Your business is competing in the most competitive marketplace the world has ever seen, the internet.
Google is the referee who determines website winners and losers, except that this referee also establishes the rules of the game.
In the U.S., Google is the search engine of choice for about 75% of all searches. In India, almost everyone (95%) uses Google.
The wizards at Google write the algorithms that determine how your website will be ranked against your competitors when someone is looking for a product or service.
Websites around the world are constantly being crawled or examined by search engines. The information they retrieve on multiple factors is used to update their massive, world-spanning database.
We talk about this subject a lot, but it’s THAT important. So let’s get more in depth on the ranking factors Google considers important in 2018 and beyond.
When you’re searching for information, a product or a service, how do you select which links to click on?
If you’re like most people, you glance first at the block of text at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), the featured snippet.
If your company’s link is underneath that information, you’re going to get a lot of targeted traffic.
You will also get a lot of organic (unpaid) traffic if your company is one of the top three listings underneath the featured snippet.
The other six or seven listings on the first page of the SERP receive fewer clicks.
Companies not on the first page of the results for a particular search phrase receive very few clicks.
SEO (search engine optimization) is used to optimize your website so that Google finds what it considers positive elements.
These factors determine a website’s ranking. Some of the most important are discussed below.
Search intent, or defining the information the searcher is looking for has become a critical ranking factor.
Google’s objective is providing the most relevant answer to the search query.
Words can have multiple and very different meanings. The word “nail” could refer to a fingernail or a construction nail.
Google wants to determine the intent of the user in this instance and display the most relevant information.
Keywords or keyword phrases (long-tail keywords) are important elements in determining intent.
Suppose you sell athletic shoes. The keyword “shoes” by itself is too vague to be useful and won’t generate leads.
However, if a searcher types “women’s running shoes size 8”, they’re looking for what you sell, not an article on the history of shoes.
Voice search is increasingly important and changes how how search queries are phrased.
If someone is speaking to Siri, they might say, “Find me someone selling women’s white running shoes, size 8.”
Keyword research becomes more complex, but is more important than ever.
Schema markup is special coding on a website that helps search engines return better results for users.
Sounds great, but what does it mean to you?
Would you like your company’s information listed at the very top of the search engine results page in the featured snippet box, raising your ranking and bringing you all that extra traffic?
The right coding could help you achieve your goal.
Google loves featured snippets and just expanded their features.
Suppose you manage a nightclub or an organization that holds regular events.
If your website is properly coded, upcoming entertainment or events would be displayed.
Coding could be used to promote a sale or your name as the author of a blog or how-to, adding to your authority as an expert in your field.
This coding has many applications, useful for local business information, product pages, your aggregate rating and much more.
To learn a little more about how this works, visit schema.org, a rare collaborative effort of Google, Bing and Yahoo.
If your website isn’t responsive, or mobile-friendly, Google will punish you for having outdated web design by not showing your website as predominantly on phones and tablets.
Google’s ranking algorithm, dubbed ‘Rank Brain’, will choose to show your competitors who’s sites look good and function properly on mobile devices instead.
Make sure you’re not being penalized by Google for not having a website optimized for mobile devices by using Google’s tool, the Mobile-Friendly Test.
This will tell you plain and simple if Google can read your site properly on mobile devices.
If your site fails this test, there’s a good chance you’re missing out on opportunities to be shown to people searching on their phones for businesses like yours.
Google wants to provide the best search experience to their users.
If they didn’t show searchers the best results for what their users are looking for, they wouldn’t be the top search engine in the world.
Your landing page is what a visitor sees when first arriving at your website.
It needs to clearly provide the information the visitor is looking for.
The layout of the page, font, placement of visuals (videos, pictures, etc.), text, CTA (call-to-action) buttons and other data are all important and should be optimized for both search engine and visitor.
How do you know what works best? You run split or A/B tests, finding out whether you get more clicks with this or that CTA text or location, for example.
The click through rate (CTR) is commonly used to measure the success of an advertising campaign.
It’s the ratio of how many people click on a link vs. how many viewed the page, ad or email. Generally, the higher the CTR, the better performing your ad copy is.
However, the CTR only indicates how many people went to the page. It doesn’t tell you how many converted.
Obviously, you want to increase your CTR of targeted visitors, but don’t focus on increase CTR while ignoring other important metrics.
You need to be testing and experimenting with the landing page to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck with every click.
Bounce rate is the flip side of click through rate.
Did visitors quickly find the answer to their search query or did they “bounce” or abandon your website?
