Displaying items by tag: website content
I'm not keen on using the phrase "SEO" as it's been so abused over the years that it's meaning and interpretation has become lost. Personally I'd say that the majority of the points in this article relate to building a website properly in the first place, and then actually populating it with content that users want to read.
But here's a list of essential components that make up what would be interpreted as a professional website by Google and other search engines.
1. Website Security (HTTPS): This is a ranking factor now, and Google recommends switching to HTTPS to also help with demonstrating professionalism, increasing conversion rates, and building trust with users. It's no accident that 65% of sites that hold the top three positions have implemented HTTPS.
2. Content Length: Content length for sites in the top three positions are on average 45 percent longer than content on sites in 20th position. But beware of writing masses of "padded" content to increase page density......the key is to write content of a necessary length to be relevant and match user intent.
3. Keywords: These are obviously still relevant today......but the era of jamming them everywhere on the site is long gone. If you do this you'll end up in the Sin Bin! So you need to use long tail search strings incorporating keywords contextually (within sentences) when required. Use them sparingly.....do not go overboard on this.
4. Website Traffic: Interestingly, traffic from search engines does not appear have any major impact on rankings. It's direct traffic that matters......so share your content across Social Media. If Google tracks a lot of traffic coming from other sources it will potentially revise your positioning because your site appears to be popular.
5. Bounce Rate: This relates to the time users spend on your site. If you get a visit from a user and they leave immediately....that's a negative. But if they stay on the site and visit numerous pages....that's a positive. How do you retain users? Just write good content as I've always said.
6. Pages per Session: This is closely linked with Bounce Rate! Because the higher number of pages a user visits per session demonstrates to Google that you have content on your site that is of value and relevant to the search query they entered.
6. Backlinks: But unlike years ago it's not quantity.....it's quality! Do not have links on bad sites or Google will assess you at the level of the bad site that you've "buddied up" to. Essentially you've shown them that you're keeping bad company. And whatever you do, do not make reciprocal links with other sites because you'll both get canned.
7. Page Speed: Users like fast pages so don't bog your page down with auto-running videos, multiple large images, or resources that load from other sources like Social Media streams. Yes.....you need to make it look attractive and professional.....but there is such a thing as overkill.
8. On-site Optimisation: Factors such as meta descriptions, meta titles, H1 and H2 tags etc are still relevant and should be used accordingly. But be aware these are not a "Band Aid" for low quality content. If your content is assessed as poor then no amount of on-site optimisation will help you.
9. Mobile Compatibility: If you don't have this in place by now then you're probably not even in business any more. Around 55 - 60% of searches come from mobile devices.....so without it, most of your target market has gone.
Now review those points, and look for the pattern! As always, that pattern is quality content! It's never been any different......in fact Bill Gates predicted this back in 1996:
"Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet" and "If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will".
Admittedly there were ways that unscrupulous individuals could cheat their way to high rankings years ago, but since 2012 those practices will end up making you invisible on search engines! My advice is to beware of web agencies promising you instant high rankings - because you'll end up disappearing without a trace on all searches for a very long time. It will be the Kiss of Death!
So just play by the rules (I always have) and generate quality content that addresses your visitors' questions and specific areas of interest......and then distribute it across Social Media to expand your target audience.
Published in Web Design News
Everybody wants great search engine positioning, but the methods to achieve that goal have changed a lot in recent years. There are still technical elements within a site that are highly relevant, but the unscrupulous methods employed by some in the past no longer work. Essentially you cannot cheat your way to the top.....because you will get caught out and the penalties will be severe.
WebSpain have never employed any of these methods, we've always emphasised that quality content that delivers value to the reader must be paramount. So when Google changed it's algorithms in the past few years, none of our clients were penalised in any way.
Quality content is so important, and it must be content that engages with the user and delivers your business message in a clear and professional way. But having quality content that nobody reads is a total waste of time, and results in lost business opportunities and diminished brand awareness.
And this is where Social Media promotion comes in! Because this opens up a huge target market, and it costs you nothing except for a few minutes of your time every day.
How big is this market? In March 2014 Facebook reported it had 665 million active users each day which was up 26% from a year earlier. Even more surprising was that over 750 million people are using Facebook from a mobile device each month.....up 54% from 2013 figures. Which reinforces our message on the importance of mobile responsive websites being essential today.
So what can you do to get a piece of this action?
1. Ensure that you have FaceBook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, and Pinterest pages!
2. Share info from your site every day. Only a couple of items....a little and often is the best way.
3. Get more likes, friends, followers on these networks. If you don't, you're only talking to yourself!
4. Encourage user interaction and shares amongst your target audience.
5. Ensure your website is mobile responsive. Otherwise you'll lose out on that audience.
6. Be consistent.....this will only reap benefits long term.
People have said to me that they're not keen on Twitter, or Google Plus etc.....but the bad news is that they're still part of the game. Ignoring a major social media network because you don't like it is not in your best interests, so I'd strongly advise against it. And another very important factor is that search engines now include Social Media popularity as part of their algorithms. So besides getting you in front of more people you can boost your rankings as well.
Not convinced? OK....let me give you an example: In August 2013 I launched Motorcycle Sport purely as a leisure interest.....but I also used it as a new site to test the initiatives listed above. Since the time of launch I've focussed on Social Media promotion for it....nothing else. The site is a basic IP Board forum, no technical innovations, no paid Ads etc......just Social Media promotion.
At present, it has over 12,000 members with around 15,000 unique visitors per month, and the FaceBook page has over 3000 "likes".....which is rising every day. Please note that these are real "likes".....they're not paid "likes" which some people resort to using. There is no benefit in that whatsoever, you have not increased your real target market, and once again it's cheating!
All our "likes" are from motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide.....they want to see our content and have voluntarily decided to follow the page! And in many cases they share the content onto their Activity Streams, thereby putting us in front of more of our target market.
That's what has been done, and the image shows the results on Google for the term Motorcycle Sport Forum.
It's on page one at number one, ahead of major international media and publishing groups who have been established for many years, and probably have marketing budgets well into six figures. It cost me nothing except a few minutes of my time every day.
So you can make a difference, and you don't need to pay anybody to do it for you. It takes a bit of time and it does take commitment on a regular basis. But this example shows that no matter how small your company may be, you can take initiatives that can have a very positive longterm effect on your business!
Published in Web Design News