Getting traction online
As an introduction I am one of the Finance Directors who work with FD Capital I ran my own internet businesses for 12 years and specialised in getting better rankings for my own and clients websites. I no longer actively work in that area though I have kept my hand in with a couple of content websites, if you are interested then visit BrassKangaroo that should give you an idea of the types of sites I used to run.
The important point to appreciate is that Google dominants the world as far as search marketing is concerned so you need to focus on understanding them and what they seek and how they work. They have a habit of saying one thing and doing another, and often their guidance is positioned to make you feel that you are better just paying them directly via their Adwords program. Pay per click is great and does work very well, it is however expensive and has no long term benefit, once your credit card stops making payments the benefit ends. Therefore building up your natural search rankings and the potential for your site to rank on its own is a key objective.
The three big factors in 2019 are Quality of content and Quality of backlinks and Quality of User Experience.
Quality Content is easy to understand but in particular Google seeks interesting, unique and long form content, more of the reasons for that in future posts, but ensure that each of your main pages are very rich with content and long, ie 2,000 – 3,000 words. Longer than 3,000 words seems not to make any difference suggesting Google ignors or selects page snippets if a page is longer than that length, shorter than 2,000 words becomes an issue from the user metric point of view, see below for more details. Experience of Google and extensive testing by industry experts suggest the current ideal length is 2,000-3,000 words, so that should be your benchmark for all posts and pages. Of course not all pages are suitable for large amounts of text and some of your web site pages are there to attract attention and show case your products, but in general long pages have better metrics such as time on page and have lower bounce rates which Google then rewards.
Quality of backlinks the sites that link to your website are known as backlinks in short these are votes for your site, but whilst back in 2010 it was volume that mattered now it is quality, what topic the links cover and what sort of reputation or trust level the sites enjoy overall. Google has their own reputational scoring system which is not shared but is at least partially understood by Search Engine professionals. If you want to learn more about Google and its scoring system then I can recommend Moz this is a community of higher end Search Professionals but also a tool which attempts to score and analyse sites using their own scoring algorithmn which in turn is refined to be reflective of how Google scores sites.
Building quality links is therefore essential to achieving long term success and it is also the reason why sites that look professional but have not undertaken professional quality marketing don’t perform. Collecting quality links is a real challenge and you need to be doing this on a weekly and daily basis, Google measure the rate of backlink gain and loss and decides how interesting a website site is by the growth of its back link profile.
A metric to become familiar with is Domain Authority (DA) this is a concept created by Moz.com to measure a websites ability to rank in the Search Engine Results (Known as Search Engine Results placement or SERPS) The higher a domains authority the more likely it is to rank above other website. So all things being equal the domain with the highest DA score is likely to rank the highest and the one with lowest score the worse. So building up your DA is all imporant, and to do that you need to attract or find quality links from similar sites to your own and the higher the DA of the site linking to you the greater the benefit. This again is a lot harder that it sounds, as Google pushes down or penalises paid for links, and many links on free sites are known as nofollow which means whilst they are great for bringing visitors to your website they add nothing to your DA or search engine reputation.
Quality of User experience starting in around Feb 2011 Google began to treat websites differently the results on page #1 get all the traffic and once a page on a website begins to reach this position in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Placement) then a new scoring system kicks in this looks at how a page performs by measures such as
- Time on page – how long does a visitor stay on a page
- Bounce rate – what % of visitors arrive on a page then straight away go back the way they came – e.g back to Google
- What % click through rate does a page attract ie how eye catching is it to visitors reading through search results.
Using these sorts of measures pages that would otherwise feature highly on page #1 of Google are pushed down because Google doesn’t like their user metrics. This is a key factor that needs to be understood as not only do you need to build a quality site in terms of look and feel, the content needs to be compelling and sticky for the user and relative to your competitors you need to perform at least as good if not better than your peers.
Much more is planned in this area, watch out for Google announcements about Core vital updates as Google has now started to broaden the way it measures these and before long sites will be punished for not meeting their expectations on this way.
A quick tip always ensure your website has a traditional sitemap page as well as an xml sitemap.
I hope you find this article helpful, if you need an accountant who is also a Search Engine specialist then contact me as I can help you with your Finances as well as your internet presence.
If you want to talk with an experienced E-Commerce FD or are looking for a Search Marketing professional, then reach out to our team today, we have a team of highly skilled available, call now on 020 3287 9501 for an initial chat.
We can recommend watching Neil Patels Video on Google and how to rank
Neil is really well known and well respected in SEO circles.