Critical Website Content Decisions to Produce High-Quality Search Ranking

You don’t have to be an expert to rank well

Every person who wants their business site to rank well with search engines has essential tasks to undertake in order to have their site be ranked well and to show up in search engines.

As the primary search engine, Google has said that they want to give searchers the answers and the help they seek within one click.

In order to do that, Google has developed algorithms that prefer fresh, well-written, focused content that has a clear purpose. In addition to this, Google prefers websites which are responsive to device type: meaning that your site responds and formats content sized to display best on the device the searcher is using. Content must be free of spelling and grammatical errors and needs to be linked to other on-site content and reference by hyperlink authoritative content external to your site. Google prioritizes content with substance. “Thin content” or content without substance is demoted in search results pages (SERPS).

In years past, people frequently thought that they were able to game Google and other engines. Those days are gone. So, abandon any expectation that you’ll stuff pages with repeated keywords, or phrases. Instead, author content which is focused on the reason that page exists on your site and is customer-centric. Keep your content fresh and up to date with revisions and updates.

Register for and use Google Analytics and link this with Google’s Search Console, which was previously called Webmaster Tools. The search console allows you to understand how Google “sees” your site, how people find your site, and which of your site’s content is indexed by Google. You can also see when Googlebot last crawled your site. It will identify search phrases and variants used to access and index content within your site. As you learn more about how your site is indexed, accessed and displayed in search, you’ll be prompted to continually improve your website and help increase its search presence.

Website content decisions before you develop your site:

  1. Understand and map out the challenges, needs, and manner in which you intend to provide services or solutions to your customers. Personas or typical customer bios are great to help keep you focused.
  2. Prior to any development, create a wireframe of your content’s organization and relationship within the site. A simple spreadsheet with top level content named in the first row and child or sub-page content identified in cells within columns below works well, or you may wish to create a more visually rich flow chart.
  3. Have a purpose and goal for every page within your website.
  4. Create anchor content for each page of your site. This content will be fundamental to that section of your site and will serve as an anchor or reference point.
  5. As you create this content, identify which phrases and words will become internal links, referencing other sections of your site.
  6. You will also need to determine visual elements to illustrate content. Powerful images help the visitor relate to your content and provide graphical elements visible in shares across social media.
  7. Decide how frequently you’ll be adding content to the site so that you continue to present a fresh, informed presence to both search engines and potential customers.
  8. While creating content, understand that readers will respond best to blocks of words which are tightly focused and easy to skim. These blocks of content on the page need to be separated by section heads which help identify the most important idea in the following section. Called sub-heads in magazines and newspapers, these are also critical to helping signal to Google the importance and flow of content on your site/page.
  9. If you’re using a CMS (content management system) as a site foundation, thoughtfully organize categories and tags (micro-categories) to be relevant to your customers’ needs as you’ve previously outlined them.
  10. Plan how you’ll be promoting your site’s content via social media and offline.

Post launch must-dos

Evaluate the success of content/performance by regularly reviewing Google Analytics to comprehend how visitors move through your site’s content and how long they remain on each section. These critical indicators will inform and help you improve each page’s rationale within the site.

If you find you need assistance with the development of content for your website, we can provide assistance from strategy to optimization to promotion. Call us at 843.628.6434 to discuss how we may assist and support your goals.

WordPress and SEO Fundamentals

Cover slide for WordPress SEO Essentials Charleston

WordPress and SEO fundamentals for your business

The topic of SEO has mystified more than a few people over the years.

However, with a few steps, most SMBs can achieve their SEO goals, but, it takes planning and strategy. In my opinion, the problem is that many have believed that high ranking is something which one buys, not earns. High SERPs results placement is earned by having great content that is useful to your site’s visitors; by a site that is updated and in compliance, and by being socially active on the web.

Click the link to view my presentation WordPress and SEO Fundamentals. Note that there are hyperlinks within the presentation to resources which will add further depth to it.

If you need assistance planning your website taxonomy, strategy and developing content, give me a call. I’m for hire.

Hits Don’t Matter

In WWE Hits Do Matter

Hits don’t matter except in WWE

When my sons were small and I was out of the room where they were, I often heard “OW! He HIT me!” Siblings squabble. And hit. Those hits mattered.

In the early days of the World Wide Web, hits became a coveted metric to measure the influence and importance of your website and your inbound traffic. People embedded odometer-like, or animated gif counters on their websites to influence website visitor’s perceptions of the site. Site owners hoped to cause a site visitor to assume that if 100,000 people had visited then, “This site must be good.” Few knew that counters could be set at a number other than zero when embedded.  Fast forward 20 years and hits hardly matter, except in slapstick, or child-rearing or WWE wrestling.

What replaced hits as a website success metric?

Bounce rate is the more important metric now. When people arrive at your website, do they stay or do they go? Do they visit several pages? Do they spend time on your site?

As Google has refined their preferences for and algorithms to deliver search results which include websites where people remain on site over those with mass numbers of visits, it is critical that you create content that keeps people on your site or causes more interaction.

Evaluate and adjust factors that might contribute to your bounce rate, like site layout and navigation. Use only your past performances as a rubric, and try to improve your current bounce rate relative to your previous data. Provide enough time between changes to collect enough data to evaluate the impact the changes may be having on your visitors and their behaviors. Try using Content Experiments to help you.

Is your content valued?

Creating attractive content which causes your visitors to consume more pages, interact and share your content indicates (to Google) that your site provides relevant information. The value proposition is what Google is most interested in as a measure of worthiness. And as Avinash Kaushik states in Google’s video embedded below, “it is a quick qualifying metric.”

Watch Google’s video on Bounce Rate

If you don’t see the embedded video, click to watch video on Bounce Rate.