Okay, so its not that old, and maybe thats part of the problem. Making the front page of Google doesn’t seem to align with the same marketing instincts and intuitions of old. So when we tell people that all Google is doing when you search a phrase such as “Auto Mechanic” is digging up relevant search results, they begin to feel exasperated: “My garage has been open for 20 years, what do you mean I’m not relevant?”
Okay, let’s get to the bottom of this.
What Google Looks at on a Website
Google is constantly refining its search algorithm and methods to enhance the likelihood of finding quality search results. It hones in on certain aspects of a website to discern if this information is relevant and valuable to the relative search. While there are many facets of your website Google examines, we will discuss a few ways you can streamline your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Descriptive H1 and H2 Headings Help Your SEO
The headings in your pages are closely examined by Google. What you see above this text is a H2 heading–which is different than just bigger, bolded text. The H1 and H2 heading tags are part of the html coding of your site and are read by Google’s search. So, if your heading reads “About Us,” its not giving Google very much to work with. Instead try keywords relevant to your business such as: “Licensed, Experienced Auto Technicians.”
By inserting key phrases relevant to your business in your H1 and H2 headings, Google will have more substance from which to deduce what your website is about.
Meaningful Navigation Aids SEO
Google reads your navigation with similar scrutiny that it does your H1 and H2 tags. If you have a navigation menu item called “Services,” Google is left scratching its head. Like the heading tags, descriptive words will help Google make sense of your website. Try something like “Auto Repair Services.”
Additionally, having a more expansive menu in your footer that contains key phrases such as “Brake Repair, Engine Repair, etc” will be read with heightened scrutiny as well.
The clear caveat for adding descriptive terms in your main navigation is that you must ensure your menu remains uncluttered and easily usable. Sacrificing usability for SEO streamlining will not help you in the long run, as it is your website’s job to convert visitors into leads.
Alt Text for Photos on Your Website
So here we are, on the new “About Us” page which has been renamed “About Joe’s Garage” since it gives Google more to work with. On the page we see a picture of Joe Mc’Moe, the grey haired man with his famous wide-toothed grin that he’s been showing his faithful clients for the last 20 years. If you bring your cursor over the image, a little text box pops up that reads “Joe Mc’Moe.” Close, but we can do better, Joe.
Google also reads the Alt Text for an image. An image’s Alt Text is basically a descriptor of what the image is. So instead of simply naming that picture of ol’ smiley Joe “Joe Mc’Moe,” try “Joe Mc’Mo – Owner and Mechanic of Joe’s Garage.”
The Aggregate of Small Details
SEO success is not something that is won overnight, nor is it something that can be truly paid for. While the recommendations given in this blog do not guarantee SEO success, by being attentive to the small details of your website, the product will be a site that facilitates Google search and will work with you when you attempt to leverage your site in online marketing campaigns.
In the next blog, we will discuss what you can do outside your website to improve your search results.