HINT: SEO is NOT about tricking or gaming search engines. It’s about authority, relevance, value….and effective targeting of the searcher.
- What do search engines want?
- Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness
- Long term consistency
- Technical/Onsite Optimisation
- Content Creation
- Link Building
What do search engines want?
Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness
- Ensure that you provide a detailed author bio, providing evidence of subject matter expertise & qualifications.
- Do your research. Understand the type of information that the searcher may need. Whilst keywords can provide guidance, focus instead on being the best solution for a searcher.
- Don’t duplicate. This can be difficult for more generic subjects but where possible, conduct your own unique research and provide this data.
- Like any good article, it should reference data and facts.
- Provide links to studies and other information to help reinforce that your article is factually accurate. You can also loop in other experts to reference and add weight to your content.
- High quality and relevant links are going to be influential here. We’ll cover this when discussing link building, but remember that a strong backlink profile is critical.
- Reviews and star ratings can be indicative of a good (or bad) reputation.
- How does the industry talk about the company or author? Are they referenced in recognised papers, websites or forums? We want ‘independent, credible sources of information’ to shine a positive light.
- Website security could impact a user’s trust. SSL is a ranking factor for Google so make sure you have https on the site.
- Independent awards or recognition within an industry.
- Reviews, ratings and how others refer to your website will likely impact trustworthiness as well.
Long Term Consistency
- Not everything is perfect first time. As such, you will have to revisit some of the work you complete and adjust it according to your analytics.
- Consistency over time will mean a larger amount of deliverables (work completed in all areas of SEO)
- Your content will remain relevant. This may come in the form of regular industry news updates, or updating old content. As we’ll see, in some circumstances fresh content can have a real impact on your SEO.
- Frustration and burn out can set in, especially if you set false expectations. When you look to work over what you might deem as ‘above your threshold’ for a short period, you’re automatically in the wrong mindset. You’ll expect to see short term results. This can lead to you losing faith in SEO as a channel and not reaping the long term benefits.
- SEO is constantly evolving. If you have are consistently adjusting your campaign, you’ll stay up to date.
- A portion of SEO requires reputation (such as link building). This takes time to develop, including connections with publishers and other websites.
- Brand strategy
- Messaging and communications strategy
- Audience insights
- Keyword research
- Competitor research
Brand Strategy and Marketing & Communications Strategy
Technical SEO / Onsite Optimisation
Both your users and search engines want to see a clear site structure. You may also hear this being called site hierarchy or information architecture. Essentially, there needs to be order and a clear user flow. You might need to adjust the structure to prevent pages from being buried deep in your site (i.e requiring a lot of clicks and navigation to access).
How easy is it for the user to interact with the website? Well known factors such as page load speed and whether your website is mobile friendly come into play here.
We don’t want to leave anything to chance. Optimising meta data, headings and content on each webpage help search engines understand the purpose of the page. For more advanced SEOs we can also look to use items like schema mark up to provide additional information.
“Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors”