Although I say SEO Bath in the title, these factors are beneficial to any website around the World. I thought I would share with you 5 factors that we feel are important for your website in 2014.
A website’s speed is basically how fast it appears in a user’s browser. Google came out swinging this year and put site speed up there with the most important factors of a site getting ranked.
Technically, site speed is dependent upon load time. Load time calculates the latency from the point at which a user submits a request, to the time the request is rendered in the browser. So the more you have on your website the longer it will take to load in theory.Large unoptimised images and graphics will not be beneficial to a user or to Google.
A lot of companies forget that code written a year ago could be improved to be more ‘efficient’ in light of updated technologies. Technology moves on fast.
Site speed is crucial for two related reasons — 1) SEO and 2) User Experience.
From an SEO standpoint, it’s apparent that Google devalues sites with long load times – we have seen that often this year. Google will look at this from a user experience issue, as the pages take longer to load result in a higher bounce rate for those pages as user’s won’t wait around.
You know this experientially. If a page takes a long time to load, you probably become impatient. You may click off to a new tab to pass the time while the slow-loading page comes into view. Or, you may just forget about it altogether.
So how fast is your website? Pingdom is a great tool we love at Burfield and use this daily. How does your site perform? http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
Domain Authority is used and created by a company called Moz. It’s calculated from a best prediction for how a website will perform in search engine rankings. Here is how Moz defines it’s metric:
We calculate this metric by combining all of our other link metrics—linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc.—into a single score.
To determine Domain Authority, we employ machine learning against Google’s algorithm to best model how search engine results are generated. Over 40 signals are included in this calculation. This means your website’s Domain Authority score will often fluxuate. For this reason, it’s best to use Domain Authority as a competitive metric against other sites as opposed to a historic measure of your internal SEO efforts.
So how do I find out my domain authority or my competitors domain authority? Well this handy tool from Moz – http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ will give you all that information and its free!
How can I influence my Domain Authority?
Well there is no secret way or special club you can get involved in, what you will need to do is work hard improving your website. Improve your content keep it updated with fresh new blogs, build valuable relevant links to your website and so on.
Social Media Interaction
Social media counts tell you the number of people who are sharing, liking and engaging with your website, brand or business. By writing or sharing good content in the form of images, text or video is a great way to get your name shared.
Social signals/interaction/engagement on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google + now contributes to 33% of the search metric used by Google and are very important factors at the moment, as they are a great indication of how people are ‘voting’ for content they like.
Use a tool like Quicksprout to find out how effective your website Social Media engagement is perceived – http://www.quicksprout.com/
Its not about having the most backlinks, its about having the most relevant backlinks from a worthwhile and high ranking source. If you’re selling a service or product you need to make sure that all the links coming in to each page of the site are relative and they are not all pointing to the home page. You are also looking to make your anchor tags relevant to your keyword and post. On that note, make sure you only have about 10% of your anchor tags as your desired keyword or phrase you wish people to find you with, anything more than that doesn’t perform as well in most cases.
So when looking for backlinks, make sure they are relevant to you!
Content is king and even more so now. A blog can be a very powerful tool for your company, but you must keep it up to date! Google likes to see fresh new content on a website, it will come back and crawl the site more often if the site is updated. Like backlinks the content has to be relevant to your products or service you are talking about, gone are the days when you could have a title tag stuffed with keywords and get found, now you are more likely to be penalised and buried deeper for abusing the guidelines set out by Google.
Put yourself in the users shoes, we’ve all been there. Something goes wrong with the computer, so you type in the issue to Google – How do I change the login username in Windows 7? So you want the results to comeback with a website that will directly answer your question, we all know how infuriating it is to click on a link thinking its the answer and you are taken to a page about window glazing, or even worse an advert saying trade your PC in for a Mac. Google search engine only works because the search answers are relevant. This is the most important part of optimisation that everyone overlooks, if your site is relevant, if its good, then people will find it, they will share it and you will get rewarded by Google and be rewarded with more sales and a higher ranking!
If you can produce killer content that invites people in, and they spend a while reading the page and not bouncing straight out in 2 seconds then once again you will get rewarded as the site was found using an organic search and the user spent time (dwell time) reading the page illustrating its value.
There are many other factors that you should look into, but in my experience the 5 above will have a direct impact on your search position.