aNewDomain — Here’s part two of Jolene Campbell’s three part series on SEO tips.
English Franciscan friar and theologian William of Ockham devised the problem-solving principle Occam’s Razor, which states that the simplest explanation is usually the right explanation. For good search engine optimization (SEO), you should rely on the same principle: Create a great online experience and provide valuable information for your users, and your site will be rewarded with high search engine rankings.
If you find yourself changing your SEO strategy every time Google updates its algorithm, it’s time to embrace a simpler life. Along those lines, here are six marketing best practices to follow that will create a successful SEO recipe for your website now.
Create high-quality content
If you follow just one SEO strategy in this article, let it be this one: Consistently provide your visitors with fresh and informative content. Sites that add unique content regularly are seen as more reliable by Google. Visitors don’t like out-of-date material and neither does Google. Updating your site’s content frequently also attracts the search engine’s spiders to index the web pages repeatedly. Length of content isn’t as important as quality. And poor spelling and grammar are Google red flags.
If content is king, links are queen
Also known as backlinks, inbound links are incoming links to a website page. As it pertains to search engine optimization, the number of inbound links is one indication of a website’s or page’s popularity so it’s vital to build a network of quality backlinks. The more high-quality inbound links you have, the higher your content will rank on search engines. Check your inbound links on a weekly basis to figure out what content is working.
Cut load time and other sins
It’s time to start thinking of your website as simply another communication vehicle with your customers. Just like you wouldn’t keep a customer on hold over the phone, a page that loads too slowly is a surefire way to have visitors scrambling to your competition’s website. Users don’t — and won’t — wait and are accustomed to fast load times.
To increase your site speed:
- Use Google’s PageSpeed Tools.
- Make sure your site isn’t hindered by images that are not compressed, pages that uses several images, embedded videos or media, lots of plugins and clunky coding.
- Ensure your server can handle your website’s needs.
Content that doesn’t satisfy the search query question or feel authoritative enough to do so is also an issue to avoid. Ask yourself: Does my content provide solutions to my customers’ problems? Websites that contain too many advertisements and feel non-professional or not credible will often drive users to backtrack to search results and away from your page, so avoid the overbearing sales pitch and keep your site honest and simple.
Make navigation a no-brainer
It used to be that all Google cared about was content and keywords when it came to rankings. With today’s focus on the overall user experience, website navigation and ease of use are essential. How can Google’s web crawler tell if your site is easily navigable? By looking at internal links or if your page viewers don’t have to constantly back out of a page in order to get to another area of your site.
And don’t dismiss Google+
Don’t make the mistake of thinking social media is just about Facebook and Twitter. The official Google Author program is assumed dead, but Google is still pushing Google+.
Make sure your Google+ profile is included across a large number of circles. That’s a good way of driving up traffic on your website and content.
Optimize for mobile use
Starting April 21, sites that are mobile friendly will see better positioning in Google’s mobile search engine results thanks to a major algorithm change. Smartphone and tablet users are a rapidly expanding user base, and website content needs to be easily accessible by these devices to keep visitors happy.
For aNewDomain, I’m Jolene Campbell.