It’s Called; Google Search Optimization, Not SEO, Folks.
Every website owner knows that in order to be successful in Search Engine Optimization, you have to rank well with the Google search engine or the vast majority of internet traffic will never find your site. Getting ranked well with Google is essential for organic traffic to your site. This is free traffic you could be getting instead of only being able to advertise your site and services with your hard earned money. Statistics show just how much of an important role Google plays in this organic traffic and 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. Google just can’t be ignored at almost any level of website SEO.
What will also come in handy for mobile site design is the screen resolution and screen size. Again, according to StatCounter, most screen resolutions are tiny at just 360×640 while the second most popular screen size is a much higher 1366×768. So web designers need to design websites that work within a wide disparity in screen resolutions (and thus screen sizes) 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. So mobile design needs to take into account a variety of different mobile devices and try to ensure that web designs work for all which makes 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
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 as well as what is known in the SEO industry as 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 unless they 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.
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 if 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 but so should 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. But a popular SEO tactic is to create what is known as a cornerstone piece or cornerstone content which was coined by Brian Clark. They are usually longer articles of about 2,000 words or more, have the most important keywords and many other articles on the same site link 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 most 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 in writing engaging and interesting content that Google picks up on 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 but are tempting because of the sheer amount of traffic they get, and less competitive keywords but just don’t receive much traffic.
A good site to start on 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. Getting started with the wrong advice in obtaining better Google search engine rankings can lead to worse results and rank lower down in the search pages.
If trying to rank well in Google is difficult, very time consuming and requires quite a bit of effort to do, it’s probably being done correctly and you are on the right track. 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, most likely 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 said that it was going to be easy!
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