I have been asked by several of the Association’s members about SEO. Some have been very knowledgeable about search engine results pages while others have found the idea bewildering. One thing they all agree on is that being found in Google is very important for their business.
There are several factors that go into making it to the RIGHT first page of Google. The most critical piece of the puzzle is keyword selection. In actuality, this should happen before purchasing a domain, getting hosting, taking a picture or writing the first sentence of website content. If you focus on a keyword, and for this example we will use “Mitown Home Watch”, there is only one thing that should be first and foremost…
Does anyone on the Internet, using Google, search for the term “Mitown Home Watch”?
Here are the potential scenarios that will play out:
- It does not get any searches so there is no value to having that as a business name, a domain name or as a keyword you use in your content.
- It gets 10 searches a month and there are 100,000 other pages on the Internet with that same phrase as their focus – the competition is TOO strong and will be very difficult, if not impossible to overcome.
- It gets 15 searches a month and there are 2,000 other pages on the Internet with that same phrase as their focus – you are beginning to make some significant progress…now you can compete and depending on how aggressive your competition is with their SEO program, you can make it to the first page…but, not overnight.
This is why Keyword Research is so important in the foundation of your Internet Marketing. Weak keywords will mean weak results and a poor return on your investment in a website and other marketing materials.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
After getting together 10 – 20 keywords with great potential, you cannot just throw them up on a webpage you build in 10 minutes using Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy or any of those boilerplate webdesign programs with little thought given to what Google and the other search engines are going to find when they crawl your website. Google needs to understand you know what you are doing to present the BEST experience to someone searching for information for your keyword term. If you have done the right things that most people would not ever see looking at your website but Google considers VERY IMPORTANT you have taken the first step for getting to that elusive Page 1 of Google.
While no one really knows every factor Google is using to rank a webpage, there are some tried and true things that must be done to soothe the Google beast and gain their favor:
- Meta Tag Optimization
- Meta Description Optimization
- Header Tags
- Image Tags
- Robot.txt file
- Mobile Responsive
- URL Canonicalization
- No Broken Links
- On-site and off-site links
- Load Speed
…and the list can go on
These are the things your website designer should be doing for you as your site is built. If this is done properly, you will begin putting a lot of your competiton behind you. Google and the other search engines see your website is a serious business proposition because you are following their guidelines and rewards you for it. A member’s recently completed a website in a HIGHLY competitive business and keyword market was up for two weeks they were on page 6 of Google for their top keyword. Now while the chances of actually getting organic traffic from the SERPs are still pretty slim right now, we are not starting from page 30 with 300 other listings to battle through in a highly competive market.
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
The next measure the Search Engines evaluate is the authority of the website. Authority is achieved by links back to your site from other Internet URLs to a page on your website. And, in this case, a link from one website can have significantly more value than the link from a different website. To simplify things, a links from a Page Rank 6 website has substantially more “juice” than a link from a Page Rank 0 website.
For instance, YouTube.com and Facebook.com have a Page Rank of 9 which is a huge amount of “link juice”. The NationalHomeWatchAssociation.org has a Page Rank of 3 which is pretty good and every member with a listing is getting some “link juice” with the link from your listing to your website. Getting links back to your website from well placed PR websites is important to improving your SERPs and moving your toward Page 1 results. This so very important in a highly competitve business and keyword market.
How Do You Compete?
This is a synopsis of SEO. It is a much bigger beast with lots of complexities and mysteries thanks to Google. Chances are some of your competitors have been doing this and that is how they got to Page 1 results Do not let that thought discourage you! There are other things that are important that come into play but getting the basics right, which we talked about here, and putting metrics in place to gauge your progress can go a long way to becoming competitive. We talked a lot about setting up a new website correctly but existing websites can be fixed for their on-page factors. An audit will give you an idea of what problems you may or may not have on your site and what needs to be done to make your website Google-friendly.
Some one is getting business from the Internet, why not you?
Home Watch Marketing has put together a few packages for keyword research, website audit, on-page fixes and off-page link building that are only for members of the the National Home Watch Association. Click here to go to Home Watch Marketing SEO Packages