If you have a website or an online store, it is important that you have a working SEO plan. A website or an online store that is not optimized for the search engine is like a well-stocked shop that is closed. Basically, if your website is not SEO friendly, no one will discover it as it will not show on search engines and thus, all your efforts and investments will be in vain. Although visitors can also visit your site even if it is not optimized for search engines based on your business marketing strategy, it is important to note that SEO is the basics of every successful online store.
Although advertising your website on other platforms such as social media and television among other marketing channels will string bring traffic, the good thing about SEO is that it informs other people who do not know about your business, its existence as well as the product and services you offer. In fact, according to statics conducted in 2014, approximately 64-percent of all website traffic came from search engines, compared to only 12-percent from direct, 15-percent from referral sources, 6-percent from paid search and 2-percent from social media platforms. Therefore, irrespective of whether you are investing in other marketing plans, you need an effective SEO plan.
What factors do search engines consider when ranking websites?
Different search engines whether Google, Yahoo or any other has its own algorithm that its uses to rank websites, which makes it difficult to know what you should focus on as the website owner to get a top ranking. That said, there are some factors that search engines look for when trying to provide the most relevant result to a search query including relevancy, the quality of the content, user experience, cross-device compatibility, site-speed, authority, internal linking, and Meta descriptions and title tags.
Whenever search engines receive a query, they usually rank the results based on the relevancy factors such as the location, time of operation, and history among other issues based on the query. Content is the king when it comes to SEO. Websites with quality helpful content always rank high on search engines. In fact, Google and Yahoo have put in measures to ensure that content creators are actually creating content for humans rather than for the search engine itself. In fact, unlike the early SEO days when all you needed was to optimize keywords to rank highly, the modern algorithms seem to look for longer-form content that addresses the intent of the visitor as a whole.
In addition to quality content and relevancy, search engines are looking to reward websites that offer the best possible user experience. Websites that rank highly on search engines are easily navigable, clearly searchable with related content and relevant internal linking. Basically, the sites have stuff that keeps visitors longer on the site. Top ranking sites also have high load speeds. Basically, search engines monitor the drop rate, which signifies the number of visitors experiencing difficulty while accessing your site. As a site owner, you should ensure that your website compatible with different browsers and devices to reduce the drop rate, which can negatively affect your website ranking.
Furthermore, search engines rank highly websites that have an authority aspect on their niche. Search engines gauge authority of a website based on several factors that range from links from authority websites to return traffic, and quality content. You should remember that in your attempt to rank highly on search engines, you should avoid anything that can negatively affect your ranking such as the bad neighbor. Although you may be doing everything right on your website, your website ranking can be downgraded if it is linked to a bad neighbor. It is also helpful to ensure that your content is indexable.
Since search engines use algorithms to rank websites, anything that improves readability and exposure of your website is welcome during search engine optimization. However, it is important to understand how to well use the factors to avoid being penalized. For example, while proper use of keywords may help improve the ranking you should be careful to avoid keyword abuse in an attempt to manipulate search engines. You should also remember that search engines are always updating their algorithms and thus, as a site owner you should be looking out for changes that may affect your website ranking. For most businesses, hiring an SEO expert gives the best return on investment as opposed to doing it internally.