Search Engine Optimization (SEO) enables customers to find your business when they are looking for a solution based on a specific term or phrase. The job of search engines (think Google) is to provide the best possible results for a user when they type in a keyword or phrase. Users want to know info immediately, so in order for search engines to remain relevant (and charge for ad placement) they need to produce useful search results. When a user searches a keyword the engine looks for websites that match. The practice of SEO bridges the gap between a website and search engine to establish site ranking.
So what do you need to do to make sure you are found? Here are 6 things you should check for SEO success:
Are you using the right keywords? Understanding how or what people are using as keywords for your business is critical. It is important to understand primary keywords users are searching and also the secondary and related keywords. Primary keywords are the overarching topic and secondary keywords support this topic. Tools like SEO Moz (moz.com) can help get you started on identifying keywords for your business.
You may have heard content is king to increase search rankings. To be effective, you need to write well and you need to know what to write about. Content should answer what the user is searching for based on your keyword research. Create content with the intention of being the best answer for the search query. Also look for gaps in content that already exists to help answer user questions. Using primary and secondary keywords in content provides an opportunity to rank for expanded sets of keywords which will ultimately drive a higher volume of website traffic to your site.
User Experience & Page Speed
A clean looking website provides a better user experience and creates engagement. Search engines monitor engagement of sites and use it as a search ranking factor. If a user performs a search and clicks through to a website and immediately goes back to the search results, Google assumes that the website did not provide the answer to what the user was looking for (from the content or keywords), or the site did not provide a good user experience and adjust results by lowering rankings of the website. On the flip side, if they stay that can increase the rank results.
Page load speed is also an important aspect of the user experience. Google provides tools to help the speed of sites through Google PageSpeed Insights (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/). Google will provide suggestions to speed the load times of a website after testing it. The faster a load time the better the user experience and the higher ranking your site receives.
Google has announced, “Mobile First Indexing.” You can check your site’s mobile-friendliness as deemed by Google https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. If you are not providing a good mobile website experience, it should be at the top of the list of things to improve. Call your agency.
The issue of security can be seen almost daily when reading the news. The question of “is this site secure?” or “should I click on this?” is almost a daily phenomenon. The move to HTTPS which provides an added layer of security is now playing a role in search engine rankings.
Ensuring that the website is set up properly for good indexing by the search engines is critical for all other factors to play a role in search engine rankings. If the site cannot be properly crawled by the search engines the site will struggle for search rankings. You can check the indexation of the site using Google’s Search Console https://www.google.com/webmasters/ by signing up and verifying the site with Google.