7 of the Most Essential You Need To Look Out For For Your SEO Success
Your website’s success online in terms of its SEO and marketing are all determined by various factors, many of which, over time, become outdated as things progress.
With Google’s focus shifting towards giving users who make use of mobile devices, so, too, must our focus shift and adapt when it comes to the ever-changing SEO landscape. How quickly you react to these changes all determine your website’s success. If your website’s focus stays fixed in its path, it will stagnate and you’ll soon find it hitting rock bottom.
With trends that keep on changing and techniques for SEO that become obsolete at the drop of a hat, we have to assess every small aspect of your websites and its ranking. Now, you may be asking yourself whether it’s important to keep a constant check on your SEO or not. The short answer is YES.
By not committing to a long-term plan for your site’s success, you’re killing off any guarantee of future growth. Your website and its SEO needs constant TLC, and loads of it.
Here are 7 essential things that need to be looked at for your website’s success in SEO.
Your website needs to be updated
Keeping an updated website can be a laborious task, which, if done incorrectly, can cost you even more in the long run. A good website should have all of the correct measures already in place to ensure that it can and will rank the way it’s supposed to.
The most important factors that need to be checked up on regularly are:
- Your website’s design. A proper design should be geared towards YOUR USERS, giving them what they need to ensure that they stay longer.
- Your website’s structure. This goes hand-in-hand with your site’s design. Your pages have to be structured in a way that gives users easy access to the content and more important info on your website. If a user needs to click more than three times in order to find exactly what it is they need, then your structure is in dire need of an upgrade.
- Speed. It’s a scary thought to think about, but your website has to load, from start to finish, in no more than 1 second. That’s it. Scary, huh? And this is an essential factor to consider because with Google shifting its focus to mobile devices, you have to think about delivering a streamlined experience to your users/customers. Therefore, your whole website needs to have such a small footprint to make sure that it can deliver your website much quicker and much easier to your users.
- Your site should work on all devices. This is called responsiveness and it’s where your website changes and adjusts itself according to the dimenions your website is being viewed upon. A website needs to be adaptive in that regard.
- Security. Making sure that your site is hack-proof goes a long way to ensure to your users that you care about their safety and the safety of the info that gets submitted on your website. Also, it’s something that Google is becoming more and more serious about, too.
Your On-Page SEO needs to be updated/reoptimized
On-page SEO connects your website to its search engine ranking, in a way. It tells search engines what it needs to know in order to rank your website the right way. Some of the important factors that need to be optimized are:
- The structure of your website’s pages needs to be evaluated. Whereas structure in the section above referred to HOW the pages of your website are structured, this refers to the WHAT of your pages. Pages and their titles need to be descriptive, clear, easy to read for both users and search engines, and they have to include keywords to some extent.
- Meta tags. These little bits of code are what carry your website’s SEO identity, meaning it conveys to search engines the correct title, keywords, and description that these search engines will use to index your website into their search engine. It’s important to make sure that these tags are always up to date and that they conform to Google’s standards and that they read the info that it has to read.
- Links. You have to ensure that the links that point to pages WITHIN your website are in a good working order (meaning none of the links are broken, missing, mislabeled, etc.) and that you link to the relevant and correct pages. When this has been done and you find all of your links are in a good working order, you will then take care of any issues that you may encounter with your links. Links are something of a tricky thing get a good handle on, especially within one’s own website. If you lose track of your links, its long-term effects can hurt you severely.
- Website markup, an evolution of SEO that’s fairly new. Schema Markup is a set of data that gives search engines an easy way to read what any given web page on your website is about. This information gives search engines a much easier way to rank your website accordingly, based on the markup data that’s present on your website.
Link Building Practices
Inbound linking (or link building) is one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. It always has been and it always will be into the far foreseeable future.
When you implement an inbound linking strategy, you cannot go about it the old way, which saw SEOs try to cheat the system, in a way. Links going towards your website need to be earned. This creates authority for your visitors. Link building is a practice that helps websites build and maintain a good, solid ranking, and keeping that ranking intact.
