Tips: How to build a website that Google loves Everyone knows that Google picks and chooses the websites that it returns to a user’s query. I’m sure many of you have heard the terms “search engine optimization (or SEO),” “long-tail keywords,” “responsive design” and “Social Media Marketing (SMM).” Perhaps the most infamous and prophetic of these sayings was popularized by Bill Gates: “Content is King.” To most people not into content marketing and SEO, it can all seem like a bunch of nonsense. SEO is complex, confusing and, above all, frustrating. There is a ton of info about modern marketing. Much of it is useless and more is outright confusing or misleading; however, some of it is very useful Learning how to build a website that Google loves is as much art as it is science. There’s a lot that goes into building a website that generates a ton of organic search engine traffic. To help you get started, we compiled a cheat sheet of the most useful SEO information. This is a brief guide to help you understand how to best make a website that Google loves. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) If you’re like me, just reading “SEO” sends shivers down your spine. When a topic becomes so large, it reaches an almost mystical level of reverence. Many Android and iOS app developers and website designers shy away from the concept entirely, due to its slightly shady reputation and its sheer immensity. Once term largely limited to keywords, SEO has grown to encompass the entire world of online marketing. This makes SEO conversations unwieldy, but it also makes them essential. In order to design a page that Google loves, you need to have a knowledgeable SEO team. The idea behind online marketing is to increase organic search engine traffic. Basically, you want your site to be something that Google loves to place on its search return list. Having an excellent SEO team is key to improving brand awareness and your ROI, as Overstock realized when they hired an SEO marketing team. Today, SEO is so broad that to understand it properly you have to break it down into several key elements: 1. Content is King! Yes, this phrase is cliche. Yes, it’s common knowledge today. And yes it is absolutely still relevant and essential today. The most important part of designing a page that Google loves is content. Don’t believe that me? Then ask yourself why Verizon is spending billions to buy out AOL. Or, you could look at how Facebook has managed to become one of the globe’s most lucrative companies through “mastery of the mobile-ad.” In the misty distant past of the interwebs, webmasters realized that Google loved keywords: specific words that searchers are most likely to enter into Google. More importantly, Google really loved long tail keywords: or specific phrases commonly used by searchers. Obviously, this means that in order to drive up organic search engine traffic, you need to use keywords and long tail keywords especially. Keywords will put you on Google’s radar, but long tail keywords will put you at the top of Google’s search return list. This early reliance by Google on keywords led to many unscrupulous webmasters creating low-quality content. Webmasters quickly realized that they could add any keyword to their content, relevant or not. Content farming is harmful to Google’s overall business plan, so Google set out to fix the problem. The resulting changes to Google’s search algorithm were known as Panda and Penguin, respectively. Both upgrades improved how Google understands the content, and punishes webmasters for low-quality content and spamming. Your content should not only be high quality and relevant, but fresh. Google ranks your site not only on the quality of your content but also on the quantity. If you want higher Google rankings, you must continually add fresh content to your site. To sum up, the content of your website must be relevant to the keywords and long-tail keywords you use, must be useful to users, and must be new, or somehow relevant to a new topic. 2. Responsive Design (a.k.a. Responsive Web Design; a.k.a. RWD) Responsive Design is a style of internet architecture that has recently become quite popular with programmers and web users alike. RWD is composed of several elements, but the idea is to create a website that responds to the needs of the target client A site designed with RWD in mind is more adaptable to viewing on multiple platforms, especially mobile-first platforms. This is an increasing trend in the world (nearly 40% of all internet traffic is on a mobile device of one kind or another) and designing different websites for different platforms is out of favor. Here are 5 compelling reasons why you need to redesign your website. Both Google and Bing explicitly favor RWD sites, and RWD sites have a single, easy to understand URL. Having a simple URL that matches popular long-tail keywords will drive up your Google ranking as you have never seen before. Finally, RWD can help you easily monitor and traffic to your site. This allows you to identify and repair any issues, and to replace content that isn’t having the desired effect. 3. Social Media Marketing (SMM) Social media is everywhere today. From Twitter to Facebook, to Pinterest, there seems to be a site for every social niche – even those niches we’d all prefer not to think about. The ubiquity of social media on the web means that they are a massive marketing resource. Having pages with the various social media platforms makes it easier for clients to “share” your content (and this website) with their friends and families. The best way to do share your website on SM is to include active sharing links to each of the big SM sites on your landing page. The easier you make it share your website, the more likely people will do so. SMM also drives up your organic search engine traffic by including images and graphics on your SM page and helps connect you to a larger market. Additionally, SMM efforts create more of your URLs for Google to add to their search return lists. Both Google and Bing have made efforts to include aspects of social sharing into how they rank their search results. In order for Google to really love your website, make sure it is easy to share on the major media platforms. 4. Google Analytics and Other Tools Another aspect of SEO is a large number of analytical programs and keyword trackers/generators that exist. Programs that can provide topic-sensitive keywords and programs that provide trendy keywords to help to create Google-favored content. Tools like Google Analytics are extraordinarily useful. They can tell you in real-time what individual and long-tail keywords are the most successful (though that is quickly changing). Google Analytics will monitor overall organic traffic to your website, allow you to better understand your data, and help you find the best metrics for measuring your organic search engine traffic. Truly Google analytics is amazing. It is absolutely necessary for anyone wishing to master SEO and to create the perfect website that Google loves. Learn it, know it, love it. Feel Like your Head’s About to Explode? That’s okay! SDI is here to help you navigate the twists and turns. Do you have a website that you need to be designed or is your current website stuck with the wrong programmers? We have mastered the art of web design and development for small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs and we know what works. We not only excel in developing low-cost websites and mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows, but we know how to play well with Google. Startups, here is something interesting for your business: Top 3 web design trends that will blow you away Our web designers and our social media marketing experts are ready to make your site Google-friendly. All you have to do to make your business idea a masterpiece is to contact us today! You can also call us at 408.805.0495, or email us.