My wife Erin loves to golf and before she met me she was playing about every weekend during the season.  I like to go a few times a year as well, but with our 2 year old we haven’t been on a course in a while.

At our current level of play birdie’s (shooting one under par) are hard to come by. :)

That’s because unless you’re playing a lot it’s hard to string together multiple good shots.  And the only way you’re going to shoot a birdie is if your drive, approach and put are all solid.

It all starts with that first shot, the drive.  On a par 3, all you really need to do is get the ball close to the hole so that you can just tap it in for the birdie.  In fact, you can be a lowsy putter and still get a birdie on a par 3 if you have a good shot off the tee.

How does this relate to ranking your website in Google?  You can think of setting up your website properly like teeing off on the golf course.  If you shank your drive (have a poorly set up website), then there’s no way you’re going to have a good hole (rank high in Google).

On the flip side, if you can hit the ball close to the hole on your drive, then it’s not going to take as much effort to get that prized birdie every golfer dreams about.  Let’s take a look at what it means to have your website set up properly.  There are 4 criteria you need to meet.



Ease of Use

This may come as a surprise, but Google actually takes into account the usability of your website.  Did you know that?

If your site is not easy to use, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot in terms of search engine optimization (SEO).  This means you need to have intuitive navigation links and make it easy for your visitors to find the information they need.  If you haven’t already, I recommend

[insert author]’s book, Don’t Make Me Think to help improve the usability of your site.


Webpages That Answer Your Prospects’ Questions

To rank high in Google, you need to have a page that provides the information your prospects are searching for.  That should be fairly obvious.  When someone searches for “invisalign dentist in New York” then Google is only interested in showing webpages that are going to provide information about invisalign dentists in New York.

Hint: Your homepage is probably not the best page for this search example.  Instead, you should create a dedicated “invisalign” page that explains all the benefits of invisalign, what makes your office so great, and anything else that would help a prospect make a buying decision.


Webpages Function In All Devices

We all know mobile internet usage is on the rise. Just look around and you’ll see everyone staring at their phones (you may even be reading this on your phone!).  In some industries mobile search is a huge opportunity now and it’s eating away at the desktop search market.  So if you don’t incorporate mobile into your digital marketing plans you’re inevitably going to see a dip in traffic and sales as more of your prospects change their online behavior.

Google understands this trend and has figured out how to determine if your website is mobile friendly.  If your site does not function properly for mobile, then you’re simply not going to rank high in Google (for mobile searches). Nobody wants to visit a site that doesn’t function properly and Google is making sure that doesn’t happen in their search results.


High Quality & Complete Content

The final criteria is great content.  I already mentioned above the importance of creating a dedicated page that matches the search phrase you want to rank for.  But I didn’t emphasize enough the importance of great content.

Again, Google’s job is to scour the internet and find the absolute best webpage that provides the information the searcher wants.  Google is not interested in ranking a page that is not well written and/or doesn’t provide all the key information.

In other words, review the copy on your key webpages and ask yourself two questions:

  1. Would a prospect be impressed with the information presented on the page?
  2. Would a prospect get all of her questions answered or would she need to go back to Google to find another page?

If you answered no to either of those questions, then you need to take some time to improve the content on your key pages.


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