How many times have you heard about how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for your Google rank?  Too many to count, we are certain.  Understanding Google’s ranking algorithm can take a lifetime of learning but you can take a shortcut with our 10 Keys to Awesome SEO.

  1.       Multimedia is a must

Face it – plain text is boring.  No matter how exciting the words may be, a picture makes it better and Google knows that webpages with images are better than those without.  If you can manage a video – even better – but every post must have at least an image.

  1.       Break it up

No one wants to read a page of solid text and neither does Google.  Pages not only look better and are easier to read if they are broken up into sections, but Google likes them better too.  Each section should have a sub-heading (H2) and at least one of these sub-headings should contain your keyphrase.

  1.       Location, location, location

Your website needs to be optimized for people searching for businesses in the local area.  Optimizing for local lets Google direct searchers using the “find nearby” tool.  It will match up their Geolocation with your business – but only if Google knows where every one of your locations is.

  1.       Outbound links

Outbound links help Google identify and confirm what your page is about and help “legitimize” your site.  One or two hyperlinks to “official” sources like trade industry sites or publications can increase your ranking.

  1.       Internal links

Adding a couple of internal links to other pages on your own site helps to make sure that more of your content gets “crawled” by Google.  The more Google sees, the higher your site can rank.

  1.       Say a lot but say it well

The length of your pages is a balancing act.  You have to catch and keep the attention of website visitors with visual interest and interesting content.  Longer content ranks higher but if it is boring, website visitors don’t stay to read it – and Google will penalize you if they back out too soon.  A word count of 1500 is a good goal but only if it is good.

  1.       Speed, speed, speed

This one, we can’t say enough about.  Your website has to load fast – every page and every image.  The days of waiting for webpages to load are over and most Internet users will simply back out of your site if they don’t get immediate action.  Even more important, Google already knows this – down to the millisecond and slow pages now get ranked lower than faster sites.

  1.       Mobile first

It goes beyond what happens on desktop too.  About half of all Internet users are getting a majority of their web content on smart devices so your site has to be mobile-friendly by loading fast and looking good on the small-screen.  Ideally, it should be “mobile first” which means it is designed to be used from a mobile device.

  1.       Check it twice

Google will soon be ranking websites seen on desktop searches differently than those on mobile.  They haven’t said how the new double indexes will be different yet, but in the near future a website that ranks first on desktop may not rank well on mobile – and vice versa.  You need to check on your rankings from both desktop and using a smart device.

  1.   SEO Audits

Google makes frequent changes to their algorithms and it is hard to keep up.  Just because you met all of the quirky requirements today, doesn’t mean that you will still rank well next month.  At least once a year, you should have an SEO specialist audit your site – more frequently if you can.

Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be painful and you don’t have to understand Google’s madness – just the method.  Following a few keys to awesome SEO can help boost your website rank without a lot of sweat.

For more  on SEO download our free 10 Keys to Awesome SEO Info-graphic