Google search at the core the lifeblood of a small business' success and growth. Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) often feels like a dose of the secret sauce to thriving businesses, whether their transactions occur online or in a brick-and-mortar store. Let's pull back the curtain and reveal a couple of the key points that you should know about regardless if you are doing things on your own or possibly thinking about hiring an expert in SEO.

google search for a local business

Why You Should Care About Google Search

Did you know that Google has over 3.5 billion searches per day on average? These searches are usually individuals using search engines to research and locate the goods and services they need at that moment. Overall, that equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year, which continues to rise annually as more products/services that are offered in high demand become readily available to the consumer. Every search that occurs without visibility of your business is an opportunity for a competitor to make a sale.

google search dominance over time
Google Searches Year by Year

Give Google What it Wants

Just like you, Google is a business and wants to provide the best resources to its users/searchers. They don't want their business to fail and, in turn, don't want yours to fail either. That being said, the main thing that Google wants is quality.

Useful, informative content that will fill the need of the searcher. This demand is why businesses embraced blogs and the ability to expand the content of their website.

Websites that are user-friendly. With the ease of accessibility and the rise of more mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) globally, Google has seen the number of users searching on these devices and rewards websites for having a mobile/device-friendly site. Also, the time it takes for a page to launch once entered is a big factor in the experience. The latest statistics show that your average consumer wants the website to open fully within the first three seconds. This is something that Google knows and understands very well.


If you found this guide helpful, check out Social Media Strategy Guide for Small Business


Reputable Results

Since Google is essentially referring your business to its searchers, it looks at your company's reputation. Look at it as if someone were asking to use you as a reference for a job they're applying for. You wouldn't recommend someone who is unreliable and can't do the job correctly. Google is the exact same way. Google looks at:

  • What types of websites are linking to your website?
  • How consistent is your information across the internet?
  • How authoritative are you compared to others in your industry and competing for the same keyword searches?

The secret sauce to your potential success are reviews for your business and links coming into your website.

July 2021, Google made a leap to start incorporating "page experience" as a ranking factor. In short, speed and security matter, as well as the overall layout of the website itself.

google page experience factors

Regular updates to your site help with search and maps

Google keeps an eye out for how often you update and work on your viability as a site. A good SEO plan includes regular updates to content via articles, blog posts, adding projects, or other means.

When updating your website, put in the extra effort to build up your website's internal links. This technique is a little daunting at first to wrap your head around; let's look a little bit deeper.

A search engine is essentially a spider; Google calls it Googlebot. When it comes to your website, it scans your content and any links on that page. As you create content, you will link to your website's other pages, whether it be pages, articles, projects, etc. which refresh the older content as you post new content according to Googlebot. This method is known as topic clusters which connect all of your content together.

Key Website Elements To Propel Your Business Online

Images

Rename your images using keywords if you can or the product names. Don't be spammy with it, just keep it in line with where the image will be on the website and what the image is. Quality trumps keywords, always.

Resize your images based on the page it is going on. Large images can weigh down a web page and cause it to load slowly. Use Photoshop or an online tool like PicMonkey to reduce the sizes of your images before you add them to your website.

ALT tags are the way we tell Google what an image is. They cant see the image, so they have no way of knowing what it is, add alt text to all images. Keep it short and relevant to what the image is.

Keyword Saturation

Every page of your website should have a purpose/goal and a list of keywords for the goods and services you are offering. On each page of your site, your keyword saturation is preferred to be under 5% of the content on that current page. This does become challenging, however, when attempting to rank for multiple keyword phrases.

A best practice is to serve your visitor first and tweak your keyword phrases along the way. It is possible to cater to both; it just takes a little more time and effort to accomplish the goal.

Before Penguin (a significant Google algorithm update we had in 2011), it was common practice to overload pages, images, and links with keywords and phrases. If you attempt to follow that practice now, it will hurt your rankings in Google search. One thing is definitely for sure: Search Engine Optimization methods change frequently and will continue to be adjusted as more businesses begin to optimize themselves to attract new consumers of their products/services.

Google is Always Evolving

Google makes updates to its algorithm regularly. It becomes difficult to keep up with the changes if you are busy with the hustle and bustle of your business. If you are brave and want to go at it alone, I recommend that you stay up to date with reputable experts in Search Engine Optimization.

If you do not have time, it is best to outsource your marketing and SEO efforts to trusted hands. A good SEO company will get you where you need to be and then keep you up to date and provide updates as needed based on changes in the algorithm.

search engine audit can show you where you are and what is needed to improve your business rankings. Keep in mind, SEO isn't a quick fix, and nobody can guarantee instant results. That being said, having a professional in your corner can help to improve your odds significantly. Have a question about SEO? Let us know. We can review yours and your competitors in an audit and provide whatever may be lacking to your website. Give us a call at (405) 753-4114 or request a quote. You can do the tasks yourself, or we can perform them for you, and you can focus on the main thing that is important to you: Growing Your Business.



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“Very professional and technically competent. Always Available to help or answer my questions. She can do a lot for your business. I recommend Richelle to anyone!” ~ Edward Pearson

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Since 2007, the Lighthouse Web Design and Marketing team has created custom websites and strategic marketing strategies for small businesses. Each marketing campaign is built around the client's goals and needs and backed by a proven marketing strategy.

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