Category Archives: SEO

How Google Sees Your Business

Google is one of the most popular search engines in the world, helping users find the answers to all sorts of inquiries. For businesses, Google is a powerful tool that can lead customers to your website. However, how do you know if customers are reaching your site via Google? Are these customers the audience you are desiring? Is the content Google highlights relevant information about your company and products? One way to find the answers to these questions is by using Google Search Console.

What is Google Search Console?

Discussed in module one of Carrie Saunders’ upcoming course, “The Converting Website,” Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster) is a search engine optimization (SEO) tool that focuses specifically on how Google finds, interprets, and shares your site to users. Google Search Console helps visualize the activities that take place on your website, as well as offer ways to compare certain metrics to see where you can improve your site’s searchability, presentation, and reach on Google.

Using Google Search Console

One of the main features Google Search Console offers is Performance Reports. A Performance Report is a visual graph that keeps track of four main metrics:

  • Impressions – The number of times your site appeared in a Google search result.
  • Clicks – The number of times users clicked on your site via a Google search result.
  • Average Click Through Rate (CTR) – The percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.
  • Average Position – The average position of your site in Google search results.

These graphed metrics help give you a snapshot of how your site is doing in terms of searchability and site traffic. For example, impressions can help you figure out if the keywords that Google is associating with your business are resulting in relevant search results. Clicks can help establish how well your site summary attracts possible customers, and Average CTR and Average Position help illustrate how well your site is competing with other possible businesses customers are presented.

Performance reports are also defined by dimensions, which are specific attributes of your data. Attributes such as country, page, device, and many others are presented in a table below the metrics graph, identifying the “who” and “where” of your site traffic.

With Google Search Console, you can further analyze just how the collected data can help evaluate your site by using the built-in filtering tool. This tool can be used to pick and choose which metrics you want to compare on the performance report graph, and can be pushed further to relate to specific dimension data collected. For example, you can compare the Average CTR of devices such as desktops and phones, helping you define just how well your site is presented on different platforms and if that impacts user interaction. Other filters, such as time, can also be applied as well, allowing you to visualize your desired data during specific dates. This single tool amongst the many Google Search Console has to offer can quickly help point out aspects of your sites that can be further optimized for Google’s search engine, helping you attract more customers!

Getting started with Google Search Console

Google Search Console can vary in difficulty when it comes to getting started. One of the first steps required is to add a property to Google Search Console. This property can either be a Domain Prefix or a URL Prefix. Once you choose one, you will be required to verify that this property is indeed yours.

Here are the seven of ways you can verify a property:

  • DNS Record
  • HTML File Upload
  • HTML Tag
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager Container Snippet
  • Google Sites
  • Blogger

One of the most important methods on this list is DNS Records, for it is the only way to verify a Domain Prefix. Below, we will dive into how you would go about getting started with Google Search Console via a Domain Prefix.

1. First, you will need to create a property with Google Search Console here, where you will arrive on the screen below.

2. On the screen, you will be asked to add a Domain Prefix or a URL Prefix. Add your Domain Prefix under the highlighted “Domain” box and click “Continue.”

3. Next you will be asked to choose your method of verification. Here instructions will vary per domain provider. Click the drop-down menu next to “Any DNS Provider” and see if you DNS provider is listed. If so, click your provider for provider specific instructions, where you will most likely be required to log into your domain for verification. If your provider isn’t listed, follow the instructions under “Any DNS provider.” Once you have completed the instructions, click “Verify.”

Note that depending on your provider, the verification process may not be instant. If you are not verified immediately, check again in a few hours.

Can I get Further Guidance?

Carrie’s upcoming course “The Converting Website” will dive into further detail about Google Search Console as well as other useful tools and techniques for your business. Join the waitlist today to stay up to date about the course’s release!

The Power of Google Analytics 4

A mobile device with Google Analytics open on screen, with overlaid text 'The Power of Google Analytics!'

One of the most stressful aspects of maintaining a website is determining if your website is working for your business. The experiences and retention of your customers on your website can sometimes be hard to calculate, leaving you unsure of what is successful and what needs adjusted. On top of that, while there are many tools and methods to quantify the effectiveness of your website, sorting through them all and determining which one works best for you can be overwhelming as well as discouraging.

How do I make my website work for me?

In her upcoming course, “The Converting Website”, BCS Engineering founder and principal engineer Carrie Saunders aims to help businesses approach the challenge of creating and quantifying a successful website. This five-week course will explore the tools and tactics to convert visitors into customers, module one of the course diving into the services you can use to evaluate and test your website.

What is Google Analytics 4?

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is one of the tools discussed in module one of Carrie’s upcoming course. GA4 is an analytics service that helps you track the traffic engagement of your platform across both your sites and apps . The improved service offers more granularity than its predecessor, Universal Analytics, by not only noting when a customer was on your site, but also collecting data about what a customer does while there. The advancement of this tool has led it to be pushed as the default Google Analytics service by July 2023, when Universal Analytics will be fully replaced by GA4. Thus, the switch to GA4 is strongly encouraged.

The highlight of GA4 is its variety of reports. Visuals of data concerning where customers are coming from and what pages draw their interest are detailed on the home page of GA4. Other reporting options such as real-time reports illustrate the impact of changes to the website, such as the addition of media or a new product, in real-time, offering transparent feedback about the successfulness of your adjustments. Furthermore,  life cycle reporting, a report detailing how visitors convert to customers, and what those customers do once they have converted, are also featured. Overall, GA4 offers valuable data concerning how your site acquires, engages, monetizes, and retains customers, and is a powerful tool that can be started today!

Switching to GA4

In a few simple steps, you can get started with GA4.

If you are new to Google Analytics, you will need to make a Google Analytics account, creating a profile and your first property. After filling out the form, you will already be on your way to using Google Analytics 4.

For those who have been using Google Analytics in the past via Universal Analytics, the setup is just as simple.

1. Once logged into your GA account, go the “Properties” column, and click “GA4 upgrade Assistant.”

2. From there you will be reminded that you are currently using Universal Analytics and asked to switch. Click “Get Started” to create a Google Analytics 4 Property.

3. A window will pop up explaining what will happen next. Click “Create Property”.

4. Your property will now be GA4 enabled.

An important thing to note is that whether you are new to GA4 or are switching to GA4, your property will fall into a default tag of gtag.js, which may not work with your type of platform. To adjust the tag for your GA4 property, complete the following:

1. Click the gear titled “admin” in the lower left-hand corner.

2. Next, make sure you are on the right property by clicking  the down arrow under the property column. Once on the right property. Click “Data Streams.”

3. Under Data streams, click the website you desire to work with.

4. This will take you to Web Stream Details. Under “add-new on-page tag”, expand “Global Site Tag (gtag.js)”.

Depending on the platform your website is on, follow the instruction you find below and find your platform specific instructions by clicking the highlighted “these instructions.” This will take you to a list of providers and will offer you further support per provider.

Can I Get Further Guidance?

Carrie’s upcoming course “The Converting Website” will dive into further detail about GA4 as well as other useful tools and techniques for your business. Join the waitlist today to stay up to date about the course’s release!

Holistic / Natural SEO

Our modules and the way we structure websites lend towards natural SEO and helps your site rank better.

At BCSE, we have always had the philosophy that natural, or holistic, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the way to go. Our modules and the way we structure websites lend towards natural SEO and helps your site rank better.

What is holistic / natural SEO?

Holistic / Natural SEO is simply improving all aspects of your website with the end user in mind. When you provide a great user experience, you will naturally check quite a few SEO boxes. Some of the areas to focus on are:

  • Clean, easy to read website
  • Proper use of headings
  • Quality writing content
  • Having a secure site and using https always
  • Fast website

How does a clean website help SEO?

