There has been a lot of popular ideas over the last couple of decades on what exactly makes a website successful. Every time a new idea pops up, thousands of people jump up and down and demand to have their websites updated to match the latest SEO trend. Wasting thousands of dollars and a lot of time. Search for SEO tips online and you’ll find scores of pages with headings like these:
Google itself says “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”. If you’re wondering how to do that, Google gives us the answer again “Create a useful, information-rich website, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”
Sure, there are a lot of other factors to having a successful website and all of the previous points are important, but none of them will matter if your site isn’t useful to the people that you want visiting. So if you’re planning on building or updating your website anytime soon, stop and think about the people you want to attract. What sort of features and information would these people want? What would be useful to them? Once you’ve got your audience worked out, it’s time to start implementing their needs and making your website useful.
So let’s break apart the first 5 points and why they are all important to improving your Google rankings and making it more useful for the end user.
Correct <title> tags let the user and Google know what the topic of that particular page is. This is especially useful to Google as the title of the page is displayed in the search results. Using titles that accurately describe the page’s content and displaying important information will help potential visitors know if the page is likely to be relevant to them.
It’s important to remember that each of your pages should have a unique title, this will help Google and your audience tell the difference between each page.
Ask yourself this: Are you more likely to pick up a book with the title of “Think and Grow Rich” or one with a boring title that simply says “Money”. Are you more likely to solicit and accept medical advice from someone with a Dr in front of their name or a random stranger you have never met? Would a blog article with the title of “11 Reasons Why Kanye West Shouldn’t Be So Sad About His Height” make you curious enough to click and read more?
Titles are powerful things and when it comes to your website, your website title is the first thing your prospective customers will see. You only have 15 seconds to make a good first impression. Make it count.
So how can you see what your website title is? If you do a Google search for your business name, usually your website is the first in the list of search results. The title that appears in the search result must convey an air of authority and stand out in the sea of other competing websites.
TIP: A quick way to see if your website is optimized for maximum visibility on search engines is by using the Surf Pacific SEO Optics tool:
The Surf Pacific SEO Optics tool allows you to scan your site and give you a quick run down on how well your website is optimized for a particular keyword.
2. Make your site look cool!
Ok, so this won’t really help you improve your rankings on Google directly and we should definitely avoid using the word ‘cool’ to describe a website. But it’s important to have a website that you’re proud of, is useful, is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate and is content-rich. If you’re proud of your website, you’re 10 times more likely to share it with strangers and potential clients. One of the hidden advantages of having an attractive site is people often share their favourite sites with others, increasing your traffic.
The visual appeal and usability of your website can be the deciding factors in clients staying or going. According to Tony Haile of Chartbeat, It’s been estimated that you only have about 15 seconds to engage the viewer and keep their attention. 15 seconds, think about that. What lasting judgements will people make of your business in those 15 seconds? Will they want to stay and see the products and services you offer? Or have they misjudged you and now you’ve lost a client?
Creating compelling and relevant content for your audience will most likely influence your websites ranking more than any other factor discussed in this blog. You may not realize it, but there is no such thing as SEO without content. Well-placed keywords throughout your content will dramatically increase your Google rankings and get you one step closer to being #1. On top of that, people know what they enjoy reading and if they enjoy the content on your website, they’ll share it with others and help increase traffic.
So it goes without saying that improving the content on your website should be a massive priority, regardless of the type of website you have. A brilliant article by our very own Brad O’Brien, on what it takes to have successful content can be seen here.
Blogs have been around for decades, but businesses are only recently realizing just how important they are and the impact they can have on your Google ranking. When you write useful blogs that people want to read and share, they’ll greatly increase the traffic coming to your website and help your business find its niche. An added benefit is it adds a lot of depth to the content count of your website, which helps improve your ranking with Google.
When blogs are used correctly, it can be an amazing organic tool in your quest to improve your rankings on Google. For some awesome advice by Bree Caggiati on how to write a killer blog article, click here.
Facebook, Google+, Twitter and many other sites have become fantastic platforms to share your business with the world. They allow you to interact and reach out to the community and increase the likelihood of people coming to your website. Social Media also gives you the chance to create a fan base and a following.
A good article to read on why social media might not be working for you, and how to improve it can be found here.
For the most part, these 5 points are important elements in a successful SEO campaign. But it all comes down to one basic principle: if your website isn’t useful, people won’t bother. Make an effort to understand your audience and what it is they want, ultimately giving them a better experience. Then expand out and start implementing the above SEO points. You’ll be improving your Google rankings in no time.