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Google SEO Marketing Tips
How To Optimize Your Website for Google
My Google SEO research has been done through Google Web master tools, Google videos about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and other credible SEO first hand sources. In most cases this information is part of what Google releases about getting good search engine results. I want to stay away from the black hat shenanigans that some SEO experts do to quickly get rankings up to the first or second page of Google only to find that on the next Panda update (Goggles super-secret algorithm to get the best pages to the top of Google) the results you paid so dearly for no longer work. These black hat” SEO methods could hurt you for a long time and while the temptation is to try to get to the top fast, remember that Google is always looking for the value proposition you offer your customers. If you are attempting SEO yourself I would spend a good amount of research and look for articles that are up to date and formed as a result of credible research into the topic. SEO is a moving target. What works today may not work tomorrow. Google gets better al he time at finding the best websites and regularly reviews their methods to get them.
I am offering my readers 5 SEO tips in this article. Google, while keeping their programming a secret it probably has hundreds of “if - then” statements in the Panda program to arrive at what makes a great website rise to the top. Google uses more than simple keywords to rank your pages. Some of the more sophisticated methods are to see how long the user is on the website and the depth of the pages reviewed. So here’s some of my research:
1. How does our website offer value to the user? If you are a straight simple website with no attraction for potential customers you will probably rank lower than if you offer some value to your customers. Things like loan calculators, money exchange calculators, how to articles, recipes, a beautiful photograph gallery, on-line forums and links to relevant YouTube videos are some of the things you can do to add value. Stories about other customer’s experiences that offer solutions to a problem are good to keep the user on the site long enough that Google will be satisfied that there is true value being added to the users situation to give you an extra boost in rankings. Note that you probably will not have a simple 5 page website to do this. Amazon who offers products and customer reviews may have well over 100,000 pages and possible over 1 million pages. They rank 10th in the world for top websites and 5th in the USA.
SEO Mistakes and some Good Ideas from Google
Content & Domain Names
2. OK you’ve heard that content is king and let me explain this a little better. It goes back to value proposition. Key words are important and at one time not so long ago key word density was one of the top factors that Google used to rank pages. Well as time goes by and Google programmers think about the sites that ranked high that shouldn't have key wording was lowered as an indicator. Google looks at a number of sites and determines if they meet the customers’ needs and not how many times they can repeat key words in the first few sentences. So now my fictitious business I’ve used in other posts “Patty the Pet Groomer” doesn't have to mention pet grooming a dozen times in the first paragraph but other keywords like “puppy”, “shaggy” etc can be written in in natural language that help the reader understand what the site is about and engages the reader in natural conversation.
3. Exact match domain names sill count for a lot. I was watching a demonstration by Josh Bachynski about exact match domain names. If your user will be looking for you by name (like Chevrolet) it would be best if the name formed part of the domain name. What if the domain name is taken and you still want it or something like it? Try a hyphen in the name like chevrolet-automobiles.com and this should get fairly good results from Google as well. Josh’s demonstration had poorer sites rank close to the top because their name was what users were actually searching for. When all else fails the best synonym available may be the way to go. Synonyms for “automobile” are car, auto, van, vehicle, sedan etc. Synonyms combined with keywords, combined with site name, metadata and mostly the value proposition will help move you closer to the top.
Fast Loading and Keeping the Site up-to-date
4. Site speed is so important. The Guardian, a newspaper from the United Kingdom (UK) recently stated there is an 11% drop in attention for even a 1 second delay in site page loading. The longer a page takes to load the less time people will be on your site and if they are waiting around 3 seconds (maybe less) they will hit the back button and look for another site. Google may record this as a short time on site and reduce the value you bring to your users. Luis Posselt from CMS teachings, a teaching and web development company says that while there are thousands of plugins and extensions available when building a website (these plugins and extensions give content management systems like Word Press of Joomla further functionality) they should be kept to an absolute minimum to speed page loading. Large graphics and photographs not optimised for the web really slow down your site so if you’re a Photoshop user look at the photographs or graphics used and save them at lower resolution and dimensions to gain speed. Flash introductions are now considered poor practice. I think we've all been on a flash site (moving graphics) that drove us away from the site before we got to the good stuff. Again these graphics keep us from the site. You should check the speed of your web-host as well before signing up and regularly thereafter. If their sites load slowly contact their customer service and find out why. Is it your site? Do they need upgraded servers or what? Keep it fast. Google likes to aims for under 0.5 seconds.
5. Finally, Maile Ohye a Developer Programs Technical Lead from Google says that continuous site improvement is a major factor in the Google ranking system. She calls it “slow iteration” where the site is not improved very often. The non-techy world calls it a continuous improvement cycle. Keep at it often and regularly and Google will recognize your efforts. Review and improve keywords, make your language on the website more natural, review and redefine the goals of your site as needed.
There are 5 things you can start doing today to improve your Google rankings. I’ll be researching this often and writing articles on SEO regularly so check back and see what I’ve found.
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