To get traffic to your home care agency website, you need to understand a bit about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Up until about 2015, if you created a post and used an eye-catching picture for your business, you could bet that people would click on it when they saw it on Facebook.
However, things have changed since then. Facebook realized that they were giving businesses free publicity, so it began to increase the barriers to entry for businesses. If a business wanted a lot of exposure, they would have to pay. As a result, it’s harder to get traffic from social media, and you need a massive following or a lot of cash.
Therefore, it matters to optimize your home care agency website for search engines like Google or Bing. Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website for search engines such as Google and Bing, and if you understand it and do it correctly, you can reach a significant amount of traffic from search engines.
Google has trillions of web pages and it must be able to determine which are relevant to send to searchers. This is why one of the primary goals of SEO is for your agency’s website to stand out.
So, how do you make your home care agency site stand out in the eyes of Google?
How Google Works
To understand SEO, we need to understand Google. At its core, Google exists to help users find the right information. We trust that most of the time, Google will return results appropriate to our searches. Google tries to make users happy by delivering the best information for a particular search, but how does it do that?
Google uses over 200 factors to determine which pages to return. You enter a search term, and Google evaluates millions of pages with their ranking factors to find the ones that have the best results. Not all the ranking factors are equal, and Google hasn’t told us which one is the most important, but there’s some consensus around a few:
- Search intent
- Page speed
- User experience (UX)
- Content freshness, accuracy, and depth
- Site authority
- Mobile friendliness
- Structured data
- Optimized for voice search
We’ll discuss each in more detail, but if you want to succeed with SEO, focus on the factors listed above because they are so important.
SEO Factor #1: Users Search Intent
Google strives to return results that most closely match what you are looking for. Pages that closely match the search intent will rank higher than those that don’t. If you want to get search traffic, you must optimize your pages for search intent. In other words, you want your pages to contain the information that people search for. So, how do you do that? Through Keyword Research.
Keyword research is the process of finding relevant words and phrases that have a high volume of monthly searches and including them in a page. By including relevant words in a page, you help Google understand the content better. There are a bunch of tools that can help you find relevant, high-volume keywords:
You can directly enter your words and phrases into these tools and see what the monthly searches are. Your goal is to find keywords with a relatively high search volume and a low level of competition.
Another way to find keywords is to look at what your competitors already rank for to find what you want to compete for. Again, choose relatively high-volume, low-competition keywords. Once you’ve selected your keywords and phrases, sprinkle them naturally throughout your web page.
- In the page title
- Within the first 100 words
- In a subheading (H1, H2, etc.)
- Naturally appearing throughout the body
SEO Factor #2: Site Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. Until about a week ago, many of us in the SEO world believed that in general, the more backlinks a page has, the more authoritative and trustworthy it is, so that authoritative pages are shown higher in search results.
Google’s John Mueller recently commented that “the total number of backlinks a website has doesn’t matter at all” to the search algorithm. What does matter to Google when it comes to links, is how relevant each one is to the website it’s pointing toward.
This should come as good news for content marketers focused on creating high quality and “link-worthy” content, rather than devising in-depth link building strategies for irrelevant backlinks. So how do you get backlinks for your Home Care agency website? Let’s have a look.
First off, backlinks start with high quality content on your website. Make it worth linking to. Tell others why they should link to your pages. Make it obvious the content is worth linking to and would be valuable to your audience. Great content always checks at least one of these boxes:
- It covers a subject in more depth than other pieces.
- It is authoritative (facts, studies, research based)
- It’s easy to read and well-designed.
- It’s current
At its core, link building is all about getting people to read your content. Here are a few effective ways to do it:
- Guest post
- Appear on podcasts
- Find broken links
- Find resource pages
Link building is all about offering value to others. The more value you provide, whether that’s by creating valuable content, guest posting, or finding broken links, the more often people link back to your site.
SEO Factor #3: Page Speed
Page speed matters to Google these days because searchers won’t be happy with slow-loading pages. Considering this, they tend to favor faster pages in their search results, even stating that speed is a ranking factor in their mobile first index. You can get an idea of how well your site does in the speed category with Google’s Test my Site. It will analyze your site, tell you how it’s doing, and tell you what to do to speed it up.
