If your website was on the first page of Google results for the right search terms, how much more business would you bring in? The answer is probably more than you think and may be more than you can imagine.
Northwest Arkansas seems to have awakened to the possibilities of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The number one question we have been asked this year at Doc4 Design is how to get on the front page of Google. The answer to this question can be long, varied, and complicated.
The truth is that there are no shortcuts in the world of SEO. While we are about to reveal some tricks of the SEO trade, let us be clear: ‘tricks’ don’t get you to the top of Google. They will certainly help. But good SEO takes time, strategy, and hard work. Most importantly, good SEO requires a well designed website.
Google is working to provide the best websites in response to any search. They are getting better and better every day at weeding out poorly designed websites and boosting well designed sites to the top of their results. So if your website design is sub par, you may want to stop reading and give Doc4 a shout – let us get your site polished up, then let’s get it to the top of Google.
However, if your website is looking good and you want to see it move up the rankings, try implementing these quick and easy SEO tricks to start your website on its journey to the top of Google:
1) Diagnose your site using SEOquake. This is a free extension for your web browser – install it, then go to your website. Click on the SEOquake icon and choose the ‘Diagnosis’ option. This will show you many of the basics of good SEO and how your site stacks up. SEOquake will give you advice on how to fix any issues that it finds. Most of the solutions are simple enough that you could make the changes yourself, or have your web developers knock them out in a few minutes.
2) Front-load your page titles with keywords. Search engines give a little more weight to the words at the beginning of your title than at the end of your title. So instead of a title that reads, “We Can Help With Your Website Design” you may want to try, “Website Design: How We Can Help You.” This puts the keywords right up front.
3) Check your links. This is something you should do for the sake of your users, but it also helps with search. Google doesn’t want to send people to sites that have links going nowhere. So take a few minutes to run through your site clicking on every link you see and making sure every link leads to an actual page. For a quick way to do this, see the next tip:
4) Use W3C Markup Validation Service. Go to validator.w3.org and run a validation test of your website. This tool finds mistakes in your code that not only could be hurting you in searches, but also could be slowing your site down or causing buggy actions to happen that you’re not aware of. You may not be able to fix the errors yourself, as this stuff can get complicated, but you can send this info to your web developer and have them fix any errors.
5) Join the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce. While some question the general usefulness of being members of these types of organizations, their SEO benefits can’t be ignored. The BBB has a lot of ‘juice’ in the search world and being listed with them increases the chances of your site getting found. Also, because Chamber of Commerce websites are loaded with useful resources and are specific to your local area, getting listed on these sites will give your Google juice a boost as well.
6) Learn from the best. The following are some great articles on quick and simple Search Engine Optimization tactics. One big aspect of SEO is that it’s a moving target. Staying up to date on trends and changes in the SEO world will help you keep your site moving in the right direction.