Search engines crawl through websites looking for certain signals that they use to rank pages. Part of the job of an SEO services company is to improve those signals so your pages rank higher. But if you’re not familiar with these signals, it can be hard to understand what your SEO marketer is talking about. Here is a list of the most important SEO signals that drive success to your website.
Search engine optimization starts with the content on your page. Search engines want to measure the relevance of your content to different search queries. So the first rule of content is to write things that your customers and clients would need or want to know.
Part of this is knowing what keywords they are using to look for a site like yours, but keywords aren’t as important as they used to be (though still important!) Google’s new AI-powered search algorithms are moving search results beyond just looking for keywords. There are many other contextual signals that measure how well your content fulfilled a reader’s needs. These all boil down to making great content that your users like, use, and appreciate.
As important as content is, layout and user experience are right up there. Sadly for the information-lovers out there, if the layout is poor then people will flee. That great content has to be wrapped up in a pretty site layout that’s easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, and has great branding.
This is more of a matter of principles than taste. 30 years of website design has taught a lot about what kind of things we like and don’t like to see in a layout. So if you haven’t updated your site in a long while, or you’ve got a new site with a design you think is brilliant, run it by a pro first to avoid an SEO hit.
Most people search the web through a smartphone or tablet, not on a traditional desktop. Sites that can’t handle mobile devices require a lot of awkward zooming and scrolling to use. But there is a style of site design called “responsive” that makes your site change depending on screen size. Google considers this to be a factor of mobile-friendliness.
It’s not just important for customer experience. Google has a separate ranking system on mobile devices. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on a lot of traffic even if your desktop searches show you have pretty good placement.
This is a minor signal, but an important one. Sites that aren’t marked as secure are getting flagged as such in the latest versions of browsers. If you run an e-commerce site where you sell through your website, having a secure website is essential for gaining customer trust. While it is easy to get a certificate, if you have an existing site you’ll need to talk to a specialist of SEO services company so that search engines don’t get confused with different versions of your site.
If any page on your site takes longer than three seconds to load, you are in danger of losing customers. People do not like to wait for sites, so a speedy site is a necessity. Technologies like AMP are helping website owners create faster pages, but there are many other techniques that can be used to speed up the loading time of a page. It never hurts to make your site faster if you can.
There are many other subtle factors that a pro SEO company will use to boost your rankings, but these are the fundamentals in 2019. If you can get these locked into place, you’ll be in a much stronger position to fight the competitors that are left for the top positions.