When creating the perfect website for your business, your first instinct is most likely to design with one key audience in mind: customers. This might refer to the adoring fans who already know and engage with your brand, or perhaps your goal is to attract new eyes with a beautiful, functional and informative website. While it is certainly important to know your target audience and design your website around their needs and preferences, don’t forget to consider the needs and preferences of the theoretical backbone of your internet presence: Google.
Search Engine Optimization – or SEO – is the process of ensuring your website is found within search results when users look up a product, service or category relevant to your business. For example, the owner of your neighborhood pizzeria might employ a number of SEO strategies in an effort to boost their website towards the top of a local search for “pizza near me”. Achieve this, and you’ll consequently attract a larger audience and increase trust in your business’ credibility. With this in mind, here are a few guidelines to follow in order to improve your website’s SEO and make Google have heart eyes for your business.
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to Google’s relationship with your business. Google is extraordinarily difficult to trick, and will likely pick up on every instance of unoriginal content, poor grammar and technical errors on your website. Not only could these mistakes turn off potential customers, but they might make Google determine your website isn’t credible. Once you lose Google’s trust, your website’s climb to the top of a search query just got much more difficult.
One of the best ways to speak Google’s love language is by producing the valuable content your visitors expect to see when they visit your website. Consider the words and phrases your target audience might search for, and craft content around those keywords. For example, much of our content is centered around location based terms like “New Jersey SEO Company” and “WordPress Website Development New Jersey”. This provides our target audience – in this case, business owners in New Jersey – with exactly the type of content they are looking for. If the content on your website demonstrates credibility without relying on black hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, Google’s ranking algorithm will be more likely to push your website towards the top of a given search query.
Establish a Reputation as an Industry Leader
Your business’ credibility and reputation go hand in hand. Being viewed as a credible source of information paired with a high ranking on Google can give your business a reputation as a leader in your industry. The key to developing this reputation is to stay on Google’s radar by regularly posting relevant content that would resonate well with your readers.
While your reputation as an industry leader might make Google love your website, receiving a backlink from a high authority outlet citing your content will really make the search engine’s heart soar. Google’s web crawling technologically recognizes certain websites as “important” and “relevant” based on their perceived credibility. When your site is linked to from one of these sites, it too is deemed important and climbs higher on the search results ladder. While it’s great to cite reliable sources, it’s even better to be a reliable source.
As technology advances, there are more devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. At the same time, the number of Internet users on mobile devices is constantly growing. As a result, it is necessary to optimize your website for all devices with responsive design.
A responsive design adapts its elements to fit any device, and those elements are then rearranged according to the size of the display. Google loves responsive design because it provides a great user experience and since the implementation of their mobile-first index in March 2018 we have seen firsthand that responsive sites earn better search positions than pages that are not responsive.
Improve Page Speed
Page speed is a lot like speed dating – if you don’t make a great first impression in the first few seconds, your likelihood of making a love connection might as well be nonexistent. Page speed is increasingly becoming more important to Google’s algorithm. As a result, pages that load quickly are rewarded by Google with a better ranking. Statistics show that mobile users are willing to wait a maximum of 3 seconds before clicking away, so improving page speed also reduces the risk that you will miss out on impatient visitors.
SEM & SEO = A Perfect Match
There are over 200 factors that can impact the position of a website on Google, and even more theories on how to improve your rankings. SEO is a long-term investment, so it might take several months before your website rank starts to rank and get traffic for a particular keyword.
If you want to drive immediate traffic then using paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM) like Google AdWords works well. If you want a sustainable long-term strategy that delivers organic results, improves online visibility then you can look at using SEO. The truth is both compliment one another.
Given the right budget, SEM results are considerably faster in comparison. As you wait for SEO to kick in, SEM can drive relevant traffic to your website. Additionally, the benefits of SEM often outweigh many other marketing strategies as it is targeted, cost effective and measurable. As it turns out, Eat your hearts out, Lennon & McCartney – money, in fact, CAN buy you love.
Keep The Spark Alive
Sure, your sweetheart might love eating at their favorite Italian restaurant, but they could lose interest quickly if that’s your only date night spot. Google’s relationship with your website works the same way – it thrives on variety. Instead of limiting your content to strictly blog posts, mix it up by incorporating company videos, downloadable ebooks, and informative infographics into your content creation strategy. Google favors websites with assorted content and original graphics over mundane, one-dimensional sites. As an added bonus, your visitors will be more entertained, too.
When it comes to online dating, approachability is key to making that crucial first connection. Think friendly faces, a list of interests, and a bio showcasing your personality. If your dating profile does not provide potential suitors with the confidence needed to initiate that first conversation, expect your inbox to stay empty.
Google’s relationship with your website works the same way – if it does not feel confident that a user can approach each page with ease, you will struggle to win Google’s affection. Establishing an intelligent link structure is crucial in your efforts to make Google love your website. As beautiful as your website might be, it won’t earn Google’s seal of approval if it isn’t quickly accessible and easy to navigate. Don’t just take our word for it – straight from Google themselves, “Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Google also thinks highly of user-generated content and interaction. Make it easy for website visitors to provide feedback, whether through blog comments, a contact form, or online reviews. Communication is key in relationships, and this holds true in Google’s assessment of your website’s credibility and overall search ranking.
Ready to Make Google Love Your Website?
You know Google and your website could be the perfect match – now’s the time to make the first move towards strengthening their relationship. In order to make Google love your website, you need to first ensure that your website offers original and quality content, is easy to navigate, and has received backlinks from other viable outlets. Ensuring that your website has these bases covered will not only put you one step closer to achieving that highly coveted top spot in a Google search, but will help you win over adoring new fans and customers, as well.
All relationships require a commitment, and this one is no different. If you lack the time, resources and know-how needed to build up your website to Google’s standards, you might want to consider letting an experienced digital marketing agency play Cupid. Chat with a member of our team to learn how we can help make your website and Google a love story for the ages.