If you own a business, online presence should be a high priority. With over 75% of the U.S. population currently online, businesses of all types and sizes are utilizing internet real estate to cash in on this seemingly infinite cash resource. But for those new to the internet game, getting started can be an intimidating and stressful process.
A high Google search ranking is able to provide businesses with an abundance of leads that may have been lost otherwise. Simply put, if you are not visible within the Google result pages, to many people, you might as well not exist.
Google’s reputation for shifting the online market place is widely known… and feared. When the search giant sees fit to alter their search algorithms, the changes work to improve the search user experience, while in turn punishing sites deemed “low quality.”
How do these algorithm changes impact you and your website? Basically, it implies that if you are committed to a high search ranking, then you must put forth the time and effort to maintain it.
Over the years, numerous tricks and tips have been conveyed in an effort to help pages achieve and maintain a high search ranking. As Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, it can be difficult to keep up-to-date on which tactics actually work. Let’s begin with some basic information that will never change:
Content as the User Sees it:
As the premier search engine, Google is committed to delivering relevant, high-quality content to their user base. As such, Google’s algorithms are in place to reward sites utilizing quality content that is in line with the products, services, and information their users are searching for.
What changes here, is exactly how Google defines which content is relevant, and which is clutter or “fluff”.
How Your Site Content Looks To Google:
The world’s first glimpse into Google’s marketplace dominance came about when some of the more prominent sites began achieving lower search rankings.
As it turns out, these sites were found to house either low quality or duplicate content. Because Google is committed to high-quality results and (i.e. high-quality content), these sites lost top search engine rankings.
So, how do you avoid low rankings? Relevant, original and fresh content is the key! Though it may take more time and effort to produce, the rewards you receive rank-wise will more than make up for the time or marketing budget used.
In addition to the content, Google is interested in the user experience as a whole. Sites that are deemed confusing or frustrating to visit will typically find themselves with lower search rankings than those committed to a fluid user experience.
Take a moment to consider your personal web search behaviors. When you come across a site that takes forever to load, and makes you search for what you were looking for, you are likely to take your business elsewhere.
Of course Google also needs to find your site and content in the first place, so you will need off site marketing (links, Facebook ad campaigns, PPC, etc). But if you are driving traffic to a site now which poor content, lack of proper optimization and confusing navigation – you will likely never achieve the goals you are looking for.
Make sure your website is clean, your content is relevant and fresh and you’ve thought about the user experience. If you don’t have a quality website, Google has no reason to serve you to their users – they have a million other sites they can rank instead. At the end of the day, quality wins.