The Ultimate 2021 Search Engine Optimization Guide
We've covered search engine optimization (SEO) many times on our website and that's because it's vital to the success of your business. If you're wondering what SEO is, exactly, this simple explanation may be able to help you out:
"Search Engine Optimization is what you do on your website to appease the Google God's. In order to have any value or ranking in search engines, your website must meet a specific and wide-reaching set of criteria. These criteria exist to help search engines (like Google) sort out and determine which companies meet the quality required for the highest ranking."
Your website might have the perfect color scheme, updated photos and videos, and tons of direct traffic. But that alone will not get you a high ranking.
Google likes finesse, details, and TLC. And that's why SEO exists.
Your website must be functioning, organized, regularly updated, coded properly, and full of content in order for you to prove your worth as the highest-ranking website within' your industry.
If you're going to invest in your website through SEO it's important that you maintain your efforts on a pretty regular basis, too.
Maintaining Your SEO Each Month
When it comes to maintaining your SEO on a monthly basis a lot of the focus relies on your content and how you care for it. Think of your website as a plant - if you water it too little, or too much, it might not make it.
Plants, like websites, require a delicate balance of care.
Focus on optimizing your quality while maintaining your value. If you own a gym, and all the photos on your website are Instagram shots from 2 years ago, then it's time to update. Add a page where you regularly add photos or news from your business and hire a professional photographer to come in to take HD photos of your space now and whenever there are changes in the future. The most important aspect of this component is that you're always remaining current and checked-in.
If you're not sure how you can optimize your web-flow, don't be afraid to contact a professional.
Updating isn't exclusive to just photos, though, and it's important that you maintain all other points of updating that apply to SEO, such as your internal linking, title tags, and meta descriptions.
Developing New SEO Habits
Not sure where your website currently sits in terms of its SEO?
Auditing, repairing, and developing your website is the first step to dramatically increasing your online value on a multitude of levels.
Many business owners are not aware that there's a setlist of requirements they must meet in order to qualify for better rankings and increased reach on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
If you've never hired a Developer to take inventory, it's possible your website may be under-performing.
It's important that you have someone who's highly skilled with the finer details of search engine optimization to take a look at your current operations and ensure things are operating with the functionality and strength they need to continually increase your sales and build your brand value.
The Importance of Monthly SEO Maintenance
Perhaps you hired a web design specialist to carefully craft a cutting edge website for your business and your website looks great. It also has valuable content within it, but, you’re not having any new visitors or generating any new leads.
The problem is most likely that your website hasn’t been optimized to appease SEO requirements. If Google doesn’t understand what your website is about, it isn’t going to direct consumers to it.
Many businesses don’t have a competitive online presence because they’re missing the key ingredient; search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is an ongoing process that lets Google know what your website is about and it tells Google that your content is consistently maintained and useful to your target audience.
By maintaining your website’s SEO monthly, Google will rank it favorably in the SERP.
This will increasingly enhance the visibility and user engagement of your website over time.
Check The Data
If your website is performing at the most basic level for SEO then you have Google Analytics attached to your website. You should regularly review the data Google provides to you so you can see where your traffic is decreasing/remaining consistent, as well which pages are performing/under performing.
By knowing this data, and then implementing strategic changes based on that data, you will be helping to regularly maintain the health of your website - as per Google.
Why You Should Focus on Your SEO
Its no secret that those who rank highest on search engines have put the work in to get there. When you take a look at your competitor's websites that have a high ranking, they might all look the same, but, on the backend those websites meet a checklist of search engine optimization requirements.
If your website has never been optimized, or has been previously optimized incorrectly, it can almost be guaranteed that it's under-performing. Especially against your competitors or constituents who have already engineered their own websites.
How does this impact you?
If your potential customers are not finding you, and are instead finding your competitors, you're losing business.
Further Costs of Poor SEO
Another reason to care about your search engine compatibility and the value of your website is because having one cost's money - and if you have one, you're paying for it.
When your website isn't optimized its "sitting solo", garnishing little (if any) organic attention and relying solely on direct traffic.
In plain English? Your business doesn't come up in search listings, and if on the off-chance it does, it comes up in a place where no one will see it.
