It’s Google's world, we’re just living in it, right? So if you're wondering how to make your website play well with Google, read on.
If you’re in sales, marketing, or a business owner, you already know you need to invest time and/or money in getting your website to show up well in Google's search results. And that means understanding what keywords your prospects use to find you.
Of course, word-of-mouth is the best way, but that's for people who already know you. What about the much larger group of people who don't know you? Because Google lets you reach a wider audience, that's where you need to show up. Which is why SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the key to getting your website in front of the people.
The best way to have prospects find you is to have your website play well with Google
As you might imagine, there are LOTS of factors that go into ranking well in Google's searches, but the two we're focusing on in this blog post are:
- Preparing the mobile version of your website (because that's the version Google is ranking), and
- What goes into on-page SEO
Preparing the mobile version of your website
Years ago, "mobile first indexing" algorithms were developed to use the mobile versions of websites, instead of the desktop versions, to determine if a website should show up well in Google's search results. Mobile-first indexing is the default algorithm used to analyze all websites. Why is that? Because more searches are done on mobile devices than desktops or laptops. Even if more of your prospects are looking at the desktop version of your website, Google is looking at the mobile version.
So how can you make Google happy so you show up well? By looking at the mobile version of your website as its own entity, not just a version of your main website.
To start, see how well Google rates the mobile version of your website
If you think the mobile version of your website is as good as your desktop version, you can tell by using Google PageSpeed Insights. It's free, and it's simple to use. Taking a Chicago-based home builder as our example, we tested their website, and you can see the just how Google views both the mobile version of their website. (The numbers are based on a scale of 0-100.)
A big difference in poor Mobile ranking is download speed
People searching on their mobile devices don't have the high-speed connection they do at home. They’re likely connecting to the internet using cell service, or a shared connection, say, in a coffee shop. As you would imagine, both are much slower than their home or office internet connection. How fast the mobile version of your website loads is an ranking factor.
Because of that, your mobile site might need to be slightly different than your desktop site. Which means a simpler homepage with images saved in the new “WebP’ format for faster downloading.
That’s important, because studies show half the people won’t wait more than a few seconds for a website to load. And with an average attention span of 8 seconds, we supposedly now have a shorter attention span than goldfish.
Using on-page SEO will make your website play well with Google
There's a lot that goes into the backend of your website to make sure it checks all the boxes for Google's rules and algorithms. And don't think SEO is only for larger companies, we guarantee you: no website is too small to benefit from SEO.
We put together a video that walks you through that process for a blog post. While the video is 7 minutes long, we tried to make it worth watching, even adding some mild humor.
Here's a brief overview of the elements, highlighted in the video, that make up good on-page SEO.
Incorporate the keyword into the Title of your blog
The more relevant your blog title is, the better the connection between your audience and your website.
For example, we know some people looking for our services Google the phrase "What is the process of working with a web designer in Columbus?" So we wrote a blog with that exact headline. Now, when someone searches that question, our blog is the top link in Google's results.
Have what's called a "focus keyword" for every page of your website
A “focus keyword” is the main keyword phrase you're using for your blog (or any page) in your website goes. Your entire blog should be written around that phrase. For this post, the keyword phrase is "play well with Google" and it's used throughout this blog.
The correct way to add images to your pages
Images are beneficial, not only when it comes to explaining your content, but making your page more inviting to read. And it even helps with with your SEO when you name one or two of the images using the keyword for that specific page.
There's a thing called the "Alternate Text field" and it's important
Alternate Text Fields are where you add a description of what an image is. It's intended for sight-impaired people who might not be able to see the images. Those folks have software that speaks the text in the Alternate Text Fields. Sure, maybe you don't have sight-impaired people viewing your website, but since we're talking about having your website play well with Google, you need to do this.
Using keywords in your copy
It’s critical to use keywords in your copy, because that's how search engines' algorithms connect people's searches with your website. And never guess at the right keywords, because if you guess wrong, you'd be wasting your time using those keywords in your blogs. Have a professional SEO company, or website design company, research the right keywords for your products and services.
Having outbound links are important too
Outbound links are words linked to either credible websites, or other pages in your own site that explain the information in more detail. You can see we've used links throughout this blog post.
And finally (at least for this abbreviated overview of on-page SEO)...
Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
Page Titles and Meta Descriptions are what shows up in the search result pages on Google and other search engines.
Whenever you looking at Google's search results page, you’re looking at Page Titles and Meta Descriptions from the website listings that show up. That's because the websites that appear have the search terms you just Google'd. So making that connection is critical.
Well-written Page Titles and Meta Descriptions, like well-written book titles, influence whether someone clicks them for your website, or someone else’s website.
This is a lot for any marketer or business owner to do themselves
Many marketers and business owners just don't have the time, nor inclination, to write the content and be responsible for their on-page SEO. So when you're looking for a web design company who can help you with it, look to us. Drop us an email through our contact form today and let;s talk about how we can help get your website to show up in Google's organic search results.