Let’s talk about one of the things for on page SEO that you can’t control but you can influence. This is called dwell time and it is how long somebody spends on your home page or on your website once they find you for a certain keyword.
For my friend Luke who makes church websites, you would want somebody to search for “church websites,” or “church website design,” or whatever is related to your thing, and then you would want them obviously to click on your domain in the search results page. Then you want them to stay on your domain for a long time.
If somebody searches for you, or searches for your keyword “church websites” and they click on it, and then 12 seconds later they click back to Google, Google knows they did not find what they were looking for. That’s call the bounce rate.
We want to have a very low bounce rate and we want to have a very high dwell time on a page.
One of the ways that we can do that is by adding video, by making the homepage long so that you must scroll through it, and by giving lots of text for people to read.
One other important tip is to do this – on the home page, above the fold, put a link that people want to click for more information. Google sees that click that the visitor has gone to a second page. That is a huge factor. It’s a much larger factor for high volume, high traffic websites than it for local service businesses, but it is a factor.
If 90% of the people leave your website after 5 seconds, it’s an indication to Google that they’re not finding what they want and Google is not going to serve you for that keyword. If they stay and they go to 12 different pages and they’re there for 2 or 3 minutes chances are they’ve found what they’re looking for. That’s a strong on page signal to Google.
Here’s some bonus information – the page hierarchy should make sense. The homepage should obviously be the home page, and then anything that’s in the header menu or the footer menu ideally should be the second level. Let’s say you’re a Chinese restaurant and you’ve got a Menu button. That should obviously go to the menu. And then you’ve got a Locations button. If you’ve got two locations then the two locations should be below that location in the hierarchy. The bottom line is the hierarchy needs to make sense.
One of the reasons for that is Google will put your links, your second level links, in the search results page. You can take up a huge amount of real estate on that search page if the navigation and the hierarchy of your web page makes sense. If it doesn’t make any sense then Google’s like “What the heck am I looking at? All these pages point to different pages, it doesn’t make any sense.”
They’re not going to show this and then you’re going to lose real estate on the search results page.
Many of my clients have new websites. McAfee internet security software sometimes has to be told that a site is safe. This isn’t necessarily an SEO factor, but it can affect traffic to the site, which is an SEO factor. I recorded this short video so to show how easy it is to get the green checkmark.
There are a couple documents in this list that are especially helpful. One is the Google Webmaster Guidelines. The other is the SEO starter guide. When I have people call me and ask about starting out in SEO, these are the documents that I tell them to read first.
The alt description for photos is important, too. I didn’t realize this until recently, but one of the reasons that this is important is for ADA compliance. If you want your website to be ADA compliant, which you should because it’s a law now.
There’s a whole thing online about how you can get up to speed.
Having an alt description is important for visually impaired bled people. For example, if there’s somebody that is blind and they hover over a photo, their speech software will read the alt description. It’s important that this explains what the photo is of. Then Google in turn uses that as part of their SEO.
I would imagine that it also indexes Google images and things?
It does, yes. It’s a big player in helping Google index images.