Many factors go into a website to show in search engine results. Search algorithms are constantly adjusted, but if you implement these secrets, you can insulate the site from riding the waves of page 1 to page 4 to page 2, etc.
Secrets to Improve SEO
Secret #1: Image Name and Alt Text
Websites contain many images and graphics. It’s what makes the site look and feel a certain way. People like to see pictures on a website because they quickly convey what the brand represents. The mistake most people make when adding images to a website is the name of the image or graphic file.
Before uploading any image, make sure to rename it to something specific to the business. For example, a front door picture label can be changed from “img5694” to “entry door replacement.”
Since Google can’t “read’ an image, the more specific the file name, the easier it is for Google to identify the meaning of the image. You also have an opportunity to add Alt Text to an image. Google reads both the file name and the Alt Text to get a complete picture of what content is on the page.
One caution is keyword stuffing. Alt Text is straightforward to add a lot of phrases for Google to read. With each algorithm update, Google “catches” these tactics, so we caution anyone stuffing keywords into the Alt Text.
Secret #2: Video
Video content is a powerful tool for marketing and offers fantastic SEO benefits. Videos are the fastest way to build trust with a prospective customer because it allows them to see who you are. It ramps up the “know, like, and trust” factors needed to win new business.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine, making sure your videos are appropriately labeled and uploaded there. One of the downsides to using YouTube to embed videos onto the website is the “suggested videos” at the end.
Vimeo is an alternative to YouTube, which allows you to remove the “suggested videos.” However, it is a paid service. With Vimeo, you can confidently embed videos onto your website.
The SEO benefit of having embedded videos on the site is “Average Session Duration,” how long a visitor spends on your website. ‘Time on Site’ is one of the factors that go into Google’s algorithm ranking. The longer someone stays on your website, the better your site can rank in search results.
Secret #3: Page Speed
How fast a website page loads after a visitor clicks enter a browser or a link on the web determines the Page Speed. It is another ranking factor in the Google Algorithm that makes a big difference in where your site is served and if you get a sale or not.
When is the last time you waited for a slow website page to show on your screen? After about 3 or 4 seconds, you probably realized it is not that important and hit the back button. Someone coming to your website will do the same thing. Do you know how long it takes for your homepage to load or internal pages?
Here is a free tool to test your website’s Page Speed.
Image optimization is one of the best things you can do for site speed. Do not upload images larger than 80 kb in size or 800 x 600 px. Check your website image file sizes in the media library. There are WordPress plugins that can quickly help with reducing file sizes.
Another reason to upload videos into YouTube or Vimeo is to keep the video files off of the website. Video files can be pretty hefty compared to images so let another platform host the video.
3 of the most common Page Speed issues are:
- Hosting – is your server large enough to handle the traffic?
- Caching – do you have a plugin that will “cache” or take a snapshot of your website to save time loading?
- Website Bloat – can you get rid of unnecessary content and code?
The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is playing within Google’s rules to help a site be served in search results. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t always tell you the rules, but they do leave hints. It’s like that playmate on the playground who changes the rules mid-game when they are losing.
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Kim works with brands since 2011 to develop and manage their digital and social media strategies; meet company objectives, such as increasing leads, engagement, and website traffic, utilizing best practices, the latest tools and strategies; and develop quality content. She is a problem-solver who loves a challenge when it comes to increasing sales.