Friday, August 30, 2013

Change is Good: Why Updating Your Website is a Key SEO Strategy

This is our first post in a few weeks. Our sponsor, Stepmans PC, has recently devoted our resources at the Organic SEO Blog to launching a new website: www.stepmanseo.com. To many of Stepman PC's clients and devoted readers, this new website might look new. In reality, however, the website will be nearly identical in its layout and navigation. The goal is to attract new clients and readers, but  also to make our returning clients and readers feel comfortable.

So, why is Stepmans PC, a leader in organic SEO, updating its website?

The Internet can be defined in many ways, but the sheer quantity of available experience begs a simple definition. At the Organic SEO blog, we prefer to call the Internet "a dynamic space." Like humanity, the Internet evolves; unlike humanity, this evolution is speedy.To keep pace with the evolving, speedy nature of the Internet, the best websites continually offer new content. The best websites also periodically update their look and feel.

Think about your favorite website. How often does your favorite website update its content? How often does your favorite website update its design or layout? Likely, the answer to both of these questions is "quite often."

To keep pace, you should also periodically update your website. Here is a key lesson of organic SEO: optimize your website for both search engines and users. By maintaining fresh and relevant content, you will continue to attract new and returning visitors. You will also impress search engines. Remember, from Google’s prospective, the goal is to deliver the most relevant results, and to make sure the user is 100 % satisfied with these results.

Beyond content, however, minor changes to a website's infrastructure can make the website more appealing to users and search engines. For example, think about your website's ease-of-navigation. Improving your website's layout will satisfy your visitors, and when you satisfy your visitors you satisfy the search engines.

To a search engine like Google, change is good. Google, the great beast of the evolving Internet, is always hungry for new information. This information might be new content, but it also might be a new design or development element. Google does not make a distinction between types of change; to Google, it makes no difference if a change is applied to website content or website design. As long as the website is not outdated, any change is considered to be new content. For Stepman PC's recent update, we've simply changed the design and source code.

If you have not recently updated your website's design and/or layout, this should serve as your timely reminder. Just remember: if you operate an industry-specific website, please remember: your website has likely been optimized for your specific industry, so any change should be relevant to that industry.

Now, SEO is not the only reason Stepmans PC is updating its website. As a leader in website optimization and online marketing, we strive to make it easy for others to keep their websites up-to-date. Many websites follow our FREE recommendations for organic website optimization, and many websites have used our helpful information to maintain daily online success.

If you're new to the world of SEO, browse our the Organic SEO Blog for helpful advice. You might also read this informative article from Stepmans PC: "Natural Website Optimization."

If you would you like to learn more about organic website optimization, or would like to stay current with SEO news and updates, please subscribe to our newsletter, or like us on Facebook. We post the latest SEO news as soon as it becomes available. And of course, the Organic SEO blog will continue to offer the best tips to help you optimize your website. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Don't Be Fooled: How to Really Check Your Website's Performance on Google

Here at the Organic SEO Blog, we like to think that we're fighting the good fight. Too many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies take advantage of customers. We're here to share as much information as possible. We believe knowledge is power: the more our readers (and customers) understand organic SEO, the better we perform as a blog (and business).

If you're thinking about building a business website, please read our handy step-by-step guide to designing and developing a well-optimized website with stunning content that actually helps you convert customers!  And if you're interested in learning more about the most natural and seamless form of search engine optimization, please read this article: "Natural Website Optimization."

Today we're going to teach you how to check your website's performance on Google. You might be surprised--this task is very simple. You might also be surprised to see that your website's performance can teach you important information about your website as well as the claims of your SEO professional.

So before we begin, remember: knowledge is power! Do not let SEO companies manipulate you. Instead, learn your own lessons. Simply reading this blog will save you time and money.

As you might know, SEO is a time-consuming process. Sometimes SEO yields results in as little as two days; sometimes results are not apparent for months. As a website owner, you might never understand how or why this process is working or not working. Most website owners live at the mercy of SEO professionals. Since website owners typically have very little knowledge about SEO, they must trust that the SEO professional is truly performing the best work.

In an ideal world, this is how the process should work. There is no need for a website owner to spend his time learning and performing SEO if he can hire a professional to do the work. Unfortunately, too many website owners have been burned by bad SEO professionals.

A poorly-optimized website can be presented to a website owner in a way that makes the website appear as if it were performing very well, and even outperforming all other websites in its industry.

Now, SEO can be an affordable investment, but nobody wants to waste money on trickery and deceit.

To perform this trick, a wayward SEO company or individual will discover at least one keyword that makes your website visible on the first page of search results. He will then tell you to perform a search on your own computer with this keyword--to see the outstanding results for yourself! If you own a notary agency, for example, and the keyword that makes your website visible is "notary services," you will type "notary services" and see your website listed on Google's first page, outperforming so many other similar sites. You might even click the link to be certain that this is, indeed, your website. And inevitably it will be your site.

From Google’s prospective, the goal is to deliver the most relevant results, and to make sure the user is 100 % satisfied with these results. Whenever you click a link on Google, the link is "remembered" for your benefit. Why? From so many relevant results, you clicked this link and not any other. Google also understands that not every user can find the site he or she is looking for on the first search. Google expects most users to perform multiple searches with different sets of keywords--in this case, keywords relevant to the "notary" industry.

So let's say you try a different search for your notary website, but instead of "notary service" you type a similar keyword, like "notary agency." Google will deliver a different set of websites, but your website will still be on the first page results. This does not necessarily mean that your website is well-optimized. Why? From your first search, Google simply "remembered" that you clicked your website, so it is offering you the choice once again. From this point forward, whenever you perform a similar search, your website will appear. And the more times you click your website, or perform the same search, the more Google will show you this same result.

Don't be fooled. To see true and relevant Google results follow these steps:

1. Make sure you are not signed into your Google account; if you are, sign out.

2. Delete your browser's cookies.

3. Close your browser and reopen it.

4. Perform the search. (This time the keyword can be anything, even the first keyword--notary services--that revealed your website to be on the first page results).

If your website does not appear on the first page results after performing these simple steps--well, your SEO professional might be deceiving you about your website's performance.

It is important to check the work somebody performs for you. You want to hire a real professional who will not waste your time and money. If you want to speak to a reliable SEO professional, please consider the Organic SEO Blog's sponsor, Stepmans PC. Just like this blog, the professional SEO specialists at Stepmans PC strive to educate you about what we do and how we do it. After all, you should know exactly what to expect from your SEO professional's work.