ways to improve rankings & what search engines are looking for from your site
Search engines (SEs) "crawl," or scan the website's coding, using "bots" and pre-determined algorithms in order to index the content on your page and store the information essentially in a very large database. The bots are looking for certain indicators (such as keywords, but there are other indicators as well).
Remember, to refer back to this post if you need a refresher on key terms (we italicized and linked back to the glossary the terms that are defined for you). You can also get the glossary of terms download so you can have a constant reference.
Continue reading to learn the three benchmarks in which search engines are grading your website.
search engines give higher rankings to websites
that have proven authority,
trustworthiness, and topical relevance.
SEO is a marketing strategy for website owners to do just that: prove authority, trustworthiness, and topical relevance. Let's discuss how you can do that overall with your website.
using seo to establish authority
Several factors are considered when a search engine (SE) crawls your website trying to determine your site's authority. The SE wants to know if you are an authority on the subject matter. In other words, do you know what you're talking about and therefore are you a good source of information?
To do this, SEs look at the following:
- the age of your site
- Have you been up and running for 5+ years and therefore are very well established? 5 might be a magic number, but there are some workarounds. For instance, consider purchasing multiple years up front for your website, that will show dedication. If you can't afford that, don't sweat it -- just boost up other areas to establish authority.
- traffic trends
- How are people arriving to your website? Are they visiting because a respected source told them to: eg, such as a good review on Yelp, an inbound link from a blogger, or a shoutout from an influencer on a social media channel? What if it was a bad review on Yelp? Well, that will hurt your ranking whereas a good one will help your ranking.
- This also plays into talking about SEO juice: if you loved a company or a helpful article, you should shout it from the Internet rooftops by linking to them. This helps their credibility and gives them some authority accordingly to SEs.
- publishing quality content that is unique/original
- There are two components to this which we will discuss next with establishing trust: quality and original.
using seo to establish trust
We discussed establishing trust by creating quality content that is original and unique.
Let's first look at quality. This is often done with blog posts because the more high-quality content and value-added information you offer to visitors then more often they will visit your site, the longer they stay on your site, and the more likely they are to be like "hey, that article really helped me, I should share it with my best friend." All of those things increase traffic trends, improve analytics, and establish your authority with SEs.
Now, the catch with having original and unique content. Duplicated content is a big no-no in so many ways: issues with plagiarisms, copyrights, and legality being first and foremost. Also, it really hits your site negatively as far as SEs are concerned. Copycats are not considered authority figures and definitely are not deemed trustworthy...
There are other ways to build SE trust (and also the trust of your followers):
- properly integrate SEO keywords and metatags within your text, images, and URLs
- have an online presence on social media
- If SEs and visitors can find you somewhere else on the Internet, then your influence increases and therefore you are more trustworthy.
using seo to establish relevance
This is the main benchmark to which your website or any of your webpages show up in search results on SERP. Why? Well, let's think about this scenario: if someone is wanting to purchase a new car, there is absolutely no way your website or any of it's pages will pop up on SERP if you are a DIY home blogger. That person is probably using a few search keywords like
- "what is a safe car in 2016"
- "used car dealerships near me"
- "how to get a good deal on a new car"
- "best cars of 2016"
Your home improvement blog is not relevant to someone wanting to buy a new car.
However what if you are a financial blogger? Well, one year ago you wrote a blog post or a page on your website dedicated to "finding a great deal on used cars" or even "how to finance a new car." That post or page would be very relevant to the person performing the Internet search.
Now what? Now you use SEO strategy to ensure your post or page will show up in those search listings:
- implement keywords into your post content and webpages, including your URLs and images/graphics
- properly format your text so that it is reader-friendly (we should you how to do this in our free e-course, Building Your Business 101)
- but also, simply establish authority and trust so that you will simply just rank higher than competitors when there is a relevant match with you and the person using a SE