Easy SEO tips
Simple Ways to Increase your Website’s Google Rank
To understand search engine optimization, it is important to understand why Google does what they do. Here’s an example: Say your car breaks down on the side of the highway and you need a tow truck. You take out your phone and google “towing companies near me.” You’d expect the results to populate with towing companies near you, not a list of local restaurants or other services.
To populate the list of results with relevant websites, google uses what are known as “Googlebot crawlers” or “spiders.” These are bits of code that aggregate and analyze massive amounts of websites and their information.
Think of this as a little spider that’s going out on a very long trip across the internet to learn as much as possible about what websites are out there. Then, they report the information found to categorize websites in a way that makes sense for things likely to be searched for.
At the very least, to increase your website for search engine availability, you have to think in terms of “what is someone going to search to find me?” If you are a towing company, try to write “towing company, *your location*” on your website as much as possible.
Keep reading for more ways to increase search engine visibility.
Before uploading any images to your website, change the name of the image to something that is relevant to the photograph and your business. If you are a towing company and you’re uploading a picture of a tow truck to your website, change the image name to “tow truck *your location*.” Users won’t see this image name unless something doesn’t load properly or it is downloaded, but search engine spiders will read image name information when crawling your website.
Alternate text attributes, often referred to as alt attributes, are what is read to someone visiting a webpage with an accessibility app. Alt attributes are read to the visitor to describe what is in the picture. Effective alt attributes will describe what is in the photograph in 1-2 sentences. Googlebots will crawl this description and use it when indexing your site.
Content and Blogging
Content is KING! Fill your website content with relevant business information as much as possible without losing its readability to visitors. If your website has blogging capabilities, write original blog posts about industry information and trends to establish your business as an expert and resource. This provides credibility to site visitors and gives Google more content to analyze when determining how your website should be indexed. Regularly updating blog content also signals to Google that the site is active, which can help you rank higher in search results.
<h1> Header Tags
Header tags are what the title of this blog post is written in. Optimize your header tags to include the most relevant information for your website. Spiders will look at these tags as important information and will take them into consideration when categorizing your website.
Google My Business
Google My Business is what should show up on the right hand side Search Page of Google when you search your business name. I’ve included an example of what mine looks like. You’ll notice my business doesn’t have a physical location (hello, #laptoplifestyle) so it doesn’t have an address listed and has my local service area radius instead. If you have a storefront, make sure you add that in so you can benefit from those “near me” searches.
Google My Business Insights is great for seeing how many people clicked on your website from this listing, clicked to call your or got directions to your storefront. This can be helpful for identifying seasonal trends.
You can view my full Google Business listing here.
NAPs: Name, Address & Phone Number
Your business name, address and phone number appears on various websites all across the Internet. Think Yelp, Trip Advisor, Social Media, etc. Consistency is KEY. If you normally write your business address as:
123 Main St.
Faketown, NY 12345
Make sure you write it E X A C T L Y the same everywhere on the Internet. Down to the same consistent abbreviation of St. and phone number formatting (seriously!).
Custom Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are what show up beneath your business search result. Spiders are not going to necessarily use meta information to rank your website, however, having captivating and relevant meta descriptions will help entice readers to click on your website instead of someone else’s. This is going to help Google recognize that your website is what searchers want to click on and can in turn help you move up to the top of the results page. If you don’t enter a custom meta description, Google will use the content on your webpage to create one that they think is relevant. While this doesn’t negatively impact your ranking, having something catchy and customized is ideal.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a powerful part of Google’s Webmaster toolset. Search Console provides you a comprehensive list of the search queries that resulted in your listing appearing in Google and what those appearances ranked. Search console also provides the number of people who saw your listing (impressions) and how many people clicked on it. A Click Through Rate (abbr. CTR) is also provided. Your Click Through Rate is calculated by dividing the number of people who clicked on your listing by the number of impressions it received. This data can help decide what the most important keywords are for your business and what to focus your website content on. Do you need more content on a specific revenue stream or product? Are you ranking really high for something that isn’t a priority? All of these questions can help you make smart decisions about your website content.
Google bought YouTube way back in 2006. YouTube has since gone on to become the second largest search engine in the world, secondary to the one and only Google. This not only makes YouTube’s SEO a topic for a different blog post, it means that video is powerful. Having engaging video embedded on your site means users are more likely to remain on your website and watch the content, thus decreasing bounce rate. The next time you post a blog, try including a video at the top or bottom of the post.
Social media itself will not improve your search ranking. I’m going to say that again. Social media itself will not improve your search ranking. Yes, even if you’ve got killer accounts. What social media CAN do, however, is be strategically used to drive potential customers to your website. If you don’t have a website, check out this blog post on why social media is not enough.
So, you might ask…how can I use social media to drive website traffic? Post content to your website that your followers care about and always link your website! By doing this, your followers will stay on your website longer and read or watch what you have to offer, thus decreasing your bounce rate (if you want some tips on linking your website on Instagram, check out this post).