Why SEO is about more than content
Gone are the days when search engine optimisation (SEO) was just about putting the right content in place and ensure your website links to someone else’s, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These days SEO is more technical and requires a lot more time to set up, to continuously monitor and tweak to improve; this is all the work that goes on underneath the water of that iceberg.
As of 24th January 2021, there are almost 2 billion websites in the World each of them with something to say and many of them overlapping in the same areas of expertise. Because of this, search engines needed to evolve and find a way to distinguish between all of these sites to indicate which ones are likely to show the best information and which ones aren’t of the same quality. SEO is a way for them to do this.
There are SO many different search engines, each of them specialising in particular areas of expertise. However, as Google has 90.46% of the search engine market share worldwide, it’s wise to focus most of your SEO efforts on pleasing them and stay abreast of their algorithms as they like to continuously move the goal post.
Here are a few areas you can work on and aim to improve your SEO, and in turn improve your Google rankings:
Content is King
Back in the day, a website could simply count on having decent quality content with the right type of Keywords noted enough times to show Google you knew your stuff. Chuck in a few backlinks and you’d be onto a winner, but these days you need to do more than just this. Content-wise, if your website is riddled with typos or grammatical errors or is simply difficult to read, users won’t resonate with it or like/ read it and won’t come back or hang around for long and that can give Google a red flag.
An image can say a thousand words and Google agrees. Google might not be able to physically see what that image is, but they think that simply having one is a step in the right description, and behind the scenes you can pretty much tell Google all about that image in ways they’ll understand e.g through the meta-description and alt tags, using the right file type and size.
The Keyword is higher than the King
Remember when I said content is King, well knowing your audience and all the different keywords they might search for is even higher. By using the right keywords and the ones slightly different (but related), you’ll be able to focus on what your audience is looking for and fight your way past the big dogs who can afford to go for the heavy-hitting keywords and spend a lot more time improving them.
Put things in the right place
By strategically placing your keywords and other SEO optimising tools in the right places and at the right time (e.g the header, the first paragraph, the metadata etc), your website can appear to be super knowledgeable and relatable to what you’re talking about. If you do this, you can expect Google to rank you higher than someone without as they’ll see you as a better bet for answering the search users questions.
Mobile accounts for approximately half of web traffic worldwide and so Google favours websites that work better on Mobile devices than those that don’t. This means your website should look good and work on mobile either first, or alongside desktop and tablet but never behind.
The hare IS faster than the tortoise
How many times have you been on a website that’s taken more than three seconds to load and given up and gone back to search for another website? You’re not alone, ‘53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load‘ and a ‘two-second delay in load time resulted in abandonment rates of up to 87%’. Simply put, if your website is slow, people won’t use it and Google WILL rank someone else (with a faster website) higher so you need to ensure your page speed is up.
Depending on what you’ve made your website from, there are plugins you can download/install that will help with this. In this video by Julian Goldie, he talks through the pros and cons of one from Nitro Pack and how you can use it (alongside Google’s own testing website) to test your own website.
Don’t be afraid of the web spiders
By spiders, I mean bots that crawl your website on behalf of Google noting down all the SEO steps you’ve put in place/ content on your website. If your website architecture isn’t set up correctly or your internal linking is off, you’ll make the bot’s job harder and they won’t thank you for it. By having things like a sitemap or redirects set up, you’ll make them happy, and in turn, Google happy so you’ll tick another SEO box (ranking you higher).
Give us a wave if you’re still here with new material
If you make any changes or new pages, it’s always worth submitting your website to Google to be reindexed (getting the bots to re-crawl), otherwise, it might take a while for Google to notice or it might not happen at all making the hard work you’ve just done wasted.
Having friends and knowing the ‘right’ people
There are two different types of links, internal and external. Internal linking creates a loop within your website from one page to another keeping a user on your website for longer (which is a good thing). External linking is a way to tell Google you’re reputable and that other people think so too, it can go both ways- people can link to you (saying others agree with you) and you can link to them (saying you’ve got friends who agree with you). But not all links are created equal; Google believes some links are better than others e.g from news outlets, academic institutes, Government etc and will be snobby to them vs a website they might consider ‘spammy’.
Shine a light on it
Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool made by Google to measure the quality of website pages. It can be run against any web page by anyone on the internet (so you can check out your competitor’s pages, and them yours) auditing the performance, accessibility and general SEO indicating to Google which websites perform better and so rank them higher up.
So there you have it, a few ways you can improve your website (other than just writing interesting stuff). SEO is a deep layered Iceberg where content is only the top part that you can see. If you don’t have the time needed to continuously work on this though, I can help. Simply click here to book a 30x minute free consultation to see how.
- Keywords- words you want to be searched for e.g one of the keywords for this blog is ‘SEO’
- Backlinks- URL links from one website to another
- Meta-description- is an HTML element that describes and summarises the contents of your page
- Alt tag- used within HTML to specify alternative text that is to be rendered when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered
- Crawling- is the process by which search engine spiders discover your site
- XML Sitemap- this acts as a roadmap for your website leading Google to all your important pages even if your internal linking isn’t perfect
- Error codes- 301 redirects tell Google a URL has moved permanently and an alternative page to go to instead and 302 says the URL of the requested resource has been changed temporarily. A 404 error code says a page is missing (usually through being deleted or the URL changing) and if you’re website internally links to this page, it creates a dead end
- Indexing- tells Google to take a look at your website as you’ve made some changes it’s worth them noting of