Is your site the top listed in Google search results? Or is it buried in the fifth “O” of Gooooogle? There are a few good practices you can implement to influence Google’s algorithm and improve where you land in search engine result page (SERP).
This post will concentrate on two key influencers of search results – relevance and authority – and how to impact them – that is if you don’t hire someone that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). Keep in mind, there are many schools of thought on SEO tactics, but a good, searchable site starts with great content and structure. For a more basic overview refer to “Googlefying Your Business: Understanding Google Basics.”
1. Relevance (on-page SEO) – determines how closely a given Web page matches the search term. This is where keywords, tags, attributes, content and anchor text become important.
- Keywords – determine which keywords are relevant to your industry and which are being searched the most. Refer to your Google Analytics and Webmaster accounts for some insight on the words searchers are using to find you and include them throughout your site.
- Page Title – this appears at the top of the browser window and as the link in search engine results page (SERP). It helps Google determine the content of the page and helps searchers determine whether or not to click on your link. Be sure to use descriptive keywords.
- Page Description – information about the page or a snippet about what the searcher will find on the page. While meta descriptions won’t impact page ranking, good descriptions will make searchers more likely to click on your page.
- URLs – Again this is where rich keywords can be used to impact SEO and your click-through-rate. Also be sure to customize your URLs to match the page. For example, for an “About Us” page, the URL should read https://example.com/AboutUs.
- Images – Google doesn’t read images, so if you do use them, use an “ALT” attribute to include a few words of readable, descriptive text.
- Content – Create useful, relevant information. Sites rich with information will naturally use more keywords and potentially gain more inbound links.
2. Authority (off-page SEO) – This is another element that can influence Google’s algorithm. Some might argue it is the primary influencer. It is a measurement based on the number of inbound links on your page from other pages and their authority – not all inbound links are created equal. How do you build your authority?
- Interact – get out there and post to other blogs. Don’t spam, but offer thoughtful responses to blogs you are already reading and that interest you. Once you post your comment a trackback will be created.
- Blog – the more thought-provoking, useful content you create, the more comments and references you are likely to receive.
- Anchor text – this is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink that usually gives the user a relevant description of the link’s destination. Using relevant keywords as anchor text can help with search results.
There are countless ways to impact SEO, but this should give you a good base to start from. I’m curious what SEO tactics have been used? What has been successful? What hasn’t worked?
For the audio interview click the play button below, and for the video podcast visit Getting Found Online