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Tag Archives: SEO

Google My Business: Can it Make or Break Your Business?

local SEO is important to your businessIf you are a service based company, you need to be on Google My Business.

Why?

Because if someone searches for the service you offer, and you don’t have a listing, you can’t show in the Google Pack. This is the listing right beneath the Google Ads that has a map and a few listings for people that offer that local service people are looking for.

Using your geographically location in Google, and information found on your website as well as other local directories and social media, Google will make a determination on if you are a reliable source to display by that map. It all starts with your Google My Business listing.

NAP+W

Google My Business helps with Local SEO resultsSome people call it “Local SEO“. We do. Local SEO is onsite and offsite work done to help return you in local search results, namely the Google Pack (it was a seven pack, then a three pack, and now you can even see an ad thrown in there from time to time!) Step one is setting up and verifying your business on Google. You want your name, address, and phone to match your website and your listings. This is called NAP+W in the SEO world.

So where do you begin? At Website to Impress we have a “Local SEO” package to help get you on the map. This is a great place to start and includes setup of your Google My Business listing. This will also allow you to show up on Google Maps. We will also figure out what other directories and social media profiles best suit your needs, and set those up as well. We will pay close attention to consistency so that all your profiles are branded the same and have the same information as your website.

Would you like to learn more about this program? Call us! Or fill out the form on our website. Local SEO can get you lots of leads, and leads is what it’s all about in the end. Are you a small business with a storefront? This is for you as well. Give us a call to learn more about what we would do specifically for your business.

Read More: Google is Making Strides with Google My Business

 

Digital Marketing: How Do You Determine what You Need

There is no easy hook to figuring out what you need for digital marketing.

digital marketing hookI only wish it were that easy. It’s a question we get quite frequently from clients when they complete their website or after they redesign their website and are looking to expand their online presence. I get a lot of comments and questions like these:

“I want to rank number one in Google.”

“I want everyone to know my brand.”

“My website is online now, why can’t people find me?”

There is no simple hook or answer to these comments / questions. It takes research and time to find the best process for each individual client to determine the best digital marketing strategy for their business. So where do you begin?

Ask Two Simple Questions

To start, ask two simple questions.

  1. Am I getting leads from my website?
  2. If I am getting leads, can I determine how I am getting them and how many?

If you don’t know the answers to the questions above, you don’t know if the investment you make in your website is worth it. The biggest goal that most businesses have for their website is get get leads from their website, real business. The biggest problem is most people don’t know if that is happening. By working with a smart digital marketing company, they can use tools such as call tracking and Google Analytics goals to determine if people are reaching out to you via your website and how. This can help you make a more educated decision on what types of marketing work for you.

Click Here to Read about Google Analytics Goals

Understand it is a Marathon not a Sprint

Once you are setup to measure return on investment, it is important to consider what methods of digital marketing would work for you. So what are the most common methods? There is no magic hook to get you positioned for greatness on day one of digital marketing. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Understanding the tools in the digital marketing toolbox are key. Click on each item below to learn more!

Search Engine Optimization or SEO: SEO is a long term strategy to consistently improve your website so it ranks better for keyword searches relevant to your business on search engines. Your digital marketing team will need to develop keywords using keyword research for words and phrases that will bring search volume to you. This is something that always should be evaluated and re-evaluated. The site should then be optimized for those keywords. There are numerous onsite and offsite tasks that need to be constantly worked on to position you for the ever changing landscape on search engines. SEO takes time and research but will lower your cost per lead over time.

Click Here to Learn Specifics on Local SEO 

Pay Per Click (a.k.a. Adwords, Paid Advertising, SEM): This form of digital marketing works well for businesses with large budgets, or businesses just starting out online where SEO is not bringing them a ton of search volume yet. Ads are positioned high in search engine results to provide you viability, but you need to keep in mind you are bidding against your competitors for the top spots for keyword searches.

Online Reputation Management: People right reviews, and give their opinion about your business whether you know it or not. Knowledge is power when it comes to your online presence. By knowing what reviews exist online, you can respond to them and look for ways to get positive information about your business online. Reviews can actually play into your search engine rankings, especially local results. It’s important to know where you stand.

