In order for a page to rank well in Google and other search engine results it needs to be easily understood by indexing robots, also commonly referred to as “spiders”. Making sure that the focus of the page is easily apparent to the spiders and that there are enough keywords that the search engine will consider the page the most relevant result to a particular search query is incredibly important when it comes to ranking well. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in the technical aspect of SEO though that we forget about the most important player in the process: the user. Effective SEO needs to focus on resonating with both search engines and the users that you are trying to attract because even if your page is ranking number one if a human user doesn’t find the page valuable your top ranking spot doesn’t mean much. We’ll go over some practices that can make sure that your page will be well received by both search algorithms and users to take your SEO to the next level.
Modify Your Traditional Crawl-Index-Rank SEO Model
While crawl-index-rank is still the basics of how spiders will treat your page, to truly make your SEO effective you need to go one step further. Once your ideal user is on the page you need to connect with them. Even if their search query is an exact match to the keywords in your content if they don’t feel drawn in odds are they’re gonna bounce back out to the search results and try your competitor’s page instead. This is where strong, effective content that resonates well with both crawlers and users comes in. Having a popular search query distributed throughout your page will help crawlers determine that your page is relevant, but if it is not implemented organically within the content, your page could seem spammy, for lack of a better word, and cause users to distrust or doubt your business. Considering that users, not search engines, are the ones who actually use your services it is imperative to keep this from happening.
Is your Media Content Understandable by Users and Crawlers?
Relevant media content can contribute a lot to improving the user experience of your page. Pictures or videos of your business or services draw users in and can keep them on your site. Unfortunately, the spiders can’t look at images and understand what they are. Users can tell that a photo is of a car or a lake easily, but the only way spiders, and therefore the search engine, can decipher your media content is through HTML tags and Schema If your images and videos don’t have alt tags or relevant schema markup, then search engines will be unable to determine the relevance of them. Making alt tagging and schema markup a regular part of your SEO efforts will allow spiders to index your content so that your quality media content isn’t ignored.
Know Your Audience: An Often Overlooked SEO Practice
When we focus too much on the technical side of SEO we can forget about an incredibly important aspect of marketing that is likely the oldest: knowing what your audience wants. When you are writing content for your site ask yourself the following questions to make sure that it will be effective.
Who are the users I want?
What makes them buy?
Where are they?
What are their values?
What do they want?
Asking yourself these questions throughout your SEO process will keep your attention focused on the people you want to attract and will go a long way to making your content attractive to your target audience. Write and develop with your audience in mind and when they click on your page they’ll be much more likely to stay.
Enlist Help if you Need To
SEO can quickly become a full-time job and if you’re a business owner you likely don’t want to spend your evening combing through your site for ways to improve your rankings. The help of a professional SEO company can be invaluable in getting your pages to rank and making you stand out among your competitors. Don’t be an analog advertiser in a digital world. Bring your marketing strategy up to date with best SEO practices.
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