The best looking website selling the most amazing product or one even offering the secret to eternal youth has no value at all if no one gets to see it!
Not just see it but do whatever it is the owner of the site wants them to do.
Having a website means you are online, a bit of common sense logic there. You need to reap the benefits of that.
Whatever it is that allows you to show your website to an online customer base you must be best friends with.
Obviously we are talking about Search Engines here. And there are lots of them and have ever changing algorithms and rules to try and keep up with.
Search Engine ranking
In order for your website, regardless of what it does or doesn’t do, to be found by search engines it needs to be optimised for them. Hence Search Engine Optimisation.
This can be immensely frustrating, even if you’re an online veteran. Mostly because the goal posts change faster than a footballers hairline.
S.E.O. used to be mostly about words, Keywords.
These words are still important as they allow people to find you even if you not ranked highly in certain search engines and the more people that find you because of the correct use of effective keywords means the higher you will rank on search engines.
If that sounds a bit like the story of the chicken and the egg it is in terms of optimisation.
The obvious question here is how did they find you without proper S.E.O?
The answer is another acronym. P.P.C. (Pay per click) and the reason why we need to ensure our sites have relevant search engine optimisation.
For obvious reasons, Search Engines would prefer P.P.C. marketing methods to S.E.O. simply because S.E.O. generated organic traffic is FREE!
Organic traffic to your site is increasingly being touted as dying a slow death and no longer relevant in this day and age. Why? What has changed?
Money is the bottom line. In order for your site or advert for your site or product to rank at the top of a search engines page, you have to pay them.
This is increasingly the case with Social Media sites which show less and less organic traffic. Paid advertising is not always P.P.C. but if you don’t pay the ferryman you are unlikely to get to the other side.
To cite an example. Some years ago I promoted a hospitality site on Social Media and used a combination of organic and paid methods to get people to sign up to the relevant page. Once signed up they would get to see every bit of content published on that page.
Then the algorithm changed and even though I have paid to get the customer base I would need to pay again in order for all of them to see any new posts!
The online World accepted this and moved on dipping a little deeper into their pockets.
To be absolutely fair here, paid advertising is extremely effective. It always has been since before the days when even Superman would battle to tear the Yellow pages in half.
The point here is that S.E.O. is alive and well and if done correctly will attract free traffic.
Ponder this? Would the World not be in a sorry state if Search Engines only allowed the opinions, views and products of those prepared to pay to be listed?
How to optimise effectively?
Is organic traffic and S.E.O. still effective? Of course it is, it just takes quite a lot of work and research to keep up with the various ways search engines are trying to move people away from it.
Let’s look at some of the ways to do this
- Quality, quality, quality!
Paying for advertising negates the need for quality, but good luck with that. The quality, or the lack of it, of your website and all its pages will determine the effectiveness of your optimisation.
E.A.T. Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness together are the new ranking measure for a website or post. Effectively replacing the old Domain Authority ranking factor.
It is understandable with so many people and businesses being online.
It’s throwing out the trash to put it harshly. Google’s site crawling algorithm will determine the level of expertise you have in your subject, topic or niche. It’s a means to cut out the b.s. that is becoming increasingly prevalent in content writing.
Establish Authority and trustworthiness
Transparency is a key issue here. Don’t write about something you know little about. Be honest.
What this means in real terms is that the standard, and of course quality, of future Copy should improve.
It can create issues with freelance writers (like myself) who rely on research for unfamiliar subjects. But this is not all bad. For example, a Copywriter accepts an assignment to write an article on a health product which is outside his normal comfort zone.
It will be hard to establish any sort of authority or trust in this case as part of building trust and authority in any given subject includes authorship and links to and from recognised sites with proven subject knowledge. Make sense?
Put simply… is the content share-worthy?
I have to make clear here that content that has been thoroughly researched and written by a professional Copywriter even if outside their normal remit will be good copy.
However this article is about S.E.O. and how to get organic traffic through it.
Therefore it is the search engines you need to convince of the authority and trustworthiness of your content.
Simple ways of achieving authority and trust.
Because you are looking for organic traffic you need to obey the rules of the Search Engines. Nearly 21% of the ranking factors on Google relate to authority and trust. You can assume the other search engines are similar. You can not change this but you can work with it.
- If you write your own content about your own product you will quickly build up authority and trust. Assuming of course a level of knowledge in what you are offering.
- However not everyone has time to write their own content, Blogs, product reviews etc. In fact there are many people who feel their time is better spent on the business side of what they are doing. So if you have to outsource your Copywriting simply make sure whoever you employ to do it for you has authority on the relevant subject or product.
Why is Relevance important? Sounds like a silly question but in the current trend of quantity at the expense of quality, making sure your content is appropriate to what’s being done or said at a given time is sometimes overlooked a little.
Whatever it is you want to achieve it should include relevant content that drives your potential consumers to a relevant product offering.
This works for any offer, not just a physical product.
Relevance is about converting traffic coming to your site, not just attract it.
You can attract tons of traffic to your website by promising an experience you can not actually offer. (Like tickets to a popular show etc)
So you get the traffic but it does not convert because it is not relevant traffic to your actual offer. Which means….
Traffic that does not convert is a waste of everybody’s time and money!
Creating relevant copy is a huge subject so I’m going to point you to a training lesson on a site I use for information.
Have a look here, it gives you an in-depth look at the subject.
Reliability and Usability of your site
The definition of reliability is the quality of being trustworthy or of performing consistently well.
I rest my case your honour…
Making sure your site is reliable and user friendly will go a long way to getting Search engines to recognise you and index your site. In fact, access for Search engine crawlers (the things that search the web to find relevant content) is listed in the funnel of what’s important to S.E.O. as being the most important factor in being indexed.
This article is not intended to teach anyone anything other than the basics of optimising your site and raising awareness of the importance of it.
The intention is to show anyone looking to move their site forward in the right direction where and how to do it. Just look for the right information and get the right people for the job…