How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking in 5 Simple Steps

How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking in 5 Simple Steps

How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking in 5 Simple Steps

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Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of helping your business grow. On average, the first five results on Google receive 67 percent of clicks, so it’s tough to get website traffic when you’re sitting way back on page five. You want your site to be one of the first results a potential customer sees when they perform a search looking for a solution to their problem. Here are five ways to improve your Google search ranking and boost your business growth.

How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking

1. Utilize Tools to Track Your Site Activity

Google has helpful tools that will provide you with insight into how your site is performing. Google Search Console and Google Analytics (don’t miss the brand new GA4) collect your website activity to give you data you can use to improve your SEO. You want to know how many visitors you are bringing in, who they are, and how they engage with your site to determine how to attract more of those visitors and get them to stick around and convert.

There are other tools available that will help you track your site’s progress against your competitors. Find the ones that will work best for you and keep an eye on your site’s performance. We recommend Uber Suggest and SEMRush (both have free tools). If you notice that your site is not performing as well as you’d like, you can use these tools to start troubleshooting possible SEO problems.

2. Check Your Site’s Structure

There are certain links you should look for in your website’s structure. Double-check that all pages on your website are in HTTPS. Search engines prefer HTTPS pages over HTTP for security reasons, and if you are still using the latter, it could cause you to fall out of Google’s good graces.

You’ll also need to find and fix any crawl errors — you can use some of the tools we mentioned above to help identify these. Crawl errors occur when a search engine’s bot cannot access a page. Ensure that all of the links on your site lead to actual pages and make sure to have a customized 404 page that will still send visitors where you want them to go if they stumble onto a bad link.

Once you have ensured that all of the pages on your site are active and available, you can create a sitemap. A sitemap is essentially a list of the pages on your site. You can submit it to Google to improve your search engine ranking.

3. Create Good Content

While there are ways to improve your SEO without changing your content, a surefire method is creating high quality content. Create content for actual humans with a search engine in mind, not the other way around. 

You should know what your audience is looking for so you can answer the questions they are asking. Are they looking for a certain product or service? Do they need assistance with an issue? Whatever it is they are looking to find, you want to provide it for them — just like we wrote this article for you. 

Content naturally will become out of date as time passes. Stay on top of your content to increase your site’s traffic. Search engines prefer accurate and timely information, and they could pass up your site in favor of one with more current content.

Along with updating information, you should also remove anything that does not add value. Perform a content audit and get rid of any irrelevant content that you find. You want your audience to enjoy visiting and interacting with your site, and part of that is ensuring that your content is worthwhile. Google is incredibly smart and learns what your site is about so it can recommend it to others. If you have irrelevant content that could prevent Google from figuring out what topic your company is an expert in, they won’t recommend you.

4. Utilize Keywords & Incorporate Them Into Your Page Titles and Descriptions

Keywords are an essential part of SEO. When searching for specific terms, engines will match sites with those same keywords. With the right keywords, you can make sure that users find your site as a straightforward and clear solution to the problem  they are searching to solve.

Identify your key terms. These are your most searched keywords, and their use can help your site rank highly. Additionally, you want to find your long-tail keywords. They deliver a higher conversion rate, but they can be more challenging to work into your site’s content as they are not searched as often.

An effective way to look at where you can improve your keywords is by creating a keyword map. It can help you find where you need to add, optimize, or change content to fit more keywords.

5. Check Your Site’s Performance

There are a few different aspects of performance you should check to make sure your website is functioning properly and meeting Google’s standards. 

  • Ensure that Google Search Console has indexed your site (you should already have this tool from back in step 1). If not, it will not show up as a result at all, meaning no amount of SEO improvement will help because Google doesn’t recognize you. You can also check for site duplicates. If more than one version of your site is indexed, your data can become split across them.
  • Check your site’s speed. Pages that do not load within a few seconds are usually abandoned, and Google will track when users leave your site quickly. Keep visitors on your site by ensuring it has a fast loading speed.
  • Make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Nowadays, Google factors in how your site looks and feels on mobile when considering site ranking. Even if they did not, you want visitors to be able to access your site on different devices.
  • Review your Google Analytics data often. Monitoring your goal completions, traffic, and more popular pages will help you understand what kind of content is performing well and what you should adjust, remove, or add.

Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is an important part of driving traffic to your business’s website. The higher you rank, the more visitors will be able to find you With these five tips, you can easily improve your Google search ranking, enhance your SEO, and bring in more customers. 

