If there is one phrase I've heard more than any other the last 5 years it's "How do I get to the top of Google?" The more we talk with clients, the more we realize that a lot of SEO consultants sell "search engine optimization" as a quick fix. Most of the time clients don't know what they are getting for the service or how it affects them (positive or even negative). Search engines are evolving everyday to try and provide a more accurate experience for the user. It's not our job to try and trick Google into thinking we should be #1, but rather proving it. Below are a couple steps to get you headed in the right direction.
Update Your Website
The digital world is constantly changing. You can no longer just build a website and let it sit for years and hope it's competitive in the digital marketplace. Building a website correctly is the foundation to the SEO game plan. Here are a few things Google looks for in a website:
- Page Size - The heavier the site page, the slower the load.
- Page Requests - The more HTTP requests your website makes, the slower it becomes.
- Page Redirects - Page redirects add an additional loading cycle, increasing the time to display the page.
- Mobile Responsiveness - Responsive design gives you a bump in search rankings for searches on mobile devices.
- Page Titles - Page titles should be no longer than 70 characters in length and not repeat keywords.
- Meta Description - Meta descriptions should be no longer than 155 characters in length and should be relevant to the page.
- Security - SSL certificates protect websites from attacks and gives visitors confidence that your site is authentic and trustworthy.
No matter if you're building a website yourself in Wix or hiring someone else to build it for you, it's important that it's done right. Want to know how your site holds up? Check out this awesome Website Grader!
Create Quality Content
"Create content primarily for your users, not search engines" - Google.
This is where a lot of people get hung up. The goal isn't to trick Google into thinking you're something you're not, but rather to show Google the value you provide to the consumer. Why does someone want to come to your site? Does your site clearly explain that? Can your visitors find what they are looking for on your site? Putting clear and wanted content in the hands of your customers can be a powerful tool. Don't waste this opportunity because it can take a lot of time, leverage this opportunity to get your message across loud and clear.
Are Your Digital Locations Registered Correctly
Search engines are populated with 100+ digital location services (Google, Yelp, etc). Is your business correctly listed across all of them? This is not only vital for making sure your customer can find the correct information when they search, but it also unifies your digital presence and creates more places for you to be found. When someone is driving around and they look for you on Apple Maps, is all the information correct? We also know that consumers use these platforms to express the feelings about you, but don't fear, this can be a great customer service tool. The conversation is happening everyday, the real question is are you going to be a part of it?
Want to see how well you're listed?
Bonus: Social Media
Though Google doesn't specifically say that Social Media posts will help you rank better, we do know a few things about the value of Social Media.
- Social sites are their own search engines.
- Social sites will rank in search engines
Want some more information? Here it is: Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide