Google is, without a doubt, the most popular search engine on the planet. If you ask a sample of people on the street which search engine they regularly go to when they want to find something, the chances are they’re going to say Google. However, Google is aware of this, and as a result, they’re pretty demanding in what they expect from a website owner.
For the best results, you need to be on the first two pages of a Google search at the very least. The first page is best because not that many people venture onto page two. Of course, to appear in search results, you need to please Google, which means using something called SEO.
For a local business, you need to make sure that your website is appearing in the top 3 results for the map section as well as the organic results to get the most amount of phone calls and traffic you can get.
If I had to choose one, I’d make sure to get in the map results because that’s what generates the most amount of calls based on my data.
Anyone who has any knowledge of website success will have heard of SEO. If you aren’t sure what it is, you need to do a crash course, quickly.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and ensures your website is on the first few pages of a search. Most people assume that SEO is just about building backlinks and inserting keywords, but that is the tip of the iceberg. If you want your website to perform well, you need to incorporate SEO throughout the whole website design process, from the start to the end of design, to everything going on after that point.
SEO is not just one person’s responsibility. For instance, it’s not only your copywriter’s responsibility or your blogger; it’s something that everyone should bear in mind.
SEO From The Start
Anyone who plays a part in designing your website needs to understand SEO, and it needs to be far up on their priority list. You might not start optimizing your site immediately, but bearing the details in mind during the planning stage means that you don’t have to go through and make significant changes later on.
If you’re designing the site yourself, you have more control; however, if you’re working with a website designer or a copywriter, you need to ensure that you work together as a team. Sit down and research high ranking keywords. Work with your copywriter to ensure that all keywords are inserted into the copy as naturally as possible. By working together, you can ensure that you have the outcome you want; different writers work in different ways, and it might not be the outcome you want or need. Communication is key.
SEO also covers the following areas during the set up of your website:
- Ensuring clear call to action on relevant pages, including keywords within it
- Natural use of keywords – prominent placement is an SEO killer.
- HTML writing
- Have internal links scattered evenly across your pages
- Use meta tags with keywords placed within them.
- Ensure your URL is SEO’d also
- Have alt tags on your images, also including keywords
- Splitting content up into H1, H2, and H3 headings, using keywords as appropriate
When you do this from the start, with SEO clearly in mind, you’ll have less work to do in the future, and your site will start performing well earlier. As your website is launched, you should also use analytical tools to check how well or otherwise your site is doing, and make changes following what you find.
It’s important to note that you can overdo it with keyword placement. Merely throwing a keyword in for its sake is going to be extremely noticeable to a visitor, and it’s going to make them quickly understand what you’re trying to do. Of course, most won’t care, but it might make them think that you’re focusing on rankings rather than the quality of service, and it could affect your credibility. Google may also not take too kindly to overuse of keywords.
Bearing SEO in mind from the start saves you a lot of work and wasted time. A site that doesn’t use quality SEO techniques isn’t going to do that well. You can’t expect to find customers via organic searches without using SEO – your site could appear on pages 6, 7, or 8, and nobody goes that far when searching unless they’re very bored indeed!
Of course, you also need to make sure that you have a proper backlink strategy in place or you won’t get anywhere. Backlinks are the main way most websites rank these days. But make sure you do your research before diving into it because this is where most people mess things up and fail.
You need to be on the first page if possible, and even the second page is somewhat of a disappointment. By ensuring that you utilize SEO in your website design and all the content you produce, you will stand a far greater chance of reaching that target. Besides, regularly monitoring performance will allow you to notice when a dip in traffic is occurring, and you can rectify the situation without allowing it to fester on for too long.