By Nikki Hegstetter, Digital and SEO Insights Analyst
Everyone wants to rank at the top of search engines, but are you doing everything that it takes? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a constantly evolving business. There are always new updates and rules set by Google Algorithm. We like to reference Google’s Algorithm similar to the NCAA handbook for you sports fans out there. It is filled with metrics that Google weighs in determining which websites show up first in a keyword search. With this being said, there are thousands of metrics that go into this algorithm. While it would be a stretch to perform every metric flawlessly, there are three main ones we know will give your website a pretty good start.
The first is handling the technical side of your website. You can do this through mock crawlers, which will show you similar results as if Google’s crawlers were crawling your site. This will allow you to see where the weak points are technically. It is important to have your website performing at optimal condition before you move onto tackling other bigger jobs that come with increasing your SEO value.
The second is content, content, content. Google puts a lot of worth in relevant, up-to-date content. This is why blogs and FAQ pages are extremely helpful for a site. Google does not want to see a bunch of similar content or “duplicate content” as referenced by a crawler. This duplicate content will be flagged as an error and will actually hurt your site’s ranking. Increasing your relevant content increases your chances of giving the searcher exactly what they are looking for, hence increasing your ranking.
Last, but certainly not least, is external links. An external link is a link coming from a reputable third-party site (emphasis on the word reputable). A link from another site is seen by Google as what we like to call an endorsement. If a site is linking its content to your site, then that means there is trust among the parties. On the other end of the spectrum, it hurts your SEO to have links to your site from sites that are not reputable. Again, when this link comes from a reputable site, Google puts a lot of worth in that “endorsement.”
This is what you could call the SEO “skinny.” SEO is an ever-evolving and ever-changing business. However, finding someone who can harness its power and optimize your SEO can grow your business exponentially.