Social Media: Such a powerful and inexpensive tool. Using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social platforms you can reach out to people and direct them to your website. Using social media marketing in the form of ads and boosted posts, you can reach out to people in almost any area or demographic that might not otherwise know you are there.

Email Marketing: Staying in front of your existing client base is an excellent way to retain them and build awareness as to what’s going on with your business. It’s a great way to offer specials, get feedback, promote new services or products, and more.

So How Do You Determine what Methods are Right for You?

This can be the tricky part. On your own, you might not know where to begin. By using a digital partner like Websites to Impress, you can make a marketing plan. We have tools to compare you to where your competitors are on the digital landscape, and we can build a custom digital marketing plan to put you a step ahead. Our digital marketing plans are built in a way that we can use ALL of the tools above based on your current needs, as well as the results. We can look at how your digital marketing is working and do more of what is working and less of what isn’t.

So, while there is no easy answer to what digital marketing works best for everyone, we do have the ability to figure out what will work FOR YOU and YOUR BUSINESS. For a free estimate as well as an analysis of your current web presence, contact Cindy or Tammy at Websites to Impress. Let us come up with a custom digital marketing plan built for you.

 

 

 

 

Why 2017 is the Year to Update Your Website

While most business owners know that it is important to freshen up your website design every few years, we are finding that this year is a big year to make a change. The reasons are actually quite a few reasons to update your website in 2017, and they don’t all have to do with design per say. Quite a few of the reasons have to do with your visitors and your search engine rankings. Who would have thought!? Let’s break it down.


2017 is the “Year of the User”

As we mentioned in a blog in February, the user is now the biggest “ranking factor” for a website. So what does that mean exactly? It means that many of the ranking factors that Google considers important bank on how a user behaves when they visit a website.

ARTICLE: See how Search Engine Journal predicted the user experience would be a ranking factor

By making your website easy to maneuver and understand, and by adding elements that engage your users, you can actually be more appealing to search engines as well when it comes to both organic and paid search. Landing page experience has been a factor for Adwords and has more recently been considered for organic results as well.

FACT: What is Landing Page Experience? Read Google’s Definition

As Google Partners, one of the biggest things we have learned about SEO is that ranking well for keywords means nothing if it doesn’t contribute to your bottom line. Using your WEBSITE DESIGN to improve user experience (also referred to as UX) can actually keep people on your website, and by designing in a way that is always keeping your users in mind, you can lead them exactly where you need to. You can get them to convert into a call, email, or chat session which in turn betters your bottom line. So that is where current design trends come in.


WTI Design Team Weighs In on Design Trends

So, we asked our design team what the current trends are. Oddly enough they fit exactly what we would expect from our comments above on user experience. Here is what we learned.

Web Design Arturo weighs in on design trendsFrom Arturo: “I think sites are becoming simpler in their aesthetic, using more graphics and icons, less text, and more space.”

Arturo is right! By creating a site that isn’t cluttered, has more concise content (still keyword rich when appropriate!), and visual we are finding that users are staying on the site longer, thus stats in Google Analytics for time spent on pages, pages visited per session, and bounce rate are showing better performance.

Cynthia, on our Web Team, weighs in on website designFrom Cynthia: “People are getting away from too much content. I’ve also noticed huge videos used as a banner.”

Cynthia is ALSO right! By using tools such as engaging 360 videos or drone videos when users initially come to your site, you immediate engage them in something visual, while providing them information about your product or services. While you still want content on your website (content will NEVER stop being a ranking factor!) web designers and SEOs are recognizing that when you optimize for the user vs. the search engine, site performance for both organic and paid search results seems to follow suit.


What's the next step to site re-design?So, to Re-Design Your Site, What’s Next?

