4 Critical Factors That Impact SEO
Having your website ranked at the top of search engines comes with lots of advantages. It helps you build organic traffic thereby increasing sales and profitability. And search engine traffic is free. So when building your online business, search engines rank should be the most important factor you need to consider because it is cheap and comes with great results.
Why Search Engine Optimization is Important for Your Websites
Search engines are usually the first choice when it comes to looking for information. If your website is listed in the top positions for the right keywords, your business will get many new customers. Besides, search engine traffic is organic and free and so can be helpful in promoting and boosting website rankings.
There are a couple of reasons you should be taking your search engine ranks very seriously. We discuss them below:
- It drives more traffic - SEO when done right comes with a reward from the search engines - your website is ranked at the top of the search engines.
- It builds your brand - Good SEO can give your content a high rank that makes you popular, gives you authoritativeness and trust. That way, you can gradually build your brand as a credible source of useful content for visitors and searchers.
- It is organic and does not require you to pay for traffic. One of the biggest advantages of good SEO is that it places your website in a position to gain useful traffic at no extra cost. SEO guarantees organic traffic to your website and you do not pay for them.
- It helps the target audience find you easily - One of the easiest and most economical ways people can find you is through the search engines. Being ranked in the search engines gives you a lot of advantages as people find your website quite easily.
- It helps build authority and credibility for your website - Website users trust search engines and so having a top position in the search engines like Google and Bing increases your website trust.
- It can help you stay ahead of competition - When you operate in a competitive environment, the better optimized website will have better ranking and that will bring more traffic and sales.
- It leads to increased sales - Searchers and internet users are more likely to search for information through search engines than any other means. That makes search engines the biggest market in the world. Good SEO will put you on top of the search engines thereby increasing your chances of success and profitability.
- It Improves user experience - Good SEO improves the usability and user experience of a website.
Getting Your SEO Right
Impressing the search engines basically means getting your SEO right. This will involve addressing the three core aspects upon which SEO is built.
Technical SEO - Technical SEO is the foundation for your other SEO efforts. It will cover website mobile friendliness, website structure, navigation elements and many more. Basically, once you are done with technical SEO and you get them right, they are elements you do not need to be reviewing often. You may want to learn more about tecchnical SEO is this tutorial on Basic guide to technical SEO and backlink monitor
On-Page SEO - On-Page SEO centers around the things you do to boost your website ranking. This will include crafting a good website page title, proper use of keywords in building website content, website speed, and several other factors. Learn more about On-Page SEO in this article on The Ultimate Guide to On-Page SEO
Off-page SEO - Off-page SEO relates to those aspects which do not not center around the things you do on your website. The most prominent being link building. When people search for something, they type in their search terms and the search engines scan to deliver the best results. One of the considerations will be the number of backlinks to the page. Because backlinks are seen as endorsements and a sign of trust, the site with a higher backlink profile seems to be more trusted and therefore likely to appear at the top of the results. Learn more about off-page SEO in this article on Best link building strategies recommended by industry experts
Addressing these three critical aspects of SEO is not an easy task. It requires research, dedication and patience and when gotten right can drive your website way up to the top.
Four Key Factors That Affect Website Ranking on Search Engines
There are four basic requirements you need to comply with if you want to attract new customers to your website with a successful search engine optimization strategy.
1. You need crawlable web pages
A crawlable website is the most important SEO task you will have to achieve. If search engines cannot crawl your web pages, they won’t be indexed because your pages cannot be found.
There can be many reasons that can account for crawlability problems. Amongst the most common are wrong HTTP status code, issues with the robots.txt file and dynamic content that cannot be parsed correctly.
Tips to Enhance The Crawlability of Your Web Pages:
- Build backlinks to internal pages. Web Crawlers use links to locate and index pages. Building backlinks to your internal pages can make it easier for search engines to crawl your web pages.
- Internally link related content. Inter-linking helps Google understand the structure of your website better and enhances its crawlability. It is suggested that you link related content together to help the search engines understand your website structure.
- Execute content pruning. You need to consider pruning some outdated content especially if they do not have backlinks
- Create an HTML sitemap. Sitemaps help search engines locate and crawl your pages. The XML sitemap is recommended for search engines while the HTML sitemap is used to guide website users on the structure of your website.
- Boost page speed. Google will usually allocate crawl budgets to websites. If you have a slow website, it does not want to spend much of the crawl budget on a single site and that can affect the number of pages it will crawl.
