You’ve developed the perfect website complete with eye-catching images, carefully crafted copy and an impactful call to action. However, no matter how much time and effort has gone into creating it, your site is only useful if people can find it online—and it all starts with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In today’s competitive market, especially on the web, SEO is more important than ever before. Google processes 65,000 searches per second on any given day, a key indication of just how widely-used search engines have become. Whether a homeowner is looking to purchase a new water heater or someone new to town is seeking a propane provider, both scenarios will likely start with the use of a search engine.
In fact, a recent study from Advanced Web Ranking shows that the first result on Google, or any search engine, garners about one-third of total traffic. However, getting your website on the first page of Google doesn’t happen overnight. Successful SEO is a continuous process, adapting to changes in the algorithms that define website rankings.
Keyword Ranking Evaluations and Improvements
Every search starts with a need. Whether your customers are searching for “home heating oil delivery” or “propane fireplace insert,” your website needs to cover all possible searches and rank for hundreds of keywords. Every month, SEO specialists should monitor your Google Analytics to determine how your website is performing. While making adjustments to page content, titles and heading tags is a time-consuming task, it pays off with ever-increasing visits to your website.
Monitoring of Algorithm Updates
Google releases hundreds of algorithm updates each year. That’s a lot to keep up with! With these algorithms constantly changing, keywords need to be continuously monitored and modified to ensure a high ranking on Google. The better your company can keep up with these algorithms, the more likely your website will appear at the top of searches for relevant keywords.
Competition is heating up (pun intended) at the local level, and it’s more important than ever to have your SEO optimized for clients and customers that could be searching for your heating oil, propane or HVAC company. A generic, corporate website is no longer cutting it as local customers want to find information about services in their local area.
Regular Blog Posts
Content marketing is the bread-and-butter of SEO. Search engines love frequently updated websites and a steady stream of new content. When you publish more content on your site, you get ranked for new keywords. The goal is for these keywords to move up to page one (over time), which leads to more web visits. These visits can easily mean more leads and phone calls. This is essentially why content is king and one of the best ways to improve your site’s rankings.
“Google My Business” Optimization
While any local SEO strategy starts with establishing a Google My Business (GMB) listing, successful SEO takes this beyond just an address and phone number, optimizing your listing with additional features. Images, a call-to-action, a booking button feature (ideal for scheduling service calls and tune-ups), online reviews and regular updates present endless opportunities to increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Finder, Google Maps or organic local results.
Monthly Sitemap Submission
Sitemaps are a necessity for any SEO strategy as they enhance the ranking of websites in search engine results. While sitemaps improve navigation capabilities and make a site more user-friendly, they also offer the opportunity to inform search engines immediately about any changes on your site, so your ranking is optimized accordingly.
Ongoing Page Acceleration Improvements
Nobody likes to wait. In fact, web pages with a slow load time tend to produce higher bounce rates and a lower average time on page. Even worse, a slow page speed has also been shown to negatively affect conversions. With Google now using mobile page speed as a ranking in their mobile search results, it’s time to step up your speed on both desktop and mobile sites.
Regular Crawl Error Testing & Corrections
404 Page Not Found—we’ve all been there. Beyond hindering the user’s search experience, this and other crawl errors can be debilitating for your business. Crawling refers to bots indexing all page contents for Google and search accuracy. However, duplicate content, broken links, missing elements and several other indexing issues prevent your website from appearing in a search results page, even with the ideal search query and keywords. To avoid such a fate, crawl testing and reports need to be conducted and reviewed regularly. After all, what good is a broken website?
Monthly Fetch & Render
Google’s fetch and render feature has proven to be a game-changer for SEO with capabilities to test desktop and smartphone crawlers to see how Googlebot renders each page on your site. The results can often shine an important light on potential problems, especially in areas that aren’t necessarily checked on a regular basis. Delivering such key insight, fetch and render is a “must-add” to your company’s technical audits.
The top spots on any search engine are prime real estate and present a surefire way to direct thousands upon thousands of visitors to your site. With SEO leads generating a 14.6% close rate, compared to just 1.7% from outbound leads, your business can’t afford to miss out. ICM