If you’ve had a chance to read through several of our blog posts, you’ve noticed we talk a lot about Google. As SEO experts, we know Google is king. You have to pay attention to what Google uses for ranking purposes in order to build an effective SEO strategy.

We know Google wants:

  • A user-friendly design
  • Navigation that makes sense
  • Quick access to the information customers want most
  • Sitelinks that are valid and go to high-quality sites
  • High-quality content
  • Crawlable coding that allows the Google spiders to move with ease

And if you want to build an effective SEO strategy for the long term, you should focus on every part of it at different points in time.

Some of these strategies are more difficult than others. Some can be worked on little by little, over time. The more you work with some of the tasks, the easier others become.

Link building is one of the toughest. It takes time to have other worthy sites notice you and give you the link you desire. Luckily it’s not the only way to make Google take notice and give you search results.

There are many ways you can feel Google’s love and do so in ways that will benefit you overall.

Focus on User Experience & Website Layout

Articles

According to the Moz Feature Graph, in-depth articles provide around 6 percent of the pull in Google ranking. While that might not seem like a huge number, it’s important to understand what regular, high-quality content can do for your site.

As you write post after post, you’re targeting different keywords. That means you’re increasing your traffic with every article you produce. And as you post articles, you increase the number of pages on your site. It can also add into other types of content Google likes. Like case studies. Or FAQ sections. Or how about combining an in-depth article with a video that goes along with it?

Writing content makes you think. It gives you a chance to connect with prospects, clients, visitors to your site, and readers of your content, and dig deep to find out what they’re looking for. And the more you create, the better your site becomes.

Focus on User Satisfaction

Head back up to the list above, and you’ll see a user-friendly website is tops in Google’s eyes. Any time you can increase the user satisfaction levels of your site, it will be a win/win for everyone involved. Google loves it and your visitors will too.

What makes a user-friendly site in Google’s eyes? It’s a site that provides enough high-quality information to motivate a visitor and keep them on your site for the long term. Google likes to see visitors that stick to a page and read it from top to bottom. They want visitors to like the information so much they continue to click around.

For you, you get the added bonus of getting a happier visitor. Happier visitors are more likely to take action. Happier visitors are more likely to love what you do. And that will make you happy too.

Video

Do a quick search: type in “how to fix a faucet” as an example. You’ll notice the first results are in video format.

There’s a reason for that. When people search, they want quick answers. And in many cases, video can get them that information in the shortest amount of time.

When you look at how video is displayed in Google search results, you’ll find it’s even more enticing to click. Do you want to read? Or are you motivated by the bright colors of the video display? The answer changes even more when you move from desktop to mobile.

Humans are lazy. We want things fast. Reading takes time. Listening and watching – possibly even being entertained – that’s what we truly want. That’s why video tops the search results lists.

Mobile Site Speed - Tablet downloading page

Site Speed

Have you ever clicked on a site and waited … and waited .. for the information to pop into your screen? The images are slow. The content takes forever to load.

Did you stick around?

Online audiences have very short attention spans. They get even shorter when we move from a desktop to a mobile environment. Think about the last time you were on the go and a page wouldn’t load on your smartphone or tablet. You either gave up or clicked back and tried another link.

Mobile SEO

While speed is important when trying to capture attention using mobile devices, it isn’t the only thing you should concern yourself with. You should also ensure your website is configured properly to work on mobile technology.

When was the last time your website was designed or updated? You may be using old technology. You might have redirects that aren’t mobile friendly. Or videos that aren’t embedded correctly and won’t play on a mobile device. Or pop-ups that are impossible to close, meaning a visitor can’t get through to the content they truly want. Or content and buttons that are too small to navigate on a tiny device.

Search engine optimization is more then just working on keywords, And if it’s any trouble at all, you know what a visitor will do: click, and goodbye.

Snippet Optimization

You’ve probably searched on Google for years without ever really watching how the search rankings come up. Head over to Google and play with it just to see how it performs. Up above, we spoke about Google’s love of video. But Google pays a lot more attention to the way you search than that.

Going back to the “how to fix a faucet” search, you’ll find other options beyond video search results.

Like a “people also ask” section that gives you other questions related to what you’ve searched for. The idea is to see if Google’s results can come closer to what you’re truly looking for.

People Also Ask Rich Snippets

When you click on a specific result, then back out and return to Google’s results, you’ll find the ranked item you just clicked on expands to help you dive deeper into the topic.

People Also Search For - Rich Snippet Links

Are you optimizing your tags to ensure high-quality content? Are you writing your titles so Google can rank them high? Are you using basic meta tags to cover your keywords? If not, you could be missing out on attracting Google’s love.

Time for New Content

Fresh Content

We started out this article telling you how important articles are to a site. They are.

It’s equally important to keep the content on your site fresh and up to date. Websites often lose ground in Google because other sites are always in update mode, adding and changing their data over time.

Google likes that. It doesn’t want to give a searcher information that may no longer be relevant. It wants fresh content that will give a visitor exactly what they’re looking for. Not yesterday’s news; something that matters, today.

Google looks at things like the inception date, how frequently your data changes, how often you update your site, and how many pages you create over time.

Where Do You Stand?

What key components have you built into your SEO strategy?

Are you using all of the tools readily available to you?

Are you coming up in Google rankings again and again?

Or do you need some help?

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