Data is one of the key components to optimizing your website for Google, and there are an infinite number of dashboards, programs, and tools to help you sift through and interpret data. With the right strategies and tools, you can transform into actionable insights that serve as your marketing roadmap. Download our Business Intelligence eBook to learn more about this process and how it can help you grow your business.

About Dexter Burgess

Marketing Manager Dexter Burgess takes the lead on implementing new tactics and promoting change through data-driven strategies. Dex works hard at client relations through consistent communication and positive feedback, never settling until the customer is understood and happy.

About &Marketing

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

Three Ways to Monitor & Maintain Your Paid Search Account for Maximum Results

Three Ways to Monitor & Maintain Your Paid Search Account for Maximum Results

Three Ways to Monitor & Maintain Your Paid Search Account for Maximum Results

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These days, all the kids are using Paid Search, especially when you consider that businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Google Ads. It still doesn’t touch email marketing’s ROI though, that’s a topic for another day!

Yet even though Google (and I guess Bing) make it easy to setup and run paid search campaigns, often times people think if you build your paid search account and campaigns, the money will come…without maintaining and monitoring the field. Unfortunately, that’s just not the way the world works.

Lucky for you, &Marketing has put together 3 easy tips for how you can easily manage and maintain your paid search account so that it’s always firing on all cylinders.

1. Review Your Keywords and Search Terms for Each Campaign… Make It a Routine

Take a look at all the keywords you’ve selected for your campaigns. Which ones are performing well, which ones are costing you money? Are any not showing your ads because of poor quality score? Perhaps you need to update your bids to have certain keywords show up on the first page or maybe you need to change your keywords match type from “Broad” to “Phrase” or “Exact.”

For more information on keyword match types, check out this handy article.

Regardless of what the data says, it’s important to regularly review the performance of your keywords as they will most greatly impact your campaigns.

Another option for keyword maintenance is to review the search terms for which your ads have shown up. Unless you’ve listed your keywords as “exact” match, chances are your ads have shown for search terms that aren’t currently listed as keywords in your campaign. This can be a good thing, as you may find search terms that are closely related to your campaign and ads. Also, you may find terms that are converting that you can not only add into your campaigns, but can also add to your ad and landing page copy.

However, this can also be a bad thing if your ads are showing up for a term that isn’t related to your business. For example, in a past life I was running ads for a company that created antennas for LTE and sub-GHz applications. We tried phrase matching with a modifier on the term antennas but still saw search terms for HD TV antennas, something we didn’t sell. It’s important to regularly review your search terms and mark any keywords that don’t apply, as negative keywords. Meaning your ads will never show for those terms.

2. Create new ads


Look at the ads that are converting and the ones that are not and create variants in new formats. Perhaps some ads need to be paused so your more successful ads are shown more. Be sure to try display and responsive search ads. Some people argue that display ads aren’t effective, but perhaps your product or service is better explained through visual means. Also, look at click through rates. Are any of your ads achieving high CTR’s, but aren’t converting? Why is there a disconnect? Does the ad not match the landing page? Try new headers and callouts, test them against high converting options and see if there is a difference in performance.

Another aspect to review is the tone of the ad. Does it match with what your audience is expecting? Some our clients use more informal, exciting messaging through their ads because their brand, their offerings, and their audience expect that. Others are more formal and proper, because that’s what their brand reflects.

3. Update your Account Structure


Can your keywords be grouped together into new ad groups to create more relevant ads or landing pages? Or is one ad group eating most of your campaign budget, therefore it could be given its own campaign? Maybe one campaign is doing very well in the United States, but not well internationally and you can split the two up.

Having an organized account structure will not only help with your quality score, but will ensure that your ads are shown to the right people at the right time. This article from Wordstream does a great job of breaking down the importance and basics of making sure your account structure is sound.

Google Ads is an incredibly powerful marketing tactic that should be in every Marketers toolkit, but it needs to be maintained and monitored. Follow these three simple steps regularly and you’ll have your campaigns consistently optimized for better results.

Have questions about Paid Search or your Google Ads campaigns? We’d love to help! Contact us today for a FREE review of your Google Ads account.

About &Marketing

In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.

How NPS Can Collect Valuable Insight For Businesses Of All Sizes

How NPS Can Collect Valuable Insight For Businesses Of All Sizes

How NPS Can Collect Valuable Insight For Businesses Of All Sizes

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What is NPS, and why is it important? 

