When any business is deciding their marketing strategies and looking at their marketing budget it is extremely important to try and get the best value for money as possible. Engaging a company with an excellent SEO strategy and excellent SEO techniques is of utmost importance but for many companies price is an extremely important factor and return on investment is even more important.
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We focus on some core principles when we execute our SEO stratgy on your site:
Google is looking for high-quality content that is relevant to the search query. It will look at the language used on a page, and for words and phrases that are related to the search query. We call these “theme words”. Longer pages tend to do better, and the inclusion of photos and/or video works to your advantage too. Furthermore, pictures and videos also help to retain the visitor’s interest.
Google also looks at the design of pages, and what a visitor will see “above the fold” (before scrolling down) when they land on a page. Good user experience is essential. If a visitor landing on your page sees a bunch of adverts and very little else, you can imagine how Google would view that page.
Page Load Time
Nobody likes waiting around for a page to load. If your web pages are taking five or more seconds to load, your visitors may not wait and hit the back button. According to research, your average web user has an attention span of just a few seconds, less than a goldfish. So, it’s important that your pages load quickly.
Slow page load times are unlikely to be directly penalized by Google, it’s more how a visitor reacts. If the searcher came from Google, a slow loading page will make that visitor unhappy and even click the back button to Google. Google sees both the “bounce” and “exit” rates as negatives for your page. An unhappy visitor from Google means an unhappy Google and low Google visibility.
Internal Links from Other Pages on the Site
If you look at a website like Wikipedia, you’ll see a lot of internal links on the pages. Internal links go from one page on a website to a different page on the same site. These should be distinguished from external links. External Links point to a different website. Internal links are there to help the visitor navigate around your website’s pages.
As someone reads a page on Wikipedia, they might come across a word or phrase they do not understand, or simply want to know more about. By “internally” linking keywords or phrases to other pages on Wikipedia, visitors get to navigate around the site more easily and find the information they are looking for quickly. Internal links also help Google fully index your website.
A “bounce” is simply a visitor who clicks a link in the SERPs and then returns to Google. The quicker the return, the worse it is for your page as it tells Google the visitor was not satisfied.
Let’s think about how this might work.
Say a visitor on Google searches for “vitamin A deficiency” and visits the first page in the SERPs. Not finding what they want, they then click the browser’s back button to return to Google. They may then click on another site further down the SERP to see if that can provide what they are looking for.
What does this tell Google about the first page?
The visitor did not find the information they wanted on that page.
Google knows this because they returned to the search results and repeated (or refined) their search. If lots of people around the world search for a certain phrase, and an unusually high percentage of them bounce back from the same web page that is ranked #1 in Google for the search term, what do you think Google will do?
Doesn’t it make sense that it would demote that page in the SERPs – for that search phrase – since lots of people are not finding it relevant to their search query?
Bounce rates go hand-in-hand with searcher intent. If visitors find a page relevant, they’ll stay on the page for longer. They may even browse other pages on that site, so don’t bounce right back. This tells Google the visitor was happy with that recommendation, and Google is happy.
Time a Visitor Stays on Your Page / Site.
Google monitors the time visitors spend on web pages. One of the ways it does this is through its Google Analytics platform. Google Analytics is a free web analytics service for site owners. What it does is track and report on your website traffic. Because it’s free, a lot of webmasters install it on their sites. This gives Google the ability to accurately track the site’s visitors.
It’ll track lots of variables including things like time spent on the site, the route a visitor takes through your site, how many pages they visit, what operating system they use, the screen resolution, the device they are using, and so on. Even if a site does not have Analytics installed, it is possible that Google monitors visitor behavior through its popular Chrome web browser.
Trust and Authority
I’ll cover this here even though it is controlled by off-page factors, simply because we think about the authority of a site as an on-site property.
This factor became huge in 2018. It was always important, but with the introduction of the “Medic Update” in August of that year, high trust & authority is now vital for ranking in health and finance niches (and other niches will follow). Essentially, if a site can hurt your health or your financial well-being with the information (or products) available, it will require a lot more trust before Google will rank its pages.
It is my opinion that the way Google is monitoring these factors is down to what other authoritative sites (and people) are saying about you and your site. As we’ve seen, votes (links from other sites) pass on this authority. Now more than ever it is important to focus on high-quality links, relevant, and authoritative links, rather than high numbers of links. Quality over quantity is the key. While trust and authority are things your site will accrue over time, they are largely controlled by off-page SEO and we’ll come back to this later.
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