Search engine optimization sounds technical, but it’s more human-oriented than we think. Humans are on the other end of every search phrase, so it makes sense that the best strategy is to write engaging content. Google has stated this fact numerous times over the years in different ways. As long as you write good content and don’t use black hat SEO techniques, you don’t need to worry about being burned by an algorithm update.
Content is King
Original, valuable content is one of the most important aspects of your website and SEO. Google’s goal is to display high-quality, relevant web pages in the top 10 search results. These webpages should answer the question searchers have when they entered the search term. The hundreds of ranking factors that Google looks at indicate the quality of the page in some way. Google’s algorithm updates are about ensuring the best content ranks high in the SERPs (search engine results pages).
You can strategize high-quality content by paying writers to create content for your website and either brushing up on your grammar or having any content you post to go through an editor first. Keeping content free of errors helps establish your website as an authority. It should also be engaging to create loyal readers.
Social Proof Matters
Social proof is a phenomenon in which people give more credibility to behavior, the more they see other people doing it. If you’re trying to choose between two new businesses, you will feel more comfortable choosing the one that has a greater number of positive customer reviews. Customer reviews, likes, and retweets are indicators of social proof online.
Positive reviews contribute to organic search performance. Search engines perceive customer reviews as a sign of trustworthiness and authority. Google reviews are especially important in Google rankings for local businesses because Google displays important information like customer ratings about the top three businesses it lists in the SERPs. You can encourage customers to leave reviews by responding to current reviews, asking them to write reviews, and adding your business to multiple review sites.
User Experience is Key
Metrics like bounce rate and page load times, which affect user experience, are part of ranking algorithms. Search engines understand that people get frustrated easily with long page load times. Webpages are expected to load instantly with today’s technology. Users will often hit the back button if the page takes too long to load. This can increase your bounce rate, which is the percentage of users who leave your website after seeing one page.
The average bounce rate varies among industries. In general, bounce rates of 60 percent and below are normal. 90 percent and above is when you may want to consider there is something chasing people off of your website. Design pages with user experience in mind by making all pages on your website mobile-friendly and quick to load. Use ads sparingly as well. Pages cluttered with ads deter readers.
A Personal Touch
Google delivers personalized search results based on each person’s browsing history. This increases the importance of appealing to your target audience. Write content for your website with the target audience in mind. Don’t focus too much on the SEO beyond using the keyword at least once and naturally within the content.
SEO techniques like header tags and meta descriptions also matter, but content is written for humans. Incorporate pictures into your content to improve their readability, and keep paragraphs short. Also understand that because of personalized search results, not everyone will necessarily see the same SERPs for the same search term. The goal is to reach people who are interested in your content.
SEO is becoming more and more human as Google refines its algorithm and technology evolves. Webpages load faster, so users have higher demands. Mobile search traffic has also overtaken desktop traffic, resulting in a necessity for mobile-friendly design. Google’s SERPs is even personalized now based on what sites an individual frequently visits, their search history and other data that Google gathers on them. Businesses must focus on providing high-quality content, and use SEO to support that content.