When you select a building for your business, what do you look for? You probably want to be in a high traffic part of town. You want good visibility from the street. You’ll craft a large sign to catch people’s attention, and you’ll select a clean and attractive-looking building that captures the spirit and brand of your company.
For traditional businesses, a website is meant to be the digital face of your brick and mortar company, so it too should have:
- high traffic,
- high visibility,
- a strong call-to-action, and
- a clean and attractive design.
No matter how good a dentist or lawyer you are, if nobody can find your building, you won’t get very many customers. The same goes for a website. Many companies make the mistake of developing a sleek and expensive website, but don’t create a strategy on how to ensure people can find it. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the digital method of creating a high-traffic, high-visibility business.
Why Do You Need SEO for your Houston Company?
There are tens of millions of websites on the internet. Just in Houston alone there are likely dozens of competing websites in your industry. So you need to make sure yours can be found. Potential customers are most likely to click on the first three websites that show up in Google for their search terms.
The old techie parable: If a website is built on the internet and it’s never found, does it really exist?
And more importantly: Will it convert?
Google serves up websites for key search terms and keywords based on how accurately your website signals to Google that it’s the best for that keyword. So how do you do that?
5 Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Google’s algorithm is a living, breathing, constantly changing mechanism, so SEO is not a simple or static process. However, there are some fundamental guidelines to help business owners better understand SEO.
1. Keyword-Rich, Quality Content
Dynamic content is one of the most critical factors for search engines. Google loves fresh content, as it shows that the business is active and relevant in the community. Including specific city and service pages on your website is a good start as well as keywords in your headings. Google’s crawler reads the content on all of your pages, then uses its algorithm to index your them, ranking your content against similar content it has crawled across the web. This is a key factor on how your content will order (rank) on the search results page for a user’s search terms.
Google prides itself on returning the absolute best, most relevant content to users and is always evolving to remain the best. Are you doing the same with your content writing?
Creating an active blog is also excellent for building SEO; plus, it gives you engaging articles to share on your social media accounts.
2. Link Building in the Houston Area
Having a strong internal linking system and broad backlink profile shows Google that your website is authoritative in your field. Google wants to serve up the best possible content to its users. When other websites link to your content—and when you link to other websites—it indicates your digital space provides valuable resources.
Aside from building links from authoritative sites, it’s also important to list your company on local citations–like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Merchant Circle, and Manta. There are dozens of these online directories, which essentially serve as a digital version of the phone book that used to be delivered to people’s front doors. Listing your website and company information on local directories signals to Google that your website is legitimate. It shows that your website is part of the Houston community.
3. Site Speed and Page Size
Do you know that a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions? Additional findings indicate that quick page loading is a key factor in a consumer’s loyalty to an ecommerce site, especially for mobile users and repeat visitors.
Your website’s page load speed is a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Why? Because Google wants to serve up high-quality, relevant websites to its users. If Google connects a search user with a slow website with low-quality content, users will eventually find alternate means of searching for sites. So it’s in Google’s best interest — and yours — if your site is fast, with a clean design, and awesome content.
4. Image Tags/Meta Descriptions/Internal Linking/Schema
These are all the technical elements that are put into place behind the scenes of each web page and blog post you create. Ensuring image tags, meta descriptions, open graph, internal linking, schema, and other factors are optimized is a large part of SEO — and often the most tedious part of creating an SEO-friendly website. Often, businesses will hire a digital marketing professional to use special tools to determine whether or not a site is fully-optimized. This process is called a Website Audit, and it’s a critical part of keeping your website up-to-date. The Houston Web Design Agency offers free basic website audits to help get you started.
If your website isn’t responsive, you are absolutely losing business. Nearly 60% of Google searches come from mobile devices. That includes smartphones and tablets. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, visitors aren’t likely to stick around and try to view the tiny text and distorted images. On top of that, Google ranks responsive sites higher than sites that are not mobile-friendly. Because of this, web design and digital marketing experts suggest upgrading your site to be responsive as one of the most important things you can do for your search engine marketing strategy.
Need help with your SEO Strategy?
Customers are out there looking for your business right now. If your website doesn’t rank well on Google, draw traffic, and convert users into customers, then you’re losing valuable opportunities and missing out on the low-hanging fruit. The SEO experts at the Houston Web Design Agency can kick-off your digital marketing strategy with a free website audit, and develop a plan of action from there! Call us at 281-764-9070 or click here to schedule a consultation to see how we can assist with your digital marketing needs.