Google Search: How Does Website Optimization Help My Ranking?
Position your website at the top of the search results with these optimization tips
Small business owners are generally passionate about their industry and truly care about their customers. They are industry experts and have a wealth of knowledge to share. But most struggle to reach their clientele because they are nowhere to be found when searching Google.
My name is Matt Morgan and I am the founder of Optimize Worldwide, a successful search engine optimization (SEO) firm based in Redding, California. I too am passionate about my industry (internet marketing) and enjoy helping business owners succeed in reaching their potential customers by building a better online presence.
What are the top Google search ranking factors?
The search engines have robots or crawlers that look at thousands of little details about each webpage before they decide whether or not to promote a web page in the search results and determine which order they should rank. Below are the areas I personally focus on when optimizing a website.
- Quality and relevant content
- Page titles
- Technical optimization or web development optimization
Quality and relevant content
The old tricks of keyword stuffing and copying web content from other sites is over. The search engines have updated their algorithms now demanding original content that is well written, relevant to the targeted key phrase for that page, and fresh or frequently updated. Focus on educating your readers, providing value, and offering engagement opportunities. Stray from writing self serving articles. Once you provide something valuable, your content will become Google worthy, sharable, and will increase your conversion rates. I’m sure Carrie Schmeck, business copywriter at Bizziwriter, would agree with these tips.
The page title of your article should be well thought out and include your targeted key phrases. If your article or web page targets a specific geographical area, include that too. Find the perfect blend that describes your article, includes the targeted key phrase, the location, and is enticing. Page titles are what you see in a Google search (generally a blue hyperlink with a short description underneath).
There is a character range that is optimal. Keep your page titles within 30-60 characters (including spaces). Two reasons. Google only counts 70 characters, and can only display roughly 50 in the search results (the rest is truncated).
I have a great article and YouTube video on my blog that explains how to optimize your pages titles more in depth. You can view it at the following link: SEO Tip: 6 Steps to Optimizing Your Page Titles
Technical optimization or web development optimization
Web development optimization, aka on-page SEO, is the process of ensuring that your website meets the technical requirements listed in Google’s webmaster guidelines. My first two recommendations above are easy to implement. This part of website optimization will most likely require an expert web developer with extensive knowledge of SEO. I will simply list out some areas that I address personally that make a big difference when Google is determining whether they should send website visitors to your site. A broken website or slow loading website is not appealing to users. Google knows this and will seek out error free websites.
Web development optimization checklist (short version)
- Google & Bing webmaster tools verification
- Specify preferred domain name (non-www)
- Configure search engine friendly (SEF) URLs
- Optimized Page Title tags
- Custom meta description and keyword tags
- Proper use of H1 & H2 heading tags
- Optimized image ALT tags
- Optimized link Title tags
- Content optimization (length & keyword density)
- Fix any broken links
- Address any crawl errors reported by Google
- HTML & XML Sitemaps
- XML Sitemap submission
- Optimized robots.txt
- Optimized .htaccess
- Google authorship
- Schema.org rich snippets
Let’s wrap it up
In summary, if you put time and effort into providing quality content that your potential customers might actually want to read, you will end up with a better website that ranks well in the search engines. One of my favorite pieces of advice I like to give: “Don’t chase Google, chase what Google chases – quality content.”
If you found these website optimization tips useful, I encourage you to share this article with your friends and colleagues (share buttons at the top of this page). Additionally, you can subscribe to my blog or follow me on twitter @OptimizeHere to receive additional internet marketing tips.
About the author
Matt Morgan is the owner and founder of Optimize Worldwide based in Redding, California. He has a strong background in online marketing and has recently put together a team of industry experts who are passionate about search engine marketing. Optimize Worldwide helps local & nationwide companies rank at the top of Google, Bing & Yahoo! Offline Matt enjoys riding motorcycles, taking advantage of the surrounding recreation, and gardening with his wife.