There are some things in life which give instant results and others which require a bit more time. For example, if you want a highly toned healthy body, one trip to the gym won’t do. It usually takes weeks if not months to shake off the excess fat and finely tune your physique. And SEO is no different.
When you are looking to optimize your website to bring it up to the top of those ever-important search engine rankings, you are going to go through a similar process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you are unlikely to get your website to the top of the search rankings in a day either. Google is always looking to improve the quality of their search results and it appears that they are keen on rewarding the websites that are looking for long-term quality and not just a quick-fix, keyword stuffed SEO boosted site.
Search Engine Optimization
When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there are some techniques which businesses can use, including optimizing content to include long and short-tail keywords, regularly producing content, making the site suitable for use with mobile devices and interaction with social media. These are all important aspects of SEO, but these are not the result. These are the means to get the results in the long run.
Think of each aspect as a different machine at the gym. You need to do a little of each, regularly to get the best – and long lasting results. But the good news is that although it might not get easier to do, you will learn techniques for the best effects over time and with practice. It’s not sufficient to just sit for two hours on an exercise bike and expect the excess flab to disappear, and likewise, writing one or two articles packed with keywords isn’t going to rocket you up to the top of those search engine rankings either.
What Google Wants
In the business world today, you need to have a healthy internet presence to ensure the long-term success of your business – much like a healthy body to ensure a prolonged life – and central to this is a good ranking in the search engines. After all, there’s no point in being on the internet if no-one can find you!
Of course, there are a number of search engines on the internet but by far the most popular is Google, and they also (arguably) have the most sophisticated algorithms which calculate which websites will appear at the top of their search results. So basically, if you get it right with Google, you are likely to get it right with the other search engines.
- Google are continuously updating their search algorithms, but some of the most important aspects that they want, include:
- Good quality inbound and outbound links – focus on quality, not quantity.
- Good, useful, informative or entertaining content that isn’t too short.
- Ensuring that your site is mobile responsive and easy to use on all mobile devices.
- Good engagement between the site and visitors – usually measured by the amount of time spent on the site or the amount of visitor interaction – clicking on new pages, etc.
- Focusing on YouTube SEO – video is becoming increasingly popular, and as it is owned by Google, by concentrating on your YouTube SEO you can leap ahead of some of your competitors.
- Good site speed – no-one likes a slow to load website, and Google are keen that they don’t direct their users to one.
- Focus more on topics than keywords – Google is looking to give the most useful results to their customers and so are looking to recommend pages with answers to queries and not just articles packed with keywords.
- Strong social media presence and links between your website and social media.
- A good user experience is essential for good rankings.
Another change that we are seeing is that instead of seeing sites moving up in rankings quickly based on SEO tactics, Google seems to be holding on tightly to the sites that currently rank on page one for terms you may be trying to go for. What seems to be happening is that Google has decided that if sites are on page one already, they are there for a good reason and should not be bumped off quickly by a new challenger.
You can’t simply create a new website, attack it for keyword terms that others are already ranking for and expect to find your site at the top of search results overnight. It is much harder than many people think to search engine optimize your website.
Getting ranked highly in Google in today’s world is just like getting that finely toned healthy body. It involves planning, perseverance, and continuous efforts. There are few quick fix solutions, but every little bit counts towards the final result, and once that you get there, you and your business will enjoy the benefits. Remember, though, it’s not enough just to get there, you will need to work hard to maintain your position.
So, just like your quest for a healthy body, the time to start with SEO is now!
James Blackburn is the founder of The Edmonton SEO Guy, an Edmonton SEO company that specializes in local search engine optimization.