How Do I Get My Website on the First Page of Google?

“How do I SEO my website?” is a question I hear a lot.

First, what is SEO? Search engine optimization is defined by Google as, “the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”

Further, Google states, “the key to getting more traffic lies in integrating content with search engine optimization and social media marketing.”

While Google Search Engine does not share its algorithm, but there are many things you or your webmaster can do to help your website’s Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP). Google is basically try to serve up websites that are relevant and useful in response to the user’s search query.  So the methods we recommend you do are in response to Google’s objective so you can swoop in and save the day for your website’s SERP.

the 3 SEO super powers

Meet the  Super Hero of On-Page Organic SEO

Do you wonder what you can do to help your website get found on the Internet without paying thousands of dollars for paid ad campaigns? Super Hero Organic SEO is here to save the day. She has magic powers to share to help your website achieve higher rankings.

SEO Super Power 1: Unique, Compelling Content

Write unique compelling content about your products or services and what makes your business special. Or actually better put is, describe the problem your potential client has, and how your offering can help them solve it.  Do NOT copy someone else’s words – Google will see that this is lifted and not value this page. Your site’s SERP may be penalized with too many pages detected with unoriginal content. To get the most from this Super Power:

Keep It Fresh: Add new content consistently; fresh content is better ranked than old, stale content

For example, if you have two websites that are identical or similar, continually add some more content on their site on a consistent regular basis that is custom, unique content, not copied from someone else. Don’t leave it the way it was published from day one; the updated site will continue to rise in at search engine ranking, while the stagnant site’s SERP will decrease.

This is why many website include blogs which makes it easy to continually add new content that is keyword rich. You may consider enhancing your blogs with images videos or audios. This increases the likelihood that humans will read it too.

» Learn more about using your website content for Inbound Marketing to attract new clients.

SEO Super Power 2: Keyword Phrases

Use keyword phrases relevant to the web page you are optimizing, remembering to select from your potential customer’s perspective and how they would search to find a business, product or service like yours, such as” website designers near me.” Remember that many searches are now done with voice versus typing. Place keyword phrases in the page where ever sensible, such as in the following:

  • Heading tags – these are section titles and considered more important than paragraph text, so including keywords are helpful here.
  • Front load – first sentence in first paragraph
  • Image filenames – instead of using image1.jpg, you can use a name that is relevant to image using keywords, whenever appropriate, e.g., dog-flea-spray.jpg;
  • Image Alt tags – use brief description of image, using keywords whenever appropriate
  • Meta title – which is 60 characters or less that describes what that page is about, again using keywords and Geo tags.
  • Meta Descriptionaccording to Google’s blog, there is no limit to the number of characters allowed. However, if pulled into the snippet that appears below the page title in search results (which may be different on mobile vs. desktop), it may be truncated to 155-160 characters.  It should be a short blurb containing keywords as possible, but be enticing so that a reader is encouraged to visit the web page.
    Google search results snippet
  • Meta title, title and description should be unique for each page. They should be specific to what the content is on that particular page. If you don’t update your own website, check with your webmaster to be sure this is being done.

Optimize each web page for its specific, pertinent keyword phrases. Don’t try to optimize the entire website on each page.

choose and optimize each web page with relevant keyword phrases for SEO

For example, you are selling marbles, it’s fine to have your home page optimized for keyword phrases about assorted marbles. But if someone is specifically looking for RED MARBLES, have a web page optimized for “red marbles” so this web page is served up by search engine results. The white marbles represent other words on the page that support the keyword phrases. Perhaps, how red marbles are used or are the favorite of top marble shooters.

A more realistic example could a pet store. The owner may choose to have a particular web page in their website optimized for “dog flea control products.”  The keyword phrase for this specific page should be about your “dog flea control products”, not about “pet store”.  This web page can help their pet store attract itchy dog owners in the summer months.

WARNING: Stay away from the Dark Side, i.e., the old world practice in a galaxy long, long ago of keyword stuffing; that is putting keywords in just to put them there, as bullets or try to hide with colors that match your page background. Search engines are onto this and your page ranking may actually be punished for this. Using our metaphor above, the right glass does not have ONLY red marbles in it, i.e., does not just repeat the keyword phrases over and over, “dog flea control products dog flea control products dog flea control products dog flea control products.”

SEO Super Power 3: Incoming Links

You can also improve your website’s SEO by taking action outside of your own website. Claim your listings and add website’s URL address on business citations or online business listings such as manta.com Merchant Circle, Yellow Pages.com etc. Learn more about incoming links in our articles: why you should care about backlinks and what to know about backlinks.

Another way to increase incoming links is to build relationships with influencers and/or bloggers in your industry and niche. If you have a relationship with reputable, high-authority site owners, perhaps they would do an article about you and your company’s products and link to your site and create an inline context link. You could offer a free sample for them to try and review.

Another Dark Side WARNING: Do not confuse this with paid farm links sites which can damage your  website’s reputation.

So use these three SEO Super Powers to land your website on Google’s first page!

Want help with your website and Internet presence?  Contact UmeWorks in Torrance at 323 638-9328 or info@umeworks.com to discuss your website needs.

