Your business needs exposure! One of the best ways to bring in new business is through searches on Google. A customer who finds your website on Google is already interested, and is much more likely to engage with your site. If you are not on page 1, you are not winning the click. But how do you get onto the front page of Google? In this article we will explore Search Engine Optimization, what it can do for your business, and how you can leverage this to bring you more business.
SEO is extremely important when trying to reach a larger client base because the earlier and more frequently a website appears in the search results list the more target audience it can reach and hence more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique for optimizing your sites content to improve your websites placement on popular search engines such as Google. In the early days of SEO it was enough to add relevant keywords to the header section of your website, and submit your site to Google to add to it’s index. However as the web grew, and many competitors entered the market, it became increasingly important for Google to provide quality, and credible results to it’s customers. As a result the algorithms used by Google started becoming increasingly sophisticated along with the techniques required to get a website on the front page.
Google uses a number of metrics to decide how important your website is to a particular search. It will consider things such as the number of quality websites linking to your website, the quality and quantity of the content on your website, the location and frequency of relevant keywords on your website, the age of your website, your websites reputation, and how often your website is updated.
How can I improve my SEO ranking?
What do you wish to be listed for?
When it comes to SEO one of the first things you need to consider is what searches you want to show up for, or in other words what product or service are you providing. It’s important to make this as narrow and tailored as possible. This will make it much more likely you will be placed higher on a search, and bring customers looking for your specific product.
What keywords would you like to use?
Once you determine what you want to be listed for in Google, you need to start selecting the keywords you wish like to use to drive this type of traffic. Keywords can range from general “Web Development” all the way to specific “eCommerce Websites in Barrie” the more targeted a keyword, the more likely it will be to show up at the top when a potential customer searches Google. Including important details such as your location is also a critical indicator for Google. Google will prioritize content that is located geographically close to a potential client.
Where to place the keywords?
Now that you have your keywords, you need to determine where to place them within your website. Google weights various locations depending on a number of factors. These include what page they are on (a keyword on your homepage will be considered more important than on an inside page), where they are on the page (a keyword that is in your primary header, will be considered more important than in copy text), and their frequency (a keyword located in both a header and the body will be weighted more importantly). Google will also consider keywords that are a part of a link for example “Start your eCommerce Project Now” as more relevant.
An often overlooked and critical part of your SEO strategy is images. Search Engines like Google can’t read images. They can however read the file name, and something called “alt text”. Alt text is the information you put with an image that is used to describe the image when it is unable to load, or be viewed by someone (such as someone using a screen reader, or a crawler like Google). Adding accurate, keyword rich copy to these locations can have a huge benefit to your sites placement on Google. You should limit your usage of images to relevant ones to your content and take care to rename the image from the default one that may have been created by the software (IMG_001.jpg) to something more descriptive (satisfied-customer-purchasing-product.jpg).
One of the biggest missed opportunities most people have is getting linkbacks from reputable websites. Try asking around for related services that might compliment your own for example if you know a popular hardware store in the area, as a plumber you may ask for a link on their website, in exchange for a link to theirs on your website. You can also include your link on websites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. Another option for linkbacks is to look for groups and speciality services. A word of caution though, be sure to watch the quality of the websites that you trade links with as poor quality websites may reduce your web reputation.
Another huge part of SEO is content freshness and quality. Not only does fresh content that is relevant mean return visitors. But it also makes your site more relevant in the eyes of search engines. One of the most common ways to include fresh content on your website is blogging. By blogging on a regular schedule you are giving potential customers something new to read, giving search engines new and fresh content to index, and letting people know that your company is alive and active. Blogging also gives something for you to post on social media platforms or to send to people on a newsletter, making your content appear more often on the web.
Not to split Traffic
Make sure you don’t split your traffic between multiple domains or sub domains. These are the two biggest mistakes of any website. if your website is example.com make sure that www.example.com redirects to example.com. The same goes with multiple domains. It is advantages to own a domain that also includes keywords. This is one of the strongest indicators to Google of your authority on a given topic. For example if you own a plumbing business it would be a good idea to include plumbing in your domain name. However it is important to select what domain name you would like to use and redirect all incoming traffic to that domain.
Spelling and content accuracy is one of the most overlooked issues in SEO. Make sure that your keywords, and content in general are accurate and spelled correctly. If you are a plumber, make sure that your keywords don’t include typographical errors such as “plumer“ this reduces the quality of your keywords and search engines may look poorly on the blunder. Also make sure to include logical headings in your content. Every page on your website should have a single top level heading that includes logical keywords, followed by clear subheadings as needed. Your website should never include multiple top level headings.
While there are many things you can do to improve your search engine ranking, there are also many things you can do to hurt it, and hurt your customer experience.
Don’t keyword stuff, this is the act of blatantly using keywords excessively on the site, or with the sole intent to spam search engines. Many modern search engines are designed to detect excessive keyword usage, and often downrank or even remove a site for this behaviour.
Don’t misrepresent your content. This includes not mislabel images, and misrepresenting your brand. Adding inappropriate keywords to content, may cause your website to show up for these keywords, however your customers will be confused and likely leave your site. Search engines such as Google are also designed to detect this kind of practice and may choose to blacklist your website.
Don’t use link farms. Many websites have cropped up allowing you to join networks of people to link to and they will include linkbacks. The problem with this kind of strategy is many of the pages you may be linking to aren’t relevant for your customers, aren’t high quality links, or may have a detrimental affect on your website. What’s worse is that you may be linking to websites that could harm your reputation. Search engines have been adapted to detect these, and may penalize your site for using them.
SEO is really about knowing your audience, knowing your product and having a bit of patience. SEO results take time as search engines update, and discover your new content and links. It is also an ongoing process of keeping content fresh, removing stale links, and making sure the websites you have links to aren’t blacklisted or down voted. But with a little time and effort you can put your website on the front page of Google.
At Think Forward Media we take the time to understand our customers and their businesses. We use this information to create a tailored SEO strategy that will place your website on the front page of Google.
Not sure how to handle the SEO for your website? Give the folks at Think Forward Media a call, we specialize in Search Engine Optimization that will help place your website on the front page of google.
Call today 705-302-1869