The cost of having limited or poor Search Engine Optimization can be pretty vast when you consider the two above points. Its important that you treat your website the same way you treat your business and ensure the fundamentals are in place for your domain to function adequately.
Check Your Speed
If there's one thing Google doesn't like, it's websites that are slow. Run your URL through a website speed test and take a look at how you perform. Many website speed tests will give you some sort of grading system, at no charge, so you can see areas where you need to improve.
Load times make the biggest impact on your website speed, as do many other factors.
If you don't understand the details on your speed test it's worth it to speak with a professional about increasing your website's loading time to improve that portion of your search engine optimization.
Check Your Images
Every image on your website should have an ALT Text in its description.
ALT text is the main component of accessible web design and obtaining better SEO results. The primary purpose of ALT Text on your website's images is to describe them to visitors who are unable to see them or load them in their browsers and serves users who are visually impaired.
As search engines like transparency and accessibility optimizing your images with an ALT Text will provide you brownie points in your quest for better SEO.
Take a Look at Your Keywords
When it comes to your website keywords (and key phrases) are still king. Having keywords that pertain to your business and audience, entered into the right places, will increase your chances of driving targeted traffic to your website (and business) for free.
Keyword options include your city, country, industry, products, services, and persons of interest. All things that would be searched by a potential consumer through a search engine while looking for you. Take the time to identify your main keywords and then layer them throughout your website in a tasteful and effective way.
Outrank Your Competition
SEO Development for Small Business
Achieving a high ranking placement in Google’s SERP isn’t an easy feat. It takes consistent dedication and expertise.
Many businesses nowadays are aware of the benefits of monthly SEO maintenance and they have campaigns in place to ensure their consistent competitive placement.
It's important to narrow down your site's competition and identify strategic methods that they’ve used that could benefit your website.
Likewise, your competition could be watching every step that you make so they can capitalize on any of your setbacks, given the opportunity.
Giving up your SEO efforts, or worse, not having any, gives your competition the upper hand to take your place and benefit from your loss.
GROW YOUR SEO
Google is evolving with the needs of its users. Users value quality content. Therefore, Google is now ranking websites based on the quality of their content rather than simply through keywords (although keywords are still a key component).
Monthly SEO maintenance will ensure that your website evolves with the constantly changing algorithms of Google to ensure long-term, competitive rankings making sure that your target audience will always be able to find you.
Regularly perform a thorough analysis of your website to know where it’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) for your business’s target keywords while implementing ongoing SEO efforts.
Google is famous for dropping algorithm updates that change the way websites are ranked.
Remain up-to-date with these algorithm changes and optimize your website to fight for top organic spots consistently.
Without monthly SEO maintenance, an algorithm update may rank your website obsolete. Your website needs monthly SEO maintenance to stay competitive with constantly evolving algorithms.
Google wants to know that your website is constantly being maintained and featuring fresh quality material frequently. Some of the highest-ranking websites in Canada have new content added daily.
When You're on Page 1 of Google
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that requires patience, commitment and expertise.
Too many businesses erroneously believe that once they hit that organic number one spot on Google, that the hard work is done and they can loosen up on their SEO campaign.
The belief that a business can maintain a position in a number one organic spot on a search engine results page (SERP) without an efficient SEO campaign couldn’t be further from the truth.
Although it may take time for the detrimental effects to come into play, a website without monthly SEO maintenance will surely fall from number one to number one hundred.
The good news is that if your website was previously optimized, it might take some time for your rankings to slip. The previous optimization may maintain a consistent stream of incoming traffic that the monthly SEO maintenance has been generating for some time.
However, your website will inevitably be replaced with other websites that are keeping up with their monthly SEO efforts.
Within weeks or months, your business will notice a decrease in rankings and traffic because it won’t be ranking in the top results on Google’s SERP anymore.
A website without the intentional use of high ranking keywords is like bread without butter. Relevant keywords are a key factor influencing the growth of every business. You need to determine which keywords are relevant to you and develop a strategy to pepper them throughout your website to increase your Google rankings.
Keywords are powerful sources of SEO. They connect your target audience directly to your content.
If your website isn’t properly optimized with the use of keywords, they simply won't be able to find you... but they will be able to find your SEO-savvy competitor!
