Google recently updated their advice on how to rank better in the search engines by saying:
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.”
The advice used to be:
“In general, wemasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
What does this mean? In a nutshell: If you want your site to rank well you should focus on improving your site rather than generating lots of inbound links.
Rand Fishkin, well-respected SEO specialist and founder of Moz, says you can achieve this through the following ways:
This list isn’t the kind where you can pick-and-choose which one or ones you want to do.
You should view Rand’s suggestions as a checklist of what you must do to improve your SEO. The best advice is to go down the list and tick off each point. And then go back to the beginning and start again because a site optimization is never-ending work.
Is your head spinning looking at this list?
Are you unsure of how to go about doing any of these things?
I’m here to help.
The first thing to do is realize that this list can be broken down into three major categories:
Breaking the list into categories can make the work seem much less intimidating to someone who isn’t strongly familiar with SEO.
That doesn’t mean the work is any easier though. SEO is a very technical form of marketing which means there is on-page and coding work that has to be completed for the best results.
If you do not have at least a basic working knowledge of HTML, it would be best for you to skip the rest of this post and give an SEO specialist a call.
Our number is 801-214-1531 (there’s my plug-of-the-month).
Everyone else, read on…
Rand suggests to improve a page’s rankings we should focus on making the page: more relevant, higher quality, well-cited, accessible and ensure the site-listings are compelling.
To make your page more relevant you should:
To make your page higher quality you should:
To make your site well-cited you should:
To make your site more accessible you should:
To make the site listing more compelling you should:
The second aspect to improving your site’s ranking in the search engines deals with site-wide SEO work.
According to Rand we should focus on much of the same things we focused on with pages by making the site: more relevant, higher quality, well-cited and accessible.
The way to do this is to go through your website and optimize it page by page using the tips above.
As always you should have a strong focus on:
Basically, if you focus on very high-quality content and all usability standards and then promote that high quality content, you should see increased traffic and rankings.
The final tip Rand provides for increasing Google rankings is: make the site the page is hosted on a more recognizable and compelling brand.
In fact, branding touches all aspects of this checklist, but is most heavily focused on in this last tip.
The most important thing to remember here is that high-quality content matters but some people judge a book by its cover, which means design can be equally as important.
Make sure that your site is well-branded and doesn’t appear to be spammy. You can absolutely build trust through design and you should. High-quality websites prefer linking to sites that sound AND look credible.
Are you having any trouble with SEO?
Let us know in the comments below and we’d be happy to help!
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