Look at your site as if you were a visitor. If you aren’t impressed by your site compared to other sites you have seen, it’s likely you are loosing potential customers for the same reason. Why not get a FREE ESTIMATE on an updated site? At the same time we can evaluate your site, make sure it is responsive, and recommend digital marketing strategy specifically for your business. We can make sure you love your website, but will also guide you to make sure you are following the trends that will keep people on your site and adding to your bottom line.

Call and get your free quote today – 309.489.0026 and ask for Brandy Stockton. We proudly serve Iowa & Illinois and ALL of the USA. Love your website, we’ll show you how!

Users: The New Search Engine Ranking Factor

Content No Longer King?

Is content no longer king with SEO?In days of old (you know, like, 5 years ago, that’s days of old right?) the major concern that SEOs focused on was content. When creating a website and optimizing it for search engine optimization the first priority was creating a ton of keyword rich content for search engines to read through and hopefully find the website a credible source. Today, things have changed in a big way. Don’t think that content has been forgotten, it hasn’t. But it isn’t the only key to success with SEO. There is much more to the picture in 2017.

Content + User Experience + Usability = SEO Success

It seems that the things that really do show that someone trusts a website are now true ranking factors for search rankings. As search engines are constantly striving to provide the best search results, it seems they have stumbled over a reliable formula: Content + User Experience + Usability. The user is now, more than ever, helping determine what results other users see in their search results. So when you are building your website, what should you pay attention to so that the user behavior reflects what the search engines expect?

  • Easy, intuitive site navigation
  • Clean, professional design
  • High quality, factual content

Google and other search engines are depending on site interaction factors to determine what is going on with site pages themselves. Since a search engine can’t watch a video or understand content completely, it’s using behavior triggers (that you can gain insights to in Google Analytics!) to help determine rank. By observing factors like bounce rate (when users click on a result and then immediately hit the back arrow bouncing away from your site) or time spent on a page, a search engine can better determine the quality of the page to the user.

Google released the Panda update to the search ranking algorithm in 2011. It has been updated many times since, always changing and bettering the way it can judge content quality. Since then they have added machine learning (scary!) that can “think” like humans can to predict what humans would judge as low quality content.

The moral of the story is to create and optimize a website that is easy to user with quality content. Don’t forget mobile when creating your site. Make sure your site is responsive, and looks great on tablets and phones. Consider that people will be reading content on their phones more and more frequently, so don’t keep them scrolling through content forever. Keep it interesting, interactive, and clean.

Need Help? Get a Free Quote today!

Websites to Impress, Inc is excited about where SEO is going. When we build a website we build it with all of the factors above in mind. If you start with great design and clean code, you can start your digital marketing off on the right foot. With a full service digital marketing company like WTI, you can take right off with SEO, social media marketing, pay per click, and more to expand on your website. We also user all the tools available, including Google Analytics, to monitor the behavior of users on your site. So let’s get started today. From design to digital marketing we have content, plus user experience, plus usability in mind!

Small Business Woes with Search

Small Business Owners Don’t Need to Fear Search with Local SEO

Sometimes small business owners are doing everything they can just to have a web presence. They figure that if they can just get a website out there, that should be enough. Then they hear about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and figure they will never be found in a world full of businesses that are already doing SEO and trying to target the same keywords they would.

Never Fear, Local Search is here!

What small business owners don’t always know is that there is a great thing called local SEO. When someone searches in a local area local businesses should be returned in the results. Google will even display a map with listings in some cases pointing potential customers right too you. What great news, right?

local SEO company Quad Cities

How to get on the Map

To get shown in the local results the way you would like, you need to be consistent. All of your listings that are found online should be claimed and the NAP+W information (or Name, Address, Phone and Website Information) needs to exactly match your website. You need to be setup with Google tools and have Google My Business setup and verified on Google. Social media profiles are always a huge plus, especially when they list your NAP+W information as well. Not to mention social media profiles show up in search results too! Not sure if you have noticed but YouTube and even Pinterest results show up many times on page one in a search.

Ready to get started?

