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October 5, 2017

Important Considerations for SEO Success

In a world swimming with SEO and Google rankings, having a high quality website is more important than ever. And, as Google decides which websites rank where, it’s crucial to consider what Google looks for in a website in order to give it a top spot in its search engine. Attempting to look at your website from a different perspective is difficult, so for the best results, try looking at it through Google’s eyes – what is exactly that they’re looking for?

Being Indexed

If your website isn’t indexed by Google, no one will be able to access it from the search engine, period. Therefore, for Google to analyse and place your website on their search engine, they need to be able to find it. To do this, they have Googlebots that crawl the entire web, looking for websites, gathering information from them, and thus indexing information. Therefore, it’s vital that you assist these Googlebots and help them to crawl your site as much as possible if you’re looking for recognition, and there are a range of ways in which you can do this.

By creating a sitemap, Google will be able to scan your entire website much more easily, as this will hold all of your website’s content in one, easy-to-access place. Furthermore, Google Webmaster Tools is a fantastic resource when wanting to gather credible information. By signing your site up to this tool, you can help Googlebots to crawl your website, allowing your website to be indexed quicker.

stop-634941_960_720Blocking for the Right Reasons

On the subject of bots crawling your site, you do have an option to block areas of your site. Essentially, this tells Google that even though they can look at other sections of your site, they can’t look at this one in particular. For people developing their website, this can be a handy tool, as it keeps any incomplete content hidden from the public until its ready to go live and ready for the Googlebots to crawl and index. Therefore, you have time to perfect any content that’s unfinished and hopefully allow Google to rank you higher in their search engine. However, Google isn’t stupid, and it can detect dodgy behaviour when it comes to blocked site areas. If you are blocking numerous pages from Google, they will begin asking questions and penalise you for your decision to block them.

For example, some sites rely on countless numbers of irrelevant, spammy backlinks, which is heavily frowned upon by Google. So, to hide this from them, they’ll disallow Google from crawling these pages and block them from sight. Google is able to detect this suspicious behaviour and take action, which in the worst-case scenario, could be blocking your site from the web forever. Google takes no prisoners.

Titles and Meta Descriptions

Next up, Google inspects your titles, and then your meta descriptions. For some pages, the title will be exceedingly long and get cut off, which definitely isn’t favourable in Google’s eyes. Therefore, it’s important to keep your page titles and meta descriptions snappy, but with the appropriate content within them to sell your page to anyone on the web. Even though they should be kept short, they’re really important for your website’s success, as they’re the first thing anyone will see when browsing the web. Google is able to access every title for all of your pages, meaning that every single one has to be unique and different to the last, as of course, Google’s number one rule is zero spam. Putting a keyword in a title is an excellent way to improve your Google ranking, but it’s important not to stuff as many in as possible, as Google doesn’t like that in the slightest.

The same applies for meta descriptions, almost. Whereas titles can be used as a ranking factor, meta descriptions aren’t, and so don’t actually contribute to SEO at all. However, it’s important to consider that they act as your USP, as essentially, are the only free chance you get at advertising your site and selling it to users as effectively as possible. Even though a meta description will not have an impact on your ranking, it will still be seen by Google and your audience, and so you need to make it as perfect as you can to increase click-through rate and site traffic.

key-123554_960_720Content is Key

After all of that, Google finally gets to the good stuff – content. Every single word in every single post is indexed by Google, so there really is nowhere to hide. Googlebots are able to crawl further than your mind can even fathom – millions and millions of words. Having said this, just shoving endless content on every page won’t do you any favours, as Google is looking for good quality, unique content that is relevant to what it’s talking about. Any spam or irrelevant content will rank you below anyone else who has decent and relevant content. Whenever new content is published, Googlebots get very excited and start crawling and indexing, which is why producing high-standard content regularly is important if you want to impress Google.

High Quality Backlink Profile

If you would like your site to rank highly in Google, the amount of high-quality back links that you have can really affect this. A backlink profile is built by acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, however these websites have to be high-quality and relevant otherwise Googlebots will penalise you. These hyperlinks can allow individuals to navigate between pages, as well as allowing Googlebots to crawl your pages and decide whether the backlinks used are appropriate to your content and over all subject matter. In order to rank highly, therefore, you need to ensure that the backlinks used are of high-quality, which can be determined by the website they’re from and whether their content is relevant to yours. If not, Googlebots will easily detect this, deteriorating your rank position.

Tech SEO

It’s not all about the words you read and the link you see, however – your website needs to be compatible with Google’s guidelines, allowing it to be indexed and crawled more efficiently. Some of these steps really aren’t that difficult, either, but they make a big difference in how you rank on Google’s search engine. A simple change to make is ensuring that your site is horizontal – basically meaning that pages shouldn’t be buried too far down within the site, as this is more challenging for Googlebots. The harder it is for them to crawl your site, the harder it will be for you to rank highly. You must also consider canonicalisation, which involves choosing a preferred URL when there are several choices for a particular page. Using tags and redirects are an easy way to solve any URL issues, allowing Google to understand that there isn’t duplicate content involved on your site. This is all on top of the meta titles and descriptions that you will need to ensure are correct, and other technical factors like image alt tags, site speed and mobile optimisation – amongst others! The majority of sites have hundreds, if not thousands, of technical issues, and fixing these could be key to your SEO success!

By breaking it down into the stages that Google follows to analyse your website, it’s easier to see what you should include on your website based on the factors that they’re looking for. With all of these factors in mind, it should be easier for you to get into Google’s good books, so what are you waiting for?

For assistance with creating a website that ticks all of the boxes that Google is looking for, get in touch with a member of our expert SEO team today!



Shofiur Rahman

During his time at the University of Greenwich, Shofiur obtained a degree in Information Systems Management, which is where his journey to his current role at Absolute Digital Media began. Since then he has acquired an impressive range of skills within applications such as PHP, content management systems, e-commerce platforms, Ajax and JQuery. In particular he excels within the mobile development field.

Shofiur always has a smile on his face and can often be found helping out his colleagues with their technical issues.

Email s.rahman@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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