The “perfect search engine”
“understands exactly what you
mean and gives you back
exactly what you want.”
— Larry Page, Co-founder of Google, Alphabet Inc. and PageRank
When the whole web world is buzzing around SEO, sometimes it’s getting harder to get to know everything about it. The info is constantly updating. If you wonder why your website can’t get higher rankings, you may need to reconsider the factors that make your site unattractive for search engines.
So, let’s start at the very beginning.
How Search Engines Work
A global mission of Google is “making all the world’s information universally accessible and useful”. That’s an important point to understand. The search engines care about the web experience of its users and try to provide the most relevant results.
As an example, I will mostly focus on Google as a heavily favoured search engine throughout 2018 according to Net Market Share.
This amazing video makes it way easier to understand how Google indexes the web using spiders (crawlers). These “web creatures” are fetching all the links on your website, then fetch the pages they point to. And so on, running the full process until they index a pretty big chunk of the web.
What does THAT mean?
Google uses spiders for many reasons. One of them is to see how many outside links point to/from your website and how important these links are. This is one of the Domain Authority factors which shows the webpage’s relevance for a specific subject area or industry and plays a significant role for SEO.
So, Tip #1 – Let the Google Spiders Crawl in and Feed Them with a Tasty Content
Check and make sure the pages are active and accessible for Google bots. Crawlers also help Google to understand content on the page (text-readable format, visuals like images, videos and embeds). These elements make your page more interesting and engaging, keeping your readers stay around.
Here are some statistics – “articles with images get 94% more total views, including a photo and a video in a press release, increases views by over 45%”. The number of time visitors spend on your website can affect SEO ranking still, the importance of Dwell time is a bit exaggerated. Consequently, your main goal is to give your audience the well‐written and well‐presented content.
Tip #2 – Think of Quality and Diverse Backlinks (Links from domains with higher Domain Authority than yours)
The reason is simple – it increases trust. Google believes – the more relevant sources point to your website, the more secure and useful it should be. Agree?
Keep in mind – “the more the better” rule doesn’t suit the situation. It’s better to have a fewer number of backlinks from several different valuable sites than a large number of incoming links from a small handful of sites.
Tip #3 – Identify Your Competition and Find the Difference
Make sure you’re comparing yourself to the right ones. Do some SERP investigations (you can simply use Google to see top search results) or use services like SEMScoop or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Compare your site to one that is similar to yours and find what is missing. Analyze the site’s size, type of content and Domain Authority.
Tip #4 – Do a Keyword Research
Users make different requests which can lead them to your website. Or not to lead, if you’re targeting the wrong keyword or not using them in a proper way. Ideally, you should find keywords with low competition and decent volumes of traffic to optimize your pages for. Similarly, the services listed in Tip #3 can help you with creating longtail keywords with enough search volumes.
Tip #5 – Choose the Right CMS
Let’s start from the definition: SEO-friendly CMS features a complex of elements that make website optimisation easier and more efficient. Web builders like Wix, Squarespace, Weebly etc. are designed to make a simple website in a short time with the minimum efforts but that brings the corresponding consequences.
There are some CMSs which are more complex but extremely popular and which include lots of aspects that let you easily optimise your website.
WordPress is considered to be the best content management system for SEO but this is only true when the appropriate plugins are used. SEO Yoast is an extremely helpful plugin which is able not only to improve search results but also to optimise the content.
Joomla is a powerful CMS with many followers all over the world. This CMS is not SEO-friendly by default but it can be if to add some guides, for instance, CollectiveRay or Hobo. Joomla comes with SEO extensions which will simplify the optimisation tasks, one of them is sh404SEF.
Drupal, on the other hand, is more complex CMS but extremely powerful. It is SEO-friendly itself but only if it is used by coders.
But what if you have started a website on one platform and would like to run a site on the other? With aisite migration service it is not a problem any more. Using this tool you can easily migrate to Joomla, WordPress, or Drupal from your existing CMS. Or just switch between them in a few minutes.
Taking care about SEO juice is essential during the migration process, so make sure you are aware of this checklist and be sure you won’t lose anything.
Tip #6 – Make People Want to Click Your Link
Do you recall the way you choose a link for a requested keyword among a list of search engine result pages? You take notice of what is written in title and description. Google does the same thing by analyzing the keyword presence of these fields. The snippet is something that is crucial to your SEO efforts because that determines how it displays in the search result. Pay attention to title tags and meta descriptions to pique the interest of your potential readers.
Tip #7 – Work on Website Speed Optimization
Nobody likes waiting. Talking about the web, statistics say 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. Site Speed is a ranking factor, so it’s an essential point for web users as well as for search engines. As we’re living in the mobile-first era, make sure you’re optimising page speed for a mobile device. Google PageSpeed Insights will help you to check whether page response time works well for every device.
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and they will continue to evolve. Monitoring website performance is a key to avoid setbacks when algorithms change, so focus on improving the user experience and give the customers what they are looking for. Think about the words users would type to find your pages, provide unique and relevant content. Give a reason to visit your site and help your audience to receive excellent online service.