Are they visiting other pages on your website after they find what they’re looking for?
A well-optimized website will lower your bounce rate, giving you the opportunity to generate a lead or a sale.
The longer a visitor stays on your site, the better your site will look in Google’s eyes.
A consistently low bounce rate will help improve your rankings over time by providing visitors with the information they’re looking for.
The title often determines whether or not someone clicks on a link and must be SEO-friendly.
Your title should cover what that specific page is about in an enticing way.
Using a numbered list for your title has been shown to increase CTR as much as 36%.
Testing can determine which title generates the most clicks.
It is estimated that on average 80% of people never make it past the headline.
Give them a reason to click through to your site.
A meta description provides a short summary of your page’s content.
While Google doesn’t consider it an important ranking factor, they matter in on-page SEO.
A meta description acts as an ad for your content when a searcher is deciding which link to click on and can increase clicks.
If more visitors are clicking on your links in the search results because of your enticing titles or meta descriptions, this will have an indirect affect on your rankings.
Google will see more people clicking on your result instead of your competitors, and will over time grant you higher priority in that search.
Backlinks are important. Simply put, they’re links from one webpage/website to another.
Links to your website from another authoritative website in your industry are especially valuable, increasing your authority as an expert.
This helps improve your Google ranking and brings you more business.
The quality of backlinks is much more important than quantity. You can’t (well, shouldn’t) get backlinks from just anywhere.
They must be “real sites” (not built purely to provide you links), relevant to your industry, get real traffic, and provide value to their visitors / readers.
We have dealt with clients who have purchased bulk backlinks on service providers like Fiverr and were dealt the swift hand of death by Google.
This caused their site to get “de-indexed” from Google’s search results page, which means NO ONE is finding you there now.
Not on the first page, and not on the 600th page.
Please, whatever you do, do NOT purchase backlinks from these types of service providers.
This is one of the quickest ways to get your website penalized by Google and potentially lose a huge percentage of your organic traffic.
At AWEBCO, how long it takes is one of the questions we’re asked most often.
That’s hard to say, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
It may take three or six months before you see substantial improvement.
However, consider the possibilities after a year of steady progress.
SEO isn’t one-and-done.
Why choose AWEBCO?
We’ll always put your needs first because your success is our success.
We’re a team of experienced web designers and SEO experts, offering the digital marketing services you need to grow your business online.
Don’t settle for a website that is either stuck in the past or not getting you the results you need.
You’ve got enough to do running your business.
We’re proud of our work. Take a look and contact us for a free quote.
Increase your traffic, show up higher and in more Google search results, and earn more business with SEO by AWEBCO.
Many business owners spend a lot of time creating a website. Then they neglect it.
The main purpose of your website is to gain new customers and grow your profits. If you do not update your website and have the latest information, your website will be viewed as outdated.
Google may suspect that the website has been abandoned and display it farther back on the search results page. The top 10 positions of any search result are the most powerful ranking spots to increase organic and natural search traffic.
At that point, your competitor who is continually updating their website content is being displayed and getting the new customers.
Let’s take a closer look at why you should update your website regularly by adding information to your site through page updates, blogging, and images, and how it is crucial to the growth of your business:
Google’s indexing crawlers will evaluate your website when you make a change to it. If your competitors are getting ahead of you on the Google results pages, it is very possible that they are adding more pertinent content to their website than you are.
Google wants to display web pages that have the most current information. So, frequently updating your website with the latest information will keep you on the cutting edge, cause your site to be crawled by Google regularly and allowing you to stay competitive.
When people see that you update your website by regularly posting new material, you will be perceived as an expert who keeps abreast of the latest happenings in your industry. Prospective clients will feel that you can be trusted because you are showing yourself to be knowledgeable and are willing to share the latest word about your products or service.
You may be too busy with your business to regularly write new content. That is not a problem because there are writers available to help business owners fill their website with fresh information on a regular basis.
When new information is continually added to your website, you will be perceived as an authority in your industry, actively giving your clients valuable information.
From time to time, Google changes its algorithm for determining which web pages to display in its search results pages. However, adding plenty of current and interesting content on your website never goes out of fashion, even with Google.
Google wants to give searchers the web pages that answer their queries. If your site has the best and newest content focused around specific keywords and key phrases, it will rank high, no matter what other algorithm changes a search engine comes out with.
When someone comes to your website and immediately leaves your site, that is called a bounce. Google keeps track of your website’s bounce rate and counts it against you if the bounce rate is higher than it should be. Updating your website regularly can help reduce your bounce rate.
