Get the Basics Right – On Page
Whenever I speak with a new business about SEO, one of the most common questions which I am asked is “how long will it take for my website to start ranking well on Google”? As many SEO professionals out there know, this is often an exceedingly difficult question to answer, without doing in-depth research into the website in question.
One of the first things which I always look at is how well optimised a site is from an on-page perspective. Are there any obvious errors (missing meta data, slow page load speeds and alike)? Aside from errors, how well optimised is the site, does every page have an H1 heading, have keywords been included in meta data where appropriate? If a site is not well optimised from the homepage down, it will not matter how much time and resources are invested in developing new content each month, or accruing links from relevant authoritative sites. Google simply will not see your website as being one worthy of ranking at the top of the first page, when compared with your competitors whose sites are properly optimised.
This bring me back to the opening question; my answer is always that in order to give an accurate timeframe, a site must be optimised and then Google allowed to pick up the improvements which have been made. Depending on how the site is positioned after this, it will give a much clearer picture of how long it will take for the ongoing SEO efforts to get a site ranking well. We must always get the basics right first.
Content is King
This is a phrase which has been used time and time again when discussing what constitutes a “good” SEO strategy. It is fundamental that a site not only has enough informative, unique content on main landing pages, but also is being regularly updated through blogging.
Main website landing page content should be at least 500 words in length, so that it is not considered as being “thin” by Google. Content on your main website is your sales pitch to users and prospective customers and should be written with that in mind.
Blog content on the other hand should not be written as a sales pitch and should be focused around providing information relating to your industry and the kind of subject matter which your users will be interested to read about. Think of the blog as a knowledge bank which you are looking to build on your website over time. The more unique, impartial, and informative content you create and share, the higher the regard which Google will place on your site.
One final tip when it comes to website content, I always look to target main keywords to the appropriate landing page of the main body of a site. Blogs should and can be used to rank for longer tail phrase type key terms, which if worked correctly, will lead to your blog becoming a supplementary source of organic traffic. You can then look to direct this traffic through to your main website through appropriate internal linking.
Link Building is not Dead
Contrary to what some may try to tell you, link building is certainly not dead, far from it and is still a fundamental part of a quality, well rounded SEO strategy. While the kinds of links which Google places value on in 2020 have changed drastically when compared with a number of years ago. Links remain a crucial part of Google’s ranking algorithm and as such are an essential piece of the jigsaw puzzle which constitutes a “good” SEO strategy.
Quality links can be sourced in several different ways, it really all depends how much time a web owner has available to invest into the process, as to the approach which will fit best. From a Google perspective and in an ideal world, all back links would be created “naturally” by developing content which other website managers read and then feel inclined to link to from their own websites. This is as natural as backlinking gets and is something which a business owner should always be looking to achieve wherever possible. Sadly, and I speak from a wealth of experience on this topic having spoken to literally thousands of company owners both in Australia and internationally over the years. Very few businesses have the time or resources required to put into content creation and promotion on their own, which is where looking for the assistance of an agency which has the tools needed to assist with this becomes vital.
A high-quality backlink will be from a real, industry relevant website which is built naturally, one way, within the content of a page or placed as a reference. Links from stronger, more established domains will also give a good boost to the site which they are pointing to, even if they are from less relevant domains.
A Social Media Presence Does Matter
While posting on Facebook or Instagram alone is not going to get your website to the top of Google, having a presence on social media and engaging with your followers is something which Google does pay attention to. It is therefore highly advised for any well-rounded SEO strategy to ensure that regular activity on social media is taking place.
The SEO benefit aside, engaging with users on social media is another way of building your brand and creating another potential income channel for your business if utilised effectively.
It is not simply one thing which creates a good well-rounded SEO strategy, it is a multitude of different bodies of development working together over time which build the value of a site. I have mentioned some of the main, most important areas which need to be looked at within this article, there are also other, less impactful ones. By working to ensure that you are delivering on all these fronts will mean that your website gains the strength and value required in the eyes of Google to rank above the competition.