Looking to move your website’s search listing up on Google, Yahoo! and Bing yet don’t know where to start? Here are five more basic tips to help you improve your search engine optimization efforts.
“Sticking with the basics that everyone can do, with relative ease.” – Jimmy Best, Websites Built In Hollister
If you want your website to rank higher and more often in Google (or any other search engine), it’s essential that you know a handful of techniques regarding SEO (search engine optimization). When you optimize your web pages so Google can more easily find you, you’re sure to be found much more often when prospects are searching for your products or services while searching online. If you can take advantage of the five tips that follow, your web pages will receive more traffic from the people you really want to find you…potential clients and customers.
The most important word to remember through each of these tips is, “keywords.” Think of keywords as search engine magnets. The more relevant keywords you have, in the right places on your pages, the more energy you are giving Google to find your website and have it appear in search results.
Tip #1: The Power of Links
Each tip that follows is something you can do to your actual web pages that can improve your Google visibility, but this one doesn’t. The first tip is for you to get as many links as you can to your website, from other websites. These are called, “inbound links,” and Google loves them. When other websites have a link to your website, Google is more likely to see your website as authoritative and more important. This means everything else you do on your web pages when it comes to SEO will be more valuable. However, not all inbound links are created equal. The bigger the website you can get to link to you, the more impressed Google will be. Start with your Chamber of Commerce website, and keep it going from there.
Bonus Tip – Remember, “keywords” still matter in links. A link to your site (or even within your site) that is hyperlinked as a keyword is much more valuable than just a hyperlink that says, “click here” or “www.mywebsite.com.”
Bonus Tip and No-no: Avoid linking with link farms. They detract from your credibility & reputation, and it’s also believed that those darn bots are intuitive enough to know you’ve hooked your site to some gianormic pool of unrelated links. Make sure your links are relative to the purpose of your site. For example, we list our services at WebsiteDesignersList.com, a web design directory.
Tip #2: Page Titles
Page titles appear as the headline in Google search results. You should have page titles that are both relevant to what’s on that specific page, as well as keyword rich. Google allows you to use up to 70 characters in your page title, so maximize that real estate wisely. A perfect headline example for an accountant in Hollister, CA may be: “Hollister, CA Accounting Services | 123 Accounting and Bookkeeping.” That took up 68-characters and contained several keywords that may be used when someone is looking for an accountant in San Jose, CA. Pretty simple, yes?
Bonus Tip: Did you see how the link we just mentioned used keywords as the hyperlink? This is what we were talking about in Tip #1.
Tip #3: Page Descriptions
When you’re looking at any search result in Google, the non-bold text under the page title is a “page description.” Google allows you to utilize 155 characters for your page description. Use the same rules as the page titles tip, but also think of these 155 characters as a mini-ad for the content that’s on the specific page your optimizing. To follow up on the Hollister, CA accountant example above, your page description may be: “123 Accounting and Bookkeeping is a local Hollister, CA firm specializing in accounting, write up, bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation services.” That’s 148 characters that contains both a perfect description of your home page, which is also keyword rich.
Use a free SEO character counter to help you maximize the perfect page description.
Tip #4: Maximizing Page Content
The power of keywords also extends to the content on your web pages. Although your page copy doesn’t appear in the Google search results, Google will index this content to make sure it matches up with your page title and page description. You’re going to want at least 300 words on each of your pages for Google to index (500 is even better). Be sure your keywords are mentioned close to 3-5% of the page content. This means in our example, that the words, “Hollister, CA Accounting” should be mentioned in some form at least 15 times in a 500 word page. But remember, you don’t want to make your keywords feel “stuffed” into your page. Spread them out, so they feel natural, and not forced.
Tip #5: More Pages = More Juice
The more pages you feed Google, the more juice you have on your site to be found by Google. The best way to do this is by having a blog as part of your website. A blog is a simple way to produce weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly articles, posts, or company information that can be picked up by Google. Not only do more pages give Google more information to find you (and display you in more search results), it also keeps your site fresh with content, which is another thing that Google loves.
And Tip #5 is one of our favorite because it points to the EXACT way we build websites for our small business customers: A WordPress-based website (which has the best blogging capabilities, built-in) built as a CMS (content management system), solid SEO built-in, and all wrapped up in what we feel is the most effective way to easily present on online business presence.