With approximately 53 billion searches per year, and over 80% of online purchases beginning with a search engine, if you want to trade online, you simply have to be in this space, unfortunately, unless you are prepared to pay through the nose, this often doesn’t come easily. More than 200 factors are included in Google’s search engine ranking algorithm and the behaviour of Google is constantly changing. What Google regarded as sensational yesterday, could actually impede your efforts today. Long story short, in order for your website to rank well in Google and Bing, the right SEO strategy for your website has to be in place. There are many tips and ‘tricks’ out there to optimize your website for search engines. But what is really important? And what actually works?
1. Content is king, as long as it’s good quality
Write for people and not for machines. Consider the customer, their needs, and their journey at all times. Content is now your website’s bread and butter. Particular importance should be paid to the uniqueness of the content and how it adds value to the reader. Your content should answer a user’s question and hep them move along their buying journey towards their destination (and your goal!) – a purchase. Keyword density, text length from about 300 words and upwards (which can vary according to industry), images or videos can help the visitor to receive exactly the information they sought. This leads to a better placement in the organic search results, a lower bounce rate (people exiting the site having read only that particular page) and a higher conversion to lead or sale. Boom!
2. Onpage optimization
Optimization measures are carried out on the actual website. This includes technical and editorial optimization aspects. For a high placement in the organic search results, there are several different factors to consider. In the sorting process of Google, the title of the website plays an important role. If repeated in an H1 heading and at several other important places in the content pages, a website achieves better rankings in Google. Particular attention should be placed on the homepage. A proven approach is to continue to designate headings with similar keywords throughout the site. The same applies to links. Nevertheless, “over-optimization” should be avoided as search engines recognize this and demote sites either in ranking or completely delete them from the index. It is also important to use “descriptive URLs”. This means that from the URL a user can already identify the main points of the website’s content. It should also be mentioned that flash elements and framesets cannot be processed by the search engines crawlers, therefore this type of content plays no role in the positioning on the results page. Another main focus is on metadata. These include the short description of the website (meta name = “description”) or the web page title (meta name = “title”). When choosing the right keywords, there are two different strategies:
- High volume: concentration on a few keywords that are often searched. Lots of competition and thus lots of backlinks with relevant anchor text are needed
- Long Tail: use of various keywords. This requires a technically neat website with “natural” links and much content.
3. Internal and external links
High-quality links such as Hyperlinks, References and backlinks are search engine ranking gold. These increase the awareness and relevance of a website and thus provide a better search engine placement. Conversely, low quality or malicious links can lead to poor search engine placement.
A natural link building process, ideally with high authority links, is essential and will permanently increase the visibility of your own content on external websites as well as in search engines, thus ensuring more satisfied visitors. Links from related sites are generally more highly rated than off-topic pages. Links can be generated through the following options:
- Directory entries
- Authorities, associations, Chambers of commerce etc.
My conclusion? Of course there are numerous other factors that can affect your business’s ranking on Google in a positive way that I haven’t touched on, for example social media. In order for your website to be found in Google many aspects of a technical as well as content aspects have to be executed well. But exactly which points of search engine optimization are necessary to get YOUR website ranking?
Let’s start with a technical SEO audit of your site. Contact me today!