1. Tag your images.

Never underestimate the importance of this. Google's algoritmn can't read an image- how could it? It scans code across the web and when it sees an image it reads something like this . So it will understand there's an image present but obtain no further information.

What needs to happen is that we tell google what the image is actually about. We do this by means of the tag. This is a short snippet of code something like . The description of the image can be as much or as little text as desired.

The advantages of using the alt tag are as follows.

  1. You are painting a clearer picture for google of what your web page is about.
  2. Google wants to see media rich pages, this ensures they know you have relevant images to your overall page content.
  3. Those who cannot see images for whatever reason (disability, poor connection) will still get the pertinent info- this also helps with earning google 'brownie points'.
  4. Your images are much more likely to show in search results, especially on a phone search. Of course this makes the page stand out more in those results, leading to higher click through rates.


2. Pay attention to local SEO.

Local SEO results are a line of 3 search results showing at or near the top of the search page, underneath a local area map. It goes without saying that in a large number of internet searches, the searcher is seeking a nearby solution, rather than in another city or state. Ranking in this top 3 is a big positive for any locally based business.

So how do we accomplish this?

  1. Head on over to https://www.google.com/business/ and create a listing for your business if you don't have one.

  2. Thoroughly fill out all fields such as business hours, service offerings, address and so forth.

  3. Write a good business description that summarizes the goods and services you offer.

  4. Include several images, tagged appropriately.

  5. Obtain positive reviews from your clients, as many as possible, as reviews have a strong effect on local ranking position.

3. Ensure your site is 100% mobile compatible

We are all familiar with the ubiquitous rise of the smart phone, and to a lesser extent the tablet. Roughly 60% of all searches are currently performed on a mobile device vs a laptop/desktop. Google has responded to this shifting dynamic by penalizing websites that do not render perfectly on mobile. So if you have an old school website where you can't read the text on your phone, its time to get a new one. Your site visitors will thank you for it, and google always responds favorably when we give users what they want. This is the fundamental reason behind their ever evolving algorithmns.

Responsive design is the term used for ensuring optimal site performance across all device types. Code and sizing must rigidly adhere to what's known as the bootstrap framework. Any successful theme these days will be fully bootstrap compliant out of the gate. If you want to check your site's mobile compatibility level you can do so at https://www.google.com/webmasters/ . If your site shows poorly in the mobile usability section its time to hire a competent developer to generate a new website (unless you have this skillset yourself).

4. Think hard about your title and description

The meta title and description are the snippets of text you see in results on any search. When not added in by the site administrator, they will be chosen by search bots from the page text somewhat randomly. Both of these fields are of huge importance. They are effectively summarizing what your website or page is all about. You have to remember google is a machine, though a very complex one.

It has no opinions or preferences and just does what its programmed to do always. Filling in the title and description tags accurately and thoughtfully has a huge impact on rankings. Length is important also- the title should have 55-65 characters, and the description 150 or thereabouts.

Here is an example of a well written, relevant title and description for a hypothetical pizzeria called dave's in NW Denver:

Title= Dave's Pizza Denver | NW Denver Pizzeria

Description= Dave's Pizza has been serving the best pies in the NW Denver area for 15 years. Call now 333-333-3333.\

The author, Ally Lennon is the VP of Big Orange Planet and has over 12 years of hands-on SEO experience. The firm always offers a free consultation, give us a call on 720-272-0770 or drop us an email to determine realistic budget and timeline requirements to achieve success. The only thing you have to lose is your low google ranking