On-Site SEO: Where Does Google Look?
I remember a few years ago hearing Marc Cuban investing in SEO and him mentioning how it effects all businesses but I never knew exactly what it meant. Sure I knew how important being found on the internet was because it’s a shortcut to your target market but I never knew how it was done. I figured it was a team of ten people in a back room somewhere writing super long code that would take me a lifetime to understand. Turns out it’s really not tough to grasp but it is tedious work. Here are 8 factors Google’s “internet crawling software” looks for when ranking websites for on-site SEO. Let’s pretend we have a hot sauce business and we’re trying to gain customers on the web:
- Are people staying on your site? Google measures “bounce rates” (how long people stay on the site). Make sure to create excitement. One sure way to do this is to have great pictures of hot sauce, charts or videos. If someone leaves the page quickly, it let’s Google know the site isn’t the best.
- How relevant is the site? Google’s software is smart and they know sites selling hot sauce get right to the point. Are you mentioning hot sauce in the first 50-100 words of your site or post? How often is it mentioned without being spammy?
- What’s this website about? Whenever you write a post or make a different page on the site, there’s always a little addition to the URL. Make sure it is rich in the target keyword! The ideal URL for this post would be PPL-Labs.com/hotsauce! Avoid long and ugly URL’s.
- Title Tags, Title Tags, Title Tags! One of the most important factors for on-site SEO is how your site looks when it pops up in a Google search. Is our keyword in the first three words of our title tag? Let’s look up “hot sauce” on Google and see how these guys do it. Our sauce competitors are killing us!
- Is your site’s design up to date? Google now penalizes website’s that aren’t responsive or up to date. A very extreme example is a site that isn’t mobile friendly. Make sure the site’s software is constantly updating and adjusting to all technology.
- Quality over quantity. People often think it’s important to have hundreds of pages and blogs to make the site look full. NO! Google measures how often people search for our hot sauce, if they actually read/comment our hot sauce blogs and if they bookmark our hot sauce pages. Google is getting better at understanding quality, it’s not worth it to try to trick them!
- How quick is this site? Google is going to rank our hot sauce site better if it’s on an enterprise server. Faster sites are often correlated with better businesses and products.
- Link it up! Links hold weight as well! If we both love hot sauce we should share it with the world! Google see’s how often we’re referring other sites and how “involved” we are with the hot sauce world.
These are just a few of the factors we pay attention to when building and maintaining a site. As the process is gets more intricate and we are moving into more competitive markets, the campaign gets more detailed.