Ranking your website well on search engines is a crucial step towards making your website work for you and your bottom line. If no one finds you, your products or your services- all of your work is wasted. Even with the rise in ads, SEO is still an incredibly important aspect of digital marketing success. Consumers are becoming polarized and you will find that there is a growing majority in web users looking for real, organic and authentic results.
Is your website built with a healthy sitemap in mind?
Google has a nifty little “bot” that goes through your website link-by-link until it has a full reading of your site. Hopefully your site doesn’t have any errors in its sitemap. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, we can help. Just like in the examples above, make sure that you have set up proper title tags and meta descriptions as well. These should never be key word stuffed, but should only offer relevant and natural text that you yourself would prefer to help you consider clicking through to the suggested page.
Is your website trustworthy in the search engine’s opinion?
I know you’re thinking, “Trick question! Search Engines aren’t really people and can’t have opinions’.” Well, while Elon Musk may disagree with you, that’s not the point we are trying to make. Regardless of your view on AI, search engines like Google, Bing and Youtube have been developed by very savvy coders to rely on extremely advanced algorithms that are both hyper enforcing and methodical. A huge factor in getting Google’s favor is by being considered a trustworthy website. How? Through methods like building up healthy backlinks and maintaining them, in-links and offering really high-quality and shareable content (along with SEO, we do content really well too).
We have nothing against eating spam— but reading it? Pff, take it away!
SEO in the past used to have some pretty shady tricks to rely on (often referred to as ‘black hat SEO’) and in turn, search engines have fired back with some very intelligent algorithms to sift through the garbage and give us the goods. While many people have complained about this— we don’t think strict rules for SEO are a bad thing! Stricter algorithms means a more quality experience for the user, and that is what should be most important to anyone. Imagine if I searched ‘best puffy under 100 dollars’, clicked on the spy link and then was redirected to a page where that phrase was copied 1,000 times in a white font at the bottom of the page and all that was visible to me was an ad for some shady timeshare scheme. Believe it or not, that didn’t used to be all too uncommon.
A huge factor in ranking is measuring how well your audience interacts and responds to your content. Is your website or landing page well designed? Does your page load quickly and efficiently? Does your font increase readability? Are your images neatly arranged, compressed and offer alt-text? These are key factors in ranking well, especially in 2020. We have so much content at our finger tips, so creating content that is high-functioning and well received are huge factors for ranking in the modern search era.
Also, if your site isn’t mobile optimized, then you are wasting a ton of time and money. There is a massive swing to more and more users being mobile-first for device preference. So, if your website is only visually and logically presented for desktop, but then looks like some strange kind of letter from the Zodiac Killer on mobile— you’re going to have a ton of issues in ranking. Remember, search engines like Google are all about supporting the user’s experience, not a company’s agenda. This is a huge problem that we’ve found with companies even recently— and not just small businesses either. If your website needs optimization work, we’d really encourage you to check out our Web Optimization service.
Treat your target audience as you would like to be treated. Offer your readers or customers content that matters and is helpful. Don’t create a blog post or video just to try and play the “keyword game”. Because many industries have saturated the internet with “tip of the ice-burg” content, it probably won’t rank well. Create content that is as helpful, easy to read, aesthetically pleasing and fast loading— just as you would prefer if you were in your target audiences’ shoes.
“…search engines like Google are all about supporting the user’s experience, not a company’s agenda.”
Though the work and results are “organic”, Search Engine Optimization is not “free”, easy or necessarily quick at getting you the results you are looking for. Because of this, many companies have primarily shifted their budget to a paid ads model. Here’s the problem with just relying on paid ads though: what happens if your budget gets cut? What if a competitor has massive resources to start stealing more and more of your market share and you just get out performed? That’s when many companies wished that they had put more resources into SEO— but like many of us, companies and organizations tend to try and build their storm shelter during a hurricane.
Modern SEO will see the best results if you partner with search engine algorithms by utilizing their preferences as foundational building blocks for your digital actions. Shift your budget and mindset for creating content that is high-quality, natural and beneficial to your audience. Also, don’t forget that voice search is very much on the rise- get ahead of this curve now! If you do these things, users will find your information very helpful and you will be promoted in the SERPs (search engine results pages). The ROI that you will receive from high ranking organic resources far outweighs the risk/reward of solely relying on paid ads. While we live in a world of instant gratification— savvy companies will see the wisdom in investing for the long haul and will definitely reap the fruit of their labor in the end.