Easy Ways to Improve Your Site SEO

As a busy business owner I know first hand that we have a whole lot to deal with in our day-to-day activities,  just to ensure delivery of products and services, and with little time left for anything else,  is not unusual that many are still missing out on what Google has to offer to help them with their site’s SEO. If you are one of them, that’s something you’ll want to address ASAP! The fact is, Google kind of rules the search world so what better place to find out how your site is performing than Google itself, it’s like having inside information from the source that matters most. There are 2 major set of tools offered by Google, and did I say they are free of charge?

Google Analytics

This tool provides you with a bird’s eye view of how your visitors are coming from and how they are interacting with your site pages. The many components of this magnificent tool allows you to more effectively fine-tune your marketing initiatives, advertising campaigns and search engine success.

There is probably more data here than you will ever use, but some of the more important pieces of information you should know are the following five:

Traffic Sources

Knowing where your traffic is coming from is key to understanding and implementing your marketing campaigns. It will show you how much traffic is coming from organic search, from paid search, each of the social media platforms, etc.

Traffic by Device

As more and more people are searching using their phones, the need for a mobile friendly website is becoming the norm. White every industry is experiencing an increase in traffic coming form mobile, some are more than others, so making sure all the information is properly accessible and there is a good flow on a small screen is very important.

Demographics

Knowing the demographic characteristics of your visitors helps you have a better understanding of who they are and whether or not you are on point as far as attracting and communicating to the right audience, if you have taken the time to create your ideal client’s profiles.

Landing Pages

This data shows you which pages a re performing the best, how many visits each page gets, and helps you understand how people are viewing your site in general.

Bounce Rate

This indicates the percentage of visitors who leave the site as soon as they came in. A high bounce rate shows that we are failing to attract the right audience, or failing to effectively communicate the value we can provide. A high bounce rate tells Google that your page is not relevant enough. The more time people spend on your pages, the better it will do in the search results.

Google Webmaster Tools

These are a quite extensive suite of tools to evaluate your website SEO, that  provide comprehensive reports that help you find out different types of issues that affect your site’s rankings, and what improvements you need to make. Let’s take a look at four areas that will give you a lot of bang for your buck.

HTML Improvements

The HTML Improvements report can show you things you need to be aware of, like how well your Meta data is optimized, title and descriptions deficiencies, along with duplicate content issues. Well worth a look.

Search Queries

Probably the most useful report by far, Search Queries returns loads of data including impressions, clicks, click-thru-rate, keyword terms searched, image and video SEO and more. The keyword section only goes back for 30 days, but it does give you some data you can use with other tools.

Crawl Errors

This report will show you exactly which pages are returning a “not found” 404 error code. These you’ll need to address as soon as possible, as you are losing traffic, and your search engine results may be skewed as well.

Links to Your Site

This one returns a list of sites that are linking to your pages, and will reveal what pages are drawing the most interest. This can be, and often is, very surprising, as pages or content you may not have thought was significant could be drawing loads of traffic to your site.

The Point

While there is a certain learning curve in properly setting up both Google Webmaster and Analytics, it is well worth the investment since tracking your data it’s the vital difference between going blindfolded vs being fully aware of what’s working and what needs attention.

If you would like to get started setting up these valuable tools get in touch, we can help!

6 SEO Common Mistakes And How To Correct Them

Reaching the top of google has become sort of the Mecca for businesses, yet getting -and remaining- there is not a simple task, and what you or someone that you hire does in the name of SEO can have a lasting and significant impact for your pages, both positive and negative.

Although SEO factors have drastically changed in the last couple of years, and the “original” ones play a smaller role nowadays,  you’ve got to be aware of the basics of what works and what doesn’t, and also what may actually be counter-productive, and even damaging in some cases.

We’ve listed the 6 SEO mistakes we see most often, and if you are making any of them, you’ll want to address them immediately.

1. Ignoring Mobile – This is a major one. With nearly 70% of web users going online via mobile, Google is now ranking those sites that adapt to mobile screens much higher on mobile searches, and labeling those that don’t with a rather unflattering tag that reads: “May not work on your device”. You can read more about this and check how Google sees your site on mobile here.

2. Having a Welcome Page – Although these are not as popular as they were a few years ago, we still see them around, even in newer sites. These are pages that greet visitors and have nothing on them but a large image and a button to “enter” the site. The problem is that when google crawls your page it finds zero content on your home page, and doesn’t know what to rank it for.  And for the visitor, the extra step to find out if this site will have the information he/she is looking for, increases the chances of them leaving the site.

3. Misusing Keywords  Keywords are an important part of SEO, but not quite the way it was not too long ago, when SEO revolved around keyword manipulation. Today the Google algorithm has changed to the point where it can detect keyword “stuffing” and other keyword manipulation, and will “punish” those sites pushing them down the rankings.  The best practice today is to use keywords naturally on your pages as part of informative content, utilizing related keywords and synonyms, so it reads well from the end user perspective.

4. Using Tags and Tag Clouds – This was another popular practice especially for blogs, but it’s a bad idea today. The first and most important reason is that it automatically results in duplicate content issues, and second, it uses up valuable virtual real estate on your website, and has little or no purpose to your visitor.

5. Using Flash – Although designers have mostly stopped using flash animation in newer websites, we still find way too many out there using flash. It not only has a negative effect on your SEO, but it can ruin your mobile rankings, unless you have a separate mobile website.

6. Not Taking Advantage of  Internal Linking – An effective way to secure better rankings these days is to make sure your pages are optimized well, and sound internal linking is an important element to this end. Google loves this, and it is far easier to implement than getting those valuable external links.

And there you have it! If you need help or would like to discuss your current SEO situation please schedule a free consultation, and we’ll be happy to address your specific issues.

Your questions and comments are welcome!