Before you spend money on SEO

I get a lot of questions from people, both clients and at various networking events, about what they should be doing to help boost their Google rankings. When I review their website, a lot of times the site is fine and using up to date coding techniques. I often times don’t recommend for them to spend money on SEO, instead, I tell them to spend some time going over their website content.

Google, like many of the leading search engines, have stated many times that what they look for is quality, relevant content that is updated regularly. To provide that quality and relevant content, take a look through your Google Analytics and see what types of keywords users are actually using to find your site and compare that with industry recommended keywords (available by doing a Google search) and find what content or wording works best for your site.

Another extremely important feature to make sure is on your site is an active blog. By having an active blog, you’ll be able to provide your clients, prospective clients, and the search engines with regularly updated quality, relevant content. The blog articles should include some of those keywords or phrases that you discovered while reviewing your analytics and industry recommendations.

When you’re writing your blogs and content for the pages on your site, be sure to use some of those keywords, but don’t overpower the content with them. The content should be conversational, as if it was you talking directly to a client or potential client. The leading search engines are such advanced algorithms that they can tell the difference between conversational content and content that is bloated or stuffed with keywords.

If you’re not confident in your writing skills, there’s no shame in bringing in a copywriter or content strategist. Writing quality content can take time, but it can have one of the greatest impacts on your search engine ranking. If after six months of focusing on quality and relevant content that is regularly generated, then you can look for some additional monthly search engine optimization plans.

Bounce Rate

Last week I wrote about how I highly recommend using Google Analytics. Part of the reason I like Google Analytics is the various types of reports you can get. Some of them are pretty standard and self explanatory, but some of them can be a little puzzling. One of those puzzling ones is the bounce rate.

The bounce rate is the percentage of users that land on a page (any page) and leave the website before going to any other pages. Each page has its only bounce rate and when you add all the pages bounce rates together you have bounce rate of the website.

Depending on your websites goals and design, a higher bounce rate may be a good or acceptable statistic. For example, on some websites a common thing users are looking for is simply your phone number. If your website lists your phone number on every page, the user would not need to go to another page and the goal for the website (proving the phone number) is still accomplished.

A high bounce rate could also be a concern for some websites. There are a couple of factors that can lead to an unnecessarily high bounce rate. If your website has any video or audio that begins playing when a page loads (something I never recommend) you will tend to see a higher bounce rate due to people leaving the page right away because of the noise.  Same if there are any flashy or annoying advertisements on the page as flashing or blinking advertisements tend to cause people to leave a website quickly.

If you are looking at your websites bounce rate and are not sure if it is a good or bad rate, let us know and we can take a look at the website and your goals. Once we know your website goals and the actions people are taking, we can make recommendations to improve the website and help to accomplish the websites goals.