2020-08-12-maintain-search-engine-optimization-updating-website

How to Keep Your SEO in Check When You’re Updating Your Own Website

Making sure that customers can find your website online consistently is one of the most important things to consider after launch.  Search engine optimization is not a “set it and forget it” feature to your website; it requires nurturing and maintenance to ensure it continues to reach Google/Bing/other search engine searchers. Whether you’ve recently launched your website, or you’re planning on making some changes in the future, ensuring that you maintain search engine optimization on every web page should be on your list of important tasks.

How to Maintain Search Engine Optimization on Your Website

You probably already know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you ensure that your site will be found by current and potential customers online. When your customers search for terms related to your products, services, or areas of expertise, having good SEO on all of your web pages will ensure that they see your website at a higher position on Google’s search engine results pages (aka SERPs).

But, how do you make sure that your new website stays optimized for search engines when you’re making changes? There’s a lot more to maintaining good SEO than meets the eye, but there are a few basic things to keep in mind. Let’s dive into some common changes that you might make to your site and how you can ensure that you maintain search engine optimization when making those changes on your site.

1. Find out what you have access to

When you first start working with a web designer, make sure you determine whether your website will be created with a Content Management System (CMS). If your site is built with a content management system, making changes to your content post-launch will typically be quick and easy. Speak to your designer about the features you’ll have access to via your CMS; they may need to grant you special permissions.

If your website is hosted on a platform such as Wix or Squarespace, you may be limited to the SEO items you can control on your website.

A lot of work goes into setting up on-page SEO, so if you don’t want to harm your hard-earned search rankings, you’ll want to stay consistent with good optimization practices after your site launches.

2. Adding images to your site

Adding new images to your website is almost always a given, but before you simply add the file and hit the upload button, make sure your new image adheres to SEO best practices.

When adding an image to your site, ensure that the file is optimized for screens. If you upload a stock image, don’t upload the maximum size just because it looks nice and crisp; you’ll bog down the load speed of your page. Use a tool like TinyPNG to optimize your image sizes to minimize load times for users.

Image sizing isn’t the only thing you need to think about when uploading to your site. You’ll also want to understand alt tags and how they affect your SEO. An alt tag is a basic description of an image that serves two primary purposes. The first has to do with SEO: adding an effective alt tag on your image will add to the page’s SEO, and also show up in Google Image Search. The second purpose of image alt tags is to assist the visually impaired. Software that aids the visually impaired will read back alt tags to describe images, making your website experience more accessible.

Your CMS will likely have a place for you to enter image alt tags. Make sure that your image alt tags describe the images that you are uploading accurately, and contain keywords that your customers are searching on Google.

2020-08-12-maintain-search-engine-optimization-alt-tag-example

[Example of alt tag entry. This is using the WordPress CMS platform.]

3. Creating new pages

Maintain good SEO on your pages by following a standardized URL naming system. Your web designer may have given you documentation for doing so when they created your site’s initial URLs, but if not, look at the URL of each page on your site and determine if there are any common attributes. URLs vary from site to site, but typically, a URL will contain a focus keyword relating to the topic of the page. 

In addition to making sure that your URLs contain keywords, you can give your pages a boost in SEO by adding internal links to other blogs and pages on your website. Make sure that you only place links where they are appropriate (and helpful for users) and aim to include two or three internal links on every page you create.

4. Cleaning up old pages

It may be tempting to delete or unpublish old pages or blogs on your website every once in a while, but don’t do so until you’ve taken care of a few things first. You may need to enlist the help of your designer on this one. Before removing an old page, set the URL to redirect to an alternative page first. Once this is done, it is safe to remove or unpublish.

Simply deleting a page could harm your site’s SEO by leading visitors to dead links. Making sure that every unused page is redirected will help build your search rankings rather than resetting them for a given page.

If your website is on WordPress, there is a redirect plugin available that makes this process super easy, and it gives you analytics on how many times the redirect has been accessed so you can get rid of any that are no longer needed (having too many redirects also affects your SEO).

5. Adding products to your online store

If your site features an online store, all of the above still applies with a couple of extra steps.

If your product pages have item descriptions, make sure to add rich text with focus keywords to any new products you add. You’ll also want to make sure that the written content is about the same length as all of the other products that are already on your site.

Don’t forget to add any new product categories you make to the navigation menu.

Above all, remember…

No matter what changes you’re making to your website, communication with your designer is key. Not all websites are made in the same way or have the same editing options, so it’s best to ask your designer about the items you need to maintain and how to properly make changes before you start doing things yourself.

If you’re unsure how to keep your SEO in check on your website, or, if you want to get started updating your site, we’d be happy to help by taking a look at your current website and making an easy-to-follow list of items for you to consider.

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2019-10-02-why-local-business-needs-google-mybusiness

Why Local Business Needs Google MyBusiness

Holiday shopping season is about to begin, and if you are a local business you are likely starting to think about how you’ll reach your market. Online advertising might be the obvious choice, along with an organic social media strategy. However, there is also one powerful little online gem that not a lot of local businesses are utilizing. It not only increases the chance your business will be found online, but could also generate more foot traffic for your store. That online powerhouse is Google MyBusiness. 

