Learn to Play by Google’s SEO Rules

by Lorraine Hart

If you haven’t already noticed, Google has recently implemented some new policies that can vastly affect your ability to get found on the Internet.

While SEO has always been a challenge, the recent announcement by Google has added a new element to the game. For those of you with the good fortune or foresight to have what Google deems a mobile friendly website, you are in luck.

Unfortunately, for so many of us who may have older websites, we need to do something or we will get penalized by Google’s search results.

This new wrinkle is liable to bring out those companies that will try to take unfair advantage of the situation.

The reasoning used by Google to implement this policy is quite logical. Since so many people use cell phones to search for something on the web, it makes sense that websites that are “mobile friendly” to be the first to be shown by Google.  Although I personally prefer viewing renovation photos on a larger screen, I recognize that there are many who first search on their phones. In any case it doesn’t matter what we prefer, if we want to play Google’s game then we have to follow their rules.

If you have recently noticed fewer visits to your website from Google searches, this new rule may be the reason. Keep in mind that not all visitors come to your website from a Google search. If someone knows your domain name and enters it, your website will show up. If someone clicks on a link from another reputable website, such as NARI or Houzz, they will find you just as they always have.

To find out if your website is considered to be mobile friendly by Google click here and enter your website address.

Following are suggestions and a few words of caution:

Don’t throw the baby away with the bath water. If you have an otherwise great website, talk to your web designer to see what can be done to convert it. In some cases the conversion may be relatively easy, but in many cases a redesign will be needed.  Rather than throwing away an otherwise great website for something that won’t work for you, put a plan together to transition your existing website.

Watch out for companies that are offering quick inexpensive solutions. Although you want to be found, it won’t do you any good to be found if your new website gives your visitors a poor first impression.

Review your business and website statistics to determine how important it is to be found in Google searches.  For example; one of our clients told us that all of her business comes from online searches. Although she loved her website, it was developed a few years ago with an older technology. In this case it was critical that her website be recreated. The challenge was to use new technology to create a responsive website that met Googles test and had the look and feel that the client loved.

If you are like most remodelers, you get your business from a variety of sources. If you decide to handle the mobile friendly issue, take this opportunity to also make other changes and improvements that you may have been thinking about.

About the author: Lorraine Hart is the president and senior consultant for Ideal Consulting Services who have been providing business consulting, coaching and training to small businesses in the construction industry since 1992. She is a national member of NARI and is also a regular contributor to the Texas Home and Garden blog and the coordinator and editor of the weekly home articles for the Houston Chronicle. Lorraine can be reached at 832-569-5079 or www.idealconsulting.net.

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