Let’s face it, if your website does not rank on Google why do you even have one? Almost every small business around the world wants to get traffic and sales from Google. As a small business owner, you don’t need a large advertising budget to make this happen. Most SEO companies now are pushing the Google Ads platform to get traffic and the recommended budget is $1500 a month or more. With a reputable SEO company, receiving a high ROI (Return on Investment) is possible but we have seen and heard about nightmare stories with companies wasting that budget and getting no results. We believe in creating a solid foundation with a website that ranks organically first and using ads once you know your site converts leads to sales. Our SEO prices are a fraction of that, we have proven results. Before you hire an SEO company, make sure they can give you a report or multiple reports proving they know what they are doing.
We recently gained a client who does all kinds of different photography, with their main service being wedding photography in Philadelphia. Their website did not have any content on the homepage, NONE! (See image below). This site did not rank at all for any of their services. Shocking, Google wants their users to have a great experience which means your website must have content on it which is engaging. Your content needs to describe the service that you provide in detail. The days of writing a paragraph to describe your service are over. Most high-ranking websites have a minimum of 1000 words with pictures to match. Having contact forms on every page is big and a funnel (Contact Us Buttons) to your contact page to produce leads. The four major signals from Google are content, speed, security and structure.
Jennifer Childress Photography Before SEO
Jennifer Childress Photography After SEO
The page title is usually the “name” of the page in your website builder. You want to use the keywords that people are typing into Google to find you. If you were looking for a moon bounce rental in Philadelphia you would type in those keywords and get a list of companies in Philadelphia that provided that service. The title tag is the blue text in the Google search results. Google character restriction on this is 600 pixels or about 60 characters and we advise you to use all 60 characters. Don’t just type your keywords repeatedly because Google will look at your site as spam. You want to entice users to click on your site versus your competitors. Make your title tag stand out!!!
The Meta description is just as important because it gives the readers and Google and idea of what your page is about. You want to write this for the user and entice them to click on your site. Google’s character restriction on this is 160 characters or less. We suggest you use all 160 characters to maximize the potential.
Heading tags are the most confusing to the average person trying to write content. In web design, there are six heading tags. H1-H6. H1 being the most important. Neil Patel is one of the leading SEO’s and wrote about this wonderfully in the article How to Create the Perfect H1 Tag for SEO. The ingredients for good content are simple. A minimum of 750 words laid out in an Easy-to-Read format with headings to break up the paragraphs. There are content tools which are free to use that you can check your reading score with. H2 tags would be best used to break up your paragraphs explaining your services. H3 tags are best used for your service links. If you’re a landscaper and provide grass cutting, mulching and tree removal. Each one of those services would be a good H2, just the service though, not the entire paragraph describing them. H4-H6 can be used throughout the page to write about sub-services.
Site speed is important because if your site does not load in 3 seconds or less you lose 40% of the traffic coming to your site. That means if your sight takes longer than 3 seconds to load 40 out of 100 people will click the back button and go to a different site. Once again there’s free tools to check your site speed, page size and other factors that go into speed ratings. If your site takes longer than 8 seconds to load, we have seen that Google will not even show it and results even when you type in your business name. Certain Site Builders and hosting platforms are faster than others. A great example of this is a WordPress site hosted on an Apache server versus GoDaddy’s GoCentral platform. On GoDaddy’s GoCentral platform they advise you not to load more than 30 pictures per page which is the same with Wix, SquareSpace and many other template building software. We recently had another wedding photographer that had more than 600 images on the homepage and it took 15.9 seconds to load. When you typed in their company name into Google the website did not even show up. Once we deleted the pictures and restructured the website, they began to have rankings.
When you visit a website, look up at the top and it says site secure and has HTTPS:// in front of it, that means the site has an SSL and is secure. And SSL encrypts the traffic going across this website. When you type in your information into the contact form it’s not easily visible to a hacker. Without an SSL this information goes across the internet as plain text and is easily visible by a hacker. Google also recently updated their guidelines to say that websites that have an SSL will gain a ranking boost because they want their users information to be secure.
Having the content on the page in a certain structure makes it easy for Google to crawl and index the site. It also gives users a better experience. If you just babbled and wrote a thousand words that had nothing to do with what the page is about or wasn’t broken up into different headings it would be difficult to read. Remember getting red scribbles all over your papers in high school? This is where that comes into play. You want the reading score to be in a 10th to 12th grade level with pictures and clickable items. You don’t want tables with a whole bunch of technical data and a bunch of jargon for your industry that nobody understands but you. You must write as if you are the person looking for your services. You must be that English teacher who was grading papers. You can check your writing ability here and get help.
Creating landing pages when somebody types in “Your Service” + “City” is a great way to get exposure on Google and get relevant traffic leading to high quality leads. You cannot create a template with the exact pictures and text, just changing the heading and title tags. Google will look at this as duplicate content and will never rank those pages and may even deindex your site. You must change everything on the landing pages to match the city that you are trying to rank for. A good idea for this would be to write about historic sites in that town coinciding with the service that you are trying to sell.
Check out these two pages as an example. Notice the difference in the text of the first paragraph, the images all have different alt img text, the headings, titles and meta descriptions are all different. Each time we create a new page, these on-page signals are changed also. Notice the page URL, it has the service and city name in it. Most of the content is the same visually, but the backend changes.
Google Analytics is an incredible tool to use after you get your site built and ranking. It gives you insight into how the user is thinking through your website. This blog post is an incredible step by step instruction on how to use Google Analytics.