2015 Google Search Engine Optimization Guide

by Karen Newcombe

We all know it’s important to use good SEO practices in our websites. What’s less clear is what those actually are in any given week! Google tweaks their algorithms daily, and makes major changes several times per year. This means you should keep up to date with their requirements. 

Fortunately, Google offers a free SEO Guide to remind us of best practices. 

While most big businesses can afford to have teams of SEO experts on call, small businesses cannot, and they are usually the ones to take a hit when search algorithms change. In April 2015, the shift at Google to give higher ranking to sites optimized for hand-held mobile devices made headlines, as it pushed a variety of both large and small businesses out of the top slots for their industries or geographic areas. 

Keyword Spamming Out, Portable Devices In

One of the first and easiest things you can do to make your site friendlier to mobile devices is to bump up your font size. Yep, for those of us with small sites that are self-managed, that means going through every page on your site and changing the font sizes. Stinks, doesn’t it. Depending on how your site was created, some will have an easier time of this than others.  

The second thing that will help your ranking right now is reviewing your site for old pages that are packed with keywords. Keyword spamming is old school, and has long been out of favor with Google. Yet, I still see companies advertising for copywriters who can cram as many pre-selected SEO keywords as possible into a piece of writing. Clearly these firms are years behind the times and don’t even know it. 

Original Content is King

Google gives preference to original, useful content: you can no longer just copy and paste boilerplate information about your products or services on every page in your site, or crib some rephrased sentences from a competitor’s well-written brochure. Google knows, and Google will punish your site for such practices. 

Original content that is useful to your audience (and is clearly not borrowed from some other author) is what Google rewards today. In order to refresh the content on your site, or create the new, customized original content that will help your site be more visible to Google, I recommend you work with a professional writer or editor. Your writer or editor will work with your SEO expert to determine the best strategy, update your existing content, create an editorial calendar for new content, and spend the time to learn about your industry and business in order to write about them effectively. 

Everyone needs a basic understanding of SEO

Even if you’re the business owner and can hire plenty of people  to handle your site for you, it is useful for you to have a basic understanding of how Google rates sites and what gets priority. This will help you recognize content opportunities as they come up in day-to-day business operations, for example, one great source of original content is to identify and answer questions that your clients ask of you and your salespeople right on your website. Try it for a year and watch your rankings take a bump upward. 

Need help revising your old site or writing new content? Let’s talk!  As always, let me know if you have questions, ideas, or additional information to share. 

232QAWS© Karen L. Newcombe 2016     Email: newk@writebank.com   Phone: 954-428-5457