The Internet is a vast and complicated place. If you stop to think about the seemingly infinite calculations that accompany every Google search in order to bring you the most relevant content to your query, it can almost become overwhelming. Trying to satisfy every line of code in Google’s search algorithm to rank higher is nigh impossible, even for the best programmers.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a Google engineer to improve your business’ ranking in organic search results. Since the early days of SEO relied heavily on deceptive tricks and backend coding tactics to get sites to rank higher, there’s a modern misconception that running a successful SEO campaign requires a combination of technical knowhow and extensive expertise. This is simply not the case.
While having experience and knowing a few handy SEO tricks can certain help the process, modern SEO practices can be implemented without any expertise or technical knowledge about Google’s algorithm.
The primary component that helps level the playing field is that no one outside of Google really knows how the algorithm even works. Ever since it’s inception, Google has purposefully hidden the inner workings of its algorithm from the public, making SEO more an errand in trial and error than tangible knowledge.
Successful SEO practices of today have been gleamed more from what has and hasn’t worked in the past rather than direct communication from Google. When Google does provide some insight on what its algorithm looks for, the SEO community is given vague generalities like “reduce your bounce rate” or “provide quality content.”
In the end, Google has only one master to serve: it’s users. Google only works if people have complete faith the search results they receive offer authentic, high quality information. So in turn, Google favors websites that make their users happy. So ignore all of the technical terms and all of your preconceived ideas, and just focus on one main point: the happier users are when they visit your website, the higher you will rank in Google searches.
SEO today really is that simple. However, there are a few keys you need to follow in order to make sure your visitors stay happy.
A Quality Onsite Experience
This involves a variety of different factors, but none of them require much familiarity with web development or design. Make your purpose clear. Make your site pleasing to look at. Make it simple for users to navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. Make your site fast, and optimized to work on all desktop, mobile and tablet platforms.
These are the basic principles every website should follow, and the more closely you do, the better experience users will have when visiting your website.
Write Quality Content
For over a decade quality content has been a pillar of SEO work. However, times have changed, and you no longer need to worry about keyword phrases you use and how often you include them. You just need to make sure you’re selecting interesting, relevant topics, and writing about them in an informative and original way.
Become an Authority
Google uses outside sources when assessing how much of an authority you are in your particular field or niche. Just a few years ago, you could take advantage of this by adding links to your website from other sites around the web. However, that’s no longer necessary to improve your search ranking.
Instead, focus on building relationships with other blog owners and publishers, and eventually they can help you get published. Just make sure to write enough quality content, and other sites will link to yours naturally. Make your site attractive for inbound links, which Google considers a mark of credibility for your website.
Increase Your Popularity on Social Media
How popular your business is on social media matters when it comes to your rank in organic search results. For example, studies have consistently shown that if you have over 1,000 Twitter followers, you’ll receive a higher search ranking than if you have no Twitter account. While this may be inexact science, there’s no harm in trying to build your brand through social media channels. In fact, you’ll only receive significant benefits when done correctly.
While marketing through social media is part science, the basics are easy enough to understand: create a presence, engage with people often and spread great content whenever you can. Provide enough great content and an audience will eventually come your way.
Be Relevant in Your Community
It’s also necessary to be well reviewed on third-party sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, especially if you want to establish yourself as a relevant local business. Fortunately, this too requires little technical expertise.
Claim your profile on as many of these types of websites as possible, and then let your customers take it away. Make your presence on these sites known, and customers will start leaving reviews on their own. All you need to do is give them the best experience possible and take any constructive criticism you receive to heart.
In the end, modern SEO comes down to one simple principle: make your users happy. If people come to your website, find what they’re looking for and value the content they receive, Google will take notice, you’ll start to see your rankings improve, and if more people become attracted to your site as a result, the process will continue. Having some SEO technical knowhow will certainly help, but you can run a successful SEO campaign with just a little hard work and determination.
If not, feel free to contact the experts here at Local Fresh. We have years of SEO experience, and can help your business navigate the path Google expects all websites to follow. Click here to learn more about how Local Fresh can help your business.