A great resource for anyone wanting to understand Search Engine Optimization better is Google’s “How Google Search Works” page. https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/
It will literally walk you through step-by-step how Google Search Works and give you a better understanding of how people can find what they’re looking for.
A quick easy way to think of Search Engine Optimization is like matchmaking – love connections, not little wooden fire starters. Google is like the “ultimate matchmaker” and Google wants it’s “matches” to end in marriages… connections that stick! They want to connect a user looking for a specific product, service, person, place or thing with the exact match they’re looking for. So your site has to be ready for that love connection. Ready with content that converts. Content that is relevant, readable, and engaging.
A couple of quick tips to help the Google “matchmaker”
Google loves consistency and frequency. If you’re going to blog, commit to blogging at least once per week.
Make sure your website pages load quickly! You can optimize your images without losing image quality by using a tool like jpeg mini to compress your images for the web without losing quality. Google likes pages that load quickly and don’t have hidden text on them. Check out jpeg Mini for Creators at https://www.jpegmini.com/creators
. They charge a one-time fee, but it’s worth it! It’s a much faster process than individually optimizing each image. You just drag-and-drop the images you want to optimize right onto the app and it does the heavy lifting for you. You can even set custom image sizes and have your images output in multiple sizes (like desktop and mobile).
If you’re going to use a specialty font on your website (not one of the standard “system” fonts) you can actually optimize the speed with which your specialty fonts load by adding a little css code to your site to load a “backup font” between the time the site opens and the specialty font loads. Or you can use Google Fonts which are already optimized for fast page loading. All Google fonts are free of any additional licensing requirements and can be viewed and downloaded for free here: https://fonts.google.com/
To see how fast your website pages are (or aren’t loading) you can use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
PageSpeed Insights will provide you with a free report of how well your website pages load. The report will include a list of elements that are not optimized so you can improve those areas of your page. Ideally you want your pages to be in the green zone. Work on the elements that fall into the red zone first and then tackle the yellow zone next.
Your website is like a living breathing animal. You would never build a fence around a pasture, put your new horse out to pasture and never check on it again. On a regular (if not daily basis) you would check on your horse. But you would also check on the fence lines, the water source, the feed level, etc. And you would regularly check on the little details too. Like your horses hooves? Their teeth. Those are the nitty gritty elements, but they all effect the overall health and well being of your animal. Think of your website the same way. If you build your site but never come back to it again. Never update it. Never check in on it… Google is going to know and they’re not going to send people to your site. A dead site could be more detrimental than no site at all. A dead site tells Google your business is dead. The truth might be that your business is booming… but if you’re not taking care of your website, Google isn’t going to send you any new business no matter how busy you are offline.
Finally, don’t forget to optimize your website for mobile! It’s estimated that 85% of Internet consumption happens on mobile devices! Your website needs to be mobile friendly. When/if it’s not, Google’s not going to send people to it. Google wants people to have a positive experience when they use Google search. We could jump down an entire rabbit hole just on mobile optimization and design… but keep this in mind: consumers consume content differently on mobile devices.
You could spend hours, days and probably months (if not years) just researching and trying different SEO strategies. And because the Internet is constantly changing, your strategies have to change to. Ultimately you’ll get out what you put into your SEO efforts.
But trust me, you’ll find that it’s worth your time and energy to have a strategy and keep your website as optimized as possible.