A clean website not only makes it easy for your readers to focus and stay engaged, but it also boosts search engine rankings when the search engines see readers lingering, or staying longer on your website. When you have clean and focused content readers won’t bounce out of your site so fast. A confusing and hard to read website will lose a potential customer very quickly, and search engines recognize this.

How does proper use of headings help SEO?

Search engines need to know what is important. Using headings not only helps search engines see what you are emphasizing on the website, but also helps your potential customers skim the page to see if the content is relevant to them. Search engines recognize that headings make it easier for the consumer to read as well. So it will be looking for properly placed headings.

How does quality of writing help SEO?

Very similar to the above points, if your text is hard to read and follow, users will leave quickly. The goal is to not confuse or frustrate readers. When you write well, and have your writing flow, it builds trust and confidence. When you build trust, confidence and have well thought-out content, your readers will stay engaged and stay on your website longer. Again search engines look at how long customers say on pages and the longer they stay, the higher that page will rank.

Why is having a secure website important to SEO?

In the past several years, search engines have recognized that websites secured with an SSL certificate, provide higher quality content. By having an SSL certificate, search engines know that you as a business owner care more about your customers than those who do not secure the customer’s data.

Search engines also keep track of what websites have been reported to have spyware or other malicious content. When you keep your site secure with any security updates your software needs, then you are further protecting your SEO rankings. Search engines are all about customer experience and security.

How does having a fast website help with SEO?

For several years, Google and other search engines have recognized that a quality website also means a fast website. Consumers get frustrated if a website takes too long to load and leave pretty quickly. Search engines punish websites that are too slow or not consistently fast. We recommend using several tools to test your site to get different perspectives:

I think I need help with SEO, now what?

At BCSE, we have always taken a natural and holistic approach to SEO. We work with you to help enable you to learn how to write and populate your content in a way that is SEO friendly. We also will help from a structure standpoint, make sure your site is constructed in the back-end to be naturally SEO friendly. Contact Us today to see if we are good fit for your project!

What is Structured Data?

Structured data is a way to convey information to search engines.  In simple terms, it makes your website easier to understand for Google, Bing and the other major search engines.

Structured data is a way to convey information to search engines. In simple terms, it makes your website easier to understand for Google, Bing and the other major search engines.

For example, when searching for “World’s Best Cookies” here is today’s top result:

If you were to visit this cookie recipe page, you would have a large amount of text to wade though. This is what the major search engines would have to use to decide on what is most important to show you when you search. However, if you have structured data, you can help the search engines decide what to show.

For example, on this site they chose to feature some of the main ingredients, rating, number of votes and how long it will take you. Much more useful than the first few paragraphs of the site:

Why is Structured Data important for SEO?

Structured data helps search engines understand your website better. The better you ‘talk’ to google, bing, etc, the better your search engine results will be. Not only that, but also the snip of information shown in a search result will be more optimized for your customers.

Rather than the first few sentences of your page being shown, search engines will prefer to show your more specific condensed information you have in your structured data. Making it easier for them to see what the page is about.

The less barrier to clicking on your link, the more potential customers will click, and the more likely your SEO rankings will go up for that page too!

Which Structured Data format should I use?

Currently, all of the search engines recognize‘s approach to structured data. There are others out there the search engines support too.

The most popular method is to use’s JSON-LD format. This uses JavaScript to insert all of your markup into the head of the page, which is many times a cleaner and simpler solution to implement.

Previously’s microdata was the way to go, however major search engines now support the JSON-LD format much better.

How do I know if I already have Structured Data?

Both Google and provide testing tools to review the structured data on your site. We recommending using one or both of those tools listed at this link:

Evaluate some of your key landing pages first to see how your site does.

I don’t have Structured data or don’t know if it’s correct, Now what?

If you don’t have structured data or aren’t sure if it is correctly conveying the information you want on your website, we can do an evaluation for you! Just Contact Us and we’ll be happy to send you a quote to evaluate your site.