One of the most requested services here at Priority Digital Services is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Management.
Early on in our market we had some nice successes and have slowly started to make progress in some more difficult niches as well.
Simply put, businesses with a lot of national competition have a tougher time ranking near the top of Google & Bing. Highly competitive local businesses have started to get smarter about SEO, so categories that were once easy to dominate are becoming much more competitive.
This article is going to help you understand search engines and steps you can take to see your business closer to the top of search results.
Understanding Search Engines
If you're not familiar with the terminology, that's okay!
Basically, when we refer to "ranking" what we're talking about is how high up on the page your result shows.
"Factors" are the various types of information & data that search engines use in a complex algorithm to decide where to "rank" a given page.
Everything is SEO Management is about maximizing these "factors" to increase the odds your pages will show up near the top of every relevant search in Google and Bing.
Which Search Engines Matter?
Google is the obvious king search.
However, the often forgotten 2nd place goes to Microsoft's Bing search engine. You may not know, but Yahoo search also uses Bing results now.
The best data we could find on search engine market share only includes desktop computer (and laptop) searches via comScore in 2016.
Google dominates with a pretty staggering 64% and estimated 80% of mobile searches.
Bing + Yahoo however can't be forgotten at approximately 34% of desktop searches. Especially if you're business is targeting older demographics and B2B which are both segments more likely to use desktop computers for search.
Short answer: Google is most important. Bing matters too.
Starting Steps to Rank Higher
We're going to go into a lot more detail in later articles, but first here are some of the major actionable items that can help boost your Search Engine Ranking:
This makes a lot more senes on the code side of the website, but you can still make a noticeable difference by adding desired keywords to your site title, page titles, and section headers.
A huge part of your ranking is content. Blogs are a good way to post fresh content more often than your competitors.
Make sure your content is genuinely useful, sources are used when applicable, and averages over 800 words per post.
There's a lot more that goes into a content strategy, but a good starting point is creating some kind of content on a regular basis.
We have a blog/content management service that can go a long way in helping you create content that overcomes common customer objections, educations your customers with minimal effort on your part, and increases your search engine ranking.
The case used to be "cram as many keywords into your site as possible." Google and Bing have realized how much this can degrade the quality of a web page and now penalize over-using keywords.
The best average is 2-3% keyword usage in the body text of your pages. If you have a lot of text, this number should be lower, but that will give you a starting point.
We've said it before, but responsive websites are important.
Not only do they make your site easier to use for the huge number of mobile devices, but Google & Bing are prioritizing it as well.
You can check quickly if your site is mobile friendly with this tool from Google.
Have you noticed the little "not secure" symbol by URLs recently? If not, you'll start noticing it soon. Google has started prioritizing sites that have SSL Certification enabled and properly set up.
If that sounds completely out of your realm of understanding, contact your web master or reach out to us to see how we can help.
Does your site use images and video? That's a huge plus on Google.
It's unclear as to wether Bing cares about this yet, but Google wants to see that your pages are more than just walls of text.
Basically, how often do you update your site?
Even if there isn't a lot new going on with your business, making some minor changes will let Google & Bing know that your site information is still up-to-date.
A great resource for the full list of factors that Google considers is The Web Master website.
Thanks for reading.
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Comment below if you have any questions. We'll get back to you as quickly as possible.
Craig Inzana is the Director of Digital Sales & Services for Priority Digital Services. His mission is to bring big city marketing to small town and regional businesses.