Get the most out of your website’s SEO
The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 years with more incremental changes year over year (Sarah talked about this in her December blog). Many of our clients have asked questions about SEO, specifically about how to improve their page ranking on certain keyword terms (more on those pesky terms in a minute). There are numerous components for SEO that dictate where in search results you appear.
Key to this is to note that mobile search traffic now surpasses desktop traffic ¹. That necessitates a change in algorithms on Google’s end and a change on the part of web developers. Specifically, that means designing websites at the outset to function on a mobile platform, and then expand it to a desktop platform. On Google’s end, it now no longer demotes a site for lack of a desktop site, but it will demote a site for not having a mobile version¹. Additionally, search terminology has evolved to match voice-command apps like Siri and social media is making a noticeable impact on search results. No longer are keyword phrases as important as have natural sounding content on your site.
Key components for SEO:
- Mobile-optimized website that renders correctly across common platforms
- Make sure the site loads quickly.
- Set up Google Webmaster Tools²
- Make sure page titles and meta descriptions are in place.
- On-page SEO must be in place. This includes page titles, meta tags, URL structures, and meta descriptions.²
- Submit an XML sitemap to Google²
- Have ALT tags and descriptions in place on site images²
- Content is king. More doesn’t always mean better results, but when you have sufficient content written in a way that is easy to understand and relates to your site and your visitors, Google rewards that with gradual ranking improvement.¹
- Offer quality content and services. ² Content on all site pages must be written for natural language rather than specific terms. This comes out of apps like Siri and Cortana where people speak their queries, such as “What restaurants are open tonight for dinner?” Text-entry search has followed suit with people searching for terms worded similarly to how they would ask them.³
- Social media now plays a much larger role in search results. Sites built around user interaction and sharing have made it easier to match interested groups of people up with relevant content.¹ ² Search will now also weight results if your friends/contacts have liked a page.4
- Claim Google Business profile
- Keep the site fresh. Update content or add blogs, if that makes sense for your business. Letting the site go stale won’t be rewarded by Google.
How Long Does SEO Take To Work
This is a question we get asked quite often. Unfortunately, it’s not a light-switch result; ranking improvements happen organically by having as many of the above elements in place as possible. Typically, results can be seen starting around 5 to 6 months into the effort, though that is just the beginning. Results are ever evolving and can take upwards of a year or more to fully realize.³
RSM can help you get SEO up and running for your website, whether it’s fine-tuning the content, setting SEO up from scratch on your current site, or building a new site with seamless SEO integration.