Everybody finds information through an Internet search engine. Whether you’re trying to answer a question, research a topic or look for a business, chances are you turn to a search engine first. Google is the king of search engines because it has the best search algorithms that serve the best results. Google Search is also really, really easy to use.
Google processes at least 2 trillion searches per year. Make sure you get found!
Why Search Engine Optimization is important?
If you want your website to show up on the first page of search results when people enter search terms important to your business, you need Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The more Page 1 rankings you have for different keywords, the more web traffic you’re going to get. The more traffic you get, the more you’ll sell!
To be clear, when we talk about SEO we’re talking about improving organic search results, which means that you’re not paying Google to run text advertisements. What you want is for your website to come up to the top of Google Page 1 organic results because it deserves to, not because you’re paying for placement.
Did you know that when you enter a search term, Google serves up hundreds of pages of results? Not hundreds of listings, but hundreds of pages of listings. But 98% of people searching the Internet never go beyond Page 1 search results.
What does that mean?
It means that there are tens of thousands of relevant websites that most searchers will never ever find. If your business is targeting competitive keywords like ‘family law Barrie’ or ‘Collingwood painters’, you’re going to need proper Search Engine Optimization…and great content.
The evolution of SEO
SEO consists of changes you make to your website in order to allow the search engines to rate it higher for terms important to your business. Most of those changes are common sense web building best practices. VY Web Design has a checklist of several dozen items that we apply to each of your website pages.
For example, optimizing your meta information (which is invisible to the reader but not to the search engines) to complement your targeted keywords. Our checklist changes as Google’s algorithms evolve. SEO is not static—it’s a moving target. As search algorithms change, so too must your website.
Today’s search is very sophisticated. Google is making greater use than ever of its RankBrain platform, which evaluates websites according to different parameters than normal search engines do. For example, it changes its algorithm according to the website’s industry: pharmaceutical, legal, etc.
RankBrain has upper and lower thresholds for most things, like words per page. When you do everything right, your website stays within these thresholds and gets promoted in search rankings. When you’re outside of these thresholds, RankBrain will demote your site. At VY Web Design, we use tools to monitor customer websites. This shows us what needs adjusting in order to stay within RankBrain’s sweet spot.
See how your website measures up
We can quickly evaluate how Google is treating your site and we can tell exactly when Google RankBrain is taking over. For potential clients that are well organized and serious about SEO, we will conduct an exercise to prove our value. Most of what we do is foundational SEO best practices that entail no risk. The result—always—is that we end up improving your website.
How we create SEO success
We’ve been a thriving SEO agency since 2001 for one reason: we produce results. We move customer websites up to the top of Page 1 Google rankings for search terms important to their business.
We have a 3-step process (and many, many sub-steps!):
- On-Page SEO
On-page SEO starts by defining the core words and phrases (keywords and key phrases) that are most important to your business. These are terms that people type into a search engine in order to find a business like yours. For example, “Search Engine Optimization” might be the key phrase that you used to find this page that you’re reading right now.
We always start by doing the keyword research for your market. We look at things like the monthly volume of searches that popular search terms achieve. Once we have the keyword research completed, we can move on to building (or updating) your website content around your keywords.
We also organize your website structure in an easy-to-access, organized manner. That helps search engine robots (search bots) to retrieve your website’s information quickly. Creating a great user experience is important to Google. File structure and well-organized code can make a difference between ranking on Google Page 1 and Page 36.
- Social Signals
This is the second biggest factors in search engine ranking. Google tracks incoming links from other websites. Having links on your website from important sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is one of the best ways to boost your rankings. Why’s that? Because Google wants to see real engagement with your visitors. They use inbound links to confirm that yours is a real site providing current content, and that your business is actively creating a better user experience.
- Off-Page strategies
Off-page strategies push your website to the top above your competitors. We know how the Algorithm works and we manipulated it to our advantage. Google has loop holes and we know what they are. Google has leveraged human nature to perfect their Algorithm and it can tell when humans are trying to manipulate search results. Over the last few years Google has used human weaknesses to expose low quality SEO. We used to be able to rank to page #1 over the weekend now Google has extended this time frame to months to catch the impatiences of manipulators.
If you’re serious about driving traffic to your website, Contact Us.
The Importance of good content
Another vital SEO practice is filling your website with engaging, useful content: words, images and videos. What you say and show about your business should be informative and compelling. You want visitors to think good things about you and prefer you to your competitors. You also want Google to notice that you have the right amount of great content, with the right keyword phrases (for example, “Barrie family law” if you have a family law practice in Barrie).
The first thing to know about good content is that it has to be original. If you copy writing from elsewhere on the Web and put it up as your own, Google knows what you’ve done and will downgrade your website in its search ranking. Content should meet the market standard for length—between 300 and 500 words per page. Use keywords important to your business, but don’t try to repeat them 35 times per page. That’s called keyword stuffing and it will get you blacklisted from the search engines. A good rule of thumb is that your content should read well. Write for human enjoyment, but keep search engines in mind.
Once you are ranking on the search engines, you will need to convert, which means getting visitors to click through to your site and keeping them there for more than a few seconds. Having a great title for the page, the article…whatever the viewer reads in the search results on Google…is part of conversion: a good title has to have a hook; it’s got to be interesting or exciting enough to make them want to click through. Don’t use a misleading title though, or people will ‘bounce’ (click away from) your site—fast.
Maximize time on site
As Google monitors and compares your website against your competitors’, it uses a complex algorithm to determine search ranking. One huge ranking factor is bounce rate. Imagine if visitors spent an average of 90 seconds on your fiercest competitor’s website and an average of just 1.5 seconds on your website before bouncing off. Which website do you think Google is going to rank higher? If you’re getting a massive bounce rate, your ranking is going to plummet.
We already mentioned one way to maximize time on site: include useful written information that speaks to search terms important to your business. Another great way to maximize time on site is to put up a video that explains what you offer, why what you offer is better, or something about your business, your services or your products. People love videos: they explain and entertain, plus they keep visitors on your page for a good long while, increasing your search engine ranking. Either way, content is king. If you post great content, website visitors will stick around.
How do you know who does SEO properly?
VY Web Design has been optimizing websites since 2001. Back then it was simply called ‘good web design’. You just needed to understand how the Internet works and how search engines do what they do. At the time, most website builders focused solely on aesthetics, ignoring the fact that you have to convince both people and the search engines of your worth.
Discovering who’s good at SEO and who’s not is actually really easy. Ask your SEO professional one question:
“What are you testing?”
If you’re not testing, you’re either behind the game or you’re relying on someone else’s knowledge. Either way, you’re in trouble. That’s because SEO techniques that work today won’t necessarily work tomorrow. As Google and other search engines change their algorithms (and they do so more and more rapidly), some SEO techniques stop working while others are discovered.
The rule we live by at VY Web Design is Always Be Testing. As the Google algorithm changes, we change with it. More about VY Web Design SEO research & education.
Call the professional SEO experts at VY Web Design at 705-795-6251. or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.