You are scared of Google’s update. True or false?
Every time Google changes its algorithm several sites are taken down or even worse, sites get penalized.
Are we aiming at a sustained presence on the internet or a short term visibility before being taken down?
If you take your business seriously here’s what you can do to improve your brand and protect your website from being penalized.
Links do matter
Link building is a crucial part of Search Engine Optimization for any website. You need to get external pages to link to pages on your website. Google values these links and they eventually help assess your worth. You need to get quality links from authoritative websites preferably news sites or other popular information sites.
Have you been buying links or building little private link-networks? They are an absolute no. Buying links might work for the time being but ultimately they have just been building a fake fort. The authority you build with these links would vanish once Google discounts them.
You can easily obtain good links to your website if you work on it regularly. Begin by creating content that compels people to promote it by referencing and linking to it. Make submissions in the form of news and press releases to reputed sites.
Submit your site to directories so that they are enlisted properly. Put your products or services before influential bloggers and get them to review it or mention it in their blogs. These links are highly valuable as the source would be recommending you. And finally try and get your friends and partners to link to your site.
- Always audit your link profile. Try to get as many links to your site as possible with exact match anchor texts. Site-wide links are not as good as single links. So Nofollow or remove site-wide links.
- Studies have shown that if any of your anchor text takes up more than 20 percent of your inbound links, you could get penalized for that particular keyword. This is besides the brand or domain name.
Designs speak louder than you think
Design is the next element of your website and it has a big role to play when it comes to accepting visitors, engaging them and then getting them to perform a particular Call to Action (CTA).
The UI and UX also help retain visitors and build a loyal clientele. Hence it is fundamental to design websites from a client perspective instead of search engine perspective.
Here’s how a good design helps generate revenue:
- Design is crucial to the user experience on the website and hence websites must be designed to retain visitors.
- Easy navigation and excellent user experience doubles conversion rates.
- Good designs help get repeat sales.
- Well designed sites also earn natural links.
- Responsive designs made with a thorough understanding of consumer psychology helps render a great user interface.
Quality is King
Google Hummingbird, Penguin and Panda have all been emphasizing on content and not on keywords.
As always content is the most important part of your website. Google has time and again stressed on building content primarily for users and not for search engines. Don’t mislead or trick your readers, it won’t be long before they see through your content. Focus on your Unique Selling Point.
Here is a short content checklist to help you come up with high quality content:
- Provide useful and relevant content.
- Create content that influences people and engages them.
- Provide complete information
- Focus on the voice and style; it should reflect your brand.
- Content should be easy to find and use on your website.
Besides these areas analyze each page to check out which ones fetch greater traffic and refine the content to suit your audience. Remember that a catchy title is all it takes to pique the visitor’s interest. If the content is as catchy as its title, you would definitely get shares and likes on social networks thereby widening your reach.
Make your content as unique as possible, only fresh news and unique content fetches the maximum buzz on social networks.Conduct adequate market research to derive unique and verified content for your website. You can try several market survey tools.
Trivial things that matter
Trivial errors on your otherwise perfect website could drastically impact its ranking. Always make it a practice to regularly check for errors on the Google Webmaster Tools and get rid of those errors. SEO calls for certain basic necessities on every website, here are a few errors to check for:
- Add sufficient product descriptions on shopping sites. Come up with your own description rather than use the one provided by the manufacturer.
- Remove errors for internally or externally linked pages and check for 404 error pages.
- Check for redirects, especially those other than 301.
- Title tags that are longer than 70 characters will not be displayed on search results. Limit titles to the specified size.
- Always provide relevant and SEO optimized Meta Descriptions, don’t leave it to Google to put odd snippets from your website.
- Check for poor internal linking. Make sure that all your pages are appropriately linked to other pages.
- Don’t forget to add robots.txt and a sitemap to your website to help Google do its work faster.
Do you practice the latest? On page SEO is just as important today as it was before. These are SEO techniques ensure that your page ranks well on search engine results.
They basically deal with using keywords in the URL, appropriate use of H1 and H2 tags, sufficient and informative (relevant) content, appropriate title, social networking badges, outbound links, etc. These tweaks alongside good loading speed are the perfect On-page SEO specifications. While tweaking your page:
- Beware of the Panda: make sure that each and every page has a clear and specific purpose for its existence.
- Stay away from too many advertisements on your page.
- Focus on SEO but not at the expense of User Experience. Avoid repetitive keywords.
- Use catchy titles preferably with keywords to maximize CTR and viral sharing.
Google authorship gives a face to your content. It allows you to link your content with your Google+ account. Set up Authorship to get your picture listed next to your search results.Authorship by Google has shown to have a positive impact on Click through Rates. Eventually, it might also add ‘author rank’ to your website or work.
Whom are you targeting? Finally it is important to know your audience, to come up with quality content – the type of content/information that your client is looking for. You have to be a thought leader and come up with something original. Conduct extensive research and then formulate your findings to bring value to your products or services.
- Put yourself where your target audience is likely to be. Hangout where your audiences do, and build a reputation for yourself. That way you build a little shield around you which would help you hold on even without the rankings.
- Build value for the content you post on these forums / hangouts. This helps build valuable reputation. Try and make at least part of your content original.
- Ask the right kind of questions to pique curiosity and then lead visitors to your content. Anticipate what your audience wants, or is looking for to come up with engaging content.
- Speak the language – in Rome do as the Romans do. Learn to pervade cultural and linguistic borders. Get inside information to what’s hot and what’s not when you prepare content.
These are a few SEO techniques that go a long way when it comes to Google rankings, it would help you protect your website from being penalized. Work on them right now to avoid a disaster at a later point. It is always better to avert disasters than having to clean-up after the mess.
About Author: Selina Macwan is the Digital marketing expert and content strategist specializing in SEO/SMO/SEM. She’s associated with 247webpromotions, a leading Internet Marketing service providers in California, dealing in key areas of SEO, including content optimization, business profiles, social media, local search engine optimization, link building and business profiles. since 2009.