NPS. It’s an acronym you’ve likely heard tossed around before, but it may be something you’ve associated with larger companies, like Netflix, Starbucks, or Amazon. The reality is, though, that NPS can be just as effective for growing businesses of all sizes – and it’s something we at &Marketing often recommend.

Net Promoter Score (or NPS), measures customer experience and brand perception and helps predict a business’s growth. In other words, it’s a quick way to gather customer insights for your business. The calculation is based on the answer to a simple question where respondents answer “How likely are you to recommend company/brand/product X to a friend, colleague, or relative?” using a scale of 0 – 10.  0 represents “not likely at all” and 10 represents “extremely likely.

Respondents are then grouped into the following categories:

  • Promoters = respondents giving a 9 or 10 score

  • Passives = respondents giving a 7 or 8 score

  • Detractors = respondents giving a 0 to 6 score

The Qualitative Component

Just as important as the numeric component described above collected through quantitative questions, qualitative feedback can also be gathered from your customers through NPS. You can complete the qualitative portion either as part of your survey, or as a 1:1 interview. 

At &Marketing, we find that this is where you unlock the greatest value, as open-ended questions allow you to dig deeper and get more detailed insights from the people consuming your brand. These responses tend to be more actionable to a small or medium-sized business than the actual numeric calculation. If you’re interested in incorporating more qualitative components to your NPS framework, we’re happy to help.

The Pros and Cons

Let’s break down the pros and cons of NPS to determine whether these components might be able to contribute to the growth of your brand.


  1. It’s quick. NPS allows you to efficiently gauge areas for improvement, versus traditional surveys, which take a long time to fill out and can focus on areas that the customer doesn’t actually care about. It’s also quick for respondents. With a short survey, you’re likely to get more people to actually take it as opposed to a more time-intensive one. 

  2. It’s focused. You can hone in on the areas that drive customer satisfaction and referrals, in customer terms. Instead of asking several questions about super specific encounters with your brand (which might frustrate customers), you keep it high-level and focus on the bigger story. 

  3. It’s measurable. You can calculate a ‘score’ so you can understand if you’re doing well (high number) or have significant room for improvement (low or negative). 

  4. It’s easy and inexpensive. It’s a simple process to execute and comes at a low cost for smaller budgets.

  5. It’s almost immediately actionable. Are you looking to take your business to new heights in the new year? The data from NPS is a great place to start to put that plan into place. 


  1. It’s not scientific. Despite being numeric, NPS is not based on a legitimate scientific formula or statistical significance.

  2. All customers are seen as equal. The reality is, each of your customers is different — they might be different sizes, come from different backgrounds, and may have varying needs—  you’re not always comparing apples to apples with NPS. 

As you can see, the pros typically outweigh the cons unless you feel strongly about a scientific formula or a specific weighted structure to your results.

Now, let’s touch on a few quick reasons NPS is beneficial for growing businesses by focusing on three specific areas: change, growth, and results. 

You can monitor changes over time

Because NPS is a quick and effective way to take the pulse of customer satisfaction, you can use it to measure changes based on any important benchmark (business cycle, management change, new branding, new product, change in product, etc). 

You can recognize room for growth

You can use the insight from Detractors as an opportunity to learn about potential areas for improvement, which is critical when you’re looking to grow your business. 

You can get simple and direct results

Formal NPS methodology only requires one direction question, with a 1-10 answer. However, depending on your business challenges, we recommend implementing a few additional open-ended questions to gather more extensive feedback.

Are you convinced of its value yet? &Marketing can help implement NPS for your current or former customers to help discover what’s most important to them, and what makes your company unique.

Ready to get started implementing NPS into your business growth strategy? For more background on NPS and help with determining how to get the most value from it, please contact us. &Marketing prepares, conducts, and helps analyze NPS surveys both for ourselves and our clients 

About the Authors

As the founder and Managing Director of &Marketing, Rajat “Raj” Kapur strives to provide growing businesses of all sizes unparalleled marketing strategy and execution services. Raj brings nearly two decades of professional experience in marketing, sales, and strategy development experience spanning B2B and B2C Fortune 50, mid-sized, and startups. 

About &Marketing

In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.

How To Know If Search Advertising Is Right For Your Business

How To Know If Search Advertising Is Right For Your Business

How To Know If Search Advertising Is Right For Your Business

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Search Advertising is a term that encompasses the practice of placing online ads through searching services like Google and Bing Ads. These placements are paired with other forms of advertising that target people based on the keywords they typically use to search online. Although Search Advertising can be one of the most effective marketing tactics with the highest ROI that can be used to drive consistent business growth, it can also be a huge waste of money. It’s important to remember that Search Advertising doesn’t work the same way for all businesses because it’s not a “one size fits all” solution.

Wondering is Search Advertising is right for you? Start with this guide.

How Search Advertising Works

In a nutshell, the goal of Search Advertising is to have your products or services show up when a person is actively looking for them or for something closely related to your offering. This distinction is key, because many traditional forms of advertising are “disruptive,” meaning that they place a message in front of a person whether they are searching for something similar or not.

For example, a billboard on a road displays a message to everyone driving on that road. The hope is that enough of the people who see that billboard might eventually need the products or services you’re promoting. Since most people drive the same roads multiple times, your message has time to reach people repeatedly over long periods. You pay up front for everyone to be able to see your ad whether it’s relevant to them or not. Search Advertising, on the other hand, is like having a billboard that only shows your ad to people who are driving on that road specifically with the need to see your product or service. 

The brilliance of Search Advertising is that, when done correctly, you only have to pay for the right people to see your ad at the right time. Instead of paying for a billboard for months to show a life insurance ad to everyone, you can show an add to people searching for “life insurance” at the very moment they are looking for it and are most likely to buy. It’s like having a billboard that advertises a new pizza parlor only to cars on the road that are looking for a place to stop for pizza.

How Search Advertising Doesn’t Work

Imagine you are opening a local mom-and-pop pizza restaurant in a local town. You might think, “I want to show my ad to everyone searching for the word ‘pizza’ in my area.” Unfortunately, this is what most people think when they start Search Advertising. The caveat is that language is messy and doesn’t work that way.

As a pizza restaurant, you don’t really want your products and services show up every time someone searches for “pizza” because there are too many reasons people might use that word. Here are some examples:

  • “What is the best frozen pizza brand?”

  • “I want a pizza costume for Halloween”

  • “What is a good vegetarian pizza recipe?”

  • “Why do the ninja turtles love pizza so much?”

  • “I want to see that pizza rat video from New York.”

All of these searches include the word “pizza”, but none of them are likely to be your customers. Instead, a good Search Advertising campaign will require words like “delivery”, “near me”, “restaurant”, or “take-out” to appear with “pizza” before your ad shows up for them.

Are People Actually Looking for Your Products and Services?

So here is the million-dollar question. Are people actually looking for your products or services online? If the answer is yes, then Search Advertising might be worth the investment. If the answer is no, then it probably won’t work. The biggest mistake organizations make when investing in Search Advertising is spending money on keywords that are related to their products and services but aren’t actually being used by people to look for those products and services.

An example of this is if your business is providing an incredibly niche B2B product like an “electromagnetic inductive heating oven” where you are selling this as a new solution for pizza restaurants to bake pizzas faster, with more consistent results. You have several big obstacles for using Search Advertising:

  • People who need your service probably don’t know it exists.

  • There are millions of people searching for “pizza” and “oven” but probably in no way related to your actual product. 

  • Most of the people searching for these keywords are consumers, but your target customer is only owners or operators of pizza-related businesses.

  • Even if you target the keywords your target customers might be already looking for, like “large pizza oven”, the challenge will be selling them a new product they are unfamiliar with while they are looking for something else.

Putting aside a small budget to show up on the rare chance someone does search “electromagnetic inductive heating oven” might be worth considering. However, investing time, money, and hopes into Search Advertising as a major source of business is probably a poor decision.

Start with Research

&Marketing helps small and medium-sized businesses figure out if Search Advertising is right for them by asking the following questions:

  • Is there a large volume of searches with keywords that are relevant to your products or services?

  • Do those search phrases look like they are potential customers, or are the keywords being used for other reasons?

  • Does the cost of advertising for the keywords predict a good ROI on your investment?

If the answer is yes to all of these questions, then Search Advertising might be a good decision for your business. If the answer is no, some experimentation might still be worth considering, but not one that’s worth investing a significant amount of your dollars.

Further Reading:

Tracey Colla wrote a great piece on different online marketing terms and what they mean so you can better translate when talking to digital marketers. Check out “HOW PAPER CLIP CAMPAIGNS HELP YOU GROW YOUR BUSINESS”.

We’re always ready to help you make smart decisions when it comes to marketing your business. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss whether or not Search Advertising is right for you,

About &Marketing

In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.

The Basics Of Marketing Automation

The Basics Of Marketing Automation

The Basics Of Marketing Automation

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Marketing automation tools have revolutionized the marketing industry and caused marketing leaders to reconsider their marketing technology software. Despite the variety of tools available to the modern day Marketer, 27% of companies still feel like they are “new” to marketing automation.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation refers to the software tools and platforms available to marketers that simplify everyday tasks, like sending emails and scheduling social media blasts, to generating more leads and optimizing ROI. Let’s break down the difference between the associated tools versus platforms.

Marketing automation tools are fairly limited in their capabilities, often offering just one marketing automation for one service, such as email. For the most part, marketing automation tools are low cost and require little time to kickstart.

Platforms that perform marketing automation allows marketers to optimize their spend and sales teams to nurture highly engaged leads by providing insights on specific campaigns. A marketing automation platform combines the functionality of several marketing automation tools into a unified platform for both marketing and sales teams. With centralized data, teams are able to work together to maximize marketing budgets, nurture leads, create accurate projections and pipelines, and streamline execution.

Why Automation is Important

Marketing automation allows sales and marketing teams to work together to determine the most effective sales and marketing approach by using centralized data to optimize ROI and nurture highly engaged leads. Furthermore, comprehensive marketing automation platforms are able to automate marketing tasks based on the provided data (ex: email when lead score reaches 16), giving sales teams the time to focus and nurture leads who are showing engagement presently.

Marketing Automation Tools

Several marketing automation tools, such as Mailchimp and Hootsuite, are free and able to be implemented immediately to begin streamlining specific marketing processes. Mailchimp is a great way to start building a database of contacts and nurturing leads through automated emails. Similarly, Hootsuite enables teams to schedule social media posts across all platforms, combining cross network analytics into one place. Marketing automation tools greatly benefit smaller organizations looking to grow due to low cost and ease of use.

What is the Best Marketing Automation Software?

Though niche software provides unique features, it does not combine all marketing functions in one place, which is a service bigger companies might be looking for. Currently, several marketing automation platforms are being used by marketers and sales teams, including Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo, and SharpSpring. Though similar in functionality, these marketing automation platforms have differences that business decision-makers need to consider.

  • Pardot is a marketing automation platform that specializes in B2B marketing automation and is intended to directly integrate with a company’s existing SalesForce software. It is a sales focused platform that offers campaign reporting, email automation, revenue reporting and landing pages.

  • Hubspot is a marketing-focused automation platform that also serves as a one-stop-shop for businesses to manage both CRM and marketing execution. Hubspot includes sales tools such as creating lists, segmenting contacts and adding sales notes, and showing a history of how that contact has interacted with your marketing. Similarly, marketers are able to execute email and social media marketing campaigns, A/B test landing pages, and automate a variety of other marketing tasks.

  • Marketo is a standard marketing automation platform that offers tools including email marketing, landing page creation, lead scoring and more. Marketo offers enterprise-level solutions, with direct integrations to major CRMs, Dynamics and SugarCRM.

  • SharpSpring is an all-in-one sales and marketing automation platform that combines the functions of a typical CRM and everyday marketing execution. The software includes tools to execute email and social media marketing, analyze campaign performance, nurture leads, and report on revenue.

How to Get Started

Depending on resources and strategy, organizations may only need an email automation tool or other similar marketing automation tools to achieve their goals. Most automation services will offer free trials or demos on their website where companies are able to learn more and test the tool and get started easily and quickly.

On the other hand, the above-mentioned marketing automation platforms require a monthly commitment and take time to set up and learn for everyday use. It can be challenging and complex to navigate this decision, as well as implement and set up automation rules. In fact, in most cases when implementing Pardot or Sharpspring, it is highly encouraged to work with consultants to ensure a smooth integration.  Learn more about our SharpSpring partnership by reading below.

&Marketing is a partner of SharpSpring, working together to provide small and medium size businesses with an all-in-one marketing automation platform. To help business owners understand the basics, &Marketing offers a free downloadable guide with tips to improve your lead generation and nurturing campaign. Download the marketing automation guide below.

About &Marketing

In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

&Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.