If you’ve been in business more than five or six years, you know that once upon a time, climbing higher in the search engine results for your most important keywords could be achieved by keyword optimization and getting as many links as you could. No more – Google knows all the tricks and deceitful tactics, and they won’t work. In fact, your website will probably be penalized!
So, what are the fundamentals to improve search engine rank? While it’s all related to giving users the best possible experience and delivering relevant results, we have a few suggestions.
First, think of the user’s intent. Keywords are still important, but the way Google sees it, the role of keywords is changing. For instance, once upon a time you could search for “donuts” and get results that included recipes, donut shops, literally anything related to donuts. Today, key in donuts and you’ll see only donut shops – Dunkin’ Donuts, Gibson’s Donuts, etc. Search terms are very specific these days, so if you’re offering to teach people how to make donuts, you better include keywords in your content such as “donut recipes,” “how to make glazed donuts,” etc. The long-tail just seems to keep getting longer! Ultimately, keywords have gone from simple to involved or complex.
The better your website engages the user, the higher it will rank. What? User experience affects ranking – Google looks at such things as your visitors’ time on site, the number of pages a person visits, bounce rate, etc. Monitoring these factors is critical so that you know what needs to be done to engage your users and keep them on your website. Provide the information your visitors are looking for, include links to further information, make navigation simple. You want to make it as simple as possible for visitors to find what they’re looking for, and include clear/relevant steps for them to take next. Monitor your pages, determine which ones they’re landing on most, where they’re going next – or in a situation where users are leaving quickly, start making improvements that deliver exactly what your visitor wants.
Ultimately, when it comes to search engine ranking you have to keep in mind that it’s ALL about the user, and working with Google rather than resorting to the tactics that worked years ago. Those tactics simply don’t work today, so you’re wasting your time if you use them!
In a nutshell, here’s how to improve your search engine ranking:
- Consider users’ intent when developing content containing your most important search terms or keywords – how would they search, what phrases might they be using?
- Investigate your click-through-rates (CTRs), provide outstanding content on your pages (and if it’s not working, experiment with content).
- Monitor, monitor, monitor! You have to know what visitors are doing on your site in order to be able to change things. What pages seem to be favorites? Which seem to be losing visitors as quickly as they arrive? Are you providing clear next steps for your visitor’s intent? Know what’s going on!
Yes, SEO can be tough – but as long as you’re focusing on your target audience and providing value and quality, you can’t lose. If you need help marketing your company online or developing exceptional content, count on the Atlanta SEO team at EBB Web Design.Google+