Search Engine Optimisation. It sounds like a pretty self explanatory concept, but for many it may as well be a foreign language. From robots.txt to coding, meta tags and navigational links, even the most knowledgable of web users still struggle to navigate the frequent page rank algorithm changes and search engine updates. So how do you measure up in the eyes of the search engine gods and how can you improve your odds for success!?
Optimisation you say? Surely that just requires a keyword here and a HTML link there? If only, how great would that be? But, then how would we determine the boys from the men; the most relevant and useful information to the least? Well, there are a few factors to consider and by answering the questions below, you can begin to tackle those performance woes and increase your odds of success (top rankings) for your site.
On Page SEO Factors
So you’ve just created a hard hitting, strategically optimised piece of content for the web. It has everything your little search-happy heart could hope for and it follows all of Google's SEO rules, and there are many of them!
However, as you delve into the analytics of your recent performance, you find that the results are not what you had hoped for. So now it’s a matter of figuring out how on earth you jumped from first page rankings to third, fourth or Google forbid fifth page ranking. Let’s start with the basics of content, HTML and site architecture that may answer some of your questions around why your performance is being affected.
1. Is your content well researched with targeted keywords and or phrases that users are searching for?
This will be looked upon very favourably by Google, as it will direct the search terms/ phrases users are searching to effectively and effectively answer that query.
2. Is it a hot topic and will it engage your audience?
Users and search engines love new content, so keeping your website up to date will keep it ‘fresh’ and more likely to rank against content that is deemed outdated.
3. Do your headers, page titles and meta description tags include relevant keywords and descriptions?
This will help not only your users, but also any search engine crawlers identify what your site page content is about and where it should be ranked.
4. Does your site’s structure enhance listings?
The structured data of your site uses the language of code, with crawlers relying more heavily on this element following the Google knowledge graph and snapshot updates from Google and Bing.
5. Do you over use certain words to boost your page authority?
Otherwise known as keyword stuffing, overusing keywords is a frowned upon technique that occurs when a websites meta tags are loaded up with the same keywords. Intended to help skew results unfairly towards a site’s content, it adds no real value in the long term and may see your website banned from search results.
6. Are URLs short and contain meaningful keywords?
Again this will help in ranking your site content, as it identifies the words you want to be found in terms of your competitors.
7. Is your site responsive – have you designed for the smartphone and tablet generation?
With smartphones set to overtake desktop usage by the end of the year, it makes sense to cover all of your bases. Also, Google demotes websites non mobile friendly websites in mobile search results!
If you were able to answer yes to all of the above then you are doing well so far. Content, HTML, and site architecture are the three key factors are all part of how you (the publisher) can best approach the control elements behind SEO; what users see and how they will (most probably) interact with your site, so if you can get your head around those three then you're on the right track.
However, there will always be more research to conduct around updating keywords, user behaviour and the ever important Google updates and how they affect your SEO search strategies. Not to mention the off page factors that need to be taken into consideration, but we’ll save that for another time.
Getting the Most Out of Your SEO Strategy
In the meantime, why not contact one of SEO specialists to kick start your new search strategy and help ease the pain of it all. We pride ourselves on our ability to employ search strategy ideals to ensure your website is more than just a show window, but will engage with and enhance your audiences experience.