This year, local search results appear more often in the first page of search results.
In fact, Google considers the proximity between the search location (even more if it is specified in the request i.e. Restaurant in Montreal) and the store address. Geotargeting has become dominant (especially with smartphones), so it is very important to properly complete your Google My Business account by including a precise business address (avoid PO Box). Tip: Integrate a keyword as well in your company name and your search results will be 1.5 time higher!
Important semantic elements for your ranking:
- Content is king
It cannot be stressed enough, one must keep on producing quality optimized content, in a variety of formats, for the best natural search results. Now’s the time to optimize your existing web pages, to feed your blog, to organize webinars helping you to become an opinion leader for your target audience while adding inspiring content on a regular basis.
- Keywords: Optimized writing for the web
Once you have determined the keywords that do convert, you need to put it on your web pages:
- Title tags: page title (h1) and h2, h3, h4, h5, h6. These title markers allow you to organize the hierarchy of the information in the web page html code.
Page title gives a specific and concise page content description. It should be chosen carefully as it is essential for user experience and for page referencing on search engines.
Here are the best practices for the creation of your (h) markers:
- Title length should measure between 65 and 75 characters, a longer title won’t completely show in search results, it will end with “… “
- Important keywords should always be positioned at beginning of title
- Your company name should be integrated at the end of the title
Example from Amauta Marketing’s page
- The titles of your web pages should be pertinent and readable for Internet users
- In the description (meta-description)
The marker’s description is a brief description of the page content.
Search engines will not really consider keywords or expressions in this marker when ranking your web page.
However, it is a piece of short advertising copy which reads as an extract to entice the Internet user to visit your web page. So it is extremely important in the overall marketing search even though its length shouldn’t be longer than 160 characters.
- In the image ALT and in all your downloadable documents (such as PDF).
It’s a word or small group of words describing the image or document content inserted in the html code page in which it is featured. It allows the Internet user to know the image or document content when it cannot be uploaded or showcased. Furthermore, it allows the referencing of the image by search engines and to be found in Google images.
- In the URL.
The URL is the web link allowing your web page to be identified in your browser and determine its content. It is important that your URL be as short as possible: it shouldn’t be more than 2,048 characters.
First and foremost, for the Internet user, the URL allows the information to be precise and pertinent while being searched. It also facilitates link sharing. Then, for search engines to be able to index efficiently and position it correctly in search results.
It is important to personalize each URL of each page or your website. It is advisable to use keywords (linked with page content) and avoid numbers and symbols. If you use many words, it is suggested to separate it with hyphens.
Finally, you shouldn’t modify your URL later in time, otherwise you will lose your SEO history or you will have to think about doing a 301 redirection it you don’t want to lose your indexation (the page will be permanently moved to another page).
Important technical elements for positioning:
- Provide a responsive website to users, which means it has been adapted for mobile (see our blog article on this subject)
- Optimize your page downloading speed, notably for the mobile version with Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page)
- Check for internal and external broken links on your website, any links leading toward 404 pages, and non-existent pages and be sure to update your site map and txt robot.
- Perform your 301 redirections (permanent) or 302 (temporary) in a meticulous and rigorous fashion (while doing an annual update of your website for example) to avoid 404 pages with code errors.
Without paying attention, all these mistakes can send the wrong signals to Google and are a problem for your natural search results rankings.
Know that Google takes in consideration the quality of dofollow or backlinks links: if an important website, like a media site, links your website, it will be considered a pertinent a reliable link.
Google will also look into the authority of these domains, the website awareness, and ranking.
The fact that your brand or company is named as a reference by other websites will send positive signals to Google which will influence the positioning of your website.
It’s the same principle as word of mouth. If other satisfied clients refer your services or promote your products, they become your best ambassadors!
In conclusion, think about permanently maintaining or optimizing your website to improve or maintain your positioning on search engines. Improving natural search results is a process but it’s the tactic that offers the best conversation rate for the cheapest acquisition cost!
Need an SEO Audit or a SEO marketing strategy to ensure your website is on the first page of Google search results? Discover our SEO services today!