Websites to Impress, Inc incorporates local SEO into our SEO plans. It can bring huge results for local businesses that offer products and services to a local service area. We have an SEO plan that is surely right for you. If you visit our SEO page on our website, we provide a free SEO audit of your business and your website to let you know what we recommend. Our SEO packages differ from other digital marketing companies because we don’t force you to sign a contract. We believe in our SEO skills so much, that be believe you will want to stay with us once you start, because we can show you results and return on investment – AKA – LEADS!

Call today to get your free SEO Audit. See if local SEO is right for your business. Don’t let SEO intimidate you. Get a team behind you that can show it who is boss – YOU!

Read More: Why Local SEO is More Important than Ever

Buyer Beware of SEO Promises

Be Skeptical of SEO’ers Making 1st Page Promises

By: Cindy Whiteman

As the SEO Manager at Websites to Impress, more and more frequently I have been having an email like this sent to me by my clients:

Have YOU gotten an email from "The Best SEO Guy Ever"?My name is “BEST SEO GUY EVER”, SEO expert of a Leading SEO service provider company. As per my analysis, your website is not performing well in the Google organic search as well as your traffic / visitor is poor from the last couple of months due to some of the reasons.

Some of the aspects are given below:

  • Your back links are not good enough, which affects link popularity.
  • Some of the competitive Keywords are not on the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing, which affects visibility.
  • Errors and issues found in your website.
  • Good Blogs, Articles and Press Release are not found for your website.
  • Your website overall SEO score affected due to no online promotion.
  • Your website generates less traffic as compare to your competitor.
  • Presence of low quality inbound link.
  • Never utilizing your Google analytics and webmaster.

Areas of Improvement:

  • We will give you 1st page ranking on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Improve your sales and brand value.
  • We will recover from the recent Google Penguin 4.0 updates.
  • We will provide you high quality Blogs, Articles and Press Release for your website.
  • Increase your traffic flow.
  • Target your local as well as global market to increase business.

We will be optimizing your website in the major search engines like: Google, Yahoo & Bing, which results in improvements in keyword ranking, traffic, link popularity, goal conversion, and ROI from the first month.
Kind Regards,
“BEST SEO GUY EVER”
SEO Consultant

I’m here to tell you that this is a LOT of promises and information with nothing to back it up. Let me explain.

The Proof is in the Facts and DetailsQuestions you should ask about SEO

First off, NO ONE can promise first page of Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Algorithms for search engines change constantly and there is no guarantee you will be on the the first page, especially when they don’t even mention for what keyword.  So how to do you handle an email like the one above?

First off, ask questions – What errors are occurring for my site? What keywords are they saying you should target and be on the first page for? How are they seeing a decline in traffic when the only way to tell that is through Bing Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics which they have no access to? What is the name of their company even? What tools do you use to improve brand awareness?

Secondly, take all of this with a grain of salt. These types of emails are mass emails they send out trying to get clients in the door. The proof is in data that they aren’t providing you in that email. Websites to Impress has a keyword ranking report based on the keywords we have determined as important for your business to show where you are ranking in the top three search engines for each month. We can track both forms that are filled out on your website and calls that come to your website through search engines so we can literally provide you with a cost per lead for your SEO dollars. You can even see a breakdown of what search engines are sending your callers, on what day of the weekend and what time of day. You can get an idea of what your cost per lead should be by industry to see where you fall. I can tell you that for our SEO clients you can’t beat the return on investment because the cost per lead is always lower than the industry standard, especially if you stick with SEO over time.

The fact of the matter is that with SEO, nothing is certain. But what we DO know is that by constantly researching the latest SEO methods and by monitoring algorithm changes we can make a difference for your website and your bottom line with search engine optimization. So ask questions, even of us. What keywords would we target? What are the current SEO methods? Do you use Google Analytics and Search Console? (called “Webmaster Tools” in the old days and oddly still mentioned in the email above! Oh, and by the way we are Google Analytics and Adwords CERTIFIED!)

Lastly, make sure that your SEO Team can provide return on investment in the form of solid numbers of leads. That means tracking form fills, calls, and other events to SHOW you return on the investment. Believe me, we are passionate about SEO here at Websites to Impress. We want to show you how it works! Call us today with your questions. We are ready for you!

