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I teach online store owners how to crack the code of eCommerce success for a life of uncapped income, flexibility and fun.
Hi, I'm Jodie
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Our friend Google is an important consideration for small and online business owners, however, too many business owners often ignore this powerful marketing opportunity and with devastating impacts on their bottom line.
When you get your SEO right, Google (and other search engines) essentially brings new potential customers to your front door. So the question is, how do we get SEO right?
First – I need to flag that SEO is no longer just about tags.
Yes, having meaningful tags is important however it is no longer the only actor to consider when it comes to your site’s ranking. We can thank dubious content generators for that change.
You might be surprised to know that Google actually has over 200 factors it considers when presenting results in a search index.
Yep – 200!
Now, you are most welcome to dive down the rabbit hole of all 200, but what I am sharing today is where you can have the quickest wins without spending weeks buried in research.
Before we dive in I first need to introduce you to Google’s relevancy scores.
I often describe relevancy as Google’s little sister. Here is a very simplified overview of how little sister can impact search results.
A user opens up Google and searches “kimonos” for example.
There is a high chance that my fashion business, iland co, will return at the top of the list – if you fit a few key requirements determining the relevancy of my business to you the individual.
Now if you are searching for Kimonos in Europe, where I do not actively market my products currently nor communicate to them in my content, I won’t appear on the first page of the results.
The simple reason is relevancy.
Google’s little sister is filtering search results based on what Google knows about the user and their needs. This filter includes Geolocations, topics of interests, past search results, and lots more. All of this information is considered AND impacting search results.
From a user perspective, Google (and relevancy) are giving you what it perceives to be as the most helpful search results.
If you are searching for kimonos in Australia, there is a high chance you are looking for a local option. You are probably not interested in knowing about Kimono’s in Sweden, so Google pushes those results way down the list and serves up the local results first.
So how does this impact your SEO?
In short – you need to create amazing content!
The biggest impact on your rankings and relevancy is content. Great content (as decided by search bots and Google’s algorithm) is determined by a number of key factors which I’ll unpack below.
So, are you ready to #slay on SEO?
Your content title remains the number 1 biggest impact to your content’s rankings in search results.
Your content (blog, article, page) title is the first thing all the little search bots look for and therefore, gives you the best chance of improving your rankings.
What makes up a Google SEO friendly title? Keywords.
Including keywords in the title, and as close to the start of the title as possible, will improve your SEO.
Make sure your meta descriptions are also in place and that they are well-formed. Although meta descriptions now have less of an impact on your overall rank, it’s still worth the time to set them up correctly.
If you are a WordPress user – Yoast makes this very easy and I highly recommend installing it on your site asap.
The length of your content does matter – but there is no perfect one size fits all approach.
Google determines the perfect length of content based on a number of contributing factors which can include industry, topic popularity, credible sources, on and on the list goes.
Basically, there is no magic bullet.
My go-to guide when it comes to developing good quality SEO friendly content is to do some research on the length of content that is already ranking well.
I usually aim to review 5 to 10 articles on a similar topic or theme looking for content length, keywords and imagery (which also helps your SEO).
Is Google preferring shorter and more concise copy for this topic or does it appear to be long-form article friendly?
A little research on what is already working can go a long way when considering your content and optimisation.
Google is equipped to sort through the miles and miles of content on the web and determine what is good quality content, and what is not. This works in your favour and is designed to ignore or penalised those looking to trick the system.
Content writers should aim to avoid writing only for keywords. Google can usually detect when this is happening and effectively ignore that content.
So what is Google looking for?
Part of Google’s suite of web trawling tools is a product called “RankBrain” – originally released in 2015, RankBrain is designed to determine the comprehensiveness and usefulness of your content.
Basically, RankBrain is going to try to close the gaps.
Here is an example: If I type in “Autumn Fashion” in Google search box, RankBrain begins trawling the internet alongside Google search bots looking for good quality associated phrases or results that it considers to be the most helpful.
This might include articles that contain references to “Autumn Fashion trends” or “Autumn Fashion Shows” and tell Google to serve these results up higher in the results than an article that only uses to the single key phrase.
RankBrain is looking for the overall comprehensiveness of your article and working with the other components of Googles algorithm to provide you with what it considers to be the MOST helpful content relating to your search terms.
For business owners – this is a great opportunity. By providing well written, high-quality content, you can improve your SEO performance AND attract new customers to your site and you don’t have to get into any of the technical tricky bits (although if you do – that’s great too!)
Before we wrap up there are two important bonus tips I want to share because although they are not content specific, they do have a big impact on your SEO rankings.
Your site NEEDS to provide a good user-friendly experience on mobile – without exception.
If your site does not currently provide a good mobile experience then I encourage you to spend some time looking at how to improve this ASAP. Google is watching!
And when it comes to overall page speed – faster is always better!
Google expects all pages to load in 2 seconds or less and yes, this does have an impact on the rankings. Slow site performance = lower rankings.
Google wants users to have a great internet experience and will always push sites that have great content and super fast performance to the top of the results.
If you are unsure how your site is performing speed wise, you can speed test your page using Googles speed test tool here.
And if your site is running a little slow, look out for uncompressed images, CSS files or scripts. These are often the biggest culprits for slow page speeds.
Need help making sure your customers stay on your site once they arrive? Download my free Online Store Cheat Sheet using the image below.