You can probably boil
down successful search engine optimisation (SEO) to two main ingredients: links
to, and in, your website and relevant, engaging content.
Once you have the core
ingredients sorted, you can set about adding some spicy sauce to your SEO
strategy, helping you serve up a website that proves a ‘taste sensation’ with
Google (we specify Google because it owns 73% of the global search market).
tastebuds is so important for those businesses that want to make their mark
online: research says about 91% of people do not click past the first page of
Google’s search results.
So what are the
ingredients of the secret sauce that all but guarantees your business the
Google equivalent of a Michelin star?
1. A sprinkling of Influencers
It’s not what you
know, it’s who you know, goes the old adage, and nothing helps more than when
social media influencers – those with a substantial following online – spread
your website links far and wide, resulting in lots of traffic from a source
2. Heaps of great content
Regular quality content
creation shows Google that your website is bursting with flavour. By sending
this fresh content signal to Google on a continual basis, it will reward you
with better rankings for your website as a whole.
With every piece of
content you create, you should aim to get it ranking highly in its own right.
That means dusting it with relevant keywords, while making it easy to share
and, most importantly, engaging to read (i.e. people don’t click away in
seconds). A high bounce rate will lower your rankings.
Needless to say the
content should be original and unique. If you manage to achieve a high ranking,
in key areas, for a few pieces of content, this can result in high domain
authority, which translates into better rankings for all your content.
Don’t forget that
great content is even greater when it’s tagged correctly with meta descriptions
and alt tags, making it easier for Google to latch onto.
3. Oodles of powerful backlinks
Achieving a steady
stream of backlinks tells Google that you are a voice that has significant
authority – why else would people be clicking through to your content? It’s one
of the reasons you see business executives writing for large publications –
it’s an opportunity to disseminate links to their website.
Backlinks can be
achieved more naturally on social media, but for the most effective ways to
garner backlinks, check out who is linking to your competitors: identify how
they got these links and review a similar strategy for your website.
4. A dollop of schema.org markup
Schema.org is a type
of markup which tells Google things like: which image on your website is the
company logo; where it can find your customers’ testimonials; where your
company is located, etc.
Essentially, then, schema.org
helps Google prevent making itself look silly. That might be why Google has
recently suggested that schema.org will help your website rank better in Google
5. A sensible amount of security
Online security is
taken serious by everyone and Google is no exception. That’s why they are now
giving a ranking boost to websites that are secure, i.e. have a URL that leads
with HTTPS (https://example.com) instead of HTTP (http://example.com).The
“S” in HTTPS stands for security, if you were none the wiser.
Google webmaster trends
analyst Gary Illyes was recently quoted as saying: “If you're an SEO and you're
recommending against going HTTPS, you're wrong, and you should feel bad.”
Recommend it we will, then, Gary.
6. Plenty of mobile-friendly features
Pretty much everyone
is browsing the internet on their smartphones these days. In fact, last year
saw smartphones overtake laptops as the most popular device for accessing the
internet in the UK, according to Ofcom.
Around the same time,
there was a major Google update known as Mobilegeddon, which required firms to
have a mobile version of their website otherwise they risked seeing their
In truth, however,
it’s as important for user experience as it is SEO to ensure your website is
User experience is
something you should have in mind constantly as you execute your SEO strategy:
don’t overstuff your content with keywords which distract or annoy the visitor. As much as you want
to get that Michelin star, it’s no use if you don’t have anybody sticking
around to dine.
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