Furthermore, if people leave your site quickly, they are not seeing what you have to offer. They will probably not contact you or buy what you are selling. So it is important that your website continually has new and interesting information that people are looking for and will stick around to read.
When you receive feedback or ideas from your current clients, you should add that information to your website. It shows both Google and your clients that you take feedback seriously and are willing to share your expertise on the various matters with the world.
A “Frequently Asked Questions” section is an example of how you can update your website regularly while addressing the puzzling issues that are common to your industry. You can show that you are responsive to questions have about your products or service. You can also explain how your company is meeting the needs of its customers.
If a client has a complement to give, adding it to a “Testimonial” section of your website will shine a brighter light on your business for future clients to see. People are very interested in reviews and what other people have to say about a company or product, and it also helps build trust and authority to your brand.
There are popular phrases that people type into the Google search box when they are looking for the type of product or service you are offering. If you are unfamiliar with how to find these popular keywords, an SEO expert at AWEBCO.com can do the research for you. The right set of focus keywords can bring in significantly more website traffic than it would if you did not do your research beforehand or simply guessing.
When your website includes the exact keyword phrases that people are typing in, your site is far more likely to be displayed on the search engine’s result pages. These focus keywords must be included naturally within the text on your website.
A good copywriter, skilled at placing the most important keyword phrases throughout your website, can be a great benefit to your business. If you choose to do blogging for your business, you can often cover many more topics through articles that you might not have been able to tackle on your sites standard pages.
If your customers know that you are posting fresh content and update your website on a regular basis, they will visit your site periodically to see what new information you have provided for them. This keeps clients in touch with your business.
If you own a restaurant, for example, you can place your specials on your site. If you provide a service, you can let people know about a discount you are offering. If you sell products, let your clients know about the very latest.
Your website is your best advertising material. In contrast to the past when brochures were stagnant, your website can be fluid, changing and improving all the time.
Each piece of content on your site, whether it is text on a web page or an article in a blog, should invite your readers to take a certain step in your direction. You can use new content to invite people to buy a product, call your company or submit a question or email address.
If you have a service company, each piece of content on your website should tell something specific about your service. For example, if your company installs security systems in homes, each page or article should go into depth about a particular feature of what you do. Somewhere in that information is an invitation, also known as a call to action, that suggests something that you want the reader to to.
If your company sells products, each page or article describes a particular product, going into details about the benefits and features of that item. Within the text on that page is an invitation for the reader to buy the product or ask you questions about it.
Without plenty of content and articles on your website, you lose valuable opportunities to increase your profits.
So as you can see, adding content to your website on a regular basis can:
Placing the correct content, links and so forth on your website takes time and expertise about what will help your website rank higher on the search engine results pages. A busy business owner will often hire a professional website developer who does more than just put up a website and move on. AWEBCO is a comprehensive, full-service website development company that can help you add the proper content to your site that will help you get noticed more often.
The AWEBCO management team can examine your website and develop a content strategy that is perfect for your company’s needs. AWEBCO will analyze your competition and determine what content is needed on your site to be competitive online. If you don’t yet have a website, AWEBCO can build an attractive, goal-oriented site for you.
Then the AWEBCO writers and SEO experts will team up to fulfill your company’s custom content strategy so that your website works hard and smart for your business, and continues to grow.
No matter where you are in the country, if you need a few modest enhancements to your website or a complete overhaul, the team at AWEBCO can get the job done. Call us today at 217-903-5999 or fill out our contact form for a free estimate.
That is a good question and it really depends on a few things: First, what is the current state your business is in, and do you have a marketing budget to work with?
If you are just starting out and have time to learn how to build your own website, then a free website builder may help you get on your feet.
If you are an established business owner ask yourself these questions:
Do I have the time to build a website for my business? Do I have the capability or desire to learn the programs necessary in order to achieve a beautiful website that actually compliments my business and generates new leads?
What we know is that every company is unique and one size does not fit all and when it comes to establishing a website presence on the internet, there is simply no silver bullet or perfect website template to generating thousands of leads so a free website builder just simply doesn’t work for all businesses.
When people start looking for the type of product or service you offer, they often start by searching the internet.
General visitors first impression of you and your business will be your website. As you have often heard, it’s incredibly important to make a good first impression.
The color scheme, the number of pages, the layout of text, the quality of the images and the functionality of the website must really compliment your business in order to represent your company as you want it to be seen and how your customers want to see it.
Your website should be something you are extremely proud to show to customers.
