How To Structure Your Website Pages To Rank Higher In Google
Increasing your Google ranking and the visibility of your small business website in search engines is a crucial component to getting a better ranking and more traffic. Here are some best practice tips to structure your website pages to rank higher in Google’s search engine results. This is also referred to as search engine optimization (SEO).
Organize Your Pages
One simple and easy way to help your customer find what they need and have Google find what it needs is to have your products or services on their own pages. For instance, if you are a landscaper and mow lawns, plow driveways, and do hardscaping, those should be three separate pages on your website.
People search for answers to their problems. The more specific your pages and the more you follow the rules that follow, the greater the opportunity your pages will have for showing up in Google search results.
Page Structure Rules
Google is like the Code Enforcement Officer of the web. Google makes the rules and if a business wants to occupy the space, it should know and comply with the code. Once you have figured out what your content and keyword focus will be for your pages, you’ll want to reinforce that focus by complying with what I refer to as the “blocking and tackling” – or the basics – of a web page structure for search engine visibility.
Our blocking and tackling list contain six core elements.
To help illustrate how the core six elements should work together to help you get more search engine visibility, let’s outline them below as if a site was being optimized for the keyword phrase “lawn mowing company in Smithville, Maine” on a website called “SmithvilleLandscaping.com”.
1. Search Engine Friendly URL
The address for each of your pages is referred to as a URL. A URL that contains the keyword phrases can be an excellent ally in helping you get more visibility. So for a ‘lawn mowing’ focused page, the URL might be “www.SmithvilleLandscaping.com/LawnMowing_Company_In_Smithville_Maine.php
2. Browser Titles
This is the title of the page that appears at the top of your internet browser. Search engines tend to put more emphasis on the first few words so you’ll want to put the emphasis early. For this page, the browser title may be: “Lawn Mowing in Smithville | Lawn Care Services in Smithville, Maine”. The recommended goal is not to exceed 55 characters with your title. It’s a good idea not to have duplicate browser titles in your website.
3. Page Heading (H1 tag)
The page heading is the headline of your page. It should be written for both the human and the computer so crafting is important. It is typically the biggest and boldest sentence on the page so the first impression matters. You want it to be easy to understand, relevant, and specific to the page focus. For this page, I may use: “A Full-Service Lawn Mowing & Lawn Care Company in Smithville, Maine”. Again, make sure your page headings are unique to each page of your website.
4. First 100 Words of Copy
Google puts emphasis on the 100 words of your page copy. Remember that you are writing for humans so this sentence should make sense, have value, and reinforce the focus of the page. For this page, my first sentence may be: “Smithville Landscaping Company provides lawn mowing, pruning, and a full line of professional landscaping services to homes and businesses in the greater Smithville, Maine area.” With this sentence, I’ve reinforced my keyword focus for the page, I’ve included language that explains what the company does, and I’ve included a geographical reference as that is important to both the search engine and the human visitor.
5. Page Description
The page description is the short summary for each page that appears below the page title in search engine results. Though the description field is not a primary focus of search engines, it does help to support why the page is listed in the search results is the better option for folks seeking your products and services. This area should be written so as to support your expertise, value, and commitment to their needs. For this page, the description may be “Smithville Landscaping Company provides lawn mowing and a variety of professional landscaping services to homes and businesses in the greater Smithville, Maine area.” Often times the first sentence of the copy and the page description will look very familiar.
6. Photo Alt Tags
Search engines do not see graphics or photos. They do see the code and descriptions behind the photo and graphics. When adding a photo to a webpage, and Alt Tag is the description assigned to the photo that helps search engines understand what the photo is. When adding a photo of a lawnmower, an Alt Tag on this page should support the keyword focus, and could be “Lawn Mowing Services in Smithville, Maine.”
7. Consistent Address Listings
Google likes consistency, especially when it comes to your business basics: Name, Address, and Phone Number. To ensure you’re complying with Google’s preferences, make sure your business Name, Address, and Phone Number are the same everywhere you’re listed online. The more consistency you have, the more respect you’ll earn.
These basics are often available for editing through content management systems. If your website is built on a content management system, your provider or online help tools should be able to demonstrate how you would create or edit the six elements listed above. If your website is not built on a content management system, or if you do not have access to manage the system, consult these points with your website developer.