3 Easy Steps to Help Google Find Your Site

3 Easy Steps to Help Google Find Your Site

One of the most frequently overlooked SEO (search engine optimization ) opportunities is image processing and optimization. As small business owners, we must do everything we can to stay one step ahead of the competition. The sum of SEO involves the many activities related to attracting search engines AND customers to your website. A lack of these components can determine whether your site gets found or not. I’m going to address how to improve page load time, the ADA (American with Disabilities Act “alt” tag) and keyword optimization, all factors that improve the relevancy of your content to Google.

Step #1: Image Optimizers and Page Load Time

Fortunately, there are many image optimizers available to assist you in processing your images to improve your page loading times. “Page Load Time” is one of the factors Google uses to determine the viability of your site. Yes, your site can get dinged for loading too slow, because who wants to sit around 5 seconds waiting for your page to load.

So, once you’ve found an awesome website to get high-quality images, the next step is to get those images processed and onto your website, online publication or blog.

Images are typically sized by pixels, for instance, let’s take, for example, the standard size for a social media image that works across social platform sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest; that standard social media image size is 800×800 pixels. To customize your image dimensions, you can use Photoshop, Canva, PicMonkey, Pixlr or a host of other online tools.

group of african american women sitting, talking and smiling

This image from CreateHerStock was reduced from 4mb to 78kb and still maintains its clarity and dimensions.

File size or weight is measured in kb (kilobytes), optimal image size for the web is below 100kb. If you have blog posts or web pages that are loading slowly the culprit is most likely elephant sized images of 1mb or more in size. You can reduce image file size, yet maintain it’s integrity by using tools like Photoshop, TinyPng, Optimizilla. Just for the record, my favorite is Tinypng. Additionally, for you WordPress users there is the very awesome WPSmush, which compresses your images as you upload them.

Step #2: Image “Alt Tags”

The “alt tag” is how we identify images in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It gives those without vision a description of the image. This allotted space (which should be available no matter what platform you use to build your website or blog) is not for keywords, just a one-sentence description. And yes, as part of your image processing protocol, using “alt tags” is indeed an SEO factor and needs to be on all of your images. For instance, describe what you see “a red square”, “a happy woman walking”, etc to help a person without vision to “see” your image. Your site can take a ranking ding for not including them.

This image was renamed, “birds-eye-view-flat-lay-red-pink-dark-hands.jpg” it clearly identifies the context of this image. It’s file size reduced by 61% using Tinypng.

a birds-eye-view-flat-lay-green-pink-dark-hands

This image from 50ShadesofBlackStock was optimized with a descriptive “alt tag” that reads, “a birds-eye-view-flat-lay-green-pink-dark-hands”.

 

Step #3: Name Your Files with Keywords!

The most important of your image processing steps is naming your images. Do not post images with file names like “img_0495767.jpg”, it tells Google nothing and will ensure that Google spiders will keep crawling to find another more relevant site. Simple example, if you sell tee shirts, name the cobalt blue tee shirt, “cobalt-blue-tee-shirt-large-woman-cotton.jpg”. The more specific you are the more Google will love it.

To see a video on how to optimize your images for the web, visit my Youtube Channel.

About the author: Cheryl Vargas is an SEO Strategist and the owner of Web Sis, a company that helps small business owners optimize their websites so they get found by search engines and their customers. 
How to Get Traffic to Your Website – 5 Minutes Well Spent

How to Get Traffic to Your Website – 5 Minutes Well Spent

Getting your website listed with the major search engines and business sites is one of the best ways to get traffic to your website in an organic way.

For those of you who don’t have a lot of time, but want to know how to get traffic to your website, this is something you can do in five minutes.  Super Easy!

 

  1. Simply Google “submit my site to Google”. You should see the image below. Just enter your website and you’re done!

The Google “Submit my site” Submission Field

2. To submit your website to Yahoo and Bing, there’s just one link for both search engines, because they’ve merged into one corporation  Submit your website here.

3. And finally, submit your business to Yelp. Yes, even if you make candles, are a realtor or a coach, you can list your business here for free. 

