On the 8th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: FRESHEN UP YOUR CONTENT
Search engines do not want to send their users to search results that have gone stale. To make sure that’s a category your website does not fall into, you need to update your content regularly. However, you do not want to continually overhaul or change your website pages. That’s confusing for human users who regularly visit your site, and it can hurt your ranking potential.
Instead, you can post “new” content without generating completely new content by refreshing and reposting your most popular blogs.
First, identify blogs that have already performed well. That indicates which topics your users are most interested in. Then, update it by:
- Adding new content or details
- Removing outdated information (including studies or links)
- Reformatting it to change the order in which the content is presented and/or to make it more scanner-friendly
Update the title, too, but make sure that it’s evident that this blog is a new and improved version of one that viewers already liked.
While you’re making changes, don’t change the blog’s URL. That will kill the search engine performance it already achieved.
Of course, once you review your blogs to see what topics got the most clicks, generate more. Brand new content is always, good, too. If you have trouble keeping up with a regular blog schedule, contact SonicSEO.com for help.
In the spirit of the holiday season, SonicSEO.com is gifting free marketing advice for every business that has a website (and that should be every business). Check out our 12 Days of SEO Bootcamp on Facebook. Each day, we’ve posted valuable information about how to monitor, assess and improve your website’s search engine performance, user experience, branding impact and more.
If you need more than bootcamp for your website performance to start off strong in 2018, please contact us for an SEO consultation.
On the 7th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: BUILD UP YOUR LINK PROFILE
Link building is often completely behind-the-scenes aspect of a search engine optimization campaign, but it doesn’t have to be. You can contribute to the number and quality of inbound links to your site (a significant ranking factor); all you have to do is ask.
Offline, you can ask to have people add links to your site from theirs. You just have to make sure that the people you’re asking have websites that are credible and relevant to your industry. So, some people you might want to approach include:
Professional organizations and/or certifying agencies, especially those that have directories of recommended service providers
Well-known and trusted bloggers
Community economic development organizations
Most of the best link-building prospects are free. In fact, you should NEVER pay for links. Part of what makes free links so value to ranking is that search engines recognize that you haven’t bought your way to an inbound link-rich website.
On the 6th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE DESIGN FOR MOBILE USAGE
Most people don’t know anyone who doesn’t own a mobile device, and if you do, you can probably count these Luddites on one hand. But what’s more important about the growing usage of mobile devices is that more and more people are using them exclusively to search for what they want, whether that’s a new pair of running shoes, a local diner for a quick lunch or online deals for their Napa Valley getaway.
So, if you want more customers to find your products and services, you need to make sure your website is showing up on mobile search results, and that requires a mobile-friendly website.
If your website is relatively new, likely it was built on a responsive platform that automatically detects and adjusts to the screen size on which it’s being viewed. But, even on responsive platforms, your website’s layout should be conducive to top-to-bottom scanning and thumb-scrolling. Phone numbers need to be hyperlinked for click-to-call capability, and navigation needs to be simplified so mobile viewers can more easily find their way into and out of their current path.
Honestly, if you don’t know if your website is optimized for mobile usage, it’s best to ask the experts. Contact SonicSEO.com for a site evaluation and free consultation.
On the 5th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: TEST YOUR CONTACT FORMS AND EMAIL LINKS
Customer service is marketing. If your website is going to be your most powerful marketing tool, it has to deliver a good customer experience. That means the portals through which existing and potential customers can contact you online have to work—all the time, every time.
You will never know what your customers may be experiencing unless you test your “contact us” capabilities yourself. It’s easy to do:
- Create a testing schedule—at least once per month
- Assign someone to complete the form on the Contact Us page of your website
- Before entering data, clear your browser history
- Fill in all fields and hit the button to submit the form
- Follow up with the person/email account to which form submissions are sent to make sure it was received
Of course, a working Contact Us form is useless if no one is checking the email where form submissions land. Make sure that an experienced customer service representative is checking this email multiple times each day and responding to and/or forwarding customer messages appropriately.