How Important Is SEO?

Increase Your Traffic, Increase Your Rankings

city-731239_1280If you are a business owner, you understand that you need an online presence in order to thrive as a company or service provider. Now-a-days, almost 90% of people looking for a service will search online before they do anything else.

Research also shows that 75% of online users do not click past the first page of results when searching for a service or product. Eek! So the question is, how do you get your website to show up so people will see it?

Even if you have an efficient and well-designed website, you may not be benefiting from it if you are not properly utilizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization). In order to increase your traffic, you need to increase your rankings. SEO is a Search Engine Marketing tool that will help you do just that.

Three Reasons Why Your Business Needs SEO

1. Organic Search Results are the number one way people get to your site. A lot of people tend to scroll past advertisements and get to organic search results – which are results generated by SEO. Why is this? Perhaps it is because they are looking for a company that made its way to the top with a good reputation and optimized content rather than just by paying for an ad.

SEO-Blog-Graphic

Here’s an interesting statistic for you: It is 300% more likely that someone will reach your site through an organic search result than through social media. Inbound SEO leads also have an extremely higher close rate than outbound leads such as direct mail and print advertising. This just goes to show that as important as social media and other forms of advertising are, SEO is that much more essential.

2. First Impressions Are Everything. When your company shows up in search results, the first thing that your potential clients see is your title tag and meta description. Many businesses don’t pay any attention to their title tags and meta descriptions, but these are the things that are going to determine whether a potential client clicks on your site or not. SEO focuses on optimizing things like title tags, meta descriptions, and keywords so that your first impression will be a good one. Better yet, once potential clients reach your site, they will be able to easily navigate it with the helpful links and optimized content that SEO provides.

3. Investments Give Back. When you pay for SEO services, you are not just paying for an advertisement that gets you to the top of Google. Once you stop paying for ads, you stop showing up in search results. With SEO, this is not the case. You are making a long term investment for your company. The more optimizing that you do, the higher you will rank. The higher you rank, the more clicks you will get, which leads to higher conversion rates and a greater return on your investment.

Choose Websites to Impress for Professional SEO

At Websites To Impress, we have a dedicated team of content writers and technical analysts that are focused on using the latest SEO techniques to increase the business of our clients. We work hard to devise a specific SEO strategy for your business, so that you can thrive in your industry. We are passionate about customer service and want to collaborate with you to increase the rankings of your business.To learn more about our SEO services, give us a call today.

Online Shopping

Online shopping Geneseo ILMost people have used the Internet to either buy something or to learn more about a product or service before making a purchase. According to Retailing Today, 81% of shoppers do some type of online research when thinking about making a purchase.

A majority of shoppers (60%) use search engines when beginning their research. This means it is important that your website is well placed on search engine result pages (SERP).

What do they do once they find your site? Here are the top four actions that customers perform online:

  • Compare prices
  • Read user reviews
  • Visit multiple online stores
  • Read product information

Once they get this data, they begin to form an opinion on whether or not they are going to buy the product or service.

Need The Info

To be useful to potential customers, your website should have all the information they will need to make an informed purchase. Once they choose a website to look at, there are a few things that the average shopper looks for. In a study by Econsultancy, 61% of shoppers look at reviews provided by other customers before making their purchase. They may also look for warranty information, prices, or information on specific models. They may also look to see if there are any sales or discounts being offered, along with payment and shipping information. If any of these topics are applicable to your product or service, make sure you provide the needed information.

Speaking of information, it is vital that your shoppers receive the correct data. If the information they receive online is incorrect or misleading, customers will lose trust in your company. Nothing is more frustrating than showing up at a store, only to find the hours online were wrong or, when a purchase arrives, it is not what they expected. An unhappy customer is usually not a returning customer. A dissatisfied customer will tell 10-15 people about what they experienced and, if they post it on social media, that number grows exponentially.

Now, Wait Just A Minute

So, what stops people from buying from you online?

