When it comes to the design of your website, the element of SEO cannot be overstated. Hawaii SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to creating a site that is not only seen by the search engines, but actually encourages them to list your website within their top page results. Google is still the search engine that websites should try to cater to the most, as they create and use algorithms that can either greatly help a site, or greatly hinder it.
The problem is that Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. They’ve released Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and thousands of others; and they’re all focused on finding the best and most relevant content relating to search requests and delivering those back to the user.
Without using SEO, a company may spend hours filling webpage after webpage with helpful and useful content, only so that they can never be seen by the user. But that can be changed dramatically by just incorporating some useful SEO tactics into the content and other aspects of website design. Below are some of the most helpful hints to get your website ranked high in the search engines, and seen by those potential customers you’re trying to reach.
The Age of Your Hawaii Site
Google likes older sites; that’s just the way it is. When a website has been around for a long time, Google feels as though it can trust it and so, it will give older websites a higher search engine ranking. This leads many new website owners to think that there’s nothing they can do about it. After all, the website was created when it was created, and there’s nothing that can change that date. However, this isn’t completely true.
That’s because Google doesn’t count the age of any website by the date it was created, but rather the date that it was indexed by Google, meaning the date that Google actually discovered the website and started taking it into consideration. This means that if a new domain name is purchased, but nothing is put onto the site or done about it for months or even years, Google will not index it. Once content is placed onto the site and it starts being updated regularly, Google will index it, and in Google’s eyes, a new website will be born.
While it’s true that you can’t do anything about the date you buy your domain name, the takeaway here is to start updating and uploading content onto the site as soon as you purchase the domain name. Sooner is better than later in this case, as this is the ‘age’ Google will use when assigning search engine results.
Once a website has reached a certain age that Google believes it can trust, it will then start to determine the authority of this page. Google does this by seeing how many other sites have linked to the sites, and the authority of those sites. If for instance, the American Heart Association linked to another health-related page, Google would place that website in a higher search ranking, because the site with greater authority – the AHA – already had authority with them.
Think of every link to your website as a vote for your website. If that vote comes from a private individual, it may not mean as much and may not get you the search rankings you’re looking for. But if that vote comes from an established and authoritative website, it will mean much more to Google – and to your site.
Building authority can be very difficult, especially for brand new websites. But business owners should make an ongoing effort to continually get links to their websites to build that authority and increase their search engine rank.
Content is King
Never get tired of hearing this phrase that has become somewhat cliché with the web design world because it’s not going anywhere for a long time, if ever. It’s true. Content is the most important aspect of any website and for a long time, website owners simply pushed content onto their site as quickly as possible, regardless of the quality of it.
But that’s a game that can no longer be played. Google has come up with many ways to identify SEO scams, and websites that are just crammed with irrelevant and useless content is one of them. Content is important, and it’s also just as important that the content is updated regularly, not just posted one time and then left to sit and grow stale for years to come. But even more important than any of this is that website content needs to be helpful, informative, and useful to readers. Google’s main goal is to deliver this type of content to users and when it doesn’t find it, it will quickly lower the search engine ranking of websites that don’t help them provide it.
Using Keywords Properly
So we were just talking about website owners that once stuffed their page with any content they could find, regardless of the quality. When they did this, they also stuffed that content full of keywords they wanted to rank for. Keywords are the words that users enter into the search engine in the first place in order to find the information they’re looking for.
It used to be thought that the more keywords a website had, the better. And if that website could also include variations of a keywords (recipe, recipes, best recipes, easiest recipes, etc.) it was even better. But that is no longer the case. This too is another SEO scam that today Google will quickly squash. Remember, Google is focused on finding useful relevant content, so you should be focused on creating it.
The general rule of thumb today is that fewer keywords are better, and that any one keyword should not show up within text more than 3 – 5 times. Any more than that and it will appear to Google that the content is simply ‘keyword-stuffed’ and that content will be penalized.
Longer-tail keywords, meaning phrases that include 3 – 5 words, are also becoming more attractive to Google, so website owners should try to incorporate these as well.
Improve Your Page Speed
Pages that take a long time to load won’t get Google’s approval when it comes time to rank them. Again, Google wants to deliver the best pages back to the user, and users don’t want pages that take more than three seconds to load.
There are many ways to improve a page’s loading speed including Google’s Page Speed, GTMetrix, and Varvy’s Page Speed Tool, to name just a few. While local business owners may be unsure of how to optimize their website, even when using these tools, a web developer or their web hosting company will be able to help.
The majority of users today are searching online through their smartphones and tablets. And as such, Google once again wants to make it as easy as possible for them to find and view the results they’re looking for. It’s been for a few years now that Google has given preference to mobile websites, but in 2016 they made it clear that those sites that were not mobile-friendly would be penalized.
Not only will your website not appear in Google’s search rankings if it’s not optimized for mobile users, but users that do manage to find it on their mobile devices may end up at a website that appears broken or sometimes, won’t even display at all. This can not only lose you search engine rankings, but potential leads as well.
In today’s world of web design, there’s just no way around it. Your website must be optimized for mobile search if you want to reach the most potential customers.