By: Farzin Andrew Espahani
Some online marketing companies have shifted their services strictly to paid ads and have dropped offering SEO as a service. While there is nothing wrong with paid online marketing, the problem these online marketing companies are dealing with is they cannot keep pace with the latest changes in Google algorithms that affect search results. SEO is not a static field, and demands ongoing research and high-level technical skills to effectively perform SEO strategies. Not every marketing group has the skills, the trained personnel, or the desire to stay on top of the game. The question is, and will always remain, year after year in online marketing: What will impact your Google rankings TODAY? Certain factors must be managed carefully.
How online search works, and has worked forever, is the more people visit your site, the higher your site will rank in a Google search. So, what are the factors that make a site appealing? Issues such as page load speed are critical, as today’s user simply will not wait for a slow-loading page. Once landing on one the pages of your site, it must be effective in interesting and engaging the user. The longer a user stays, the better it boosts your rankings, so engaging users at once is critical. It works like this:
A user lands on your site.
They spend time reading content and moving to other pages (hopefully).
The number of pages viewed per session contributes to relevance and ranking.
A high bounce rate is bad news for ranking.
Google wants to provide search results for their audience that are of the right type: They want to provide search results that are popular, engaging, and provide users with quality information. Salesy, shallow, heavily-linked sites are being sent to the back pages, where nothing happens.
High quality content will always (and forever) make a difference in Google ranking. The length of the content is an issue that must be managed correctly and updated when algorithms change. Facts reveal that currently the top ranked pages are 45 percent longer than lower ranked pages. That doesn’t mean producing long pages without substance however; it means drilling down for more facts and creating pages that are relevant, informative, and factual. It is reported that BTB site pages rank better at around 2250 to 2500 words. The more users engage with your site the better it will be for where your site appears in search results. The number of images and video content also helps to increase ranking.
Any site that doesn’t work on a smartphone is a lost cause. With the majority of users now accessing sites on a smart device rather than a laptop or desktop, you are simply losing business without responsive web design that will make your pages appear as they should on any device and any sized screen.
User searches are now primarily tied to your location. Google knows where you are and is going to provide you with search results in your local area, unless you specify a different zone in your search. Looking for new customers to walk into your brick-and-mortar establishment? User searches for eating and drinking establishments, hair salons, and other local establishments using “near me” as part of the search continue to rise, so ensure all the data about your business on local directories is 100 percent accurate, including phone number, maps, hours of operation, and links to your site.
Traditional SEO strategies of the past, including the use of keywords, are still relevant but less important than before. Issues such as site content quality, interactive design, ensuring your site has multiple access points, page load speed, and the addition of images and video are outstripping old school SEO tricks. As Google can identify user location, adding your location as a keyword more than once is a mistake and tends to make content sound dated, so avoid that ancient practice.
So – SEO is alive and well – but strategies have changed, and will continue to change. SEO is not a one-time action, but an ongoing action. Choose an SEO or website development company that tracks the latest Google algorithms and that will keep your site updated to meet the latest criteria. Talk to a website builder that will ensure your site has an abundance of relevant, in-depth content and will craft a site that functions perfectly on any digital device.
Talk to the Web Concepts Media marketing consultants. We make it a point to work with only the best in the business, and we stay current with the latest changes – for the benefit of our clients.