What Search Engines Are Looking For
Search engines want to do their jobs as best as possible by referring users to websites and content that is the most relevant to what the user is looking for. So how is relevancy determined?
- Content:Is determined by the theme that is being given, the text on the page, and the titles and descriptions that are given.
- Performance:How fast is your site and does it work properly?
- Authority:Does your site have good enough content to link to or do other authoritative sites use your website as a reference or cite the information that’s available?
- User Experience:How does the site look? Is it easy to navigate around? Does it look safe? Does it have a high bounce rate?
What Search Engines Are NOT Looking For
Search engine spiders only have a certain amount of data storage, so if you’re performing shady tactics or trying to trick them, chances are you’re going to hurt yourself in the long run. Items the search engines don’t want are:
- Keyword Stuffing:Overuse of keywords on your pages.
- Purchased Links:Buying links will get you nowhere when it comes to SEO, so be warned.
- Poor User Experience:Make it easy for the user to get around. Too many ads and making it too difficult for people to find content they’re looking for will only increase your bounce rate. If you know your bounce rate it will help determine other information about your site. For example, if it’s 80 percent or higher and you have content on your website, chances are something is wrong.
In addition to optimizing for the desktop experience, make sure to focus on mobile and tablet optimization as well as other media.
- Create rich media content like video, as it’s easier to get a video to rank on the first page than it is to get a plain text page to rank.
- Optimize your non-text content so search engines can see it. If your site uses Flash or PDFs, make sure you read up on the latest best practices so search engines can crawl that content and give your site credit for it.
Focus on Your Meta Data Too
Your content on your site should have title tags and Meta descriptions.
- Meta keywords are pretty much ignored by search engines nowadays, but if you still use them, make sure it talks specifically to that page and that it is also formatted correctly.
- Your Meta description should be unique and also speak to that specific page. Duplicate Meta descriptions from page to page will not get you anywhere.
Title tags should also be unique! Think your title as a 4-8 word ad, so do your best to entice the reader so they want to click and read more.