When running a link building strategy, you have to keep these in mind, ALWAYS:
- Make sure you only have good quality links that point to your website.
- Do not buy links.
- Do not participate in any sort of link network
- Disavow any low-quality links to your website; quality over quantity.
- Ensure you have valuable content on your website that people would want to link to.
- Learn about what your competitors are doing with their inbound linking efforts and learn about their techniques.
- Build relationships with experts in your field and don’t be afraid to ask for links.
Your Website’s Content Isn’t Up To Scratch
Good content, like a good link to your website, both goes hand-in-hand with each other and also needs to be authoritative and of a high quality. And, sadly, many websites owners think that content creation is a waste of time and money (which is why they won’t invest in it), they find it unnecessary for the industry they’re in, or they don’t have the time to attempt it themselves.
All of this, is FALSE.
Google’s Panda update was released a few years ago to combat and PENALIZE websites whose websites are thin and short on content and contains loads of duplicate content on their website. Now, with duplicate content, Google can tell which content is original and which isn’t, but Google has become increasingly aggressive against websites who doesn’t deliver content to users that are of some sort of value to the visitors that frequent a website.
Investing in content that’s relevant, helpful, and gives your users something that they can use, is one of the biggest and best assets you can have in your SEO arsenal. Through content, Google wants to get the right information to the right people fast. By making sure that the content you deliver is top-notch, relevant, insightful AND meaningful to the industry and the users you’re targeting and marketing towards, it’s a step in the RIGHT direction.
Poorly Converting Content
Now, it’s easy to get the content, have it be relevant, have your website be 100% optimized, have the ranking you want, and have the users to boot. It means nothing, though, if those users aren’t converting, meaning that your website and its content aren’t taking those users from being a “maybe” sale to a “for sure” sale.
To ensure your content is converting correctly, you have to make sure that your content speaks to the various personas out there. Not only that, you need to make sure that your content needs to follow the normal buying journey through your website’s sales funnel.
Your Keywords Aren’t Working
Keywords make up the bulk of your SEO and website’s success. As much as keywords help you, it can also hinder you if proper research hasn’t been yet.
To ensure your keywords ARE working as they should, you need to make sure that:
- The keyword(s) you’re trying to rank for aren’t too competitive.
- That you’re getting enough search traffic from the keywords you are using.
- That you aren’t stuffing your website with loads of unnecessary keywords.
- That you are using keywords and phrases that are too broad or vague.
- That you are overusing your keywords across the page.
When using keywords, you need to think about them as simply not using the highest search numbers for a particular word or phrase. You have to find the right keyword(s) that relate as closely as is possible to a more natural expression as well as towards what your users are most likely to be searching for on Google.
Having Been Penalized By Google
The dreaded p-word; a phrase that some that website owners do not want to hear, at all. A Google penalty is something that can most definitely contribute towards your SEO’s downfall.
There are four possible penalties that Google can impart upon you, and it’s important to try and distinguish which penalty you’ve been hit with. They are:
- A Panda penalty that targets websites that deliver low-quality content.
- A Penguin penalty that checks and targets websites with bad backlinks (both earned and created) to your website.
- A Mobilegeddon penalty that targets whether your website is mobile friendly or not.
- A top-heavy penalty for having too many ads or pop-up that can obscures your website’s most important content.
So, how do you figure out if it’s a penalty?
Well, a drop in rankings when you do a brand search is a good indication. Also, if you find that your website’s cached results have been removed from the search engine completely.
DON’T PANIC, THOUGH!
Bouncing back from a penalty is do-able. It will take time, but you CAN recover from a Google penalty.
With all of this information, it’s easy to see that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes down to SEO. And, making sure that you have everything covered can be a daunting task, yes. But, by making sure you check all of these points, you should be able to see and tell exactly where your website is under performing and you should be able to make the necessary adjustments to your website to bounce right back.