This free tool has been available to businesses for quite a few years, but it is often underrated in terms of its power. Since it is a Google tool, by using it to its full potential you will leverage Google’s search algorithm and increase your chances (along with the rest of your online strategy) of generating increased online and offline traffic. 

What Is Google MyBusiness? 

Google MyBusiness (GMB) is a free online tool that allows you to control how your business appears on Google Maps and search results. Through this tool, you can claim your business’ location and name*, giving you control over what your potential customers see, and how they contact you, when they search for your business. 

Your full profile will display on the right-hand side of the Google search results page, displaying valuable information about your business. There are many benefits to setting up a full profile, listed below. 

*You will need to verify your location once you claim your business and location. Google does this by mailing you a postcard with a special code you’ll need to enter into your GMB profile. This ensures that only the true owner of the business can claim it, rather than anyone from the public. 

Businesses ‘Near Me’ Searches 

One of the great benefits of having a complete GMB profile is that your business is more likely to show up in Google searches when visitors use the ‘near me’ search functionality. As an example, if you are a clothing store and your potential customers search “ladies wear” and use the ‘near me’ functionality, your business will pop up as an option.  

Hours of Operation 

Empower your customers to maximize their shopping time by enabling your store hours through your profile. When they Google your business, they’ll immediately be shown a list of your shop’s hours and whether you are currently open or closed. 

Appointment Booking 

Set up a designated appointment booking link which can be shown on your GMB profile. When customers search for your business, they can book an appointment directly from their Google search result. Providing them the ultimate convenience in booking appointments can increase the number of appointments you receive. 

Answer FAQs Right Away 

Many businesses will experience their customers asking some common questions, and your GMB profile is a great way to address those immediately. When potential customers search your business, these questions and answers will appear within your GMB profile that is displayed on Google’s search results page. This provides your potential clients with the information they may be looking for in an effortless manner. 

See How They’re Finding You 

Within the administrative dashboard of your GMB profile under Insights, you can see the search queries visitors used to land on your profile. This information is valuable to you as a business owner to see what matters to your clients, if your profile is set up to attract the right kind of customers, and to give you basic information on how you might optimize your social media and your website to attract more followers. 

Send to Your Phone 

If a visitor has landed on your GMB profile and is interested in visiting your business, or checking you out again later, a quick and easy “Send to Your Phone” button can be pushed and the visitor receives a text message with your profile link. They can then easily revisit your listing at their convenience, and receive instant directions to your business through Google Maps. 

Manage Your Reviews 

Your business from time to time may receive Google Reviews. GMB allows you to manage these reviews directly from your dashboard in a quick and easy manner. 

Assists with Voice Searches 

More and more smartphone users are now activating searches via their voice assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Home. As a result, your GMB profile gives you a leg up in search results. In order to show up in voice searches, you must have a GMB profile and it must be complete. 

How to Set Up Your Google MyBusiness Profile 

Simply visit google.com/business to get started. Follow the prompts to fill in your business information, and then select your verification method. You can still fill in the remainder of your profile while awaiting verification. 

Be sure to fill in as much of the information section as possible. Use photos of your business that are enticing and clearly display what your business offers. Be sure to include all of your business’ locations if you have more than one. 

Need help setting up? We’d love to help, just shoot us an email. 

2019-06-26-website-copy-generating-traffic

Is Your Website Copy Generating Traffic?

We no longer live in a website world where we can simply “build it and they will come.” Your site’s design and usability is, of course, extremely important to your user experience, ensuring your visitors can find the information they need quickly. However, your website copy has just as important a role in your website’s success.

The most important function of your website copy is to enrich your visitors’ knowledge. However, if it isn’t written with Search Engine Optimization in mind, you have to work that much harder for those same visitors to find your site in the first place.

We have some simple tips for your website to entice Google to rank your website higher.

Focus each page on ONE keyword/keyphrase.

Choose a keyword/keyphrase most related to your topic that your users are likely to search to find your information. For example, if you run a flower shop and you’re writing a page about roses, consider focusing on the keyphrase, “longest lasting roses.”

When you’re writing your content, ensure that exact phrase shows up no more and no less than three times, and one of those must be present within the first paragraph on the page.

 

Write a minimum of 300 words on each page.

Google likes when there is more content relevant to your preferred topic. They are more likely to rank pages in a Google search higher if it believes your page has more valuable information than others. Ensure your copy is well written in the voice best suited to educate your visitors.

 

Include links both inward and outward of your website.

It is important to ensure your website page contains links to other pages. This includes links to other pages within your own website, as well as links to outside websites. As an example, if your page on roses contains a reference to other long lasting flowers, link to those other pages either in your own site, or to blogs/web pages on another site.

You could also link to a contact page within your website if you have no other content to link to.

 

Content Analysis Tool

There are many other factors to setting your website page for search engine success. A super useful tool for testing your copy is SEO Review Tools content analysis page: https://www.seoreviewtools.com/content-analysis/

This tool is free to use, and you can use it to write your copy. You can set your focus keyword/keyphrase first and as you write, the tips at the bottom update what you need to change for best results.

 

These tips apply to blogs, too.

If you’re writing a blog, these tips should be carried over into each of your blogs as well. Check out a past blog about Search Engine Optimization tips for your blog as well.

 

If you’d like more tips or some one-on-one advice for your website, please feel free to contact me directly for a free consultation. I’d love to help!