For instance, if you are a restaurant owner your website should really deliver and experience of what it is like dining at one of your location. We want to feel what it is like to sit at one of your tables.
Very few business owners have time or desire to learn all the skills necessary to create a website that can attract new users, encourage old users to return, and to accomplish your KPI (key performance indicator) goals.
Delegating the task of website design, development, monitoring, reporting, researching and making improvements to your website could save you not only time, but money and your sanity.
So what do you do? Should you do-it-yourself, find a freelancer, or hire an employee?
Many small business owners try to save money by using a friend or family member and a free website builder. However, most people are unaware of the numerous aspects involved in creating a custom website for their business.
Okay, we know… your nephew John can build a website, but can he build a website that actually generates leads for your business?
Your website needs a few key functions that really churn new visitors into buying customers.
Lets’ talk about a few:
Sitemap: It must be easy to navigate and understand, containing all the information that readers and search engines need. The images must be appealing and optimized correctly. The pages must contain search engine ready content, load quickly to keep viewers interested in your website long enough to turn into customers.
But wait, lets back up a bit. How do new users even find my website?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): In order to be found, the website must appear high on the Google search pages. These are just a few of the features of a website that a business owner must get right in order to reach and serve clients well.
Being found on the internet is another big issue that a website owner must take into account. Search engine optimization is a complicated science unto itself.
Most business owners don’t understand how Google ranks web pages on its search results pages. Google uses an algorithm to determine which website is listed first, second, third and so on.
If you don’t know how to get your website to rank high with Google, you may not be found by new customers searching for businesses like yours.
You could have the nicest looking website imaginable but if your website is not found by prospective customers it will not help your business grow, which is why you need SEO tools or an SEO professional with ranking experience.
Let’s look at a well-known free website builder: WordPress. It is advertised as being simple to set up and use, but is it? There is a significant learning curve which proponents fail to mention.
The WordPress jargon is not easy to understand starting out. For example, most people don’t know what a widget is or what it does. Then there are plugins, permalinks and tags to take care of.
WordPress has hundreds of themes (frameworks) to chose from but it can take hours to find one that is right for your purpose.
A few themes are free, most are not. Just the fact that the website must be built on a pre-created framework means that the layout of the website is constrained by the theme. Unless you are a gifted techie, getting WordPress to do exactly what you want it to do is not easy.
If you have web hosting with GoDaddy or 1and1.com, they provide website builders but, again, the terminology is an obstacle. Learning to operate these “drag and drop” website builders and getting the pages to look the way you want them to can be a big challenge.
Even if a free website building has oodles of options, it can be overwhelming to learn and remember how they all work.
These hosting companies do not offer free support for their website builders, so if you get stuck or confused there is no one to call for help.
Wix is another free website builder that is widely advertised as being simple to set up and use. However, online reviews indicate that this claim is seriously exaggerated.
Wix might be a reasonable option for a temporary website but for a well-established or growing company it is not really appropriate. To begin with, the URL will be http://yourwebsite.wix.com/yourwebsite with no caps. This does not give a good first impression to a new client. You want your website URL to be clear and clean, such as YourWebsite.com, with no extra characters.
What’s more, your website will be in the Wix hosting space instead of your own hosting space. This can be compared with renting an apartment versus owning a home. In the first instance, you are limited to what improvements you can make. In the second, you are free to create the environment that is best for you.
Furthermore, you give up the control of security and functionality to Wix. Additional problems can arise because Wix does not give its users unlimited bandwidth or file storage. A better plan is to retain control over your website and have no limitations so that your website is what your business and clients need it to be.
Your website is your company’s online store front, sales rep, brochure and much more. It’s where the public can learn about you and interact with your company. It’s about reaching and keeping good customers. Your website may be the first contact a customers has with your company so it must be perfect, presenting you and your brand in the most positive light. Every aspect of your website must work smoothly every time, whether the person is using a contact form or ordering a product. There is no room for error or a customer could be lost forever.
Take a moment today to call Awebco at (217) 903-5999 to discuss your website situation. Let the Awebco representative explain what can be done to enhance your online presence and image. There is no obligation and you will find it exciting to explore the possibilities. Calling Awebco may be the best marketing decision you make for your business this year.
Start today & learn more about how AWEBCO can get you the website your business deserves.
Tyler has completed one project for us so far and is already deep into our second. His creativeness, honesty, intelligence, and wit makes him a joy to work with. We have yet to throw something at him that he did not have an answer for. Our second project is quite extensive and Tyler quickly had a game plan ready for us! I would highly recommend this company.