Of course there is a lot more that you can do to get your website found by the search engines and then by your customers.  This is just a little something to get you started.

Be sure to check your statistics before you do your listings so that you can track your growth.

BONUS:  List your site with Google My Business, because who is the leader in search engines?  Yup, Google, so you’ll want to be sure that you have a designated Google page.  It’s free and easy to do. You will have to have your business verified via snail mail, so do allow time for that!

About the author: Cheryl Vargas is an SEO Strategist and the owner of Web Sis, a company that helps small business owners optimize their websites so they get found by search engines and their customers. 
Black Women Free Stock Images, POC, Melanated Images

Black Women Free Stock Images, POC, Melanated Images

This image is from Createher Stock. They have gorgeous images and a super affordable plan that is the closest to free out there.

A Labor of Love

Gosh, its so hard to find people of color in photographs doing everyday things, so I applaud the individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to fullfill that need.  THANK YOU!! I have been putting together this list of free stock photo resources for months. I think I did a pretty good job!

My Favorites

I put my favorites at the top.  They include a lot of business oriented, desktop and flat lay photos.  As you go further down the list, you’ll see all types of photos, scenery, etc. Its an exhaustive list, that I pulled from multiple resources around the net. Of course you’ll find that it always takes time selecting the right photos. But at least you won’t spend anytime searching the internet for sources! Hey, if I missed one…hey, let’s make this a great list…comment!!

About the author: Cheryl Vargas is an SEO Strategist and the owner of Web Sis, a company that helps small business owners optimize their websites so they get found by search engines and their customers. 

The List

This is a collection of black stock photo websites. I hope this takes some of the frustration out of searching for images of people of color.  Most free, a few paid.  

Happy Searching

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wocintechchat/ – Women of Color in Technology

BONUS

Business Name Generators

Icons

The Noun Project

Great for Overall Everything Free images

Online Design Alternatives

Google Front Page in 48 Hours

Google Front Page in 48 Hours

YES! I got some Google love!

Ranking on Google front page, actually, number #1 spot in just 48 hours after finishing my website! I know, it sounds crazy, but it happened! An SEO expert’s dream come true. I don’t typically advise people to expect these results, BUT, its possible.

Follow the rules

You do what’s necessary and joilà, you’re not only on the front page, but you’re #1! Use the keywords in the title, in the meta description, and throughout the page. Now of course, on the day of this screenshot, there is an ad above my spot.  But of course, that’s paid SEO.  I prefer, free, organic SEO, or what I like to call “sexy SEO” cuz free is super sexy!

So let’s talk about how I was able to do this

Well, first up, my keyword is not in the URL (cherylvargas.com), on my homepage and it probably should be, according to some experts, but that didn’t seem to matter to Google. What does seem to matter is that my keyword, is “logically used” in my homepage header.  So even though my keyword is “SEO strategist la grange il”, you’ll notice that those words are split up in the title which reads, “Web Sis: SEO Strategist|Get on Google Front Page| La Grange, IL”.

Basically, what this tells me is that Google wants me (see me getting into Google’s head?) to use my keyword logically.  So instead of trying to use it “exactly” throughout my site, I let the words fall where they may. Additionally, Google algorithms are pretty darned intelligent.  They can look at my overall site content and determine if my keywords match the services I offer. And it determines whether my website will serve the searcher’s needs.

Now, let’s talk about the two lines of content that show in the search results:

This paragraph is called a snippet. I use the Yoast SEO Snippet Preview to ensure that I’m giving Google what it wants in terms of a brief summary of what my website is all about.

I guess the point of this article…

…is that ranking on Google front page in a very short amount of time can be done and it can be done by us little guys. I mean, I’m certainly the little girl and I rate higher than the big dawgs for my keyword, unless of course, they pay for the positioning.

It just takes a little time to inform yourself about how to find your keywords, how to research keywords and finally how to use keywords on your site, you can be very successful at doing your own SEO, for free!

If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize your site for Google front page, this super, budget-friendly, SEO live webinar may be just the thing for you.