Request a Free Website Evaluation

What is a bounce rate and how to reduce it

This is a common question I receive after clients review their Google Analytics report.

The way digital marketing works is pretty simple. A visitor comes to your website from any of the traffic channels including search engines, social media, blogs and so forth. The visitor then learns about your products by reading through some of your content. If they are impressed by an offer, they can choose to take action in the form of making a purchase, downloading an e-book, signing up for your email newsletter, etc.

However, things don’t always follow that path. Sometimes, a visitor might come to your website, look around, and leave without taking a desired action. In fact, they could even leave without clicking on the menu or any of the links on your page, right?

When that happens; when a visitor simply comes to your site and leaves without engaging with the page at all, we say that the visitor has bounced.

What is Bounce Rate and Why is it Important in Marketing?

Bounce rate, therefore, is the frequency at which visitors come to your site and leave without engaging with the page at all. It is expressed as a percentage and calculated as follows;

The Bounce Rate of a Web Page = Total Number of Bounces on a Page in a Given Period ÷ Total Number of Page Entrances over the Same Period.

A high bounce rate typically means that either;

  1.  The quality of your pages is low such that there is nothing to engage with. Or,
  2. The page doesn’t provide the answers visitors are looking for.

How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Although Google doesn’t use bounce rates to determine a site’s rank in search engine results, even terming bounce rate metrics as “spammable and noisy,” that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to high bounce rates.

For one, when visitors come to your site and leave without engaging with the page, it becomes difficult to convert those visitors. Additionally, in AdWords, a high bounce can negatively affect your Quality Score, leading to a higher Cost Per Click (CPC).

The good news is that there are a couple of things you can do to bring your bounce rate down to a more reasonable level. The following are a few ideas to consider;

    • Adjust how Google Analytics calculates your bounce rate

In Google Analytics, any single-page visit is counted as a bounce no matter the amount of time a visitor spends on that page. The first step is to change this so that Analytics takes into account time spent on the site when calculating your bounce rate.

    • Focus on fixing Profit Pages of your site

The Analytics dashboard has something known as profit index which is a database of web pages most frequently viewed prior to conversions or transactions. Rather than attempting to fix the bounce rates of all pages on your site, focus on fixing these profit pages.

    • Take out low-value traffic channels

If certain traffic channels are bringing in visitors who are not interested in your products/services, then you’re going to see high bounce rates. Taking out these low-value traffic channels can significantly boost your bounce rate.

    • Fix your CTAs and Landing Pages

Finally, visitors could be leaving without taking any action because your Calls To Action (CTAs) and Landing Pages are poor. Perhaps your CTAs are not compelling enough, or your landing pages don’t satisfy visitor queries. Fixing these issues can lower your bounce rate.

Now, Get Started Fixing Your Bounce Rate

Of course, you can’t have a 0.00% bounce rate. But, if you can implement the four strategies discussed above, rest assured of a meaningful improvement in your bounce numbers.

Get more details in our Guide to Reducing Your Website’s Bounce Rate.

REQUEST GUIDE

Avoid Security Warning in Chrome – Install an SSL

Did you know starting this month Google Chrome will start displaying prominent “Not Secure” notification on websites without an SSL (secure sockets layer)?  If you’re not sure, visit your website and check the address bar. If you have an SSL installed, you will see “https” vs. “http”.  If you don’t have one, users will be deterred from visiting your website.

Avoid having your website flagged by Chrome as not secure. Install an SSL certificate for your domain and subdomains and offer your website visitors confidence and protection when they go to your site.

BENEFITS OF INSTALLING AN SSL ON YOUR WEBSITE

  • Encrypted data, whether payment or contact information, on your website cannot be intercepted
  • Visitors have greater trust in your website
  • Google and other search engines rank websites with an activated SSL certificate higher than those without one

More about why it is important to install in SSL on your website.

 

Why You Should Care about Backlinks

Getting Started: Search Engine Optimization and Backlinks

If you have a business, we assume you have a website and want it to be found on Google.  Having your business listed on the top of search engine results is critical.  There are many factors that search engines take in consideration when serving up web pages upon keyword searches.

Google does not publish their algorithm to discourage people from “gaming” the SERP (search engine ranking position) results.  However, one of the known factors is the number of quality backlinks (also known as incoming links or inbound links) going to a website.  In fact, most website professionals would agree it is very difficult to get a website to rank well without backlinks.  So, that’s why you should care about backlinks: cultivating links from other quality websites that point back to your own site is a great opportunity to your site turn up in searches, and increase leads to your business.

Please note the word quality. Sometime ago it was true it was a good strategy to get as many links as possible to your site. This led to, however, things such as link farms and paid links. Because of this Google changed their algorithm and only rewards links from high authority sites; that is, those that have high visit rates and are reputable.  You can check a website’s authority on Moz.

What are backlinks?

A link is a connection between any two web pages. A backlink, or inbound link or incoming link, is one that links TO your website, so called because it points back to your website.

