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Building Your Site To Rank In The Searches

Building or having a website built for your business can be an exciting time. You have visions of all the new customers and clients that will be visiting your site and your companies bottom dollar on the rise. While making your site user friendly for your customers, you also need to take in to account what it will take to get it to rank in the searches for your business services.

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Building and optimizing your site from the start for SEO is important. If you make it an after thought it will be much harder to get it to rank for the terms and keyword phrases that you want it to in the future, or at least take a lot of time by making changes. By going ahead and setting some time aside for yourself, and maybe your team, to plan out your website will go a long way in your SEO efforts in the future.

URL’s And Domain Names

But where do you start? The very first thing is your URL or Domain name. It used to be in the past that getting a URL with your keywords in it was the way to go. For example if you had a plumbing company in Atlanta, you would try and secure something like plumberatlanta.com or emergencyplumberatlanta.com. This isn’t so much the case anymore. Probably the best URL to obtain these days is one for your Brand. So your URL would be YourCompany.com. If you go back to our plumber example and your company name was Green Wise Services, you would want GreenWiseServices.com.

We just ran across a post from Search Engine Journal, written by Neil Patel, that had an excellent post on choosing a domain name for your site that explains more about why you should stay away from EMD’s and go with Branding instead:

How to Choose a Domain Name for Maximum SEO

Back in the day—2012 to be exact—Google noticed that a lot of websites were trying to improve their SEO by choosing exact-match domains. Back then, if you wanted to rank for “cheap Nokia phones,” no problem! You would just buy the domain, www.cheapnokiaphones.com, for a few bucks, and presto! You would win first-page ranking.No backlinks. No quality content. Just raw SEO power!

In response, Google dropped a bombshell. It was called the Exact Match Domain Update.

The EMD update crushed keyword domain websites in the rankings. Average ranking sunk to record lows.

Obviously, choosing an exact-match domain is a pretty bad idea. But that only tells you what you shouldn’t do.

What about the things should you do?

Use Your Brand Name as Your Domain Name

The safest and easiest solution is to use your brand name as your domain name. Why? Because your brand is how customers remember you. Much of your website traffic will come from navigational search.

What’s a navigational search?

A navigational search is a type of search query in which the user is trying to find your website.

If your brand name is CrunchBase, then users might use these navigational queries:

  • crunchbase
  • crunch base
  • crunchbase.com
  • crunchy base
  • cruncch bas (nobody’s perfect)
  • crunched base

Notice how my query, “crunched based,” still yielded the right website, complete with sitelinks.

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Of the three main types of queries, informational queries are most popular, followed by navigational queries.

When potential customers conduct searches like those above, they will most likely find your website. But there’s a more important reason why you should use your brand name as your domain name.

Brand signals.

What are brand signals?

Brand signals are any mention or occurrence of your business name or website on the web. They are an increasingly important means of improving your SEO. Continue Reading The Article Here…

Neil goes on to explain a lot more in his post about choosing the proper URL. He also recommends that you get a .com extension. One thing that we would add is that it’s not always possible to obtain the .com version. If at all possible that is what you should purchase, but if you can’t we recommend going with either .net or .org. For some reason Google gives these extensions more weight and chooses to rank them in the searches over others such as .me, .xyz and a host of others.

Sometimes you just have to compromise, which is what we did with our own URL. Our company is actually MD Internet Marketing Solutions. Entirely to long for a URL so we decided to just shorten it to MDIMSolutions because this would also help us in keeping out Internet Marketing out of the URL to make it easier to backlink more with that exact phrase and not worry about incurring a penalty.

Page Titles

The next thing to consider when building your new site are the Page Titles.

There are a few plugins for WordPress that can help you with this. The plugin gives you boxes at the end as to what will be displayed in the searches. One feature that we like is that it gives us the ability to strip out our company name or website title from the end. We like it because it just makes it look cleaner, as well as allowing us to have longer titles without anything getting cut off at the end.

Mike Murray recently posted about this in Content Marketing Institute’s Blog:

SEO Page Titles: 15-Point Checklist for B2B and B2C Brands

SEO page titles cause their fair share of confusion among B2B and B2C content marketers. In the old days, it was easy to throw a bunch of words in there with commas and rank well for some of those keyword phrases.

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The SEO page title still carries weight, but other ranking variables matter as well. If the quality and quantity of inbound links had to go head to head with SEO page titles in a strange Internet game, the links would crush the titles.

No one has a crystal ball about the degree of their influence. But over time my experience with many websites makes it clear to me that SEO page titles matter more than elements like load speed and image-alt attributes. In other words, don’t neglect SEO titles if you want your content found.

