As business owners, we wear many hats. Often times we are attempting to maneuver territories that we aren’t very familiar with. In some instances, we hire professionals and others we may try to figure out. If you are trying to figure out how to rank in Google, The ABC of SEO will be helpful. Now keep in mind that Google’s CEO could only simplify the process so much for Congress so we’re doing out best to guide you through these murky waters.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the methodology which generates the responses to online searches, after the ads. You type, “summer camp in Chattanooga” and the organic (non-paid) responses are generated based on which websites will provide the best options for you. How web pages are designated “the best”, that’s SEO!
As much as I wish that people were interested in the underbelly of the internet, no one goes beyond page 1 of a Google search. Therefore, you want the SEO of your website to be strong enough to garner you a coveted place on page one.
Dissecting The ABC of SEO
It’s a misconception that SEO gets “plugged in” after the website is designed and live. The driving force of SEO is the user experience. How quickly is the user navigated from the search engine directly to the answer on your website? Load time and access to the information impact your SEO ranking. Users aren’t going to spend much time clicking around, so make sure your content is easily accessible. That’s UX Design and that happens in the earliest phases of website development.
THERE IS NO PAY TO PLAY
Buying ads might put you at the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) but they don’t impact the SEO of your site. SEO has to be completely organic. If your ads are at the top of the SERP but your SEO is weak, once you stop paying for ads you won’t be featured at the top. Now, if your SEO is organically driving your site to the top well then, you guessed it, you don’t need to pay for ads!
KEYWORDS ARE ONLY ONE FACTOR
Google uses over 200 criteria to determine the SEO of your site. Therefore overloading on keywords won’t instantly drive you to the top of the SERP. Overuse of keywords is actually discouraged. Keep your content fresh and user focused. Relevant media, images with alt text, social media traffic and simplicity of use are all important factors.
MOBILE USE IS CRITICAL
Fewer and fewer web traffic is coming from desktop computers. Your website has to be optimized for mobile use. This factor is so important that Google announced early this year that the Mobile Experience will be included as a relevant factor when assessing a site’s SEO. This leads us right back to point number one, the design of your site matters.
INVITE GOOGLE IN
If you’re interested in ranking in Google, and who isn’t? Add their WebMaster services to your site. Google offers free code to increase their ability to crawl your site. You can then use their data to track how searchable your site is. Pair Google Search Console with Google Analytics then sit back and watch the data grow….and ideally your rank increase.
Remember that SEO is a multi-faceted combination of efforts and most importantly, it’s a long-term investment. You aren’t going to be at the top of the SERP on day one. Put in the effort and give it time.
Interested in learning how to better secure your site? Read our suggestions for an HTTPS.