I have often been asked what the secret ingredient to SEO is. It’s all about dark magic – isn’t it? Wrong.
As has always been the case, Google and the other search engines are looking to give their users the best possible answers as a result of their queries. What’s changed is that Google and the other search engines have become cleverer at understanding tactics which game their algorithms
The search engines reward sites in their organic listings that are essentially resources. They penalise sites that try to manipulate their organic listings or sites which do not offer any value.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has changed beyond recognition particularly over the last few years. The SEO Periodic Table – shows just how many factors the search engines take into account when ranking websites in their organic listings. There over 250 signals the search engines look at when deciding which positions to rank websites.
A slight wrong or ‘illegal SEO’ move could stop a website from being found in the search engine listings. This would mean no website traffic; how many businesses can afford not to have visitors from the web?
I have seen websites – not that I have worked on – disappearing from the search rankings which have then sometimes cost owners their businesses and livelihoods. Customers expect to find a business with a website and in the search engines.
The search engines want to see websites which are kept up-to-date and with a good user experience. An inexperienced person marketing a website can easily harm a website’s traffic – and sales – if they are not familiar with best digital marketing practices. There are no quick fixes, SEO is a long-term, on going process.
Google changed how it ranks websites with an algorithm called Hummingbird. The reason behind this was that the search engine wants to give conversational answers to their users’ questions.
In other words, you cannot now focus on two or three keywords and expect them to be at the top of the search engines’ organic listings.
Google also serves different search results based on:
• Your location
• Your search engine
• Your browser
• The device you are using
You may notice different results for your chosen keyword if you were using a tablet compared to a laptop for instance. Search engine results can change sometimes refresh several times a day.
The only way of actually measuring how well the site is doing is by monitoring in Google Analytics or similar analytics packages. This includes:
• Tracking the number of visitors on the site
• Measuring the length of time on the site (shows engagement)
• Bounce rate – how long visitors stay on a page before clicking away
Site design/usability can have a factor on how visitors behave on a site too.
The secret of good SEO? Offering a good user experience with lots of updated, original and relevant content.
I’ve worked with clients where I only update their site with one or two blog posts a week. This has still generated traffic and sales. In fact, one client I worked with saw a doubling of sales compared to the previous period the year (before I started working with them)
If you think we can help your business attract more visitors and sales, please get in touch.