20 Apr Optimizing Your Site for Google
Without Google, it can be hard for your website to succeed. After all, it’s the search engine where your audience most frequently finds your website and your business online. Optimizing your website to rank well and reach your target audience through Google and other search engines is known as SEO, or search engine optimization. As we’ve discussed many times on our blog, SEO isn’t a simple one-time process, but rather an ongoing comprehensive strategy. The good news is that SEO strategies that focus on Google can also apply to other search engines. Today, however, we’re focusing on Google and how to make sure your website ranks well on this most essential search engine.
Keep reading to learn why Google still matters, the power of search intent, and how to optimize for Google voice search!
Why Google Still Matters
Google likely isn’t going away any time soon or in the distant future. Therefore, it’s important to understand the full scope of Google and how to best optimize your website for it. As recently as January 2020, Google accounted for 87.35% of the global market share for search engines. So, yes, Google still matters, and it’s important to know how to rank well on Google.
Improving your Google ranking is not a one-time job, nor is it a quick fix. Building your SEO strategy is a time-intensive process that never truly ends, as Google’s algorithms, technology and user preferences all change over time. The goal is sustainable, long-term SEO success — not an instant “fix.” It’s 2020 now, which means old tactics like keyword stuffing simply won’t work — and will get you seriously penalized by Google! Focusing on producing higher quality, relevant content is one way to help your website organically gain recognition and rank higher over time. Paid advertising, also known as Pay Per Click or PPC ads, is another effective way to improve your SEO strategy and get your website to the front page of Google where users are more likely to see and click on your website link in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Other ways to optimize for Google include:
- Ensuring your website has responsive design and is mobile-friendly
- Focus on genuine, quality link building
- Frequently update your website with engaging, relevant content
- Balance your keywords between high-volume keywords and long-tail medium-volume keywords
- Start a Google My Business listing
- Emphasize local search
Know the Power of Search Intent
How do you know what type of content your audience is searching for on Google, and how do you know if your content is meeting your audience’s needs? These answers can be found when you optimize your content with an understanding of search intent. Search intent is simply the reason behind why users are searching for what they are searching for on Google.
Google defines three types of search intent in its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines as “Know,” “Do” and “Go.” When people search for information on a subject or topic, this is known as an informational search, or the “Know” type of search intent. Transactional searches are when users are trying to make a purchase or other type of conversion, hence, “Do.” Finally, navigation-based searches are categorized as “Go.”
While it’s important to cater your content to your audience’s search intent, it’s also important to make sure that your website is appearing in Google’s search results for your specific target audience. This is where concepts known as fractured intent or ambiguous terms are important. As search engines are made up of algorithms, they do not always understand search intent, especially when it comes to search terms or phrases that have multiple, very different meanings. This is why it’s best to avoid too heavily targeting your content for acronyms or other terms that could have multiple meanings. This isn’t to say that you should avoid them entirely, however. Simply that you will need to incorporate more into your content strategy that tailors to your specific audience’s needs or what sets your business apart. In short — be more specific!
Google Voice Search: Take Optimization to the Next Level
With more users searching Google via mobile devices and other smart speaker devices like Google Home, it’s important to make sure your website’s SEO strategy also includes optimization for voice search. On mobile phones, voice search is activated by selecting the microphone feature on Google and directly speaking your search query instead of typing it. Google’s voice search recognition algorithms are constantly being updated to better learn speech patterns and varieties.
The key differences between voice search and traditional text search are the length and detail of search phrases. When typing, users are likely to be more specific and straightforward about what they are searching for by using only the most essential words or phrases. With voice search, on the other hand, users are likely to speak longer search queries.
For example, if you live in Manchester and are looking for a new place to eat, you would likely type “restaurants in Manchester” for your Google search, while you would be more likely to search something like “what are the best restaurants in Manchester” or “what are the best restaurants near me” with voice search instead. For searches including “near me,” enabling location tracking will allow Google to show a user results in their immediate area, even while on the go.
With this in mind, how can you also optimize your website for Google voice search? When it comes to SEO keywords and key phrases, you’ll need to start thinking with the mind of your target audience. How do you think they are likely to search for your brand or business when using voice search? One way to test your voice search ideas is to try the search terms yourself to see if your website or your competitors already appear in the Google search results. Once you develop a solid understanding of how your audience might use voice search to find your website, then you can begin naturally incorporating some of those same search terms and phrases into your own website content.
Reach Your Audience with the Help of SEO Experts
Search engine optimization is an ever-changing process, and placing a few keywords on your website simply isn’t enough to rank highly in Google search results. To get the most out of search engine traffic, your website needs a comprehensive SEO strategy. Our digital marketing experts at Virtual Stacks Systems UK have the skill and experience to develop a unique digital marketing and SEO strategy for your business so that you can better reach your target audience online — whether through search engine results or on social media. If you would like to discuss the marketing needs of your business, contact us today.