Google searches are the core to a business's success. Search engine optimization can seem more like magic to many business owners. Let's look behind the curtain and expose the key things you should know whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a search engine optimization expert.
Google searches are the core of a business's success. Search engine optimization can seem more like magic to many business owners. Let's look behind the curtain and expose the key things you should know whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a search engine optimization expert.
People use search engines to locate and research the products and services they need. In fact, Google has over 3.5 billion searches per day on average. That translates to 1.2 trillion searches per year. This number is climbing each year.
If you aren't there, these searchers will go to your competitor which is there.
Google, like you, is a business and wants to provide the best to its users/searchers. For this reason, quality is the top thing Google wants.
Good, 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. Google has seen the rise of users searching on mobile devices and reward websites for having a website that is mobile-friendly. The time it takes for your website to open is also key, Google knows that users do not want to wait for a web page to load. In fact, the most recent statistics show that the user wants the site to open in 3 seconds.
Since Google is essentially referring your business to its searchers, it looks at the reputation of your company.
The key is reviews and links coming into your website.
Google keeps an eye out for how often you update your website. A good SEO plan will include regular updates whether through articles, blog posts, adding projects or other means.
When you are updating your website, put in the extra effort, so it builds up the internal links of your website. This technique is a little hard to wrap your head around, let's look further.
A search engine is essentially a spider; Google calls it Googlebot. When it comes to your website, it scans your content and any links that may be on that page. As you create content, you will link to other pages of your website whether it be pages, articles, projects, etc. This method refreshes the older content as you post new content according to Googlebot.
The challenge does come when you add new content to go back to previous posts and add links to the new content. This can help boost your content efforts on items that are ranking in search and generating traffic.
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.
Each page of your website should have a goal and a list of keywords for that product or service. For one page, the keyword saturation should not be above 5% of the content on the page. When you are trying to rank for multiple keyword phrases, this can be challenging.
A best practice is to serve your visitor first and tweak your keyword phrases along the way. It is possible to cater to both, just takes a little more time and effort.
Before Penguin, a significant Google algorithm update we had in 2011, it was common practice to stuff pages, images, and links with keywords and phrases. If you follow that practice now, it will hurt your rankings in search. Proof that one thing is for sure, search engine optimization methods change frequently.
The structure of your website matters.
How you organize your navigation menu.
How your content flows on the page. The header tags on your website should follow a flow to be ideal.
We have designed websites in the past where the page structure was ideal, with the lovely world of content management (sarcasm intended), the client went in and changed it, knocking out the structure. This change did impact their rankings slightly in a negative way.
What you do not know will hurt you.
Google makes updates to its algorithm on a regular basis. It is hard to keep up with the changes if you are busy running your business. If you do want to go it alone, stay up to date with reputable experts in search engine optimization.
If you do not have time, it is best to outsource this part. A good SEO company will get you where you need to be and then keep up to provide updates as needed based on changes in the algorithm.
A search engine audit can reveal where you are and what is needed to improve rankings. Keep in mind, SEO isn't quick, and nobody can guarantee results. Have a question about SEO? Let us know; we can review your website, your competitors in an audit, and provide what is needed. Give us a call at (662) 553-4777 or request a quote. You can do the tasks, or we can.
Richelle is the founder of Lighthouse and has over 25 years of experience in online marketing and website design. Richelle enjoys meeting with clients to pinpoint their goals and come up with a strategy to achieve them. She is active with many groups; including a mastermind group for business owners, a podcast, as well as industry groups to stay current with current marketing, search, and design trends. When not helping businesses, she spends time with family including her fur-kids which you may see pop in to say hello during one of her podcasts.