the six elements explained above. The following marketing plan template opens directly in Microsoft Word, so you can edit each section as you see fit:

Cover page of free marketing plan template

Download your marketing plan template here.

Social Media Marketing Plan Templates

As marketing departments grow, so will their presence on social media. And as as their social media presence grows, so will their need to measure, plan, and re-plan what types of content they want to publish across each network.

If you’re looking for a way to deepen your social media marketing strategy — even further than the marketing plan template above — the following collection of social media marketing plan templates is perfect for you:

Download 10 social media reporting templates here.

In the above collection of marketing plan templates, you’ll get to fill in the following contents (and more) to suit your company:

  • Annual social media budget tracking
  • Weekly social media themes
  • Required social media image dimension key
  • Pie chart on social media traffic sorted by platform
  • Social media post calendar and publish time

Below, let’s review the social media reporting templates, and what you’ll find in each one.

1. Social Media Questions

Social media publishing analysis and questions.

This template lists out questions to help you decide which social media management platform you should use.

Once you know what social media tactics you’re going to implement in your marketing plan, it’s time to figure out what channels are right for you. This template will help you do that.

2. Hashtag Holidays

Social media hashtag holidays.

If you’re going to lean in to social media in your marketing plan, you can use hashtag holidays to generate ideas.

These holidays are a great way to fill out your social media publishing schedule. With this template, you’ll get a list of all the hashtag holidays for the year.

3. Facebook Live Schedule

Facebook live schedule template.

If Facebook live is one of the marketing tactics in your plan, this template will help you design an editorial calendar. With this template, you can organize what Facebook live’s you want to do and when.

4. Instagram Post Log

Instagram post log for social media publishing management.

Are you going to begin using Instagram regularly? Do you want to increase your following? With this template, you can organize your Instagram posts, so everyone on your team knows what posts are going live and when.

Additionally, you can organize your assets and campaigns on this doc.

5. Paid Social Media Template

paid social media template for annual budgeting

With this template, you can organize your annual and monthly budget for your paid social media calendar.

6. Social Media Audit

Social media audit template.

Conducting a social media audit? You can use this template to help you gather the right analytics.

7. Social Media Editorial Calendar

Social media editorial calendar template.

With this template, you can organize your social media editorial calendar. For example, you can include social media posts for each platform, so your team knows what’s going live on any given day.

8. Social Media Image Sizes

Social media image size template.

With this template, your team can have the latest social media image sizes handy. This template includes image sizes for all major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

9. Social Media Marketing Proposal

Social media marketing proposal template.

With this template, you can create an entire social media marketing proposal. This will outline the social media goals, scope of the work, and the tactics that you plan to implement.

10. Social Media Reporting Template

Social media report template.

With this template, you’ll gain access to a slidedeck that includes templates for social media reporting. If you plan to implement social media in your marketing plan, these reporting templates can help you track your progress.

Simple Marketing Plan Template

Of course, this type of planning takes a lot of time and effort. So if you’re strapped for time before the holidays, give our new Marketing Plan Generator a try. This tool simplifies yearly planning and lays your strategies, initiatives, and goals out in a simple template so you can identify what’s most important for the coming year.

Try our free Marketing Plan Generator here.

Once you’ve filled in your information, you’ll come away with a plan that helps you:

  • Outline your annual marketing strategy
  • Identify your most important annual initiatives
  • Nix the projects that won’t help you hit your goals
  • Track the right metrics throughout the year
  • Align your team through a common mission

Pro Tip: The best way to set up your marketing plan for the year is to start with quick wins first, that way you can ramp up fast and set yourself (and your team) up to hit more challenging goals and take on more sophisticated projects by Q4. So, what do you say? Are you ready to give it a spin?

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Marketing Plan Template

Becoming a Car Salesman: 6 Steps to Get You On the Path

Becoming a Car Salesman: 6 Steps to Get You On the Path

Best car rental. Handsome young car rental manager giving a copy space documents on clipboard to smiling client sitting a new luxury car

Did you know that over 17 million vehicles got sold in the United States each year? Doesn’t that sound like selling cars is a lucrative business venture?

Selling cars isn’t as easy as it looks. If you want to become a salesman, you must have a certain set of skills to ensure you get the most out of the job. But without prior experience, you won’t know where to start. 

Don’t feel hopeless yet. 

With this guide, you’ll learn how to become a car salesman. That way, you’ll get started with your dream career. Read on and find out more. 

