We see so many websites created nowadays but besides the social media platforms being used to promote the branding, do you know what is the important X factor that drives visitors or should I say traffic, to these websites?
It is search engine optimization (SEO). In layman terms, it is the process of improving your website data to increase organic aka free visibility for relevant searches whenever a person goes online to look for a product or service etc.
The better visibility your website has, the more likely you will garner attention and attract new potential customers to your business besides maintaining your current customer base. Many people say SEO is dead but this is not true at all! It is still one of the most powerful strategies used in digital marketing to drive positive results in the long run.
Search engines like Google and Bing – they want to provide the best service to their users. This means they use bots to scan or crawl pages on the web, going from site to site and collecting information about them to make sure that high quality results will be delivered during a search and contain relevant information which the user is looking for.
This is where algorithms take place and they change very quickly to ensure the consistent quality and relevancy of searches hence it is important to implement search engine optimization for your business so that when the user does a search, your business website will appear within the first few pages on search engines.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 6 critical factors that affect SEO ranking:
Search algorithms depend heavily on keywords. These are the common words and phrases that searchers use when they are looking for information. They are also the very same words and phrases that describe what your website is about. Ideally, these should match well so it is very important to use keywords in your content. However, do note that fresh and original content is best as duplicate content is one big negative SEO ranking factor.
2. Google My Business Listing
Having a Google My Business listing is the most basic yet fundamentally important thing you can do for local SEO. It helps establish your business as a legit entity which acts as a great asset to your SEO. It also enhances your local search performance and once you create a listing, it becomes eligible for the local business community and Google maps, making your business visible to nearby searchers.
3. Page Speed
This is known to be one of the leading SEO ranking factors for years. As mentioned earlier, search engines want to provide the best service to their users which equates to having an enjoyable user experience on the internet and fast loading web pages help to achieve this objective. Page Speed also affects mobile page speed and Google announced that starting from September 2020, all websites will be judged on their mobile version and this definitely becomes a big factor in deciding your SEO ranking!
Backlinks are a signal to tell search engines about the credibility and authority of a website. The number and quality of links pointing to your website is an off page SEO factor that holds a significant impact on your search ranking. Backlinks are often considered to be the second most important SEO ranking factor after optimized content so if you want your search ranking to be good, you will need to build high quality backlinks such as digital PR and guest postings etc.
5. Site Security
As early as 2014, Google has discussed site security as a ranking factor and this has become one of the most important factors especially when cyber hacking is on the rise with advancing technology. Sites with HTTPS encryption have SSL certificates that create a secure connection between a site and its searchers, protecting information exchanged between searchers and the site through an additional layer of security. Make sure your website starts with HTTPS so Google can inform the searcher that your website is safe for use.
6. Domain Age
This factor is definitely out of your control but the age of your domain does remain a considerable ranking factor and though Google does not state explicitly that they prefer older domains, research has shown that older domains tend to rank better. Well I guess, older domain age does give searchers the feel of credibility and so if you are going to or just launch a brand new website, know that it will take at least 6 months to 1 year for your SEO efforts to see results. Your SEO ranking will definitely improve with time and consistent SEO work!
In summary, it is no longer optional but mandatory for your business to implement SEO. I hope you will be encouraged and know that great SEO results take time and persistence to achieve. All the best in this amazing world of SEO!