(scroll to the bottom for a tl;dr version, info about the featured image above, and a SEO tip)
I received this email question recently: ‘Are we maximising any other opportunities/design features that will help people find us?’

Of course the answer is nearly always, no. Technologies are always changing, and Google is continually changing its algorithm. Regarding this specific client my answer was as follows. (names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Google Business can be frustrating, but we’ve no choice but to jump through their hoops unfortunately! If that means we have to put in our business address (even if we don’t want to) then that we must do!
Regarding opportunities for your website:
Speed is always an issue. We’ve already completed frontend speed improvements so the only thing left is the hosting. Google counts the milliseconds it takes to serve a website! You can pick a faster hosting package and the process doesn’t need a web developer. Just submit a support request or click ‘upgrade’ in your hosting panel.
Content
Keep changing your content! If your homepage was last updated in 2017, then Google may deem the content as ‘out of date’. A fresh update will indicate to Google the information on it is still relevant. Also, Google still rates blog posts highly because it’s fresh content. However this shouldn’t be used to document your project work. It should be used to benefit visitors (your market or audience). These people are looking for solutions to help make their problems go away. Are you helping them do that? If so, how?
Ratings and Reviews
These are hugely important because it is third party validation. Use your Google Business page regularly. They’ll reward you for it (unsurprisingly).
Finally: Organic links
Links to you from trusted colleagues, businesses, and other networkers. Linking to the homepage and specific pages on your website with some kind of valuable comment with it. Don’t just have someone place a link on their website, but perhaps they could write a small post or article about you (a service offering or shared valuable experience). How it went and why it’s relevant for their audience/market. It’s this extra context which Google rewards. Obviously, this takes some planning and coordination, but the effort is rewarded.
So basically, the goal is to prove to Google / your network, that your business is a valuable resource in 2019, and trusted by peers & professionals in your industry. If you can’t figure out that manifests for you exactly, then we should book a call to discuss it. I realise how hard it can be to market and strategise when it’s your own company, so a fresh brain and perspective might help.
Hope this helps – Mark :)

Tl;dr:
Consider website hosting speed improvements, changing your page content and keep blogging stuff of value, ratings & reviews are vital – so ask for them, and that old chestnut: grow your organic links.

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About the image:
This photo was downloaded for free from unsplash.com and was taken by @joelfilip. I deliberately selected an image which was thumb-stoppingly good and not one that attempts to relate to my blog post.

Joel has this to say about the photo:
This photo was made with some experimental liquids as milk, water paint and oil. I’ve made this with a friend and we had so much fun doing it. The surprise of the reactions thought the different material was both charming and changeling. I truly recommend everyone to try something like this, let’s share the different results. Have fun using this picture.

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SEO Tip:
Did you know that commenting on blog posts is a key way you can increase your organic SEO? Completing a comment allows you to insert your name and website address which Google can use to index the traffic back to your website. It also allows more people to discover you off the back of your great reply and pay you more attention. Google loves that.

I recommend copying this SEO tip and adding it to the bottom of all your blog posts (past and present). That way, everyone can benefit :)