It is not easy to know exactly how to rank higher, because Google judges your site based on 150+ criteria. No one but Google knows the formula for ranking higher and the criteria are always changing. So if someone calls or emails you saying they know the exact mathematical formula and can get you higher on Google, they are a scam. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the trial and error businesses go through to increase their Google ranking. Although the criteria for higher SEO changes constantly, there are a few things that we know can help with your Google ranking. We will continue to add more tips and suggestions throughout time, and this will be an ever growing list.
This is the number 1 thing you can do to help increase your SEO. Google is always looking for good content. So what is good content? It has to be original. You cannot copy and paste and hope that Google will like that. They won’t. Because blogs tend to have all original content, websites with blogs tend to do very well on Google. Keywords are still somewhat important, but they are not as critical as they were in the past. Google will actually penalize you if you just spam keywords all over the place. There has to be relevant context. Here are some suggestions for good content:
Content should be understood – All text on your webpage should be conversational. You should not use big words. Google does not want a college paper. The perfect grade level of simplicity should be between a 4th – 6th grade reading level.
Content should be updated – Making changes to your webpage every day doesn’t necessarily improve your SEO. But rather adding new content and pages. That is why Blog sites do well with updated content; it is new text.
Content should be unique – Google will know if you have copied and pasted from another website. Even if the content is the best content ever, if it is copied, Google will penalize you for it. Even things as copying item descriptions from your vendors will hurt your SEO.
Age of Web Address
Depending on when you registered your domain name, you can rank higher than others. This is because Google wants to know if you have withstood the test of time. Theoretically, if there are 2 businesses with the exact same product and website, the one that has had their domain name longer will appear higher on Google. On the flip side, Google wants to know that you plan to stay around for a long time. So a business with a domain name that is purchased for 2-3 years in advance will get a slight bump over those who have just purchased their domain name for one year.
Inbound links are when other websites put a link back to your website. The more websites that do this for you, the better your SEO will be. There are businesses that claim to get you hundreds of inbound links for a fee, but these “farms” are frowned upon by Google and can actually hurt you. Don’t take the easy way out of this. Organically find legit websites within your network that will provide a link back to your website. And the more valuable and higher quality the website that links to you, the more valuable that inbound link will be. Google loves to see inbound link from local Chamber of Commerce websites, the Yellow Pages, and the Better Business Bureau. Try to get on their website and get an inbound link by joining those organizations.
Update Your Website
Google will actually find out how often you make changes and updates to your website. It is like a social media account...you know if a business hasn’t posted in years. Google knows the same about your website. Update it frequently. How often? It depends, and there isn’t a set in stone answer. News sites typically rank higher because they are updating content every hour, even every minute. These updates need to be made on your static pages (ex: Home page, About page, Services page, etc.). Having a blog will help with this, but you need to make changes to your other pages as well. There is a debate as to whether or not you should make changes to existing pages, or add new pages to your site. I would suggest a combination of both, but either way, these changes should involve content and words.