Are you new to the world of SEO and digital marketing? If so, you need to understand the concept of ranking online. It’s pretty simple, sites are slotted into a position in the SERPs when appearing for certain keywords. The keywords in question could be anything as long as they are related to the site in question. Unfortunately, keywords can have hundreds or even thousands of results attached to them. That’s an issue because most customers won’t go past page one. So, if the website isn’t on page one for the majority of users it might as well not exist at all.
Now the question becomes, who determines what ranks where and the answer is Google or rather the major search engines. They’ll decide which websites will appear to users searching for key terms. There are a few things to be aware of before we go any further.
First, Google have made it explicit that they are focused on ensuring that its users see high-quality results. That’s what they want. They want the best, most popular, most attractive and most trusted websites to appear first. So, these are the targets that you need to aim for.
Second, Google isn’t actually sending people to look at your site. They use bitesize pieces of software called crawlers. These crawlers work based on an algorithm, focusing on info that Google has decided is important when determining to rank.
Here’s the fun part. Google doesn’t actually disclose what information is important to the algorithm. That said it is possible to make some educated guesses and attempt to work out what will make Google happy in terms of web design and creation. This is crucial for agencies looking to help their customers rank and business owners hoping to start marketing on the right foot. So, let’s look at some of the possibilities.
You do need to think about the structure of your site. Specifically, you need to consider how easy your site is to navigate. Remember, if customers can easily navigate your site, the crawlers will be able to as well. This gives you a great chance at claiming a higher ranking online so it’s the definition of a win-win situation. Ultimately, you should be making sure that every vital area of your site is easy to locate and should be accessible within seconds.
Follow the three click rule here. A customer should never be more than three clicks away from a product, service or solution that you are offering. You can test this yourself. Start at the home page and see if you can find a product within three clicks. If you can’t there’s a strong possibility that you do need to change up your site design and structure. This is probably easier said than done and will likely require a complete overhaul. Don’t be afraid to shut the site down for a limited time and get this completed the right way. It’s fair to say that an issue with your structure could seriously impact the chances of any site performing well in the SERPs.
Dodge The SEO Pitfalls
SEO or search engine optimization is a term that you are probably already familiar with. What you may not realize is that’s actually remarkably easy to end up on the wrong side of SEO. Basically, this means that you won’t be using the right tactics that Google likes to see. Instead, you’ll be using the wrong tactics that Google may actually punish you for.
The classic examples of wrong tactics would be everything from keyword stuffing to links that don’t fit in with the context of the content. Furthermore, low authority links are going to cause severe issues for your marketing campaign.
Great SEO tactics would be high-quality content, link building without the links and keywords that have been used the right level of times for each piece of content. Now, you might think that it’s easy to differentiate between the two options and make the right choice. On the contrary though, what Google determines to be good tactics and poor SEO choices is constantly changing. So, you might find it’s harder to keep track than you would first believe.
That said, where there’s a will there’s a way and we certainly have the way. Advice and news for agency owners is now available through a new Alexa command called ‘SEO Agency.’ Using this tool you can immediately find out about the latest changes in the SEO world and ultimately stay ahead of the curve ensuring that you are utilizing the right marketing tactics.
Keep On Track With The Algorithm
You might recall we mentioned that Google doesn’t officially reveal what the algorithm they use is measuring and this is true. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no way to keep track of changes here. To do that, you just need to make sure that you are tapping into the popular influencers online. Influencers always have their ear to the ground when it comes to changes in a particular industry. So, marketing influencers tend to know when changes are coming to the algorithm. They may also investigate what these changes mean and entail for typical marketers and promoters online. Basically, you can find out what you need to know about new mods to the algorithm even if Google keep quiet. You just need to pay attention to industry buzz.
You can also test out new advances yourself. Make changes to your website and see if it has an impact on rank. If it does, there’s a good chance it’s now part of the algorithm and should become a key element of the solution you provide to your clients. While it can seem impossible to keep track of changes that are happening all the time, it is worth putting in the effort here.
Speed It Up
Sites should load in about three seconds in 2019. Any longer than this and you have already lost the interest of the user. They will quite happily move onto other websites that are not expecting them to wait around. So, the question now becomes how do you speed up a slow website. Well, there are a variety of ways to do this but you should start on compressing big data files.
In terms of content, this could be both images and video. A lot of people think that high-quality images need to be massive files. This isn’t the case at all and using the right software you can easily cut these files down to size. By doing this, you can make sure that you won’t have to worry about your pages taking an age to load. This is particularly important when you realize that the majority of customers are no longer accessing your site through a desktop or computer.
Check It On Mobile Devices
Customers are far more likely now to view your site through a tablet or similar mobile device. This again provides an important point about data files. What’s the point in using massive data images that aren’t going to show up on a tablet? They may not even load. But it’s not just images. If you want to impress Google, every element of your website needs to be fully optimized to operate effectively on a mobile device. There are countless mobile devices on the market each with different settings and systems in place. You need to check a website on as many as these as possible. By doing this, you’ll provide the best possible chance that your website can be accessed by the majority of users online. You can bet Google will be looking at this as well when determining where you rank.
Yes, you do need to make sure that your website is easy to read. An artsy, glam website is very impressive but it will mean nothing if it’s impossible for users and crawlers to find the information that they need. If you have a dark background, then you need white text and that’s just one, simplistic piece of advice when ensuring your website is readable. Again, you need to check it out on as many different devices as possible. Make sure that there are no major issues here that need to be addressed.
Add Fresh Content Regularly
Last but certainly not least, you need to make sure that you are adding fresh content to your site on a regular basis. This should be like clockwork and content should be added at times when the audience of the site is most active. For some sites, this is going to be midday and for others, it’s going to be 8pm at night so do your research. When you add fresh content, make sure that you do reach the level of quality that customers and Google expect. You’ll be shooting yourself and your client in the foot if you rush to publish junk content that provides no real benefit to the user.
We hope you find this advice useful when working to make sure a website ranks for your chosen target terms.