Chris Siebeneck, VP of Strategic Partners at SEO Werkz, Changing the world… one campaign at a time.
Why is Google the powerhouse that they are? How do you get your website to rank higher and get more traffic when SEO doesn’t even work? Does SEO seem to be a constantly moving target? Can you figure out what Google wants? SEO isn’t a moving target, not when your work is based on what Google wants from a website. Google’s end goal for its search results remains unchanged because it wants to give the searcher the best answers.
Can SEO be done the right way? Can optimizing a website be done with high-quality, trustworthy work that won’t fail in the next algorithm update? Yes, you can become the great answer to a question and stay that way and become what Google is looking for in the best websites. SEO, or optimizing a website, is done in a variety of ways. As you look at what you can do, make sure you know Google’s best practices. This means making sure your technical aspects of your website, your on-site content, which includes photos, and lastly, your off-site linking are done with an eye towards Google’s best practices. This will produce high-quality and long-lasting SEO.
Starting with your on-site content, longer is better, but babbling is bad. You need to have information present like an encyclopedia entry. Be the entry for your subject matter. Each page gets to be the answer for a specific topic. What do elephants eat? What other species live near elephants? You don’t necessarily put both of those answers in one encyclopedia entry, so don’t try to do that with your website content.
Each page needs to answer a question and give information. You’re giving out information about the product or service, but it doesn’t mean your website will replace what you do as a person. It explains to Google that you know what you’re talking about, and the people who hit your page will get enough information to make them want to call, fill out a form or add to cart.
Next is technical SEO—making sure your meta information, schema and data highlighter markup all strategically match what that page is about. After that, you can make sure your site is easy to use and loads quickly. Check that it doesn’t have a pop-up that blocks your entire page. Confirm your server is of good quality and that you don’t have any bad code loading items behind the curtain. Technical SEO comes into play behind the scenes, but Google is looking at it more as an indicator of quality against your competitors. You don’t have to be the best in the world as long as you are competing against your competitors and the work is done in a high-quality strategic way.
Off-site links are sometimes the hardest piece of SEO to control. These are links that are coming into your website from other websites. Linking can be done well with an eye for quality and long-term success, or it can be done badly with an eye for ease and cheapened trust.
You need that trust to flow to your site and be valuable. Links can be built on good sites and with good faith but still not help your SEO. For example, PR links often don’t garner the trust from Google like other links. They do look pretty and can be valuable from a public relations standpoint, but not necessarily a Google trust standpoint.
Another problem with linking is the risk of adding a lot of links from low-domain authority sites. You can tell by looking at the links, which your SEO team should be able to share with you. Make sure that they are trust flow links and the domain authority of the site that they are on is high quality with low spam scores. You want it to be a good quality site, and you want the link to be inside the content—not in a footer or on a comment. The article should not be about you in the way that PR is about you. It’s best if the content is not self-serving. Instead, it should be editorial and informative in nature.
As you optimize for search engines, you will start becoming a great answer to a question. People will come to your site to get what you have. As you work on your website, the important thing to think about is, “Why is my website there? What does it do well? Who needs that information?” After that, you then consider, “How can I make it easy for them to get what they need?” When you answer those questions, your website will start to flow.