It’s Called; Google Search Optimization, Not SEO, Folks.
Every website owner knows in order to be successful in Search Engine Optimization, you have to rank well with Google. Otherwise, the search engine behemoth and the vast majority of internet traffic will never find your site. Ranking well with Google is essential for organic traffic to your site. This is free traffic you could be getting instead of only advertising your website with your hard earned money. Statistics show just how much of an important role Google plays in this organic traffic. Therefore, it is not something any website owner should simply gloss over.
Over 87% of all traffic in the USA comes from the Google search engine and that is a figure that includes all devices; desktop and mobile. StatCounter.com also reports that the two next largest search engine providers are Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! with 6.3% and 5% respectively. In terms of those numbers, Google is a behemoth in the search engine world and needs to be part of every website owners SEO efforts. Even more important is the mobile search where Google has a 94% search dominance while Yahoo! has 3.3% and Bing 2%.
This would be as if 87% of all cars on the road in the US were red cars. Or if 87% of all coffee came from Starbucks etc. In this type of visual example, it becomes much more obvious just how strong a position Google is in. Website SEO can’t ignore Google search optimization at any level.
What will also come in handy for mobile site design is the screen resolution and screen size. StatCounter reports most screen resolutions are at just 360×640 while the second most popular screen size is 1366×768. Thus, web designers need to design websites that work within a wide disparity in screen resolutions (and screen sizes). At the same time, the sites need to be able to work efficiently. This also indicates much older smartphones being used for web browsing and newer mobile devices with the higher resolution.
Mobile design needs to:
- Take into account a variety of different mobile devices
- Ensure that web designs work on all devices which make a good web design all the more important.
A slow loading page of more than just a few seconds will result in visitors leaving the site before it even has a chance to load. That is before visitors even bother to wait to see if the site is mobile friendly or not with uncluttered design, easy to navigate links and proving the most important information on a small screen first.
There are currently just over 50% of mobile devices online compared to a declining 43% in the desktop market. Mobile design and SEO is going to take on a more and more important role in organic traffic and site design.
Because of this and to no surprise, Google is indexing mobile web pages as the basis of its ranking since the beginning of 2017.
“…our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site…”—Google.com
Quality Content is Good for Google Search Optimization
Another factor having an effect on search engine ranking is the content on a website. A SerpIQ study revealed that the actual length of the content played a role in how well Google actually “likes” your content and ranked your site or page. A 400-word page ranked half as well as an 800-word page for example. The age of the domain name did also play a role, however. The SEO industry calls this the Competition Index. The CI provides a figure on how competitive certain keywords are. Simply adding more and longer content to a page is not the magic formula to increased rankings, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.
Generally, with higher CI’s, longer quality content will help improve rankings since high-quality backlinks and site optimization alone is not enough. Higher CI’s basically require more work. However, SerpIQ also hypothesizes that the opposite is true on very high CI’s. In this scenario, those domains are ranking well due to the sheer number of backlinks, social media activity, and followers. Smaller businesses in such a highly competitive field are at a steep uphill (and maybe unfair) struggle. In this case, they need to develop more of a niche in their industry to help them rank higher.
Basically what is important to remember is that quality content attracts real people to visit your site making them stick around to actually read the content. Google knows this and ranks pages higher as a direct result of this. Other factors can play a role but quality content is still key in most scenarios. What is also very important to note and which relates to what was stated previously, is that poor quality content or “filler content” will hurt a site’s rankings and Google is actively working on detecting poor quality content. Google search optimization means smart optimization for humans.
Even using popular drag and drop web design services (of which there are plenty of) can be a disadvantage to online businesses trying to rank well. Google tends to not like those site builders. Investing in a good quality design can pay off, in the long run, several times over by ranking better on Google.
WordPress may have the upper hand here from the start as it ranks very well in search engines in general. As Google likes content and WordPress was originally built as a Content Management System, it should be no surprise that this content management software is a perfect match for SEO efforts. As mentioned previously, an older domain can have more weight in ranking better. Debatably, so could software that has been in production since 2003.
Just adding random content to a site with a few SEO “tricks” will not always mean improvements to rankings. However, a popular SEO tactic is cornerstone content. This phrase was coined by Brian Clark. They are usually longer articles of about 2,000 words or more. Furthermore, they have the most important keywords and other articles on the same site linking back to this cornerstone piece. It has proven to help on many occasions for several websites and trying it certainly shouldn’t hurt.
Other websites will want to link back to your cornerstone piece since there is more information in this single article than several smaller pieces scattered about throughout a website. If that cornerstone article is receiving more links and longer visitor reads, it theoretically improves it’s ranking as well. Again, the content has to be interesting and well written, not “fiverr.com quality” that is in almost all cases just filler with no real interesting and unique content. A WordPress plugin called Yoast can help with this as well.
If you are hiring outside help to add content, there should be no one better than the site owners to do this themselves. No one should know your topic better than yourself except for those in the same area of expertise. Those writing content to make a quick buck, won’t be as good as those who own the business. Business owners write engaging and interesting content that Google picks up on. Why? Because visitors are sticking around to actually read the content.
The balancing act is what keywords to use;
- Not too competitive since they are very difficult to rank well for. (They are tempting because of the sheer amount of traffic they get.)
- Or less competitive keywords but just don’t receive much traffic.
A good site to start with a keyword search and what may be a good fit for any site is SEMrush.com and SEO advice would be moz.com. Although there are of course many, many other resources out there, it can actually, in fact, end up being one of the difficult parts in finding the right tools and advice to even get started. Starting with the wrong advice in obtaining better Google search engine rankings will lead to worse results. As a result, you will rank lower down in the search pages. Your Google search optimization efforts will get off to a bad start from day one.
Google search optimization is done correctly if:
- Trying to rank well in Google is difficult
- It’s very time consuming
- Requires quite a bit of effort to do!
You can assume you are on the right track here. If it seems easy while outside services do ALL the work and it’s just a waiting game as the traffic is supposed to start flooding in, it’s the wrong course to take. Ranking well in Google doesn’t always have to mean spending vast amounts of funds in this endeavor. The best things in life are free, but nobody will say it will be easy!
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