Those businesses whose websites are listed in the first few spots in the Google search results will acquire the majority of the clicks! Since few people look past the top few results, that’s exactly where YOUR SITE needs to appear!
WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)?
Search engines are websites that help you find information (i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc…). For the purposes of this discussion, let’s just use Google as the default search-engine since it’s much more popular than Bing, Yahoo and the others. Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a SEO) refers to the practice of boosting your website’s Google rank. Why would you want your site ranking higher in Google? Because few people ever look past the first few Google results. Your competitors know this too. So you’re competing with them to obtain these top positions. And to the victors go the spoils (i.e. more customers).
HOW CAN SEO BOOST YOUR SITE’S GOOGLE RANK?
There’s a few different SEO exercises that can be done to strengthen your Google rank. Just like going to the gym, the more different types of excercises you do, the better your overall health and strength will become. Don’t forget the cardio! 😉 Some exercises do contribute more than others. But if you just do exercise A, and your competitor is doing exercises A, B, C and D, then your competitor is more likely to obtain a better Google rank.
Below is a list of the most critical SEO exercises our Hoboken, New Jersey team can offer your website, or at the very least, steer you in the right direction.
Responsive Web Design
(If you already have a responsive site, you can obviously skip this section.) Responsive website design makes your site look great on not just a desktop monitor, but also on smartphones and tablets. As the browser width shrinks, everything becomes vertically streamlined. Basically the website ‘responds’ as the browser window gets smaller. For example, while viewing this very website (assuming you’re on a desktop computer), grab the right side of the browser window and shrink its width. Or if you’re on a phone or tablet, rotate the device 90 degrees. In both cases, you’ll see that all the pieces become vertically streamlined so the site looks great phones, tablets, and any other device of any width. To make a long story short, it’s easy to read and navigate and gives your visitors a better surfing experience on any device. Therefore Google likes it (a lot) and this SEO excercise will help boost your Google rank.
HTTPS Security Implementation
(If you already have an httpS site, you can obviously skip this section.) Notice how all websites have http or https at the beginning of their address when you visit them? Well httpS sites are more secure than regular http sites. An additional security product called an ‘SSL certificate’ needs to be purchased and applied to your site to make it https. You can Google what an SSL certificate is, but basically it adds a strong layer of security. Since Google doesn’t want to send googlers to sites that run a greater chance of being infected, they are now favoring the more secure httpS sites. It’s a simple, quick and inexpensive change to implement. Here’s a related article you should read to get even more learn-ed on the subject of HTTPS security.
(If we built your site, this is already implemented.) The meta titles and meta descriptions are summaries of what’s contained in a particular page of your website. Think of it as a book’s Table of Contents. The Meta Title is the name of that chapter and the Meta Description is… a brief description of that chapter. These two items will appear in the Google search results. Image ALT Tags are picture descriptions. At some point in the future, but not yet, Google doesn’t know what it’s seeing in a picture. So for now, it would like a description written into the picture coding so it knows what the pictures in your website portray. It’s also really important to make use of external CSS stylesheets.
Watching a video, while learning about a topic, is a lot more entertaining than just reading a page that’s chocked full of text, right? Sorry we couldnt include any videos in the content of any e-mail ;( Anway, humans retain a lot more information from what they see than what they read. If your website doesn’t contain a compelling video that details your service or product offerings, then you’re missing out on a modern and effective marketing technique that more and more of your competitors are embracing. One that will help make your site more Google friendly too! Why? Because Google knows that website visitors would prefer a mixed bag of content (text, pictures and video). Plus, if your visitors are watching a video on your site, they’re probably spending even more time on your site. Increased ‘time-on-site’ statistics help further boost your Google rank. Here’s some samples of videos we could produce for you.
The more original content your site has that’s relevant to your specific services, the more Google-friendly it becomes. Why? Because Google wants to send people searching a specific service to a website that truly conveys the owner is an expert in that service. For example, let’s say you need a local New Jersey dentist for your kid so you Google “pediatric dentist”. Google is more likely to list websites that have service pages dedicated to the topic of pediatric dentistry. And less likely to list websites that only mention pediatric dentistry, once and off-the-cuff, in a bulleted list of services. Another example: if you were a plumber, your website should have pages for more than just residential and commercial plumbing. It should have pages for: toilets, sinks, showers, water heaters, etc…
The same premise applies to adding regular blog articles. They too help to convey to Google that you’re an expert in the topic the service the article relates to. Plus, Google favors websites that provide fresh content for their visitors.
Social Media Activity
Google prefers websites that have active social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…) that engage with their followers. Because by doing so, you convey to Google that your business makes a greater effort to engage with, and form a relationship with your customers versus a business that declines to make such efforts.
Google prefers websites that have a greater percentage of returning visitors. It indicates to them that these sites contain more entertaining or engaging or education content. One way to encourage returning visitors (and really just staying toward the front of your customers’ minds) is by sending regular email newsletters (kinda like this one!). MailChimp and Constant Contact are great services that can be used for this task. Checkout our review of Constant Contact.
Last, but definitely not least (in fact, one of the most important), is off-site SEO. As the name implies, this involves placing content outside of your website to boost your website’s rank. For example “link building”, which is the process of generating links from quality websites back to your website. Or “directory submissions” which involves submitting your company’s information to a whole host of different business directories. Or “content submission” where helpful articles are submitted, on your behalf, as blog posts on relevant high-traffic websites.
Until recently, we had not done much off-site SEO to this very website. But in November, 2016 we enlisted the help of an off-site SEO expert and we started up an off-site campaign. The results have been remarkable. Over the course of the next 3 months, we climbed much higher in the Google ranks for some very important search phrases.
“You did a great job!… I can see where I’ve got better positioning now in Google. My listing is higher!” – Debra J.
“I do some testing on Google searches myself and many times we pop up on the first page. thanks.” – Henry M.
SEO is an on-going battle. It’s not something you can set-and-forget. Many of your competitors are investing in SEO and digital marketing efforts for their sites because they understand the importance of a obtaining, and retaining, better Google positioning. There’s gold at the end of the rainbow. The problem is it’s not easy getting there and we all need some assistance. There’s just not enough time in the day for any business owner to try and do this stuff themselves. So in response to this need, we’re offering an assortment of SEO packages to help boost your website’s Google rank.
Contact our Hoboken, New Jersey office today and let’s discuss what can be done to improve YOUR website’s search engine rank.