Many small business owners are under the impression that in order to rank a website on Google requires anything from paying Google to rank your website to engaging with shady online characters to dealing with black magic. The truth however is far different from the accepted mainstream opinion of how SEO and Google rankings work.
Search Engine Optimization really is self-explanatory and the process of ranking a website in Google is entirely dependent on how well you have optimized your website for search engines.
For those non-believers let me explain.
The World Wide Web, Search Engines (mainly Google as it owns close to 70% of the search engine market) and your Website are as interdependent as earth wind and fire. One element simply would not work without the other. The trick to efficient SEO is understanding the relationship between these 3 key elements and applying that knowledge to the structure and semantics of your website.
For small businesses in Brisbane the building blocks of optimising your website starts with simple semantics with an eye for detail, content, title tags and blogging.
Understanding the relationship between the WWW, Google and your website.
Imagine Google as the world’s largest and most popular library. Everyday the Google library receives millions on new books, newspapers and other sources of information (webpages uploaded to the world wide web)
Since they are the biggest library on the planet, Google has hundreds if not thousands of employees (crawlers/Googlebots) reading these newly added books and categorizing them. The ‘crawlers’ don’t just put any book on their shelves, it has to be of top quality, user friendly and relevant to make sure their customers keep on coming back!
This is what Google does weekly with new websites and webpages that they find on the web. Hundreds of analyses and scans are conducted by Google on the Internet in order to pick-up and index new websites. Their main goal is to constantly raise the bar and improve the Google user experience.
How to make sure your website is indexed correctly.
Let’s start with the structure and positioning of the content on your website.
Two of Google’s most powerful algorithms are called Panda 4.0 and Payday Loan. Both of these were created for the purpose of filtering out websites that don’t have enough good quality content and that have too many advertisements above the fold.
To avoid being weeded about by these Google algorithms the best SEO practise is to:
a) Keep the number of ads in the header of your website down to a minimum- at most 1 or 2. Reposition current advertisements in the side banners or in the footer. However it is best for all SEO purposes to have as few ads as possible on your webpage. Too many ads can drive away potential clients and will decrease your click through rate. Simply, too many ads = spam.
b) Content-The Right Place at the Right Time
Content is a vital factor in determining the length of engagement individuals have with your website. Your home page and relevant landing pages should contain informative, compelling content that is visible to the user when they click into your site; with no need for further navigation.
The Panda 4.0 algorithm specifically targets websites with thin and irrelevant content. Therefore you must constantly review your business’ website to ensure it is compatible to Google and easy-to-read.
NO KEYWORD STUFFING
Keyword stuffing is a sure way to get a Google penalty and deter users from engaging with your business. It looks like spam spammy spammish spamming…see my point?
c) Title Tags
One of the most underestimated aspects of SEO is the importance of Title Tags. These 65 characters are the doorway to your website from the aspect of indexing and Google’s search results.
Google’s crawling systems read these title tags before anything else to determine where to index your webpage-Google will not be able to index and rank your website for your keywords if they are not written properly.
Your business sells organic 100% cotton t-shirts and your current title tag for your product landing page reads “ Coolest Shirts | Sweaters | Sale on Today” –Google will have no clue that your website is about organic cotton T-shirts. It is that simple. Your title tag should be read along the lines of “100% Organic Cotton T-Shirts in Brisbane | Brisbane Surf Shirts”.
When writing your title tags always remember that 1) Google has to be able to read and crawl the title for indexing purposes. 2) You want to write something that will urge ‘browsers’ to click-in and turn into prospective clients.
Whenever we meet with clients we always have to stress the importance of blogging. This is usually accompanied by a grunt or sigh that you’d normally hear from a school kid getting homework over the weekend. Regardless of how time consuming or trivial blogging may seem to you it is one of the best things you can do to help your SEO campaign.
Two main reasons why blogging is imperative:
1) As previously explained Google unleashes their indexing tools weekly to incorporate and categorize the millions of new web pages on the web into their database.
Every new blog written on your website means an additional webpage added to Google’s database. The more blogs and articles you own in web the more you increase and expand your web presence and increase your opportunities for ranking for a diverse range of keywords.
2) One of the other great things about blogging consistently is that it forces you to continually research and learn more about your industry. The key to a good blog is to have unique well-written engaging content. Check out what your competitors are getting up to and make sure your copy is different and creative.