So, you Googled your business and realized you’re three pages deep in the search results…how do you ensure people find your website? While there’s no magic bullet to propel a website to the top of the ranking, there are a few basic things golf shop owners can do to help improve visibility and optimize results with minimal website management skills. Paid search is also beneficial, but it can quickly become costly and ineffective if your webpages don’t accurately reflect what visitors are searching for. Before you invest in Google AdWords, here are four simple ways to improve your organic search ranking:
Create relevant, meaningful content to increase “Average Time on Page”
As the old adage goes: Time is money. In this case, the more time a visitor spends on your website, the better your visibility on search engines.
If you look at a Google Analytics report, you’ll see a metric titled “Average Time on Page.” If visitors only spend a few seconds on a site, it’s sends a message to Google that your website isn’t relevant to what the visitor searched. The longer visitors stay on your website, the better your search results will be.
For example, if someone types in “how to improve my putting” and they land on your website to find information about putters on sale, it’s not relevant to what the customer is looking for and they quickly exit the site. However, if someone is on your webpage for five minutes after searching for “what does a clubfitting entail” and you have an in-depth article entitled “5 things to know about the clubfitting process” with photos, video, descriptive keywords and links, you’re on your way to improving your search results.
By the way, if you don’t already use Google Analytics to measure the success of your website, create an account now. It’s a free tool and offers invaluable information about how visitors are using your website and who doesn’t love free?
Did you know more than 50 percent of all Internet browsing is done on a mobile device? If your website isn’t responsive on mobile, it’s time for a makeover! This goes hand-in-hand with increasing “Average Time on Page.” If visitors quickly leave your site because text is too small, images get pushed off a page, or you can’t scroll down to complete a “Contact Us” form, you’re losing page views.
Rather than investing in paid search, use the money it to hire a web developer to create a responsive design website. You can also do it yourself on a shoestring budget using drag-and-drop website builders such as Weebly, Wix and Squarespace to create a beautiful and responsive site.
Reduce Image Sizes to Improve Page Load Speed
How quickly do you abandon a website that takes too long to load? If your website is slow to load, it could be hurting your ranking in Google and Bing. Both search engines take page-loading speed into account for their website ranking algorithm. According to an article from Shopify.com, nearly 50 percent of consumers won’t wait more than three seconds for an ecommerce site to load. As a general rule of thumb, save images in a JPEG format with a file size around 70 KB. Check out this excellent and in-depth article from Shopify about how to optimize images for websites.
Fix Broken Links
Routinely comb through your website to ensure all links are correctly leading to the right pages and there aren’t error messages. It’s easy to overlook for even small websites and can quickly impact how you rank in search results. Additionally, it’s beneficial to have a few outbound links to relevant and well-respected websites, as well as websites pointing back to yours – both of which notify Google that your website is relevant and trustworthy.