We’ve all seen a lot of changes in Search, both Paid and Organic. Some of the changes have been relatively minor, while others have been much more significant. However, organic search (SEO) remains mysterious to a lot of marketers. I’m going to focus on some of the key aspects that will help you get higher in the ranking- architecture and content.
Google is still a Bot
Google still uses a web crawler (or spider) called GoogleBot to access your site. What’s a bot, you ask? Well, technically speaking, a bot is a software application that runs automated tasks (scripts) over the internet; the thing that ‘crawls’ your site to discover and access content. Erm, why do I care about that? Well, because web content is accessed and discovered by Google with a bot(s), not a human. This means that the technical setup of your site (architecture), will either make it easier or more difficult for Google to access your content, based on how your site is built; which will affect how quickly and how well, your content will be discovered and ranked.
There are many things that go into increasing your website’s ranking, but here are a couple of key areas that should not be overlooked:
- Meta Titles & Descriptions, H1, and Alt tags: though the actual effect on your rankings has decreased over time, these are still very important in telling Google what your site is about.
- Use Secure vs. Non-Secure protocols (https): Back in Aug of 2014, Google said they were now giving sites using the ‘https://’ protocol a boost in rankings. Is your site using ‘https://’? Do not overlook this easy fix.
- Optimize for Mobile: this is more than just deploying a responsive design or some other mobile configuration, though that is important. However, focus on correcting errors found in Googles free ‘Mobile Usability Report’ as well. You can find this report in the Google Search Console, fka Webmaster Tools. Also, setup Google Search Console.
Content is King. Still.
Google may still be a bot, but your users aren’t. Construct your site with Google in mind, but create content with users in mind. Creating highly relevant and useful content should always be the goal when creating content. Increase your content mix to include videos, infographics, webinars, etc. Go beyond just writing occasional blog posts, though that is still important.
The SERP (search engine results page) landscape today includes a growing amount of different types of content, depending on search intent, vertical, etc. such as:
There is a wide variety of content types that you can create, some more applicable to your business than others. However, creating and optimizing for a wider range of content types, will help to increase your search exposure & reach.
This is by no means a complete list, but they are a great place to start if launching a new site, or revamping your current site. To achieve top SEO ranking, make sure your website hits all the checkmarks that we talked about.
What do you think about this list? Comment below.