If you run your own website, you have undoubtedly heard a great deal about SEO, or search engine optimization, over the years. You have probably received all sorts of offers promising great results from this process. While SEO is important, you also need to make sure that you know which factors are really important and which are less critical.
Understanding the relative importance of these factors will help you use your time and energy most efficiently. You do not want to waste a lot of effort on something that will do very little for your bottom line.
When you boil SEO down to the basics, it is primarily about the quality of your content. After all, this is the goal of a search engine: to return a list of the sites that offer the most relevant and highest quality content on a certain topic. If you are able to provide unique content that provides valuable information to people, you are already a step ahead of the competition.
2. Site Structure
While great content is key, you also need to make sure that it is organized in a way that makes it easy to find. If your site structure is a mess, not only will people have a hard time finding what they need, so will the search engines. The more organized and well-structured your site is, the easier it will be for Google and other search engines to index and rank your content.
3. Links From Other Sites
Next to the quality of your content, the number of other sites that link to your website is the most important factor in determining your search ranking. In the early days of search, this was the insight that the founders of Google had. If a lot of sites link to one particular site, this is probably a sign that it is an authority on a subject and should therefore be highly ranked.
However, you need to remember that not all links carry the same weight. A link from a very popular and highly-regarded site will give you a bigger boost than hundreds of links from anonymous sites that no one ever visits. You need to focus on attracting links from other sites that are highly ranked for the best results.
4. Frequent Updates
No matter how many links you have or how great your content is, if you never add anything new to your site, your ranking will suffer. Even adding new content infrequently or at irregular intervals can hurt. You need to make sure that you update your site regularly with fresh content so that your site does not seem stale.
5. Mobile Optimization
In today’s world, more and more people are going online via smartphones and other mobile devices, rather than with a desktop PC. You need to make sure that your site is optimized to appear properly on such devices. Google is beginning to penalize sites that are not optimized for mobile, so you cannot afford to neglect this area.
These factors are critical in determining your search ranking. Be sure that you have invested enough time and energy in these areas.