2 big ways to enhance Google-search “pretreatment”
How well is your website working for you? If you’re not getting consistently good search engine rankings, your audience is not finding you when they need you most. It would be well worth your time to take a hard look at your entire online strategy. Start with a view from 10,000 feet. What if the addition of a few key words at the top level increased your rankings performance? Here we examine two of the most obvious areas.
Google owns the word “search,” and it should. The preeminent search engine conducts hundreds of millions of searches each day—and in some months, multi-billions of them. The goal? Google is bent on delivering optimal search results to people who are looking for something specific. And it constantly changes the game while it’s at it. Nearly 400-algorithm changes are made in any given year—just to keep things interesting and competitive. To keep up, we have to optimize our websites on a regular basis, or else we get lost.
Search is not a passive activity for your customers—it’s a purposeful march. These are people with limited time, using a scant 1 to 4 words to locate your services. If your business website is not being found, you are clearly missing valuable leads every day. What’s worse, you’re sending these leads to your competition, which, by the way, could be located anywhere in the world. The point: Beware of sitting back too long. Consider that a simple word, inserted at the right place, could dramatically improve your search-engine rankings.
Do it naturally
The subject of search and websites and the Internet are all big topics. There are many, many ways to increase your “natural” (that is, unpaid) search results. Optimizing your web presence for maximum search rankings is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and it is a hot topic of late. For now, let’s focus on the point of entry: URLs and domain names.
To lay some important groundwork for our topic, keywords are what your prospects type into search boxes when they don’t know your company or domain name. You can trigger a search engine’s interest when your web pages have the words people are searching with. These words can be in your URL, your domain name, text, page titles/tags, descriptions and more. Working with keywords can be complex and it requires patience. There will be much more discussion in future posts about keywords.
1. A Street Called URL
If you want to enhance how Google treats you when a prospect comes looking, a subdomain name might help. Your Internet address is a unique string of words called a “URL” (Uniform Resource Locator). When Google examines your web pages it uses crawlers to determine if a page is a relevant answer to the keyword a searcher has used. The words that comprise a URL factor into the search criteria. When the URL happens to contain the word the searcher is looking for, you earn some relevancy points from Google that the page may have the content that has been requested. Here are examples of URLs:
You can customize your current URLs with the addition of a single descriptive word that refers to the subject of each web page. These are called “subdomains.” They are used to direct inbound traffic in a more specific way. A common sub-domain would look like this: “sales.companyname.com.” Simple, logical addresses are wise because they are easy to remember and communicate. However, in this example, the word “sales” is so utterly common that it will not guarantee additional equity points. On the other hand, a configuration like “companyname.com/metalworking” could start to tickle Google’s robots if a user typed “metalwork” into his searchbox. In the even numbered examples above, both companies have created clean, keyword-rich URLs for the respective web page about its products. In this way, URLs can be optimized for better search results.
2. The Domain Name Game
Another very basic and top-level way to enhance how Google treats you, when a prospect comes looking, is to have descriptive (key)words in your domain name. Think about it, if your company name is “B&G LLC” and your domain name is “b&g.llc.com” you’re not offering much to go on. To clarify, the name you registered for your website is your domain name. It is usually the company, brand name or some derivative that is closely related. For example “ussteel.com” is the domain of the United States Steel Corporation. This is a strong domain name that is central to the URL of every page within its website. And, because the relevant key word “steel” is part of the domain name, it will likely help give the United States Steel Corporation’s website a nod toward a higher ranking position.
By contrast, Toyoda Machinery USA’s domain “toyodausa.com” offers zero relevance (in and of itself) given a search for “inverted turning center.” But because Toyoda offers so many varied products they had to create a subdomain naming convention to create order for the visitor. If the site did have those words in other places you might not have seen the Toyoda Machinery’s website on the first few results pages. You would have to know the company name going in.
Another strategy with domains that could prove to be both wise and fairly easy to execute is to acquire additional domain name variations of your current domain. Check your site analytics to determine variations people are using to find you. For starters, there may be some common spelling errors like “Stevens” instead of “Stephens.” When you see an opportunity, simply register a domain with the misspelling and then have it redirected to the correct URL. Many businesses also register other URL suffixes like “.biz” just to cover bases. And they may also register their domains in other countries like Mexico (companyname.co.mx). You can have as many domain redirects as you want—too bad they’re not free.
One final word
Get some expert advice. Carefully plan any change to your website or domain. Do not make rash decisions. You could risk losing valuable rankings and links to your site or SEO authority that you may have already earned. If you change your URL you must make all the proper redirects to ensure that search engines and users are properly pointed to the new page.
HIT Solutions believes the more your business keeps up with important trends, the more you will improve your product, and improve your bottom line. Leave me your comments below; let me know about some of your challenges.