When creating their website or blog, people tend to think about what they’re going to post on it, thus ignoring the search engine ranking aspect of it. And even if some people realize the importance of quality SEO, because of the huge number of web pages on the internet and due to the different obstacles which may arise at any time, getting on the front page of search engines may prove to be quite challenging.
Each search engine uses a predefined formula to rank its content, and even though these formulas differed from website to website, all search engines took some common factors into account when ranking the website. Many people wish to get to the very top, but few of them truly manage to.
Next, we’ll discuss 5 of the less known factors which can affect your search engine ranking:
1. Using the wrong keywords
If you do not use the same keywords that users enter when looking for a product, your content will never reach their search results page, and thus it will not be seen by the right people. Of course, you may assume that your website is already popular, and therefore visitors access it to read its content, but the truth is that if you do not take advantage of users coming from the search engines, you’ll miss plenty of opportunities.
You never know when a user becomes interested in one of the products/services that you have to offer, and thus launch an internet search to get to it. But what happens if your website is listed only on the 4th page of Google? Research shows that 80% of the users never get past the first results page, so chances that a user will actually reach your website through that page are actually null.
Solution: It is advisable to use Google Trends for Search to compare various keywords and Google AdWords Keyword Tool to monitor searches for those terms. After you get informed in this way, you can use the right terminology in the titles and subtitles of your articles.
2. Not facilitating the content distribution
Since we live in the age of social media, it is important that your website visitors can easily distribute your content. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have become indispensable for efficient communication with our clients, but they also help with search engine optimization. For once, by regularly posting content and article snippets on your social media accounts you increase your chances of visitors accessing your website.
However, when a user “likes” one of your articles, he instantly shares it with all his friends on the social network. This means an increased exposure for your brand, but also the chance to make more sales. Users are interested in quality and speed, they want everything to be available exactly when they need it, without having to research various sources. In this regard, facile content distribution is essential for a website’s high search engine ranking.
Solution: If you use excessive Rich Media content (Flash, AJAX), its distribution will be almost impossible. Therefore, you need to make sure that:
– Each page on your site has its unique URL. When you copy/paste that URL, you need to load that page, and not just another wizard or filter.
– Do not load content in pop-ups that do not contain a URL
– Integrate social media tools within your website
3. Not telling the search engines what kind of content your website offers
Search engines read HTML text, so if the entire content on your website is in the form of images or Flash, search engines will not know what kind of content your site offers. Also, when the content is in the form of HTML text, it is more accessible to mobile users and those who have poor internet connections. Did you know that websites with lots of eye candy and complex designs tend to rank lower than the ones which focus on quality articles?
This happens because search engines do not see websites in the way we do. They only see the code behind it, the text without any images, animations or add-ons. What this really means is that even if you have the most appealing website on Earth, without enhancing it with quality content, you will not manage to do anything but scratch the surface. Users won’t still be able to find you.
Solution: You need to provide quality and unique articles on your website, ones that were never released before and which can benefit your readers. Also, avoid using lots of eye-candy and if you do have to use images within your articles make sure they’re optimized for the search engines as well (notice the “ALT” tags).
4. Not including a call-to-action
The purpose of a website should be higher than to have a good ranking which attracts plenty of visitors. The purpose of a website should be to turn those visitors into customers. In the absence of a high customer conversion ratio, your business will ultimately become too uncompetitive to run. The Internet is a highly diversified market, where every person makes an effort to bring customers on their side and to get on top.
Solution: If you sell products, include links to those products on your site’s pages. This will greatly boost your SEO ranking. Also, make sure to provide a strong call-to-action at the end which points toward one of the services that you have to offer.
5. Believing that all your visitors are accessing your site’s home page at first
Each page of your website should be as a home page. Often, visitors do not come directly to the home page and then browse your site. Most visitors will conduct a search will be sent to a page on your website, and from there they will sail on other pages. Therefore, each part of your website is important for the user and for your search engine ranking and should be treated with maximum importance.
When users arrive at a search engine page, they will usually arrive at one of the adjacent pages of your website, or more probably on your blog, if you have one. It is highly important for those web pages to be designed well, to capture users’ attention, but even more important is to provide them with something of value. They need to be guided toward the answer they were initially looking for.
Search Engine Ranking
Solution: Make sure that all pages of your website include links to the home page and the page with information about your company, plus additional call-to-action statements where relevant.