- Take care of robots. Your robots.txt file will tell Google what to crawl and what not to crawl. We suggest you check your robots.txt file if your website is having crawl issues to be sure you have not placed a command that is restricting search engines.
- Avoid 404 error pages and internal server errors. Too many errors on your site can turn search engines away from crawling because it wastes its crawl resources. Always check your website for any 404 errors. Google search Console is a good way to monitor errors on your website.
2. You need optimized web pages
Website optimization is key to success and top ranking on the internet. Search engines love well optimized websites.
Well optimized websites will comply with the Google search engine guidelines. Generally speaking, your website should be mobile friendly, the content should be well crafted with the keywords for which the website wants to rank, it should not be stuffed with keywords and should not be over-optimized.
Your website will under-perform if search engines cannot find the right content on your pages. Your content must be related to the keywords that you target. If your web pages have a clear topic, it is much easier to get high rankings for individual keywords that are related to that topic.
When you have created the basic content of your pages, it’s usually a good idea to expand the content of your website. If you sell watches, do not just create pages for the individual watches. Write articles about the different watch types, when to wear what, etc. The more comprehensive your website becomes, the easier it will be to get high rankings for important search terms.
3. You need good links
Inbound links are great for websites. They will boost the website authority, enhance crawlability, increase traffic and they are a sure sign of endorsement for the website. However, you should not just get links from every other website out there. It is important to have links from good web pages that are related to the topic of your website.
When related and authoritative websites give you links, they boost your website authority and ranking in the search engines. When unrelated websites link to your web page, they dampen your authority and can even cause a ranking drop.
The fact is that your website won’t get high rankings on Google and other search engines if other websites have content that is as good as yours. One thing that can give you an edge are good links from other websites. Links from other websites show Google that your web pages are better than other pages. Pages with good links get much better rankings than pages that do not have good links.
Remember that it is also not enough to just get links. The quality of the links is much more important than the quantity. A few good links are much better than hundreds of low quality links. You have to find the right link to influencers that are related to your business.
3. Focus on Users
User experience now plays a critical role in how websites are ranked. Even if you have developed very good and useful content but your website is not structured to help users easily use the content, ranking can be affected.
Fortunately, you have some useful indicators of your website user experience performance. Factors like bounce rate, exit rate, dwell time, number of pages visited in each session and number of sessions are all indicators to help you judge the user experience performance on your website. You can improve user experience by improving your website speed, building your navigational elements, simplifying your call to action and ensuring your website is mobile friendly amongst others.
Further reading: Principles of Good Website Designing
4. You Need Good Content
Content is king. However, you do not just need every kind of content. When building content, try to ensure it is original, up-to-date and relevant to user needs and to the purpose of your website. Do not just post unrelated articles which could offend your users because it is completely off their expectations.
Keep your content fresh, update old content and do not ignore the power of internal links when building content. Remember to build your content around related keywords because traffic will be directed by the keywords you use in your content.
Further reading: How Fresh Content Impacts on Your Website Ranking
5. You Need Be Patient
Getting results from your search engine optimization efforts can take some time. You need to be patient. One mistake people make, and we have also made that mistake, is to regularly change titles and keywords in efforts to get ranked. This may be unnecessary as titles and keywords alone are not the only factors used in ranking websites today.
Three Things Search Engines Hate
As you walk through the steps and changes you need to implement on your website to give it better ranking, you also need to avoid certain key mistakes that can hurt your rankings no matter the efforts you put into building your website reputation.
- Avoid Buying Links: Google hates anything that attempts to manipulate its search algorithm including link purchases. We will advise that even building internal links after an article has been purchased should be avoided. If you must update a page, it should be to update the content and not just to add links. The Google algorithm has become so smart and able to detect unwholesome practices that attempt to manipulate its search algorithm. You could be penalized for link purchases. Google wants to see that you are getting links naturally.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing and Over-optimization: Stuffing your content with keywords is a bad practice that no longer works. It once worked but today, it will earn you a penalty. In fact, when writing important content on your website like your page title, it is advised to avoid duplicating words so as not to be a victim of keyword stuffing which can lead to a penalty.
- Avoid Exact Match Keywords: Trying to win in the competition for search ranking can force you to use exact match keywords in places like titles. We have found this practice to be unwholesome and Google frowns at it. However, we have also seen some websites use it especially in internal pages. Do not be tempted to think that because some other person is doing it, you can also do it and get away with it. It is only a matter of time and Google will get you. Avoid the desperation for ranking and instead, build your website slowly and gradually with quality content and links and gradually you will begin to get rewarded with better ranking from Google.