Google’s mission is: “to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” The Internet is a very big place, so for potential clients to find your business, it is important to put SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) at the top of the list of priorities.
However, creating appealing and engaging content that is optimised for search engines is no easy challenge. In fact, according to Copyblogger, SEO is one of the most misunderstood topics online. This is because the online world is constantly changing. As more information is uploaded every day, people’s behaviour online also changes as new trends emerge. What worked before may not work today or tomorrow. Therefore, to comprehend SEO one must first understand that Google wants happy users.
What makes users happy?
Users want to find what they are looking for, or something relevant to their interests as fast as possible, they want to be able to navigate a page intuitively and enjoy content that is tastefully presented and offers value.
One of the first things that comes to mind regarding SEO are keywords; that choosing the right ones, placing them in the right places and the right amounts is the formula for success. Although there is no doubt that they are very important, much of what determines how high a page will rank is due to factors that are independent of the words on the page, such as links from other sites and shares on social media.
In other words; how optimised the words on a page are won’t make a difference if the content isn’t good enough to motivate other sites to link to your content or shares on social media.
Therefore, the question all marketers and content creators must ask themselves is “what creates value for users?”
Which brings us back to user-centric strategies, a topic we’ve addressed in previous publications. Regularly researching what you users are interested in, as well as reaching out to find out what their needs and frustrations are is fundamental for long-term success and fostering strong relationships between your brand and your audience. By understanding what your target audience wants you’ll be able to solve their specific problems.
Having users on one side of the coin, Google’s Ranking Algorithm is necessarily on the other. Which leads us to the next question:
What are the components of Google’s Ranking Algorithm? *
23,87% - Trust / Authority of the Host Domain
22,33% - Link Popularity on the Specific Page
20,26% - Anchor Text of External links to page
15,04% - On Page Keyword Usage
6,91% - Hosting Data
6,29% - Traffic + CTR Data
5,30% - Social Graph Metrics
*According to 72 SEOs Surveyed for SEOmoz’s Biennial Search Ranking Factors (Sourced from neilpatel.com/blog)
How can we practically implement this knowledge to improve our SEO?
Here are some useful tips:
- Pay close attention to site speed, make sure your images and other content don’t slow downloading time too much, 40% of people will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to fully load.
- Write eye-catching headlines, CTR is closely linked to how appealing a headline is, for optimal performance headlines ought to convey a specific message. Often, headlines that include numbers rank highest in click-ability, for example; “6 Key Elements for Efficient SEO”
- Choose specific topics, focus on a niche and target long-tail keywords, these are keywords that have a longer word count but are highly specific also, avoid stuffing keywords. Ideally, include the most relevant keyword in your headline, but make sure that it makes sense and can be read smoothly.
- Meta descriptions, this “behind the scene” data helps search engines understand what your content is about and justifies your targeted keywords. Google also uses them as snippets, so after the heading, they play an important role in CTR. Keep meta descriptions in under 150 characters, describe what the page is about, including keywords and add a call to action. Use unique meta descriptions for each page on your site.
- Google penalises what is called “keyword stuffing”, this is a practice that used to be effective and it consists of repeating specific keywords very frequently. To avoid this, measure frequency against the overall length of the content, a keyword density greater than 5.5% is likely to grant you penalisation by Google.
- Last but not least are links, including links to other authority sites, doing this points out to Google that you’re connected and value what other people create and that your content is useful to users that might want to dive deeper into the topic your are addressing. It is also important to include links to pages in your site, say for example including a link to our blog post about user-centric strategies in this blog post, because its complementary information related to what is portrayed here.
SEO is not the simplest of topics, yet it doesn’t have to be something only SEO experts understand, everything starts and ends with placing our potential customers, our users, at the centre of everything we do as brands. This is the way to ensure that you are always offering value and a good experience.
At Kenshō we believe our client’s customers are also our clients, placing them at the centre of the tailored content and marketing strategies we develop, would you like to know how we can support you in strengthening your relationship with your clients? Say firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope you enjoyed this blog post, feel free to suggest topics you would like us to address in the future. Thank you for reading!