Your website isn’t going to appear in search engine results with a wave of a magic wand. It takes a bit of smart planning to ensure your website is found by your prospects and customers when they are searching for your products and services. The process involved in search engine optimisation (SEO) frequently changes, as Google is constantly altering the search algorithms that determine your website’s ranking. SEO is a longterm process of constant reviewing and improving to ensure that you are staying ahead of your competition.
In this article we will discuss the signals that are now known as crucial components of the algorithms used by most search engines. An online marketing agency will be able to develop an SEO strategy that will incorporate a mix of these signals.
The main reason why search engines continue to change the algorithms that determine search results is to discourage and reduce the tendency of companies to use shady SEO tactics. A search engine’s sole purpose is to deliver the best possible user experience for the browser. You have to remember that the content you have produced is the reason why a visitor has come to your website. This means that genuinely compelling, high-quality and relevant content is rewarded by Google with higher SEO rankings.
Remember that the content you create must be created with your audience in mind and not for SEO purposes. If you focus on your audience when creating content, Google won’t see your content as spam. In saying that, there are a few good writing tips that are favourable to SEO. Use of targeted keywords, sub-headings, and embedding links within your copy are all acceptable ways to write with SEO in mind.
If you or your online marketing agency is designing your site, there should be a focus on aiming for ease of navigation for your users and ensuring that the most important content is within a few clicks of your user.
A website’s optimal internal linking structure is about 3 clicks, and you should also make sure that your content is cross-linking each other so that none of your important pieces are stuck in a silo, which are pages that can only be accessed from preceding pages.
Loading speed of pages is also important. You only have a certain amount of time to make a good first impression and a slow loading page is likely to make the user look elsewhere. Furthermore, websites can be penalised by Google in their search algorithms for slow loading times. The good news is that there are a number of tools and services you can use to help analyse what is slowing your website down.
Lastly, remember to keep your website as accessible to everyone as possible, regardless of what they are trying to access it from, or on what device. A mobile friendly website is crucial to ensuring that you rank high on mobile searches, which is beginning to take over from desktops. Mobile search is becoming the future of internet search and, in turn, your business’s success.
Back Linking If your website is going to be successful in attracting users, your own content is going to be the most important content taken into consideration. The presence of other content linking to your website from other locations on the internet is equally as important. This is referred to as back linking or inbound linking.
Your link profile (the links pointing to your website from other websites) is an important factor used by Google when assigning your rank in its search results, because they are a measure of a website’s popularity and authority. When linking from another website, you can essentially count it as a recommendation from that website i.e. a tick of approval!
It’s worth noting that not all backlinks are equal. You need to understand that some backlinks have an attribute called “no follow”. When Google crawls your content, it tells them not pass any of the domain authority from the other website on to yours. This shouldn’t deter you from trying to create a link profile, however it is recommended that you focus on “do follow” links.
Something else to consider with SEO are user signals, which are the latest addition to the algorithm block. There are some search engines that have been using user signals for some time now, but their prominence has really grown over the last year. User signals are based on the experience of your visitors on your site. These signals include click through rate, the amount of time that that user spends on the website, and also bounce rate. Click throughs are considered the most important of all of these. The websites that are the most successful and have the most authority generally have higher click-through rates.
SEO is a process that is constantly evolving for businesses that are using it. As more and more people continue to try and cheat the system, Google counters this by changing the goal-posts. Many years ago, SEO was a simple process of having lots of content with lots of keywords included. These days you and your online marketing agency have to be a little more strategic about it.
It’s about constantly evaluating and analysing your website and looking for areas of improvement. At the end of the day it’s important to remember your audience and customers, and keep them at the heart of your strategies. Successful websites contain genuinely good content that browsers want to click on, consume, and share with their peers. This organic endorsement is gold-dust, and will lead you to success.