How to make Google love your small business website content

Google Search Rank Tips

You don’t have to be an SEO expert to increase your business’s Website popularity on Google. There are some very important — and non-technical — content changes that can help your site reach peopel searching for your business, product or service.

Google is by far the world’s top Web search engine. In fact, Google handles more than 1 billion searches each day. That’s a lot of searches and a lot of web content. Google is a bit cagey about letting us know what exactly makes a website show up high or low in search results. (It’s keeps people from ‘gaming’ the system). Still, there are some generally accepted practices that most “in the know” believe will help increase search results.

As you’re creating or updating your content, think about the keywords people will use to find you. Build your website content around those words or concepts. (Get a deeper look at how to develop a keyword strategy straight from Google.)

I recently read an insightful article Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List that outlined the many ways Google is believed to consider in ranking website. I pulled out the less technical ones related to content development to share with you.

If you have any questions about what something means as you read, comment below and I’ll clarify. These excerpts were pulled word from word from the article (actually a discouraged blogging practice). In this case, I thought the value of the information was worth breaking the rules!

The tips below come with a caveat. As a small business owner your first priority is to create quality website content. No amount of “tricks” will hide a low quality website. Furthermore, a low quality site, reflects poorly on you and your business. So remember: quality, informative content first.

Website content tips to rank higher on Google

Keyword As First Word in Domain: SEOMoz’s 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors panelists agreed that a domain that starts with their target keyword has an edge over sites that either don’t have the keyword in their domain or have the keyword in the middle or end of their domain:

Keyword is Most Frequently Used Phrase in Document: Having a keyword appear more than any other likely acts as a relevancy signal.

Content Length:  Content with more words can cover a wider breadth and are likely preferred to shorter superficial articles. SERPIQ found that content length correlated with SERP position:

Page Loading Speed via HTML: Both Google and Bing use page loading speed as a ranking factor. Search engine spiders can estimate your site speed fairy accurately based on a page’s code and filesize.

Duplicate Content: Identical content on the same site (even slightly modified) can negatively influence a site’s search engine visibility.

Recency of Content Updates: Google Caffeine update favors recently updated content, especially for time-sensitive searches. Highlighting this factor’s importance, Google shows the date of a page’s last update for certain pages:

Magnitude of Content Updates: The significance of edits and changes is also a freshness factor. Adding or removing entire sections is a more significant update than switching around the order of a few words.

Historical Updates Page Updates: How often has the page been updated over time? Daily, weekly, every 5-years? Frequency of page updates also play a role in freshness.

Syndicated Content: Is the content on the page original? If it’s scraped or copied from an indexed page it won’t rank as well as the original or end up in their Supplemental Index.

Helpful Supplementary Content: According to a now-public Google Rater Guidelines Document, helpful supplementary content is an indicator of a page’s quality (and therefore, Google ranking). Examples include currency converters, loan interest calculators and interactive recipes.

Multimedia: Images, videos and other multimedia elements may act as a content quality signal.

Bullets and Numbered Lists: Bullets and numbered lists help break up your content for readers, making them more user friendly. Google likely agrees and may prefer content with bullets and numbers.

Contact Us Page: The aforementioned Google Quality Document states that they prefer sites with an “appropriate amount of contact information”. Supposed bonus if your contact information matches your whois info.

Site Updates: How often a site is updated — and especially when new content is added to the site — is a site-wide freshness factor.

Terms of Service and Privacy Pages: These two pages help tell Google that a site is a trustworthy member of the internet.

YouTube: There’s no doubt that YouTube videos are given preferential treatment in the SERPs (probably because Google owns it ):

Quality of Linking Content: Links from poorly written or spun content don’t pass as much value as links from well-written, multimedia-enhanced content.

Panda Penalty: Sites with low-quality content (particularly content farms) are less visible in search after getting hit by a Panda penalty.

Site Over-Optimization: Includes on-page factors like keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing, excessive keyword decoration.

Ads Above the Fold: The “Page Layout Algorithm” penalizes sites with lots of ads (and not much content) above the fold.

Autogenerated Content: Google isn’t a big fan of autogenerated content. If they suspect that your site’s pumping out computer-generated content, it could result in a penalty or de-indexing.

–Written by Feoshia H. Davis, owner of Wr!teUp Creative Content. If you need help with your website or e-marketing content, Contact Me today!

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