Any business wanting more online customers or bloggers wanting more followers knows the importance of getting found online. Being able to rank on page one of Google for your main keywords is key to getting the attention that you want. The websites on the top of Google’s (and other search engines’) listings aren’t there by chance or accident. Over 200 known factors go into how search engines decide where a website should be ranked, and these change over time enough to keep SEO as a constantly evolving field.
All webmasters should learn about on site optimisation. This refers to anything that would generally be considered “front end” by designers and programmers. These are some of the easiest factors to change, which makes them low hanging fruit of the SEO world. Just because they’re easy to do doesn’t make them less important. Some factors, like being responsive or mobile friendly, is absolutely critical to rank. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly face a major penalty.
When you’re thinking about on-site optimisation (also sometimes called on page optimisation), think anything content related. Good pictures that aren’t pixelated and are properly tagged, header tags throughout a post, a smooth layout to make reading easy, original high-quality content, etc. If you see it on the page then chances are it can affect SEO in some way and it is considered an “on site” factor.
Just a short list of other on-site optimisation factors include:
– Original logo
– Length of content
– Original content (avoid duplicate content or you’ll be penalized)
– Easy to navigate
– Great aesthetic appearance
Off Site Optimisation
Anything that would generally be considered back end programming falls under off site optimisation. This includes the speed of hosting (as well as % of up time), overall trust, overall domain authority, and especially backlinks.
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in search engine optimisation. Good backlinks are from websites that have solid trust and authority, are in the same or a related niche as yours (contextual), and give you a good mix of linking text. Mostly your URL and website/blog/business name, but an occasional keyword is fine as long as it’s never too many.
These have a mixed reputation since many people used to spam backlinks and that was enough by itself to rank. Multiple Google updates have slammed this practice and given backlinks a negative reputation, but they are still seen as a major ranking factor – arguably one of the most important. The key is collecting them the right way and not abusing the practice.
Other major off-site factors include:
– Overall website trust
– Overall website authority
– Number of years the domain is bought for
– Age of website
– Social media footprint
Local SEO Considerations
When looking at ranking local businesses that are based on serving a specific geographic area, local SEO considerations definitely come into play. The on site and off site factors still apply, but localized listings take other factors into account. These are extremely important to understand for businesses hoping to increase their visibility among local residents. If you need help with this and you’re a local business in Adelaide, check out http://breakoutseo.com.au/adelaide.
Some of the most common factors that affect how websites rank locally include claiming local map and business listings from the major search engines, getting positive reviews (especially from Google), getting a large number of reviews, appearing in local online directories, and more.
While the on site and off site factors still matter, the local SEO considerations tend to shoot to the top for local businesses looking to improve their listings.
What Is Trust & Authority?
Google mentions “Trust” and “Authority” as two major ranking factors that arguably could be considered some of the most important. The trouble is that these are fairly grey area terms, in the same way, that “quality” is sort of grey. You know the basics of what that means, but how does that break down on the step by step level?
Trust and Authority can overlap a bit, and while it’s hard to nail down, by following on and off site SEO best practices for some time, it seems like trust and authority grow as a side result. Having an aged website is a huge factor, keeping out of Google’s doghouse by avoiding penalties, getting links from established and trusted websites in related niches, and buying a domain name for 10 years to show you’re in it for the long haul as opposed to 1 year which could be a fly by night scam.
Do You Need An SEO Agency?
People writing on a personal blog or writing on a blog that is pretty much all about video or all about a personality (“cult of personality”) probably don’t. However, businesses of all sizes, blogs, and anyone needing to rank for keywords should definitely consider the help of an SEO agency such as Breakout SEO. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a constantly changing field and one that is going to constantly have interest because of just how important it is. Getting an agency can make sure you’re on the right track!