Why should you care about backlinks to your website?
From a search engine optimization perspective, links demonstrate a website’s popularity because it indicates someone has deemed your site worthy of sharing from theirs. The more links found by search engines going to a website, especially from authoritative sites, the higher the backlinked site is valued from a search engine ranking perspective.

Google and other search engine’s goal is to serve up websites that have quality content for the searched term.  So the assumption is, if many other sites reference yours, then your site much have quality information that readers care about.

How can you start acquiring backlinks to your website?

Business Citations

Although technically not considered backlinking by some SEO gurus, this is the easiest and most obvious way to get started, and are a key component of the ranking algorithms in Google and Bing.

Citations are any mention of a local business out on the web, typically in an online directory listing. Commonly included are the company name, phone number, address, and may or may not include a website link. For those citations that DO offer the opportunity to include a link to your website, you can claim your listing, or add your business listing, and update it to be sure it includes a backlink and pertinent keywords.

Examples of business citation listings are YellowPages.com, Manta.com and a chamber of commerce website. Types of business citation sites include industry-specific, geo-targeted, or general business listings.

“Other factors being equal, businesses with a greater number of citations will probably rank higher than businesses with fewer citations,” stated Moz.1

Some important tips about claiming business citations:

  • Be sure you enter your company name, address and phone (NAP) consistently across citations. Search engines will penalize you for inconsistencies.
  • Most citation sites will require you to create an account to login (typically free) and will need you to verify your relationship to the business. Be sure to keep your logins documented in order to update your citation in the future.
  • You can hire firms to claim or add your business listings on your behalf. This can be a huge time saver for you. But just as stated in the bullet above, be sure you’ll have access to edit the listing yourself in the future, should you need to.

Learn more about what to know about business citations here.

Produce Awesome Content

When you produce great content that educate or entertain, and make the reader glad they found it, the probability of someone sharing it increases.  How could they share it? My including a link in their own website or blog: a backlink!

An ideal link will be an inline anchor text link containing keywords, not just your company name, “click here”, or a naked anchor (http://domain.com). An example of an anchor text link to a reptile pet store is “Everything you need to create a perfect home for your new pet iguana.”

How can you help develop these links?

  • Submit article or Be a Guest Writer. Identify heavy-hitter bloggers, news, and emagazines in your niche.  Offer to write content specifically for their site.
  • Where are your Competitors? You can also target sites that are linking to your competitor’s sites. Search for your competitor’s URLs, or use tools to help you do that like MajesticAhrefs, and Moz’s Open Site Explorer.  Consider whether it is feasible to provide content to these site owner’s that they would publish.For example, let’s say you are in the children’s birthday party entertainment business.  You find a popular Mommy Blog that included a mention of a local magician. You could write an article about how your games are a fun, more engaging and active alternative for kids’ parties.
  • Press releases. If you have something newsworthy to share, an online press release can boost your backlink count.
  • Social networking. When you actively participate on social networking sites, you not only brand yourself as an expert, but you also can pick up a number of backlinks.2You can add teasers to your blog posts with backlinks, but keep in mind, if the pages are Private or you must be logged in to view the page, search engines can’t crawl these pages.
  • Product/Service Review. If you provide a quality product or service that you could offer a free sample to a respected evaluator or “best of” writer in your niche, and ask them to do a review.  Of course, this can be a double-edged sword, so be sure you have a GREAT product or service.
  • “Unclaimed” Opportunities. Search your company/brand name in a search engine. If you find any mentions on a website where there is no attribution link, contact author and ask them to add a backlink to your site. And provide the link to the web page that most closely matches what the mention is references.
  • Comment on other’s Blog. Use this one judiciously, as robotic comment spamming is very common and annoying tool used by Black Hatters and phishers. Find a respected blog in your niche, and write and intelligent and value-added comment. Many blogs will require you include your name and website.
  • Provide Testimonials for Others. If you sincerely like another firm’s product or service, leave a testimonial. The owner may include a link to your site so their readers will know you are a real person.

Backlink Don’ts

  • Don’t add backlinks from sites whose only purpose it to provide links, or other “thin” (no value) content.
  • Don’t pay for links.  This is considered a “black hat” strategy that Google does not condone.
  • Don’t attempt to acquire all backlinks at one time; trickle them over time. If not, search engine may assume you are trying to manipulate the rankings and penalize your site. 2
  • Of course, you cannot control what somewhat else writes, but pay attention to this when you are guest writing and submitting articles:
    • Be sure backlinks are not over-saturated on a single page or post. Google perceive this as an attempt to over-optimize and to game ranking results.
    • Do not over use exact word anchor links, meaning link from the same words repeatedly. Example “best pet store in Torrance”.

Keep in Mind…
Providing great content is important NOT just to encourage backlinks, but at least as important, if not more important, is that no matter how good your SEO is, if you get visitors to your website, but they are disappointed when they land there, all this is for naught.

Not sure what you can do to improve your website? Get a free website evaluation.

  • Is your site mobile-ready?
  • On-page keyword usage
  • Citation claiming and consistency
  • Backlink SERP
  • CTA usage
  • and more…

Request a Free Website Evaluation

References:
1 https://moz.com/learn/local/citations
2 https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223157