As content creators, businesses, and SEO experts pull all the stops to ace the SEO game, Google keeps rebooting its algorithms to make sure those who abuse the system and indulge in gimmicks to get ahead in search rankings don’t succeed.
The focus over the years has been to showcase the best content that serves what users are organically searching for. But in such a scenario, how do you keep pace with Google’s algorithms? While a lot can change, here are some evergreen rules that professional SEO companies recommend.
Track web developer guides
Just as investors track the stock market every day, content creators can track Google’s web developer guides, which explain in detail how things work, what are the best practices to be followed, and what trends must be discarded. Subscribing to the official Google newsletter is a great way to get the latest changes in your inbox as soon as they go live.
Another practice is to participate in live Twitter chats and online sessions hosted by Google experts, where you can ask questions and clarify all doubts with the humans behind the AI.
Avoid low-trust advertising
Many content creators and publishing platforms clutter their websites with several ads in a rush to increase revenues. Sometimes the ads resemble editorial content, and there is no attempt to distinguish one from the other. This translates to poor user experience and a low-trust consumer journey.
It’s important to have a long-term perspective on revenue generation and build high-trust, differentiated offerings. Be discerning when deciding, which companies to advertise as you want your users to have a safe, credible experience, and associate your brand with trust.
Keep pop-ups and plug-ins to the minimum
Another disruptive user experience is when a website has too many pop-ups launching all the time. Such an experience can make users exit web pages very quickly and reduce the amount of time spent on the website. Search engines consider factors like the amount of time spent on a web page to influence its search rankings.
Additionally, building a feature-heavy website by using a lot of plug-ins, without ensuring the site loads quickly and doesn’t crash, doesn’t board well for the overall user experience, even if the content is good. Select features based on the real needs of your users and ensure that they enhance, not disrupt the user experience.
Useful, unique content always wins
Choosing a niche and building on it is a good practice for content creators, as opposed to creators who build content around random topics. This is because specific, focused content is differentiated and fills a gap in the existing content realm.
Another great practice is to make content more useful by strategically aligning it with what users are organically searching for. Subscribing to various keyword tools is a good idea to keep yourself up-to-date on what users are searching for every day. Often this is influences by world events and other global trends.
A local SEO services company should be able to advise you on the best tools and how to leverage them in a way that is authentic and relevant to your content niche.
Build your content expertise
The impact of fake news has nudged search engines like Google to make large-scale investments in building algorithms that rank credible content much higher. Publishing content that is backed by certain expertise or extensive research is an emerging best practice. However, the definition of “expert” is not necessarily about having an educational qualification.
It connects more to having a credible track record in a specific domain either by having professionally worked in that space, or else turning a lived experience into a narrative that users relate to and can learn from.
The most successful content creators commit to generating content in a specific space over a period of time and start to be seen as influencers and thought leaders in these spaces. Persistence and commitment are key.
Responsive websites are winners
As more and more users access the Internet on their smartphones, websites that are compatible across all platforms – laptops, mobiles, and tablets – tend to have a better chance of ranking higher.
Known as responsive websites, they offer a superior user experience for mobile users. Hence, when building your website, make sure the developer factors this aspect into the code. Platforms like WordPress offer several free and paid themes that are responsive. Test it across all devices before settling on a specific theme for your website.
Leverage Google’s Search console
This is a valuable tool that content creators can use for free to help audit the health of their websites on a regular basis. The first step is to add your website to the console and get it audited.
Google will flag any existing and issues with the website and offer suggestions on how to rectify them. You can help boost your website’s rankings by following these instructions. Some of the factors that Google reviews include mobile usability, sitemap design, and your website’s security.
Follow basic SEO hygiene parameters
As content gets updated, make sure that every update follows basic hygiene parameters. For example, is the blog the right length, does it include important keywords, and does the title align with the latest trends? Google considers it a good practice. Keep updating older content so that it reflects the latest research, data, and facts. Google considers this a good practice.
If you run a professional business or have turned your blog or YouTube channel into the core business, it’s advisable to have a local SEO services company on retainer so that they can guide you on the SEO piece while you focus on the creative production and amplification of content.
Keep it legit
All these practices collectively work towards improving the overall user experience and keeping the Internet relevant to what users are looking for. By following these thumb rules, you can fool-proof your website against algorithm shifts, because of intentions and execution, both matter. Partnering with a good local SEO services company can also ensure that your website stays aligned with the latest trends.
**About the Author: Sheryl Jones is a Senior Marketing Specialist at Uplers.com, an affordable SEO services company. The company specializes in white label services in web development, web designing, digital marketing & marketing automation. She enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on web development and digital marketing best practices on the Uplers blog.