I thought it might be an interesting topic to carry on from the previous one on Keyword Searches and talk about how websites got to be where they are in the search listings.
The SEO Cauldron
Throw in the correct ingredients and you will get a nice spell you can use on the search engines to obtain high rankings (where a website is listed in the many thousands and millions of results). Likewise, using the wrong ingredients and you risk disappointment and no one ever seeing your website from a search engine.
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It is worth noting at this point that search engines, although very important in the SEO world, are not the be-all and end-all of marketing for your website.
Content is King
This is perhaps the whole purpose of having a website. Without content you just have advertising – and who wants to view a website that is nothing but advertising? No one. So having content is good. However, not just any content will do.
People do want to know about the subject they have been looking for. As with the Jack Russell example in the last post, if you have a website that just says that Jack Russell’s are dogs, then you are not being very informative. The majority of people know this already.
So you have your content, but unless it is interesting then people will immediately be put off and hit the back button to view another site. If it is interesting, people will stay longer on your site. The longer they stay on your site and the more pages they visit, the better it is for your rankings.
- Easy to read
This is about using a language that is suitable. It is also ensuring you have the correct fonts and colours. You don’t have to have perfect grammar or punctuation – people will let this go. But at least check your spelling. Also, people will not want to read a whole article which has been designed with comic sans in red on a blue background. Again it comes down to ensuring the visitor stays on your site as long as possible. Your design does not have to be perfect either! Have a look around and see what other sites are doing. Sticking with the crowd on this one is not a bad thing – just try and add a bit of your personality to it.
How many times have you visited a website only to find that you read the same article on a previous one? There are two reasons for this. Firstly it is just someone copying and pasting the article from another site. Search engines know this! They take into account the date that it was created (and crawled), therefore the original poster will get the credit when it comes to rankings. Secondly is that the article has been written for a site dedicated to free articles and more than one person has used it. There is nothing wrong with this, it is totally legal but keeping it original and written by your fair keyboarding skills will be more likely to result in more rankings and visitors.
So ensure you write the content for your visitors (the human ones) and not for the search engines and bots. Yes, it’s nice to have top rankings, but if you want to keep your visitors then you will have to do better than just bowing down to the powers that be. Also, as mentioned in a previous article:
More and more people are using ‘human’ requests and the results will become more and more relevant to you as a surfer.
So having your content written for a person rather than a search engine is very important. There are many, many websites out there that already do this, but follow the above and you will soon be up there with the big sites!