In a series of SEO, we’ll discuss different tasks you can do in order to help maximize traffic on your site.
Let’s start from the beginning. What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. What does that mean? Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo all use algorithms that decide how to rank sites on their pages, and SEO is the process that helps your site rank closer to the top of the page.
When organizations are starting out or trying to grow, a lot of planning goes into digital marketing. Logos, website design, keywords, etc., are all integral parts to SEO. Let’s start with some simple tasks you can do to make sure you’re taking advantage of simple ways to help your site.
If you’ve been focused on your taxes, you may not have noticed that Google has big plans for websites. Beginning in July of 2018, all sites without a secure sockets layer (“SSL”) will be labeled as “not secure.”
What does that mean? If your company’s URL begins with “http” and not “https,” you just lost top ranking status. Perhaps you’ve been holding off on making your site secure because it costs money to have the certificate and you’re trying to keep your overhead low. The truth is, you’re risking even more by not having it:
- Your site traffic will take a huge hit: people don’t want to click on a site that isn’t secure;
- You’re leaving yourself open to incidents; and
- The cost of recovering from an incident is a lot more than the cost of a security certificate.
- Google My Business
Speaking of Google, have you done the simple step of claiming your business? If you go to Google and search your business, on the right side of the page, a listing with a map should pop up, and it should have your address, hours, and phone number, among other items. If you have not claimed your business, the question, “Own this business?” will appear. Claim your business before someone else does.You can also type in “Google my business” and the first item to pop up should be Google My Business; it gives you the option to add or claim your business. It doesn’t take long, and it will help verify your business. It also helps with those convoluted algorithms to get you higher on the search page.
- Spiders and links
There are spiders in your computer. Don’t worry; they aren’t living creatures. Spiders are programs built by search engines. They’ll crawl all of the pages in your site, judging its readability. What is the point of a spider? They are taking the content of your pages and evaluating them, searching for hyperlinks to outside sites. Consequently, they’re searching other sites looking for links back to your page, leading to a search index. They’re ranking your page. The more sites that link back to your page, the more relative fresh content added to your site on a regular basis, result in the higher you’ll be ranked.
- Mobile takes all
Google is in the process of mobile-first indexing. What is that? It’s Google using the mobile version of your website as its starting point when indexing your page, or creating a ranking. What happens when you don’t have a mobile site? It could lead to a lower score. If you have a great mobile-friendly site, your ranking could go up.
Note: If your website is responsive, that gets you bonus points. Responsive means that the flexible design of the site changes based on the visitor’s screen size and orientation: the site will reformat to accommodate a desktop vs. a phone, or a tablet.
Make sure you put as much effort into your mobile site as you do the desktop version. Both should be user-friendly.
These are just a few ways to help your company site rank higher, thus capturing the eyes of more prospects and leads. In the next part of the series, we’ll go into further discussion of user experience, or “UX.” We’ll talk about what that means, and some practices you can implement to help visitors have an enjoyable experience while on your site.