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The saucy ingredients of successful SEO

successful SEO ingredientsYou 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).

Pleasing Google’s 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 people trust.

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 markup 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, helps Google prevent making itself look silly. That might be why Google has recently suggested that will help your website rank better in Google search.

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 ( instead of HTTP ( “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 rankings drop.

In truth, however, it’s as important for user experience as it is SEO to ensure your website is mobile-ready.

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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