SonicSEO.com tests contact forms as part of our inclusive site maintenance. Contact us to learn more.
On the 4th day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: TEST YOUR WEBSITE’S LOADING SPEED
Internet viewers have no patience for slow-loading websites, and search engines know it. To boost ranking potential (because it boosts user experience), your website has a need for speed. But you don’t know if your loading speed needs improving until you test it—both your desktop and mobile version.
There are a number of speed tests you can use, but our favorites include:
—this is Google’s speed test, which shows your mobile and desktop speed test results in side-by-side tabs
GTMetrix.com—this site generates a report with all the major data points about your website’s loading time, like page speed score and fully loaded time in seconds
Google’s PageSpeed Insights have a number of clickable results that provide guidelines and tips for how to fix issues dragging down your page speed. Many loading speed problems can be remedied by optimizing and/or compressing images, updating caching parameters and compressing back-end code that controls how your website renders.
If your website loading speeds are poor, contact SonicSEO.com for a website tune-up.
On the 3rd day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: OPTIMIZE YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE
Google likes to keep Internet searchers on their properties, which includes Google maps and the snippets of top-ranking results immediately below the map, like these results for “private security Albuquerque”
To show up in these snippets, you have to provide Google with your contact information rather than make Google search for it…and optimizing your Google My Business profile is pretty easy. Assuming you already have a Google My Business profile, here’s what you need to do:
- Make sure all fields (required and optional) are filled in—leave nothing blank
- When possible, in relevant fields, incorporate keyword terms that you want to be found for and your target geographic location—be as specific as possible without being restrictive
If you do not already have a Google My Business profile (or have no idea if you do but want one), contact SonicSEO.com.
On the 2nd day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: MAKE YOUR SITE LOCAL SEARCH-FRIENDLY
Mobile devices have GPS integration. Because mobile devices and their users can be located on a map, their mobile searches should be able to find the business and services they need close by. That’s why “near me” searches are skyrocketing.
Make sure your business’ website shows up for “near me” searches relevant to your products/services by:
- Updating and optimizing your My Business (a Google property) profile
- Including your contact information—including street address—as indexable text on your website
- Creating content targeted to local searches and searchers
For help “localizing” your website, contact the Internet marketing experts at SonicSEO.com.
On the 1st day of boot camp, my marketing expert told me: EVALUATE YOUR WEBSITE’S INDEXABILITY
The “indexability” of your website refers to:
How many pages of your site have been indexed by search engine bots compared to the total number of pages you have posted
The absence of restrictions that prevent search engine bots from indexing your website’s pages
To evaluate your website’s indexability:
- Find out how many pages of your website have been indexed using site: command.
In the Google navigation bar type site:yourdomain (do not put a space between the colon and your domain name and include the .com, .net or whatever)
- Compare how many pages your site: command query shows compared to your sitemap.
In the Google navigation bar type your domain name (including .com, .net or whatever)/sitemap.xml
The sitemap shows how many pages you think are on your website. The number should be close to what the site: command query showed. If the number of pages from site: command is low compared to your sitemap, there may be something restricting the bot’s permission to crawl your site. If the site: command count is high, you may have spammy pages, duplicate pages and/or image being indexed as pages.
You can see if there are restrictions keeping the search engine bot from indexing your website.
In the Google navigation bar type your domain name (including .com, .net or whatever)/robots.txt
This query will populate a list of pages that are disallowed, meaning the search engine cannot index them. “Disallows” may happen by accident or because someone has tampered with your website. (Please note: there are other reasons why a site or page may not be indexed. Some can be fixed; some have to do with the search engine’s algorithm and prioritization scheme, over which no website developer or SEO expert has any control.)
If your evaluation indicates any issue with the way search engines are able to navigate and index your website, contact us to schedule a consultation or for technical assistance.
It’s that time of year again…when the kitchen is filled with the delicious aromas of roasting turkey, baking pies and simmering Stove Top dressing. But as much as the bustle in the kitchen means it’s nearly time to (more…)