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Search Engine Optimization

by | Jul 12, 2020 | Creative Services, Services, Web Design

Technology is a huge part of our world. Most everyone knows that, especially business owners. It’s a hub for sales, communication, and advertising. More often than not, customers get introduced to your business via technology, therefore many business owners concentrate on making their website the best it can possibly be. 

They’re not wrong to do so. Of course, your website should look amazing and be easy to navigate so the customer has both an enjoyable and productive time while browsing. But a well-functioning website isn’t all it takes to help a business succeed. 

You could have the best-looking site out there, the most fluid interface with zero glitches. But none of that matters if no one is experiencing what you have to offer. It’s like that old philosophical question: if a tree falls in the forest but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

If your website is flawless but no one is visiting the page, is it really all that great? 

The truth of the matter is this: all of your hard work is pointless if your website doesn’t show up on Google. The first page of search results is the place to be; did you know that only .78% of people click on something from the second page? You don’t want to rely on odds that small. 

This blog post outlines the best SEO (search engine optimization) practices that assist in getting your website on potential customers’ radars, instead of flying below it. 

The Main Keyword is Everything

You probably already know that using your main keyword multiple times is imperative. But did you know that the location of the word is important as well, along with how soon you use it? 

To get the best results, that word should be at the top of your page. Why? It’s simple. Google places more weight on words that are located there. 

Avoid Duplicate Content

This means writing unique titles, descriptions, and content. Even content that is ‘near duplicate’ should be avoided – and that comes from Google itself. This relates to more than titles, descriptions, and content, too. It also pertains to:

  • Title tags
  • Meta description tags
  • Ecommerce product pages
  • Landing pages
  • Image alt text
  • Category pages

This is probably easy to swallow if you’re a small business owner, or if you run a modest blog. But if you have a large e-commerce site or a multifaceted business, this is more difficult to not only conceptualize, but carry out. Writing unique descriptors for each and every product can be a daunting task. 

It is overwhelming to think about, but the end result is worth it. We promise.

Title Tag is Key

Google says, “it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.”

What you need to do is start your title tag off with your main keyword. Remember what was said about the location of said keyword? It’s everything!

Search engines pay attention to the words in your title tag, and since your keyword is the word that holds the most weight, it should be front and center. 

Sometimes, starting off the tag with your most important keyword can look clunky and read as unnatural. Customers who come across that strange tag might be confused by it, and you need to think about how humans read your words – not just how machines do it. So, if it’s not possible to place your keyword at the very front of your title tag, that’s fine. But try to put it somewhere in the beginning. 

One Keyword Per Title

Google is not a fan of keyword stuffing. Pare down your choices to the one keyword that is most important, and place it in. That way, it holds the most emphasis. One very relevant word packs more of a punch than ten somewhat relevant words. 

Pay Attention to Titles

The whole point of your page is to get customers to click. That means your titles should make them want to learn more. This won’t happen if your titles are dry, bland, and boring. Customers won’t care enough to keep browsing. 

But if your titles are engaging and tempting, more people will click on them. More clicks means more traffic, because Google sees how well your page is doing. 

Loading Speed

No one is patient in 2020. It’s just a fact. Especially when it comes to slow loading times; there’s almost nothing worse than watching a page come to life graphic by graphic. By the time everything finally comes up, you don’t even want to be there anymore.

It’s very important to make your site load as quickly as possible. Take note of your site’s current loading speed. (If you don’t know the point at which you start, it’s hard to improve.)

Here are a few methods used to speed up loading time:

  • Compress images
    • Large images take up the majority of a page’s size. By minimizing them, your entire site will load much faster.
  • Use lighter themes
    • Consider switching to a theme that is geared for speed rather than one that isn’t.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)
    • This allows your media to travel through servers that are close to your users.

Track Results

Use Google Search Console to track your results – a live dashboard that allows you to see progress and areas in which you can improve. 

The three most important aspects to check on are:

  • Performance
  • Coverage
  • Enhancements

Optimize Images

Image optimization doesn’t only matter when it comes to Google Images, it also matters for web search. To make sure that you have the best possible images, all you have to do is put two things into place:

  1. Use descriptive file names
    1. Google technically can’t see images. It can only read descriptions that coincide with them. By naming them descriptively, you help Google understand the content of the image. 
  2. Use image alt text
    1. Just how you use descriptive language for the titles, it’s necessary in the alt text as well. This all comes back to Google reading and not viewing the image. 

Internal Linking

Internal linking refers to linking one part of your website to another. If you have other pages that are relevant to what a customer is reading about, chances are high they’ll click on that link and delve further into your page. 

Going overboard with the linking – random linking – is better than no links at all, but the optimal situation would be smartly-placed links in places that make sense. 

What works best is linking old pages to new pages. Old pages get more traction and therefore more eyes, and linking them to new pages helps get just as wide of an audience on your fresh content. 

Content, Content, Content

Most competitive businesses use the internet today. We’re all used to it. Something that was impressive in 2001 is no longer impressive – business owners must try harder if they want to make a splash or be remembered. 

If you want to rank, you should invest in competent marketing skills. Marketing skills take time and money; they don’t simply arrive overnight. Creating content that stands out in 2020 takes effort, creative thinking, and critique. It also takes a lot of eyes and perspectives. 

Backlinks

Backlinks are external where in-site links are internal. When your site is linked from someone else’s, that means your content is relevant enough to be provided and therefore that source acts as a reference for you. By supplying your site, they’re saying that your content is credible, useful, and worth a click. 

The more people that click on said link, the more ‘up-votes’ your site will get, which will put it higher for optimization. 

But not all backlinks

User Experience

Google can tell when a user clicks on your site only to click off. This is called ‘pogo sticking.’ When a user does this, that means they didn’t find what they were looking for, and went back to the results to look for something else. You don’t want ‘pogo sticking’ to happen to you. 

You prevent it by providing a quality user experience and useful information relevant to the keywords used to market your page. Creating a more user-friendly site will prompt more people to share it, and shares are always a good thing when it comes to SEO. 

Creating a website is the first step – the second step is getting it into the world. By following these SEO guidelines, you should be off to a great start with not only inviting people to your page, but enticing them to keep coming back. 

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