Search engine optimization is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. It is a separate process from building a website (You can expect this service at GMCI – we include with every website we build). Why isn’t it included at many web development companies? It takes extra time to build into a website and a client would never know it’s not there. Since it’s a separate process from building a website, many web designers and developers are simply not educated in the fundamentals of optimizing a website for search engines.
So what can be done to help the website.
1. Titles, Headings and Meta Descriptions.
Every year multiple algorithm changes effect how a website is ranked in search engines. These 3 have had importance from the start and are core SEO elements:
The Title is the main identifier for a search engine and what a web page is about. An example of a bad title would be “About Us”, it is too generic. Attaching a few descriptive keywords or the company name after “About Us” helps a search engine index the web page better.
The Headings are the starting text for paragraphs. The same principals that apply to the Title, also apply to the Headings.
The Meta Description is the text that appears under the title in a search engines result. The importance of meta descriptions to the search engine algorithms has depreciated but it is still important for user experience. Without a meta description, search engines display the first lines of text that search robots encounter when scanning the HTML code. If you have ever seen a search result display a bunch of gibberish or copyright info after the title, it’s because the web page doesn’t have meta descriptions.
Good content is the king to improving organic SEO. Search engine robots love text. The text content should be descriptive and unique. Don’t just list the services you provide in bullet points – get descriptive about each service.
New content. The more content you have the better. One of the best ways to continuously add to content is through a blog. Adding a blog or news section to your website not only helps with search engine rankings but gives more information to your visitors and demonstrates that your website (and your company image) isn’t stagnant.
At GMCI we do a full competition analysis and keyword exploration to create the perfect copy to get your site noticed above your competitors.
Schemas are one of the most under used SEO tools. Schemas are bits of code that wrap specific HTML elements and define them for search engines. Have you ever gone to a party where no one introduces themselves? Schemas make sure that doesn’t happen. When a search engine robot shows up, the schemas tell them your company name, address, phone number, a description of your company and much more.
4. Mobile Websites
If you haven’t heard by now, Google made a huge change to its search engines on April 21 2015. Google now has two separate sets of rules and algorithms for desktop and mobile websites. The quick summary: If you have a desktop only website, and your competition has both a desktop and a quality mobile website – you will be out ranked on mobile search results.
5. Social Media / Referring Websites
The point of SEO is to rank high in search results in the hopes that your website will get more visits. Optimizing your website to achieve this should be a high priority but don’t limit it to your website alone. Google executives have flip-flopped back and forth on whether high traffic social media sites, like Facebook and Yelp, have any bearing on organic search results. Regardless, they can be your ally. Search a business or service and there is a good chance that a Facebook or Yelp link has popped up in the search results. A strong Facebook or Yelp listing can help push your competition further down the search results page and give your business a larger presence.
(Published – 2015)