Google’s algorithm changes (most recently Panda) prove to be a continuous challenge for everyone who works in search engine optimisation (SEO) or digital marketing and especially lay people who manage websites. So what can you do to improve your SEO and get more people to link to your website organically?
What are the techniques that the professionals will be using this year?
Schema is a type of structured data (code) that helps search engines understand what is on a page and return relevant information to the user’s search query. Schema elements can be added to the HTML code of a web page to assist search engine crawlers. Search engines will look for this code and give pages with Schema markup significant preference.
It is strange considering the advantage Schema can have on SEO and the visibility of a page, that only a small percentage of web pages are integrated with the code. Think about investing in Schema microdata for your site.
Keyword specific URLs
We are not suggesting to stuff your URL with keywords, but Google wants the URL to reflect the content of the page and be relevant. Choose the keywords that are important to your business or the page topic.
Security matters, Google doesn’t want to recommend a page that could be contaminated with a virus. If you encrypt your website with HTTPS, you will be on Google’s preferred list of sites and that is a good start. You can tell if you site is secured if the start of your URL which looks like this – ‘https:// – and has an ‘s’ after the ‘p’. If it isn’t secure it will look like this – http://.
If you haven’t already added encryption to your site, do it as soon as you can. For more reasons than I will list here, it is a very good idea – it is important for SEO and of course security and the investment will return to you triple fold.
‘Content is king’ is being trumpeted everywhere across SEO-land at the moment and is possibly the most repeated phrase on the internet. Content is everything, and the backbone of good content creation is solid keyword research. There are numerous tools on the web to help anyone to do this. Google loves fresh, relevant content, the more, the better. But that is not all. Keep reading.
Knowledge-based trust score (KBTS)
According to New Scientist, Google is going to rank the accuracy of your content over the quality and quantity of your backlinks. So what is KBTS is and how does it work?
A paper published by Google suggests that KBTS are estimated for every page by cross-referencing the content with facts stored in Google’s own ‘knowledge vault’.
According to the Search Engine Journal (SEJ), this is a database of 2.8 billion facts from the web and it is also the main source of the information that appears in the box on the right-hand side of searches.
Websites are then assigned a ‘truth’ score according to the number of facts that match the knowledge vault information.
The signal Google is sending loud and clear here is that the internet needn’t be filled with opinions disproportionate to their acceptance in the real world. The internet should reflect our collective knowledge and so hard news and quality factual content will be prioritised over link volume and high traffic in future, especially where the content is ‘soft’.
The aim is to try and ensure that internet isn’t dominated by spurious ‘anti-vaccination campaign sites’ or ‘product promotions’ that make unfounded claims about health benefits but that quality research and investigations come to the top of the search results.
We don’t want to sound like a broken record about this issue, but mobile optimisation for any websites is a an absolute priority.
The volume of traffic from mobile devices is only going to increase so if you haven’t optimised your website for mobile, check our previous post and find out why you need to do it.