Google’s Traffic Diet Pays
To be honest and in order to share the irony with you, we must admit that we did not come up with this image on our own. The image creator itself is uncertain, but we found it on the University of Minnesota library blog for the biomedical department in a post by Jon Jeffryes entitled “Google for Researchers” and the diet metaphor is richly and rightly portrayed in this and many other aspects, especially in online marketing realms where a good, daily dose of Google traffic is one of the main (and sometimes only) ways new small businesses survive. Online marketing is getting tougher everyday. Google makes it hard to rank organically with it stringent but necessary algorithms. This leaves many little choice but to spend money on an SEO (search engine optimization) consulting service, a pay for click (PPC) campaign, linking campaign in conjunction with or separate from an SEO campaign, or wait, pray and hope that merely building it will in fact mean they will come. Can a website survive on the Internet without getting traffic from Google? The short answer for most online businesses and small business owners using the Internet for their online marketing campaigns is simply, no. That is not to say or discount that many businesses can, and many currently are, enjoy traffic from other sources, namely social media networks, but for the majority of businesses, social media marketing is still more a compliment to their desires to rank in the one Internet traffic source that is still the king of consistent visitors on a daily basis – Google. So Mr. Jeffryes’ find or creation of this image displays applicability across many genres and cliches, to include ours here today – a diet of Google traffic a day does pay!
Getting Right with Google
While no one knows for sure the undoubtedly very complex algorithms of Google, there are certainly hints and even free Google SEO advice based on their own Google SEO guide and discussions, posts and more hints from the infamous Matt Cutts. While the Google SEO Guide is lenghty, it is certainly a prerequisite to beginning the process of getting right with Google. It only makes sense to read the course syllabus and understand not only the requirements to pass, but the expectations along the way for the best possible grade. Like any course outline or syllabus, this one too has a required reading list, beginning with the Google SEO Starter Guide.
Google SEO Starter Guide Highlights
Here are some highlights of the guide mixed with our own insights and additions.
- First, get used to the term “Googlebot” – this is the “robot” or “spider” that crawls the Internet and your website pages gathering information, data, and quality markers for Google to cache and rank in the search engine result pages (SERP).
- The first, and obviously very important, thing the Google SEO Stater Guide points out is the need to ensure your title is unique to the page and richly, concisely indicative to the page it represents; keywords of your title will appear in bold when search engine information seekers use those terms in searching. Keep your title from being too length; about 65 characters including spaces.
- Make use of your description meta tag. Although Google does not always use this information – it sometimes uses a snippet of the page content or DMOZ directory description – it does sometime rely on it for display in SERP. Descriptions should be short, descriptive summaries of the page it presents or represents; keep to about 160 characters with spaces.
- Keep your URL structure user and googlebot friendly by using keyword specific terms where possible but keep them from being too long; keep to a maximum of 75 total characters or use a URL shortening service for posting in social media networks and other places where long URL’s may not be bot friendly.
- Create sitemaps for your users and for search engine robots like the Googlebot; an html sitemap for the humans and an xml sitemap for the automated robots coming by on behalf of search engines. Good pages titles with specific URLs and a well structured hierarchy structure will ensure a friendly, easy to follow sitemap for both human and artificially intelligent visitors.
- Create smart, friendly 404 error pages should your users get lost. Keep track of legitimate error pages and correct or redirect them.
- Provide quality, unique content for your visitors. The importance of quality content cannot be stressed enough. While perfect English, grammar and rhetoric skills are not necessary, good writing mechanics and usage go a long way in keeping your visitors returning and Google impressed.
- Optimize images where used; use the alt text attribute to give short descriptive analysis to your viewers what the image is or is about. The same is true for file names – use descriptive words when saving to a logical (/images) and common folder, using common formats (bmp, gif, png, and jpg) that most users will be able to access. Finally, keep your image file size as small as possible for faster loading for readers and better accessing by Googlebot.
- Make use of appropriate headings to show your readers important sections of your text and draw careful attention to particular parts, words or messages. Outlining your content with keyword relevant headings helps your readers and your ranking. For a good look at how your website page appears in heading outline you can use the W3C Validator; simply click “more options” and select “show outline” to see this important factor of your website page that is an important, key SEO factor too!
- Make good, smart use of your robots.txt file to tell Googlebot and other search engine robots what they should and should not index into their databases for ranking and displaying to the whole of the world wide web.
- Make use of free webmaster tools. There are a ton of websites out there and some of them are not only paid webmaster help sites, some of them get down right expensive, but some of the best and easiest to use are the free tool offered by Google for webmasters.
These are but a few of the Google SEO starter basic and a cursory glance at them, but when Google tells you how to rank in Google, it’s generally a good idea to pay attention.
So On-Page SEO is All I Need?
Uh, nice wishing; but, no. A well built site with the aforementioned factors factors kept in mind will have a great leg up in getting recognized, but unfortunately these attributes alone will not readily propel a site to the top of Google’s SERP, especially for high contested and competitive keywords or phrases. At L5DG we put the maximum effort possible to on-page factors as outlined above, where possible, with a great emphasis on content for the user; more succinctly put, we build the foundation right and work our way up.
If you are doing everything right and still not the getting results you need, want or expect, an SEO Website Review will help determine your strengths, weaknesses and areas upon which improvement can be made. L5DG proudly offers this $810 service to the first 25 customers at the discounted price of only $399, more than a 50% savings to get you ready for the holiday shopping season.