What Does Google Want From Your Web Pages?
Article by James Turner
As internet marketers we are always trying to figure out what makes one page go ahead and rise to the top of the search engine results pile and what causes another to wallow in results purgatory.
The short answer is good content, good structure and good design complimented by user behaviour that indicates the page is responded to well. What does that mean to you as someone trying to get your web page found?
Before answering that here are a few words from a recent talk by Matt Cutts of Google.
“The way that I often think about SEO is that it’s like a coach. It’s someone who helps you figure out how to present yourself better. In an ideal world, though, you wouldn’t have to think about presenting yourself and whether search engines can crawl your website, because they’d just be so good…”
Mr. Cutts was in fact talking about how Google was working hard to improve search engines so they would be able to “crawl” a site and determine based on the site’s merits how it should be ranked, as if they were human judges – well impartial and skilled human judges. His point is a bit unfair if a page is showing up high in search engines mainly because someone has done a great job using every SEO trick in the book, not because it’s useful to the person running the search. It’s a nice idea, and certainly more and more a sites get ranked higher because a site has good content, it’s well designed and holds the interest of people going to it. That said, there are only ten slots on page one of Google Search results and it really pays to be on that page, so ideals aside – it’s a war out there and you better be prepared to fight hard and fight intelligently.
Work With Your SEO team Or Consultants To Have A Solid Executable Internet Marketing Strategy
If you use the metaphor of an SEO agency as a coach or team of coaches, then like any good coach they need to have many techniques they can apply to improve your website performance and they need to be skilled at adapting a unique training program for each website. Now as with a coach or personal trainer the results you get from working with them will be proportional to the time and effort put in and the skill of the SEO coaches you hire.
Some SEO firms tend to get very focused on one technique or another and that is dangerous for two reasons. Firstly, when Google or Bing inevitably change how they do things, and your website is reliant on only one technique, say Link Building, then your ranking may take a very heavy hit overnight which will result in a lot of lost business.
Secondly, this one sided tactic is problematic because it’s generally more expensive than a well balanced strategy. As with your personal health, your website is going to do better with a balanced “health” approach. Don’t rely all on fancy SEO tricks or purely on Pay per Click (which gets more expensive as competitors come in and stops the second your budget runs out), or link building which is constantly being reviewed by Google and often suffers when there is a search engine update.
Want To Know How To Rank Higher And Improve Your SEO?
Here are some very basic techniques that are easy to implement and will generally deliver good results. Use a balance of different techniques as your budget allows, and your requirements dictate.
Please, if you are making money by using internet marketing then reinvest it in more marketing! Your competition is not standing still so you shouldn’t either.
TIP #1: Use good organic SEO as your internet marketing foundation DO:
- Use good techniques that follow published and current Google and Bing guidelines.
- Actively review your site and make sure that it stays clean because errors will creep in and search engines change –often!
- Organic SEO immediately, ideally even before you build your website as it is the foundation that other work stands on.
- Over optimizing, key word stuffing, overuse of structure – such as stuffing the footer with keyword links to compensate for lack of content.
- Assuming that just because your SEO was done well once upon a time that it will not change. It probably will –possibly frequently.
- Assuming that what worked last year is good enough this year. Search engines change ALL THE TIME, so you need to keep your website marketing current with good and relevant Internet marketing techniques.
Tip #2: Use Pay- Per-Click (Also called AdWords) DO:
- Set a reasonable budget and construct a campaign and objectives for each keyword.
- Carefully monitor the effectiveness of your Ad Words. There are lots of available tools including free ones provided by Google that help you do this. If you have not got the time of expertise then hire a good SEO agency with certified Keyword personnel.
- Put sufficient effort into getting the right keywords and phrases – set objectives, and be smart amount maximizing your bang for your buck.
- If your budget allows, build unique landing pages for each keyword or phrase you are marketing.
- Don’t be afraid to shake it up and try different things. Sometimes you get business in places you might not have thought of first time around.
- Spending money without setting clear and measureable campaign objectives. This is only useful if you own Google Shares.
- Forgetting to actively review campaign goals and keywords. Keywords as with products, seasons, events etc. change.
Tip #3: Build quality links DO:
- Use only quality links! Take the time to do it right. Good external links to your site are valuable indicators that your site is worth looking at and will drive results.
- Take advantage of internal link building as well, don’t over use, but when it adds relevancy it’s helpful.
- Integrate your link building carefully with your other SEO efforts such as organic SEO and keywords. Expertly performed link building delivers results in reasonable time that last a long time.
- Don’t use paid links and especially subscription links.
- Don’t use “link farms” or “web spam”
- Don’t take short cuts, if you get black listed you are starting from scratch.
Tip #4: Keep adding quality content DO:
- Invest in quality content – respect your audience and provide meaningful information worth their time.
- Keep your content current. Refresh old content and add new content as products, services and markets change all the time.
- Plan out what you write so it naturally supports your keywords and phrases. If it reads well you will get better customer response. Hire a professional copy writer if you need help.
- Reference your material and attribute it to its creator if you use other people’s material.
- Proof read – yeah we are all guilty of not doing enough of this, us too, never-the-less it’s worth the extra effort so please do it!
- Writing content for the robots; make it good and write for your intended audience first and foremost.
- Using duplicate content no matter if it’s from your own site or a third party site. More and more this works against you, and it might be illegal if you violate someone’s copyright.
- Don’t plagiarize – yeah this should be obvious but it still happens.
Your Website Marketing Works Better With Social Media!
Be sure to use social media such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Not only are they strong marketing tools, but when used properly they help drive traffic to your site, increase its domain authority and broaden your audience. We have recently come out with a fair number of blog posts on how and why to use social media and will be posting several more shortly.
If you are interested in learning more you might want to check out this video: