Include plenty of pages and helpful text on your website—with a blog to keep it fresh.
Today, a one-page website is the equivalent of an ad in birdseed type in the Yellow Pages. If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can find it—but most shoppers will skip right past you.
Fortunately, the first key to standing out involves a tactic that lies completely within your control: building up the size of your website. Though Google’s algorithms aren’t public, sites with more pages tend to rank higher in search engine results. Google also devotes more links and real estate to pages that have a deeper page structure, embedding secondary links called Google Sitelinks to subsidiary pages on your website. A Google result of this type can consume up to three times as much screen space as a standard search result.
How many pages do you need to have to get results like this? There’s no “official” number (nor are Sitelinks under your control to a significant extent), but even taking your website from one page to five should help. Once you’ve expand beyond a few dozen pages, bonus links should start showing up in your search engine results.
Start by segmenting your home page content into obvious secondary pages, under headings like “About Us,” “Contact,” “Services,” “Rate Information,” “Customer Testimonials,” and “Locations.” You don’t need to put a lot of information on each page, but try to be verbose rather than succinct, place unique content on each page, and use keywords, especially in the page title. Photos help, too.
Beyond these measures, the easiest way to add pages to your website is by maintaining a blog. Make sure that the blog is part of your company domain, and not hosted on a separate URL. Blog as often as you can. Daily is great, but a few times a month is enough for Google to take notice. Again, photos are a good idea, even if you use nothing but free stock art.
Remember to turn on comments (Google supposedly likes these, too), and add sharing buttons to your posts to help readers link your content to their Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts.
Finally, avoid using Flash in your site design. Although Google usually can spider Flash content these days, many site visitors don’t like Flash, and numerous mobile devices—which an increasingly large percentage of page views come from—can’t handle it. If your website is heavy on bandwidth demands, having a phone- and tablet-friendly version of your website available is essential.