Additionally, you can do a few other relatively simple things to speed up your site:
- Compress your images. Large images on web pages take forever to load.
- Turn on browser caching. This will save some elements of your site inside people’s browsers, so they don’t have to reload every time they visit, helping your site load faster.
- Optimize or “minify” HTML. When a person visits your site, HTML code is loaded into their browser. Less HTML to load increases page speed.
- Every time your website loads, the plugins and scripts need to load too. An easy way to speed up your website is to get rid of any unnecessary plugins and scripts.
- Use a content delivery network (CDN). A Content Delivery Network (CDN) distributes your website’s files to multiple servers around the world. The close proximity of the servers increases the speed at which your pages load.
SEO Factor #4: User Experience or UX
- Click Through Rate (CTR). A high CTR signal tells Google that your page is important and should be high in the search results. To optimize for CTR:
- Start by optimizing your page title. It should grab attention, so it stands out.
- Optimize your page so it is clear and include a compelling call-to-action (CTA). Having a CTA on your page description helps encourage searchers to click to your site.
- Optimize the URL for your page. Make the URL short and include the keyword in it.
- Dwell Time. A long dwell time indicates to Google that the content on your site is valuable, so it should be ranked higher in search results. To increase dwell time, follow these steps:
- Make sure your intros are quick, clear, and to the point. Tell people what they’re going to learn, and then move on.
- Make long form content. Longer content tends to perform better than short content.
- Embedding videos. Videos can be a great supplement to text on your pages.
- Internal links. Linking to relevant pages on your site encourages people to explore your site more. As a bonus, it helps bots to crawl your site, further improving SEO.
SEO Factor #5: Content Freshness, Accuracy, and Depth
If the information on one of your pages changes regularly, it’s important to keep it fresh and updated. As a rule, update your content whenever the information itself changes significantly. If Google regularly returned incorrect search results, you wouldn’t want to use it. So, work hard to fact-check the content you publish. Check verified, trusted sources if you’re in doubt about something. Cover your subjects in-depth to answer the questions and convey all the relevant information searchers are looking for. If you don’t provide all the information searchers are looking for, they’ll head to their next destination. The more information you provide, the more relevant your site is to searchers.
SEO Factor #6: Site Authority
Some websites are more authoritative than others. For example, news outlets carry more weight than websites run by an individual. Google likes high authority websites. What makes a website authoritative?
Backlinks determine authority. Sites with backlinks from a variety of relevant sources are considered to be more authoritative than sites with fewer low-quality/low relevance backlinks. Expertise is another key to authority. Google knows that no person can be an expert in everything, so it prefers sites that focus on being experts in a particular field.
Building authority is all about momentum. The more authoritative content you create, the more backlinks you get. More backlinks makes your site more authoritative.
SEO Factor #7: Security and Mobile Friendliness
Google cares about your site’s security because they don’t want your data breached. If your site isn’t secure, you can fix it by installing an SSL. It’s a fairly simple process to install an SSL certificate. If the backend of a website isn’t for you, your webmaster should be able to help you install one (or give us a call!).
Your site also needs to be mobile friendly or responsive, meaning that it works properly on a phone. If you don’t know how well your site performs on smartphones, go to Google Search Console and check out the “Mobile Usability” report.
SEO Factor #8: Use Structured Data
Text on many web pages is easy to read but tough for the Google algorithm to understand. Structured data is specific code you put on your web pages that helps Google understand what you’ve written. When structured data is implemented correctly, it may show directly in search results. For instance, have you ever searched for a recipe and saw things like bake time or ratings? That’s the result of structured data. Structured data can be added to a page using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. You just enter the URL of the page and Google will guide you through it.
SEO Factor #9: Optimize for Voice Search
Voice searches have exploded since voice assistants like Alexa/Echo, Siri, and Google Home were introduced. To optimize for voice searches, think about how people use them. It’s almost always a question. Content that can be pulled by Google and given as an answer is the best way to optimize for voice search.
In summary, in today’s online environment, you need to have a basic understanding of how search engines work to make sure your site is visible online and your users are having a good experience one they find it. Even implementing just a few of the tips above will help improve your search ranking and help you rise above the competition.
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