Let’s start with a fact: Search engines are complex.

Building websites and creating content for search engines is complicated at best, as frustrating as it may be, I promise life is better when your website and search engines are getting along.

While search engines are incredibly complicated, you only need to know and live by a limited amount of information to successfully win them over.

With approximately 80% of all Google searches ending within the first five search results, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to do everything you can to bump your site up in those rankings. It can be tempting to try and trick the system into putting you at the top. You might be successful, but for how long? Cheating the system to get a quick buck isn’t sustainable; it won’t last. As soon as Google rolls out their next algorithm update, you’ll be blast into the past.

So what is this small amount of knowledge that you need to win over the love of Google and its like-minded friends?

 

Holistic SEO

 

Holistic SEO comprehensively takes in to account all SEO practices with a focus on user experience. Let’s look at Google’s mission:

“Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

So if we’re all sharing information, and the search engine wants to make it universally accessible and useful, it’s going to want to share the website that offers the most “useful” information in the most “accessible” way. So the idea is, if a person can quickly obtain the information they need while enjoying the experience of your website, it should be displayed when people search for that information.

Simple enough, right?

And the best part about this approach to SEO is that it’s sustainable. When you focus on making an awesome website with valuable content, you’re building for the long haul. You don’t have to worry so much about search engine algorithm updates, and people are going to want to come back and visit your site because it was a valuable experience.

By providing valuable content with simple presentation, you’re making the search engine happy, customers happy, and getting business. It’s a win, win!

 

Breaking it Down

 

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is that stuff we do in the background to help search engines understand what our pages mean. That means ALT tags in your images, writing great meta-data descriptions, structuring the content of your page so that the headings are in order, and making sure that information is accessible to people with disabilities.

Google’s AI learning capabilities are growing every day, and I foresee a day in the not-so-distant future where we don’t need to worry about all of these things. Google is getting better at reading images to the point where it could produce ALT tags on its own someday.

User Experience

I don’t feel like I should have to mention it because it’s 2018, but your website needs to be designed for mobile use – not just with mobile in mind.

It needs to be easy to find information, fill out forms, and make purchases. Be transparent about all of your processes, write content that flows, and make it look good.

Not sure if your website is where it needs to be? Read these five signs that your site needs a redesign.

Quality Content

Develop a value-first content strategy. What does that mean? That means you’re not developing content for search engines to help yourself; you’re developing content to help people.

I’m not saying you should put a lot of time and work into creating the best content you can and then just give it away like it’s nothing. You should put in a lot of time to create the best content you can, and then strategically place it in the hands of potential customers.

Your content is where people find you. The content on your core pages, the content in your blog, and the content in your social media posts – it all needs to present valuable information that represents what you’re offering. It’s more than the thought that counts though. When it comes to gaining SEO value from content, your content actually needs to serve its intended purpose. If it falls short, search engines will consider it low quality.

How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy That Rocks

Security

Did you know that in October of this year, Google is going to make SSL the new standard for internet security? If you don’t have an SSL certificate for your website, you could be punished in search engine results and lose business.

It’s important to keep your website’s information secure as well as the information of your website users. Whether you do business in the EU or not, you might want to look into GDPR compliance because similar data privacy regulations are coming to the US.

 

The Wrap

 

Transparency and truth win. When your web presence conveys your values and authentic story, it lets people and search engines alike know who you are and what you’re all about.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with all of the “tricks” you can do to boost your search engine ranking. Focus on building a value-first web presence.

With a foundation built on value, you’ll find that it’s much easier to create new focused content within the bounds of your strategy and grow your web presence.

Need Some Help Boosting Your Search Engine Rankings?