Creating Fresh Quality Content Is Good SEO
Whether you‚Äôre just starting up your business or been established for a while, nearly all businesses today need to know something about search engine optimization or, as it is more commonly known, SEO. And in the last few months there‚Äôs been some important changes. Google has updated the way it determines how websites rank on the search engine. These changes have penalised hundreds of thousands of websites who no longer meet Google’s new algorithm. So, if your website has lost its ranking in the last few months or can’t be found on Google then it is likely that your website has been penalised or de-indexed by Google. Google say that they have made these changes to improve the user experience and get more relevant websites ranking. If you’ve been penalised you are likely to have received a notice from Google about following unnatural link building. Fortunately, if this has happened to your website it may still be possible to recover your position if you change your tactics and meet Google’s new criteria.
Before I explain some of the latest thinking on this and what you can do, I want to give a brief introduction to SEO and why it is important for those of you who are just starting out with no experience in online marketing.
Search Engine Optimization is an online marketing activity. It involves a variety of techniques that are applied to a website to help it meet Google’s algorithm so that ultimately the website is listed on page one of the search engine results for targeted keywords. Ranking on page one of the search results is important for all online businesses and local businesses because the majority of customers use the search engines to search for products and services. Only 10 websites show up on each of the search engine result pages. These are called the organic listings because the websites are selected by the search engines depending on their ranking criteria. The results are not the same as the pay per click listings. These can be seen at the top and on the right hand side of the results page. Businesses pay for these adverts, either by the number of clicks to the website or by the number of impressions.
A Top-Ranking Organic Listing Drives Traffic
- ¬†Businesses have to pay for the adverts, whereas the organic listings are free.
- PPC adverts altogether achieve about 3% of the potential clicks for the search term, which is the same as ranking in position 10 on page one of the search results. The first three organic listings will get around 60% of the clicks. So ranking on page one will drive visitors to your website and ultimately make you money.
Unfortunately, there is a tremendous competition for the thousands of the popular search terms, such as car insurance, diet, loans, care hire and jobs etc, which makes it very difficult for a newcomer to compete in these online markets even if you have very deep pockets. It is easier to get your website ranking in a local geographical market such as ‚ÄėHastings Nursery Schools‚Äô or a niche market such as ‚Äėcoloured leather beanbags‚Äô as there are fewer websites competing for the top 10 positions.¬†Click here to read¬†Finding Your Niche Market¬†post.
If you are just start starting to build an online business, then it is best to target a niche or local market.
Previously, Google’s algorithm favoured the number of links a website had. A link is created by listing your domain url or page url on another website. In effect, Google saw this link as a vote of confidence in the content on your website. Essentially, the more links you had, the better, particularly if they were from websites Google favoured. Google rates the quality of websites by a PR rating. If this is high, such as on websites like Wikipedia or Facebook, then the value of each link is worth more than a link on a website with a low PR ranking.
Key Strategies For Online Marketing
However, whilst links are still important to a website‚Äôs ranking position, Google’s new ranking criteria puts a greater emphasis on quality content and¬†social media signals.¬†If you have a website, your online marketing plan should emphasize:
- Creating regular new content on your website and sharing it with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, encouraging users to share or like your content.
- Getting media coverage by writing regular press releases for your business will create some legitimate high-quality links, which Google likes.
- Building natural links from relevant high-quality websites. You need to build at least 50% of your links back to your domain rather than to a specific anchor text link you want to rank for. So for example: http://www/mysitedomain.co.uk rather than http://www.mysitedomain/back-pain-treatment/. Don’t follow any ‘black hat’ linking strategies, otherwise your website could be sandboxed by Google and effectively disappear from the search engine results pages.
- Syndicate your content on to other media such as video, pdfs, podcasts and infographics. This will help you build natural links and share your content with a wider community.
- Be less reliant on Google for traffic. There are other traffic sources you can focus on, such as YouTube and the new social media platform Pinterest. These can all be used to leverage traffic and sales, and will indirectly help your website rank better on Google.
Over the next few months we‚Äôll cover these points in more depth so that you can apply some new online marketing strategies to your website.