IS YOUR MOBILE WEBSITE SEO FRIENDLY?
There’s a steady influx within the self-employed and entrepreneurial community and many people are now working from their mobile devices and tablets while they’re on-the-go. Having the opportunity to sit down at a desktop computer or laptop is a privilege that doesn’t happen all that often for someone who has a full-time job while pursuing a side-gig in their free-time.
In March of 2018, Google rolled out its mobile-first index. Websites now need to be optimized to allow the flexibility that our global community requires, and this is why Google will rank a mobile-friendly website much more favorably than its desktop-compatible only competitor.
Your businesses mobile website must be SEO friendly and offer supreme functionality.
The Impact of "Bad SEO"
If your website is missing out on key SEO strategies, there’s no way for Google to know what your website is about. This will have an extremely detrimental effect on your placement within the SERP and your website won’t be visible to your target audience. This makes it nearly impossible to generate new leads and cultivate new business.
Businesses of Every Size Need SEO
Strategic use of sentence-structured keywords within your website’s content is king of SEO success!
Without the accurate use of relevant and popular keywords, your website may as well be spinning around in space, with no signs of civilization.
Keywords are powerful sources of SEO. They connect your target audience directly to your content. If your website isn’t properly optimized with the use of keywords, they simply won't be able to find you.
Ask yourself, how did you KTMG?
Search Engine Optimization.
Missing Keywords Will Prevent Your Audience From Finding You
Properly executed website optimization opens up the lines of communication between your website and Google, which spells out to the website crawlers exactly what your website is about and why it needs to rank in the top SERP results.
Google wants to ensure that its users can benefit from your quality content. Optimizing your website means to speak the language that Google understands. If Google understands what your website is saying, it’s much more likely to endorse your website by advertising it to the global community.
If your website is missing out on key SEO strategies, there's no way for Google to know what your website is about.
Without optimizing your website, Google won’t pick up on the clues you’re dropping
that signifies that your website is valuable to its users.
Google dominates the search engine industry because it stays up-to-date and evolves with the changing needs of its global audience. With the increased digital connectedness in our global community, people can access the answers to their inquiries in minutes and even seconds, as long as they have an Internet connection.
With so many sources of relevant content for people to choose from, the content itself must be competitive.
Google wants its users to have the most valuable answers to their questions in those top-ranking SERP spots. Therefore, the importance of up-to-date, accurate, efficient and relevant content on your website is crucial to ensure a competitive ranking.
Without the consistent addition of fresh, quality content on your website, Google assumes that your business is not posting material that is up-to-date, accurate, efficient or relevant to its users.
Without quality SEO, you won’t be having many organic visitors to your website. This prevents consumers and other businesses from getting to know you and your brand. A huge source of visibility comes from third-party endorsement.
This can be achieved by having consumers share your content on their social feeds, or by businesses providing backlinks to your content. Without attracting attention to your website, no-one will know who you are, so you won’t be benefiting from the world of referral business.
Web Crawlers Understand Your Site Via SEO
SEO is an important ranking factor for Google, therefore your website should be fully optimized to have the biggest impact. Our SEO Specialists bring websites up to full functionality to land it a competitive placement in the SERP.
If you would like to tackle your website's SEO without a professional, there are things you can do.
Review Your Website to Ensure The Following:
Check for status code errors and correct them
Check the indexing of your site via the Google Search Console, and fix any errors that you find
Fix duplicate title tags and meta descriptions
Audit your website content by checking the traffic stats in Google Analytics, and improve underperforming content
Fix broken links
Submit your XML sitemap to Google via Google Search Console
Google Hates Slow Page-Loading Times
It’s all about improving user experience.
Google doesn’t want its users waiting for minutes for pages to load, therefore it is extremely crucial to optimize the loading times of your website pages. Page speed has a huge impact on traffic and conversions.
Although one of our SEO Specialists would be the most helpful in optimizing your page load times, there are a few things you could do as well.
Simple SEO Tips & Tricks
Reduce the size of files by compressing them
Reduce DNS lookup time
Use an appropriate hosting solution
Minimize image sizes
Keep plugins to a minimum