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.

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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.

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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 it is Important to Keep Your WordPress Website Updated

Great News! You finally finished your new WordPress website. Take a moment to marvel at its beauty and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Now that the moment has passed, it’s time to start thinking about updating that beautiful old site. That’s right old. Welcome to the digital age where websites can be put up quickly and become outdated even quicker — both the content and software.

If you’re thinking that your website doesn’t need to be updated on a regular basis then here are a few things for you to consider.

Maintain your Security

You may be thinking that your WordPress site does not need to change its appearance but you may be forgetting an important factor. Your website may no longer be secure. Thousands of WordPress sites get blacklisted due to hackers, malware, and ransomware. One of the best ways to protect yourself is to make sure your WordPress site stays updated.

Since WordPress is open source software, it will typically receive minor updates automatically. For major updates, you will need to do the work yourself. Deciding not to do this can leave your website seriously exposed.

The other factor to consider from a security perspective is that WordPress uses a large number of third-party plug-ins. Each one of these third-party maintainers releases updates to their plug-ins. That means that you need to be mindful of more than just WordPress open source updates. The damage to your website and your credibility from a successful cyber-attack can ruin your website.

Skipping Updates can be Problematic

So now you may be thinking that you can just do the updates that concern you the most. Skipping updates here and there can’t really hurt, can it? Well, yes it can.

Skipping updates can actually cause significant problems. Open source software solutions are great in that so many talented people can contribute to its overall success. The downside to this is that there are several opportunities for problems to be introduced.

If you choose to skip updates you may spend more time resolving problems than you would have spent just doing the updates in order. Many a WordPress website has experienced unnecessary downtime because its owner was “saving time” by skipping updates here and there.

There is a Better Way

To help you keep your WordPress website up to date, here are a few simple steps that you can follow to safely upgrade your site.

  1. Create a backup site – Before you do any changes to your production site, you need to create a backup. This will allow you to restore the site quickly if anything goes wrong with the upgrade.
  2. Create a Staging site – The next step is to create a staging site. This is a copy of your WordPress website that you can safely make updates to. Updates made to your staging site will not be reflected on your live production site.
  3. Accept updates – This is where you incorporate the updates to WordPress, your theme, and the various plug-ins.
  4. Test the staging site – Now that the changes have been applied, you can safely test your site to see if there were any problems. If so, you can fix them without disrupting the live site.
  5. Move changes to the production site – Once you are happy with the testing, you can move the updated site to your production libraries.
  6. Test the live site – If it works then great. If not, then you can restore from the backup.
how to update your WordPress site

Following these simple steps will keep your WordPress website updated and running smoothly.

Make Sense, But You Already Have Enough to Do?

We know you didn’t go into business to maintain your website. The good news? UmeWorks can help. You do what you do best, and we’ll do the same. We can keep your website humming along – we’ll update the software – and the content too, if you wish. Just contact us to get started.  We can even set you up with a site security monitoring service if you’d like that peace of mind.

What Website Owners Should Do to be GDPR Compliant

Reports show that only 21% of US website owners have taken steps to comply with the GDPR regulation. Since non-compliance attracts stiff penalties, if you’re one of the businesses that are yet to comply, you should be working overtime to get in compliance.

Below is an exhaustive checklist of steps you should take to fully comply with the regulation;

  • Determine whether you need to comply

Some of the criteria that may be used by authorities to determine whether you’re within the GDPR scope include: providing content in EU languages, offering transactions in EU currencies, and using EU-based domain names such as .co.uk. If you do this, it’s important to comply.

  • Identify and clarify a lawful basis for collecting personal data

Article 6 of the GDPR states that entities must have a lawful purpose for collecting and processing personal information. Collecting or processing user data without clearly documenting lawful reasons for doing so is in breach of the regulation.

  • Update your data breach policy to reflect the new regulation

The policy should clarify two main points. First, it must state clearly the steps you’ve put in place to protect personal data. Secondly, it should detail the steps to be taken in the event of a breach. Both points must satisfy GDPR standards.

  • Collect only the data you need

To avoid complications, it’s advisable to collect only the data you need to accomplish the task at hand. If you’re collecting personal information for email newsletters, for instance, you’ll probably only need the names and email addresses of the users. Don’t collect what you don’t need.

  • Set the default opt-in selection to “No”

For forms that invite visitors to subscribe to newsletters or other forms of emails, there must be an explicit separate opt-in box. More importantly, the default opt-in setting must be set to “No” to give the user a chance to consciously choose to opt in.

  • Provide for granular opt-in

Still on forms, the age of bundled opt-ins is over. With GDPR, subjects must know exactly what they are opting into. If you will be calling them, give them the chance to opt-into your call service. If you’ll be sending text messages, the same applies. And so forth. Don’t bundle services together.

  • Ensure that all business partners are in compliance

Under the GDPR, both controllers and processors are responsible. To this end, it’s important to ensure that all business partners, including employees and suppliers, are in strict compliance. Employees and contractors must sign an NDA.

  • Provide easy, granular opt-out

A subject is allowed to withdraw consent whenever they wish. Data collectors must make the withdrawal process as simple as the opt-in process. More importantly, you should make it possible for subjects to withdraw from individual services, one at a time.

  • Understand user rights beyond opt-in and opt-out

Beyond opt-in and opt-out, subjects have a right to data portability as well as full erasure. For this reason, inbound marketers must have a separate box that users can tick if they wish to receive further emails.

  • Provide a privacy notice and terms & conditions

Finally, provide a privacy notice on your website and give users the chance to “Agree” to the terms and conditions of the business relationship they’re getting into.

Note: For those using MailChimp and WordPress, the platforms have provided a few solutions to consider. MailChimp, for instance, offers several GDPR tools to get you started. WordPress, meanwhile, has plug-ins that you can use to ensure GDPR compliance. Just keep in mind that those plug-ins aren’t one-click solutions. Even after installing them, you’ll have plenty of work to do.