For the most part, SEO has been based on the same principles and methods. However, all of those principles and methods have been refined and altered again and again by Google’s algorithm updates. So, which SEO factors are most important now and which will stay important for the foreseeable future?
SEO is a lot like a pie. There are many ingredients in that pie, all of which factor into how your website ranks and is viewed by Google. Each ingredient is important, but Google weighs them differently so you need to pay attention to all and each of them at the same time. Here are six factors that are particularly important:
On-page SEO: Otherwise known as on-site SEO, this is what most people tend to think of when search engine optimization is mentioned. It includes competitive research, keyword research, meta, headings, schema, interlinking, and everything that goes into the site to help it rank better, including content.
Content: Google’s position for years has been that “Content is king,” but not just any kind of content. It isn’t hard to fill up a page with words. If they are not useful, informational, or entertaining, however, they will not serve your website well in Google search. The content needs to be well thought out. It needs to inform your audience about who you are, what you do, why what you do is important, and how it benefits that audience. The key to great content is both educating/entertaining and creating value that your competition has not or cannot.
Local SEO: Every business is local somewhere, and generally businesses service the areas that they are located in. Google wants to show the most relevant results to its users. Often that will involve geographic location. Having your business name, address, and phone number consistent across platforms is key to Google ranking you locally. This can be done through social media accounts, Google My Business, and many local directory listings.
Reputation: There are so many businesses that provide the same or similar products or services, so how do you determine which are the best? Many times it can come down to reviews and testimonials. Good customer reviews, especially when many customers have detailed their experiences, will add additional credibility to your business. This is particularly so if they are coming from websites that you do not own.
Usability/User Experience: We have all gone to a site that did not load quickly. This can be very annoying. Something else that can be a hurdle is a website that is not organized well. All websites should be organized in a way that is easy to navigate to what the user is looking for. In recent years, ADA/accessibility compliance has become more important as well. Is your website suited to all users? How good is their experience? Do you know? An audit of your website can tell you.
Backlinking: This is probably one of the most important and controversial topics of SEO. Yes, you need other websites to link to you, and, no, purchasing them in bulk is not a good idea. When your site creates great content, other websites will notice and reference your business. Organic link building is the best way to grow your backlink profile. If you have purchased links in the past, these should be cleaned up and removed if the links are not on high quality sites. Otherwise, you may be looking at a penalty by Google. No one wants to deal with the loss of traffic that comes with a penalty.
Each of the above SEO factors are very complex. Many SEO professionals write at length, breaking down how to make the most of them to your website’s benefit. If you have any questions on how they work or need help with your strategy, Corporate Conversions is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today. It’s our mission to add value to your digital marketing knowledge.