To help you make the most of SEO page titles, I created this checklist of 15 key facts, variables, and best practices:

1. Be aware of what text makes the cut

Web developers used to recommend that SEO titles incorporate about 70 characters, including spaces. It was good advice because that’s what Google displayed in search results. But that changed in 2014 when Google updated its design, allowing 512 pixels for the titles. Now, you should plan on 55 to 60 characters if you don’t want any words to be cut off in the search result (the number of capital letters makes a difference).

2. Go long and don’t sweat it

OK, you sometimes go past 55 to 60 characters. Does it really matter? Is it horrendous that a word gets chopped off? Google doesn’t explicitly indicate how many characters it weighs with its ranking algorithm. Judging from ranking experience, some of the words that go beyond the standard length and don’t appear in the results still provide some value for brands.

For example, Haas Automation still ranks well on the first page of Google even though “Milling” is cut off after “Best in CNC.”

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3. Put the most important keywords first

You’re better off including your most important keyword or phrases early in the page title. They’re more likely to help with rankings. Click Here To Read More…

Great article from Mike on the subject. One thing that we would want to reinforce that he speaks of later in the article is NOT to keyword stuff. Google will slap you with a penalty faster than you can say “Oh No!”. Yup, we have seen websites that we have tested with get slapped right out of the gate! So while you need to put in keywords, don’t stuff by saying the same thing over and over.

Probably the best advice we can give you is that when you write something in text for your title, say it a different way in the description with synonyms. This will actually help you rank for a lot more keywords!

For instance – your title: Atlanta’s Best SEO Consulting Firm. Then in your description you would have “The Top Search Engine Optimization Company In Atlanta”. Keep in mind though that sometimes Google will just take snippets from your pages and insert that in the description instead, so don’t freak out when you don’t see yours. This actually brings us to our final point –

Content

Content – the heart of your pages and posts for your website. For some people this is easy, others a daunting task. It just depends if you like to write or not.

The most important thing we can tell you about your content is NOT TO KEYWORD STUFF.  What we mean by that is not to say the same thing over and over. So if you are a landscape service, don’t repeatedly have in your content “landscape service”.

Instead use synonyms, if possible, and write about all the services that your company provides. This is not only good for SEO, but also user engagement. Going further into the future with your website, you also need to consider using good, quality content for Blog Posts for more SEO power.

At SitePoint.com, Ilia Markov recently posted an article that will help you more in understanding your Content and how it impacts and interacts with your SEO and here is a snippet from it:

Why Content is the New SEO

Content is not easily affected by changes in search algorithms

In recent years we’ve seen Google consistently target and penalize sites that publish low-quality content and use spammy tactics to attract traffic. The search giant has been quick to discover and deal with all new strategies devised by SEO experts on the Dark Side of the Force. Most such strategies are easy to implement and replicate and we’ve seen many ‘experts’ use them.

Content, on the other hand, is hard to replicate because it takes a fair investment of effort. Moreover, since it is better accepted by users, it is less likely that Google is going to target it any time soon. However, for all the movement towards equalizing content and SEO there are still several distinctions remaining that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Content and SEO Still Differ (and Will Continue To)

It is important to understand how content marketing and SEO differ so that you can take advantage of both. Here are several important distinctions:

SEO is more technical

Search engines will continue to be dominated by algorithms, making it crucial for optimization experts to know and follow the technical details. However, since content and SEO are converging, being familiar with the technical requirements of both on- and off-page optimization is important not just to SEO experts, but also to every content marketer.
Content — more natural/holistic

On the other hand, the successful content marketer also needs to understand how her work affects not just search engines, but above all her readers. She also needs to be aware of where each piece of content sits in the wider picture of the customer journey and what purpose it serves.

One can’t be done without the other

It really isn’t surprising that pure SEO/content experts are hard to find. Nowadays, few people who do SEO would say they aren’t content marketers and vice versa. There’s hardly a stronger evidence for the fact that the two fields are slowly merging into one.

How to Make Content Work for You

So what does all this mean to content marketers and SEO experts? Before I leave you I want to give you some practical advice on how to utilize these new developments in SEO and marketing to your benefit: Continue Reading Here…

We are firm believers in Content and Content Marketing. In fact it is a core part of our SEO services. For many of our clients we recommend posting on their site between 1 and 3 times a week with new content. We also do a lot of content marketing BEFORE any type of backlinks are done for new websites. This way it looks more natural to the search engines for you to be getting backlinks in the first place.

In all realty, we could probably devote an entire post to your content on your site and how it should be structured. So Content Marketing is a topic that we revisit in the future. Until then – have fun with getting your new website built and look forward to all the new customers it can, and will, bring into your business! 🙂