Happy New Year! I’ve been doing SEO since 1998 and every year I hear same things: “SEO is dead.” “SEO has changed.” “SEO is no longer important.” Yet, the funny things is the basics are still the same and SEO still as important as it was when I first started. So rather then making up some random latest tricks I’m going to explain the things you need to do and understand in order to get your site ranked today and long into the future.
Google is still the #1 most popular site on the web and ranking on it means your business will get more business. This is really important to understand. 2008 was the year of social revolution and after 7 years of hearing how social media is the end all be all, still it is the search engines that people use most to find our businesses. As long as this fact stays true SEO will always be important because SEO when done right is what determines when a will rank or not.
So here are the things that work:
1) Content: Content is still king with the search engines. Building great content is the most important thing. See my guide on how to build rich content to help you with this. The basics are well written long (500+ words) text with multimedia elements like videos and images.
2) Connections: When Google first built its original ranking algorithm it was all about getting links to get rankings. While this hasn’t really changed, the way we think of links has. Links are now more than just bridges between web sites, now they’ve gone social. These new style social links are called ‘social signals’ and are playing an increasingly important role. So I like to call the mix of the new and old style types of links connections because they are all about giving a way to connect to your site. Remember the quality of the connections and number of connections made are what power up the your website’s authority and ultimately its rankings.
3) Activity: Google has been looking and more at the activity of a website. Visitors, click through rates, time spent, and bounce rates all help it to determine the quality of your site. Google’s aim is to show only the best sites first within the rankings. So if you have a high bounce rate or low number of visitors it speaks to the low quality of a page. This is more reason for the importance of high quality content that engages your visitor and keeps them on your site. However, it is also important to encourage people to come to your site in the first place. When people search you need to make your list stand out. This is where well written description meta-tags play an important role. These should be written for the user to entice them to click your link over other people’s links.
4) Sharability: This is really just a reiteration of importance of social signals. Creating pages which people will want to share on social media is extremely important. Remember when you create these pages to also make it easy for your users to share the information. Add social share icons at the top of the post or page so your user can plus, like or share the page. Remember these thumbs up give a boost to rankings, so not only have these icons available but tell the readers within the content to share it. For example please share this page with all your friends and family 😉
5) Freshness: Google is in a content war with social media. Social sites offer instant updates and is real time. Google wants to not look stale so it gives a bonus to newer and fresher content. Updating your site is a great way stay fresh and gain Google love. Also, to keep your pages fresh remember to allow your users to help. This means encouraging them to comment and share your pages these are both signals to Google that the page is alive and well.
So remember if you liked this article please share it and feel free to comment below and I’ll try to answerall questions.