1. Prepare Your Education and Experience

Some dealerships are kind enough to hire applicants even without prior experience. But most will prefer job applicants with some background in sales. That’s why you must start preparing for your job in high school. 

To get a basic understanding of finance, you must take the necessary courses. This includes both economics and business since they serve as solid foundations for your knowledge. Be diligent and strive to get the best grades whenever you can. 

As for your part-time job, it need not be in a car dealership. Any job involving customer sales and service is great. It’s because it allows you to sharpen your communication skills and become more comfortable interacting with people within a professional environment.

2. Gain More Sales Experience and Training

Did you fail to get a car sales position as soon as you graduated high school? Worry not since you can use that time to gain more experience by working in other retail sales jobs. Car dealers are fond of salespeople with effective communication skills and talents for customer service. 

With this, if you get more experience in face-to-face customer interactions, your likelihood of getting hired increases. While you gain hands-on experience, consider getting more classes in the following: 

  • Sales 
  • Marketing 
  • Psychology 
  • Finance 
  • Public speaking 

To get an even more reputable education, take courses from either the National Auto Academy or the Automotive Training Academy.

3. Get Hired by a Reputable Car Dealership

No matter what your prior experience is, the majority of the 16,600 franchised light-vehicle dealers in the United States have training programs. As a new employee, you must finish this before you can work full-time. This course will often cover most of the dealership’s aspects, such as: 

  • Business culture 
  • General operating systems and procedures 
  • Customer service and sales strategies 
  • Negotiation techniques 
  • Car model features 

After the training, you’ll work closely with a senior salesperson for a certain duration. This ensures you learn more of the details and various nuances of your employment.  

Also, lots of dealerships will sponsor various staff training and workshops. They use various professional organizations to help, like the above-mentioned National Auto Academy or Automotive Training Academy. Some dealerships prefer having formal apprenticeship programs from time to time. 

4. Get a License (When Required)

Some states will require car salesmen to get a license before they start practicing. For example, if you live in California, you must pay a fee and then apply to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). For Colorado residents, you must take and pass an exam before you remit a bond, finish an application, and pay the fees.

5. Continue Your Education

For you to stay competitive as a salesman, you must update yourself with new knowledge regularly. The good news is that the National Automobile Association (NADA) can sponsor you with various training types. Their academy has six various programs catering to careers related to dealerships.

Some of these include the following:

  • Department Management
  • Consumer Sales
  • Fleet Sales
  • Operations

In the NADA General Dealership Management Academy, you become a prepared professional for general management roles. It’s because it offers various classes in decision-making and financial analysis.

If you want to take it to the next level, go for the NADA Special Ops program. This offers deeper, specialized training for managers. With this, you’ll know more about sales, service, and car parts.

6. Get Post-Secondary Education

After you gain a few years’ worth of experience, you might finally get the opportunity to advance and get a senior role. To accelerate this process, you must have the right level of education.

Take note, some dealerships will promote you to management positions or their equivalent trainee positions as long as you have the experience. But to become the most desirable candidate, you must have an associate or bachelor’s degree in either marketing or business administration.

This means you must join programs with courses in advertising, economics, and statistics. You might even study automotive eCommerce. Regardless, you’ll gain a more competitive advantage if you invest both time and effort into furthering your knowledge.

How to Be a Good Car Salesman

Now you know the steps toward becoming a car salesperson. But to stay employed in your dream career, you must learn the best practices. Here are some:

1. Remember Names

You’ll stand to earn more if you remember all your new prospects’ names. To help with this, you must use their name immediately after you learn it. After that, repeat it silently several times and use it occasionally as you talk.

After they leave, write the name somewhere accessible. Focus on a particular facial feature and connect their name with it. This allows you to remember it easier.

2. Ask the Right Questions

After asking their name, you must ask questions that give context about your buyer’s desires, budget, and personality. Depending on their answer, you might gain opportunities to cross-sell or upsell. For example, if your customer prioritizes safety, consider telling them about your four-wheel drive package and other safety features.

3. Build Rapport

If you notice disinterest, stop selling and focus on building rapport. If you continue pushing, you might alienate them. This will likely discourage them from buying a car.

Start Selling Cars Today!

These are some of the things you must do to become a good car salesman. Use these to ensure that your career stays on track for years to come.

But why stop here when there’s more to learn about selling cars? To pick up even more tips and tricks, why not go over more of our marketing guides today?