How can you be sure that your business is taking full advantage of all the traffic that such engines can provide? Let’s face it. Not everyone can be a search engine optimization master. And not everyone can afford to invest in someone that is.
If you’re in that boat, following these 3 basic concepts will put you in a great position to start with a solid foundation.
Why Search Engines Constantly Change
Search engines are constantly changing. Every year, Google rolls out hundreds of changes to its algorithm. Most of these updates are minor and aren’t worth worrying about. However, a few times a year, Google rolls out what they call “broad core algorithm updates.” These are major updates with major changes that impact millions of websites.
This isn’t the time to get into each of those updates but just understand that search engines are constantly changing in an effort to give users the best experience possible. Why? Because the more users a search engine has, the more they can sell products and services such as pay-per-click ads. So providing the best results for users directly impacts the bottom line. They take part in a tremendous balancing act. Google tells us that 4 in 5 consumers (80%) use search engines to find local information. They have to deliver the best content possible from sources people can trust.
National websites may not have the best content but they’ve built up authority over time. Think Forbes, CNN, Amazon, etc. They’re reputable brands. Consumers trust them. But at the same time, there are many small sites that have better content. Imagine that you owned a bike shop and published content specifically about bicycles. Who do you think would have better bicycle content. The shop that makes, sells and works on them all day, or a national publisher like Forbes.
Search engines like Google constantly have to figure out which sites to rank higher. There are so many specific searches with specific results that can lead to so many different websites.
Google really tells us exactly what’s working now. In recent years, concepts like “YMYL” have become really important. YMYL means “your money your life.” Websites that fall into this category have to do with health, finance, or wellness. These niches get a lot more scrutiny from Google because the results directly impact the lives of users. In these niches, it may take you longer to rank. Google doesn’t typically show those sites to users until they’ve established trust. Regardless of how long it takes or what niche you’re in, these 3 basic concepts are the best path to higher search engine rankings
Implementing the concept of E-A-T will make the ranking process a lot easier for you. E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trust. When you create content, make sure you’re providing great expertise and are acting as an authority on the subject. If you do those things, users will trust your content, and search engines will begin to trust your content. At the end of the day, content that follows those principles will give users the best experience possible.
Core Web Vitals
This year, Google introduced another concept, Core Web Vitals, which also focuses on user experience. This concept revolves around website usability. It encompasses things like site speed, mobile friendliness, and design. Having a fast website that is mobile optimized and provides great usability will help you rank higher, both directly and indirectly. Google has already confirmed that Core Web Vitals is a direct ranking signal. Indirectly, you’ll get the benefit of longer dwell times, lower bounce rates, and more user interaction.
Anyone that has spent any time on search engine optimization understands that ranking for any worthwhile keyword can be incredibly resource-intensive. Choosing the wrong keywords can waste hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. You may be able to rank for a keyword but it may not bring you any traffic. Or, it might bring you traffic, but not the right kind of traffic. Imagine getting thousands of visitors a day to your website, knowing that none of them will ever buy from you because you attracted the wrong audience.
This is why Google places such a strong focus on search intent. Different audiences are using different keywords in order to reach different outcomes. Some are looking for information. Some are looking to buy. Some are using Google to navigate to brands they already know. Your website and your content have to match what your target audience is looking for. If you deliver that content, along with the two concepts we outlined above, Google will reward you with higher rankings. The result of that effort is a never-ending stream of organic customers who are looking for you and the solutions you can provide them