  • A customer may hesitate if they perceive it will be a hassle to return a product.
  • Over 60% of shoppers will leave your site if you do not offer free shipping.
  • If a shopper can’t get a good idea of the product and want to see it in person, they may leave your site.
  • If the shopper feels your website does not provide good online security for their financial information, they may balk at buying from you.
  • A buyer may go elsewhere if you do not offer a delivery option that is suitable for their need.

(Side note: I once bought a very necessary part for my car online. They only offered delivery through the U.S. Postal Service, even though I offered to pay for overnight shipping. No dice. I had to wait a week for it to arrive while my car sat on a lift at the local mechanic. Needless to say, I won’t be using them again for car parts.)

Reel ‘Em In

If a potential customer is going to be doing research online, you need to get them to buy from you. The first thing you should do is make sure that you have SEO working for you. The SEO specialists at Websites to Impress can help you with that, as it is a big undertaking. You need to get your website to the top of the search results, as users are most likely to start at the top of the page and work their way down the list. We’ll analyze your market and target audience and identify the keywords that your customers are using. Those keywords will be used in your product titles and descriptions and your published content will be optimized. You should make sure to take advantage of your social media accounts to amplify your message, also.

SEO Company Quad CitiesCustomers come to your site to learn about your products or services, so make sure they get the information they are looking for. Make sure that you have clear and informative product descriptions. The information should be appropriate to your audience: are they trained people with industry knowledge or are they laypeople with limited prior knowledge? Reviews and testimonials are indispensable and you can reward people for providing user reviews. In addition, use clear, quality photographs that are detailed, so the shopper can see what they need to make a decision. It’s also a good idea to have videos available, either on your site or through links to YouTube or Vimeo channels. According to Ascend2, a staggering 87% of businesses report that video increased their marketing effectiveness.

Make sure that your website looks credible and professional. Most people will be hesitant giving their business to a company that has a website that looks like it was thrown together earlier that day or worse, 10 years ago. You take a lot of pride in your brick and mortar store, so make sure your website reflects that pride in ownership. Make sure that your contact information is readily available and you offer excellent support service. A well-handled problem can turn a dissatisfied customer into a return customer. Protect your client’s financial information by providing online security and posting the certificate, so they know that you are a reliable and responsible business.

Websites to Impress is a great resource to help your website generate sales, whether you sell a product or a service. Contact us today to learn how we can optimize your site and help your company become more successful.

Think Organic

organic SEO Websites to Impress Geneseo, ILJust like when you are trying to get a healthy body, one of the secrets to having a healthy SEO ranking is going organic. The hardest part of this is changing all the previous SEO work that was done in the past. The rules have changed a lot and they did so quickly. In the past, it didn’t matter if your website was easy to use, just as long as it was packed with keywords.

Now it is much more important that a website gives the user what they need. By giving your customer what they are looking for, you will be helping your site move up in the Google rankings. Google is trying to give the end users a positive experience. It doesn’t matter how happy they make advertisers and business owners if no one uses their search engine.

Potential and returning customers should find your site educational and useful. You should be considered The #1 Source for whatever information they are looking for. Content should be informative and blogs should be helpful.

Going Mobile

mobile desktop search SEO Geneseo IllinoisWith the explosive growth of smartphones and tablets, Google has tried to make the desktop experience look similar to the mobile one. They have done this by putting more paid search ads at the top and pushing the organic results down the page. Depending on the intent of the user, these paid ads may provide a better experience, giving the user the information that they are looking for. For example, if you are looking to buy a computer, you aren’t going to want to go to a site that teaches you how to build one, you’re going to want a site where you can shop for a computer and possibly buy one.

If you have a brick and mortar store, it’s very important that you get listed in the local results. People that are using their phone to do research are probably out and about and looking for something near them. Searches that end in “…near me” are increasing, so it’s essential that you have your local information set up in the code of your website. People are probably not going to take the time to scroll past the top listings if they are on the move and looking for someone that offers what they are looking for.

