Google Search in 200 Words

Google Search in 200 Words

The internet is driven by search engines (in the UK almost exclusively Google) either on a desktop, laptop, tablet or (most commonly) on a phone. Search result are based on a number of factors, the most important of which are:

  • The term being searched for.
  • The location of the searcher.
  • The relevance of a website to the search term.
  • The perceived (by Google) importance of a site.

In order for a site to rank well it must address each of these. There are a great number of factors involved in this but the most important are:

  • Search Engine Optimization – This means that the site has been written in the correct way to rank for search.
  • Local signals – Meaning it is clear that a site which is relevant to a specific geographical location.
  • The content of the site – A site that talks a lot about widgets is likely to rank well for the search term ‘widgets’.
  • The number of quality and relevant other sites linking to the site. A link to your site from the BBC will make you rank highly as would a link from a barber’s forum to a barber’s shop.

As you might imagine, this process is time consuming. It is also hit-and-miss as Google is secretive and fickle. There is no (free) silver bullet!

Got a question? Leave a comment or get in touch here. 

The Top 5 Most Important Places to Optimize for Search

Keyword Tips

Websites appear in search engine results based on key phrases (known as keywords). An example keyword might be ‘barbers matlock’ or ‘barbers near me’. Keywords can be used in different places throughout a website. Using keywords effectively is one of the key factors in Search Engine Optimization.

So how and where do you use keywords on your site. Here are the 5 most important places.

  • Use the exact keyword in the the webpage at least one. It sounds obvious but Google will look at a page and return results where the exact phrase appears on page. So, a page is likely to rank better for ‘barbers matlock’ if it contains the exact text ‘barbers matlock’ rather than say ‘we are a great barbers located in the centre of matlock’. In addition to body text, header tags (particularly H1 and H2) are a good place to introduce keywords.
  • In the page title tag.com say: When search engines rank your page for a keyword, the <title> tag is the most important place for the keyword to appear. Use the exact keyword or phrase in your title to help search engines associate the page with a topic and/or set of terms.
  • Use keywords in your URL. Pages found at www.thegoodbarber.co.uk/about-us are fine but URLs like www.thegoodbarber.co.uk/barbers-matlock will rank better for the search term.
  • Keyword in the meta description tag. com say: If your keywords are in the meta description tag, it is more likely search engines will use it as the snippet that describes your page. Potential visitors see the keyword bolded in the snippet, which increases your page’s prominence and visibility. Be careful not to over do it, including your keyword twice is enough.
  • Use keywords in image Alt attributes. Images on a website have a number of text attributes not seen by most users but which indicate to search engines what the image relates to. Setting the alt attributes of images to your keywords is a good way to help your site rank better. It’s also a useful way of covering a number of different keywords without making your site look stuffed.
  • But Don’t…
    • Stuff your site with two many keywords, it is likely to have a negative effect.
    • Try to hide keywords by making them invisible. Google don’t like it.

    Summary

    Overall Google are looking for sites which are well written and provide a good user experience. A site should be easy to navigate and should not sacrifice usability and relevance for the sake of repeating keywords over and over.

    Also, keep in mind that effective use of keywords on your site is only one part of SEO. Other factors like links to yore website, citations and reviews are important too. It’s safe to say though, that if you don’t get your onsite keywords right, the other factors will be less effective.