We as SEO marketers need to admit that we don’t understand everything that goes into the Google algorithm for ranking websites. What we rely on is correlating factors that seem to have impact both (positive and negative) that are used to rank or penalize a website.
SEO is not about chasing the next big thing or tactic. I am sure we all know of SEO companies or consultants who jump on the bandwagon and try to sell the next big thing. We saw this with Google Plus, Authorship Markup, and will see it with the next thing that Google tries to master. To succeed with SEO you must resit jumping on the bandwagon or hiring and SEO company that tells you that there is one tactic or strategy that will skyrocket you to the top of the search results.
What we find is that ranking factors are nothing more to us, than to statistically significant or correlated data points that have impact on a website. Knowing this, there are factors that will have a positive impact towards succeeding or giving yourself the best change of succeeding with SEO.
How To Give Yourself The Best Chance To Succeed With SEO
Step #1: Have A Great Website Experience and Design
Your website experience includes all experiences that users have while on your website – agnostic of the device being used.
A poor website experience and design can cause users to distrust your business and leave your website prior to buying or contacting you.
A great website experience and design can not only provide a great experience for users, which can increase sales and leads, but will also boost search rankings and increase traffic.
A great website includes:
- Value to your suers
- Is organized well
- Has valuable content
- Has brand consistency across visuals and design elements
- Looks great on a mobile device
- Loads quickly on all devices
- Is optimized and designed for mobile devices
- Engages users
Step #2: Create A User-Driven Information Architecture
A great website information architecture helps users and search engines find information efficiently and effectively.
Having a well thought out, and data drive website architecture will increate user satisfaction, and boost search rankings.
Step #3: Have A Focused And Thought-Out Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO includes all factors that can be controlled on website to help it rank. These include:
- Title Tags
- Description Tags
- Keywords In Content
- Internal Linking Strategies
- Schema Markup
- Alt Text On Images
- Crawl Efficiency and Effetiveness
Step #4: Earn Quality Inbound Links
Inbound links are one of the primary signals that Google uses to rank a webpage. Have a strong link-graph and inbound link profile will prove to Google that your website is authoritative and trustworthy resource for the topics you are trying to rank for. To learn more about link graphs please read What is a Natural Backlink Profile.
Quality Links Include Those That Come From:
- Topic relevant websites
- Topic relevant pages
- Websites that have links from other authoritative sources
- Websites that can send referral traffic
- Websites you didn’t purchase or buy the link on
Step #5: Create Great Content
Great content can skyrocket your traffic and sales overnight. Poor content can cause issues with user trust, and push your website down in the search results – both causing a drop in website sales and leads.
When creating website content make sure it follows these basic rules:
- Go In-depth On Your Topic
- Make Sure It’s Trustworthy
- Make It Relevant To Your Audience
- Optimize It For Search Engines
- Optimize It for Users
- Make It Easily Consumable
Step #1: Have Defined Measurement Strategies
When measuring SEO success there are a few core data points we always pull (then layer on client specific data points). These include:
- Total Keywords Your Website Ranks For
- Organic Traffic
- Referral Traffic
- Social Traffic
- Direct Traffic
- Traffic By Website Section
- Traffic Year-over-Year
- Rankings for Priority Keywords
- Conversion Rate by Source/Medium
- Page Speed
If you can master these seven basic data points that correlate with rankings you will be 90% there when optimizing and succeeding with SEO. The challenge becomes, the details with these correlating and statistically significant factors.
Where do great SEOs come in, and provide value to their clients? Great SEOs give their clients the best chance of succeeding from Google and other search engines by knowing that SEO is a holistic strategy that requires multiple disciplines and skill sets working together to create a great experience, great content, and an optimized website.
Avoid the SEO companies and SEO consultants who claim singular strategies as the ultimate silver bullet.