Does your SEO need work?
During the month of April, approximately 17 billion Americans conducted internet searches on portals such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This highlights how important search engines are to the average American consumer – regardless of whether they are looking up a recipe, conducting research for a term paper or searching for reviews of your products and services, Google and its competitors are key navigational tools on the web.
The importance of ensuring your small business website ranks highly on these search engines goes without saying. If customers can't find your company's online presence through the major portals, there are very few other ways they'll find it naturally unless they know the specific URL.
Determining the SEO values of a small business website
So how can entrepreneurs determine the search engine optimization (SEO) health of their websites? The Washington Post suggests first conducting a clean query of your company name. This means performing a search while using a private browsing mode and logging out of your Google or other search engine accounts. Portals frequently use browsing history and other personalized factors to provide better search results, so it's crucial that these elements don't affect the clean search.
You'll now have a clear idea of what the average person sees when they search for your company. Take note of the composition of the search engine results page (SERP), observing whether competitors' sites outrank yours or if your social media presence is listed ahead of your small business website.
"This is a common struggle for many small businesses – the balance between content marketing and social media marketing is something many companies struggle to manage, and if your homepage isn’t ranking in the first position, you likely have some SEO issues," the news source adds. "You might have a structural issue like a 'splash' page that welcomes visitors to your site, or you may be using too much flash to display content."
Once you see how your website stands on the overall SERP, it's time to zone in on your homepage in particular. For example, take a look at the text underneath your search engine link. This will serve as your first impression to potential visitors – make sure it's using relevant keywords and there are no typos or grammar mistakes.
Also, take a look at any links displayed below – these are called sitelinks. Sitelinks give searchers quick access to key parts of a small business website. Google determines these links automatically using a specific algorithm, but there are a few strategies business owners can use to influence which are displayed. Google suggests using anchor text and alt text that's informative, compact and relevant.
"If you think that a sitelink URL is inappropriate or incorrect, you can demote it," Google's support page adds. "Demoting a URL for a sitelink tells Google that you don't consider this URL a good sitelink candidate for a specific page on your site. Google doesn't guarantee that demoted URLs will never appear as a sitelink, but we do consider a demotion a strong hint that we'll try to honor when generating sitelinks."
Once you know how your company website stands and which sitelinks are being displayed, you can take meaningful action to bolster your position. Highlight important links and use relevant keywords to improve your specific search engine entry. If you need to achieve a better overall ranking, optimize your home page and generate more inbound links.
What strategies do you use to determine how your website stacks up in search engines?This entry was posted in Intermediate, Search Marketing. Bookmark the permalink.