5 Ways to Engage Google

When we started up Flowsheets Metallurgical Consulting Inc. in early 2016, it was clear that we needed to put up and develop a website describing our metallurgical engineering services. It’s just “expected” these days.   The “putting up” was easy; that was arranged with GoDaddy in Arizona, who did a great job with a WordPress platform and a selection from twenty standard templates, one of which we chose.  The “develop” took a bit of time, and a fair amount of reading.  The “develop” bit was all about visibility of the website pages to Google with article title structures, keywords and keyword combinations, plus learning about website startup speed with GTMetrix.  We added a new page on “News”, which was to provide updates on engineering conferences and associated network.

Ultimately, our ”News” page on the  website attracted the attention of a fair number of bloggers in Western Europe, who seem to be rather impressed with our efforts.  We thank you all for your kind words and interesting questions, and ask that you understand that our primary intention was to advertise our engineering services, and not necessarily to specifically focus on explaining website optimisation with SEO.  The interest from the blogging world is welcome, but happened en passant. And look at what happened!

Where we stand today, WordPress has given us excellent performance, and GoDaddy have provided great support with their Help Desk.  I have, as requested by many of you, put together a short summary of what we have learned.

Rank Brain and Latent Semantic Indexing

Thanks to some well-presented advice from www.backlinko.com, the keys to understanding Google’s Rank Brain algorithm are now easier to follow.  Launched in 2016, Rank Brain is an artificial intelligence package that reads beyond page titles, and analyses associated phrases that describe the page’s subject matter. In other words, RankBrain develops its own library of relevant phrases and terms associated with subject titles.  Quite a development (congratulations Google).

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) is a system that search engines use to analyze the other words people use surrounding a given topic. LSI keywords are words and phrases with a high degree of correlation to your target topic. Google’s algorithm uses them to help determine content quality and relevance to the search term. LSI Keywords are conceptually related terms that search engines use to deeply understand content on a webpage. Today, Google’s goal is to figure out a page’s overall topic.  And Google relies on LSI keywords to understand content at such a deep level.

For example, if you had a web page entitled “6 Tips for Better Golf”, the LSI keywords would be: swing in plane; club selection; weight transfer; consistent ball striking; short game first; better putting; and more practice.  These terms describe and support how to play better golf.  Use of synonyms such as “Golf Competition”, “How to Maintain a Golf Course” and “How to Drive a Golf Cart” do not qualify as LSI Page and Article Titles.

Google’s RankBrain prefers article titles that contain a number.  For example, the article title here is “5 Ways to Engage Google”, instead of “How to Improve the Visibility of Your Website to Google”.  Notice that the preferred title is also shorter.

Ask Google to Suggest Keywords

Run a search in Google with some of your keywords on the page in question.  Google will auto-suggest other keyword combinations; these will appear at the bottom left-hand of the screen.   Try adding some of these.

Accelerate the Site Speed

If your web page does not boot in less than 4 seconds, Google lowers its rating of your site.  When our website first started up, the boot time was 7.6 seconds, way too slow. It is now 3.9 seconds. Consult the website assessor GTMETRIX with your website address, and go through its recommendations.  In particular, install the support widgets for WordPress such as WPOptimize to speed up the boot time, then rerun GTMETRIX.  You will see a difference.

Plugins, or Widgets

The selection and installation of plugins makes a big difference to the way Google views your site.  Key ones for us were:  All-in-One SEO Pack; Akismet Anti-Spam; JetPack by WordPress; Speed Booster Pack; WP Optimize; and WP Statistics.

Let us know how this works for you.

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