It’s a call we get at least once a week: “Can you please help my website to show up in the search engines”? OR “No one can find my website – can you help!?!?” The fact of the matter is that website rankings are of huge importance to many, if not most, businesses on the web. A website that can’t be found is like having a storefront without a sign or a front door – unless you know exactly where you’re going , you’ll never find it.
Statistics say that 78.3% of the U.S. population are internet users* and that 92% Of Internet Users go to search engines** when they’re looking for just about anything they need: from plumbers to physicians, remodeling contractors to web designers – you name it, it’s searched for on the internet first and foremost. Should a growing business care about it’s search engine rankings??? YES!!!
What’s a business to do?!
There are several factors that help determine website rankings on Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo! From site content and structure to the underlying code on the page to inbound links off the page; the factors are many. Search engine companies had made their fortunes first on the ability the direct internet searchers to the content that most accurately describes what they are searching for. The algorithms that search engines are built on are more complex than most of us can imagine and yet the results they display are intended to be so simple and straight forward that even a child can find exactly what they are looking for.
A few main tips on getting and keeping your site at the top of the rankings are:
1. Content is king.
Back in the early days of search engines you could scroll down to the bottom of many web pages and find keywords and search terms packed together by the hundreds. Every word or phrase that was even remotely close to that website’s product or theme was packed in for miles own the page. Many of the words were repeated over and over again making no sense whatsoever. Website designers started even trying to get creative by coloring the text that same as the background so that users wouldn’t even know that text was there unless they highlighted it with their mouse or viewed the source code.
Well, a lot has changed since then – and search engines will certainly not fall that little trick any longer. Gone are the days of simply packing in as many keywords as possibly over and over again to get the search engines to notice you.
When writing content for your website, good, accurate content and descriptions of your product and services are paramount. It doesn’t have to Pulitzer worthy – just thorough and accurate. I find that most of the time if you write your content just like you would describe it in your 30 second elevator speech, that is sufficient. YES, use your keywords, just don’t overdo it.
2. Use your own, original content.
OK, so you’re not a writer. Your busy, you have don’t have time to try and write a website full of content describing your business and products. it’s not that your lay, you just really don’t feel like delving back into a writing mindset that you haven’t had to use since high school or college. So you decide to just copy and paste someone else site… STOP!!! This is a huge search engine “no-no”. Definitely don’t use content that someone else had used. If you think you can copy and paste someone else’s writing, you are not only infringing on copyright laws, you are also shooting yourself in the foot with search engines.
Modern SE’s (search engines) are now, and have been, keeping an eye out for duplicate content across the internet. Your site can and will be penalized if you have simply taken someone else’s text and put it on your own site. You can even go to “www.copyscape.com” to check and see if someone else out there is using your text! IT’s NOT THAT HARD to take a small amount of time to wordsmith your own ideas on and put them on your site- it WILL be worth it.
Start with a brief outline of each of the pages on your site (i.e. home page, about us page, services, areas served, contact etc).
Then put together a rough outline of what you’ll want on each page. Whiteboards or giant post-its are great for this.
Next: simply go to each point in your outline and write an “elevator-speech” version of what you want to say. For instance, on the about Us pages, you want to talk about the company history for a few sentences, a little about yourself or the owners, and what your driving passion is for your industry. Talking about each point like you would at a networking event is usually a great place to start. For certain items like services and even some products, going into more detail can be very effective not only for your viewers but also for search engine rankings.
3. Patience, Patience, Patience.
While we could easily spend hours and hours discussing SEO (Search engine optimization) tricks and techniques, one of the things we have learned over the years is this: IT TAKES TIME! There is rarely any one magic bullet that will shoot your site to the top of the SE’s; if there was everyone would be doing it. In fact, there are many techniques and tricks that can be done to improve your results if they are implemented regularly and consistently over time. Time is the key in most cases. Many companies are promising these unbelievable results for your website: “Be at the top in Google”, Reach Number 1 in the search engines Guaranteed” etc, etc.
BE CAREFUL FOR SEARCH ENGINE SCAMS! Any company that promises particular results in organic search engine rankings is almost always selling you a lie. Rankings in the main search results (organic rankings) simply CANNOT be guaranteed. As I mentioned before, if it could be guaranteed than everyone would be doing it!
However, a good, well designed and implemented search engine optimization (SEO) plan can, in time, bring and keep your site at the top of the rankings… and believe me, top rankings mean increased traffic, sales and – bottom line – more money for your business.
WE CAN HELP! While this article is by no means meant to be an exhaustive dissertation on SEO and internet marketing, we wanted to help our reader understand just a few of the important concepts on the topic. If you need someone to help you with website design, SEO, internet marketing or other forms of marketing Barta Media Group would be more than happy to help. We offer competitive and reasonable rates for our services and great results. Please drop us a line or give us a call today at 678-464-5785.
* from internetworldstats.com
** from The Inquistr – Search Engines Used By 92% Of Internet Users