By pushing the purely organic results farther down the page, those sites will have fewer click-throughs, so you have to make every visitor count. It is more important than ever that you plan a strategy that integrates paid advertising and organic SEO. Your website needs to appear where your customers can find it easily. You need to make sure your customers can find you when they do a search and, once they get there, they stay on your website. If you are doing pay-per-click, you want to make sure those clicks translate into sales, so the customer needs to be driven to making a purchase or contacting your company.

Instant Gratification

Websites to Impress Geneseo ILThe behavior of searchers has changed now that more of them are using mobile devices to do their research. Google calls the new driving forces behind potential purchases “micro-moments” . They list them as “want-to-know. want-to-go, want-to-do, and want-to-buy” moments. People are looking for instant answers to their queries and if they can’t find it quickly on your site, they are going to move on. Smartphones and the Internet have given consumers high expectations; in the words of the immortal Freddie Mercury, they “want it all and [they] want it now”.  Recent studies show that over 80% of shoppers do online research before making a purchase. Not only does your site have to have the information they are looking for, it has to be readable on a variety of devices, also known as being responsive.

Having a website that quickly and efficiently solves a user’s problem or answers their question is the key to driving traffic through your website. Make sure your website is essential in helping a potential customer with their situation, whether it is just finding your address or store hours or letting them know that they need to hire your company. The whole reason you have a website is to increase business, so make sure your site is doing its part.

We Can Help

When you work with Websites to Impress, our team of SEO specialists will make sure your site is set up for all the changes that are occurring with Google’s search results. Give us a call today and see how you can get the most out of your website.

Understanding Google’s “Core” Algorithm

What is an “Algorithm” and Why, as a Website Owner, Should you Care?

According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end. Then why does it seem that Google’s algorithms cause more headaches than they solve? The problem may lie in the fact that a lot of companies performing SEO are trying to outthink Google in an attempt to stay ahead of the curve. In the recent past, we have talked about Panda and Penguin and whether they are part of Google’s Core Algorithm yet or not.

“Data Crawl Like Nobody’s Looking” or “There’s Some Things You Just Can’t Google”

How is a Model T like a Google Algorithm? But wait, there’s that term again: Google’s Core Algorithm. It gets tossed around a lot in SEO discussions, but what exactly makes up “The Core”? Do you want the honest truth? Don’t tell anyone, but NOBODY seems to know, not even the people at Google. If they are held down to answer the question, the best they can come up with is that The Core is made up of algorithms that are consistent enough to run by themselves without having to be babysat. Google doesn’t have a list and no one really seems to be sure what makes up the core, they just know they don’t have to do anything to it, because it is working fine. An analogy that Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google made was that the algorithms in the core are like a starter on a car. Back in the years of the Model T, the starter was a crank on the outside of the engine that an operator had to turn. Nowadays, the starter is integrated into the engine and is part of the whole. (This isn’t a perfect analogy because someone still has to turn a key or push a button to start the car, but you can see where he was going with it.) The same goes with the algorithms. They may have started as an experiment or something that had to be tweaked constantly, but once it got to a certain point of self-sustainability, it just became part of the core. Perhaps that is what has happened with Penguin. It started off having to be adjusted a LOT and now it seems to have been left to its own devices for a while.

Stay Ahead of the Tweaks

People are constantly trying to figure out when the next update is going to be and what is it going to do. One of Google’s Search Quality Senior Strategists, Andrey Lipattsev recently asked rhetorically, what makes an update? Tweaks are made daily, weekly or monthly, and some, like Penguin, were updated five times in a two-month period and then hasn’t been touched in over a year. Is one tweak considered an update or is it 10 lines of code, or 100? More? In the long run, the answer doesn’t really matter, regardless. You can make yourself crazy trying to figure out what they want, trying to work the system, only to have the rules change again. “Adopt, Adapt, Improve” is the motto of The Knights of The Round Table and is a good attitude to have when it comes to SEO and Google. All you can do is keep your website updated and keep working within Google’s framework. Core algorithms, Penguins, Pandas and the like are pointless if you don’t have a website that attracts and keeps potential customers to begin with. You create the product or service and the SEO specialists at Websites to Impress will make sure your website gets the traffic you need.