Top SEO tips – what does Google actually want?

Want to make better friends with Google? Sure you do. But what actually makes a difference? The search engine giant seems to be constantly shifting the goalposts, adjusting then readjusting what is required to reach the top of search results. There are hundreds of factors Google pay attention to while judging your site, so here’s some easy SEO tips are a few of those elements explained.

Comprehensive content

Content should not just be focused on single keywords – gone are the days where SEO meant cramming the same cumbersome term into every heading, paragraph and title.  Clusters of words and evidence of a more comprehensive content base on a specific topic are now much more effective.

Google’s Hummingbird update (that we covered at the time of release) changed much of how search engines operate. This update allowed Google to better understand and interpret search queries, as well as pay close attention to the quality of the content on the pages it indexes.

Longer blogs

Google loves rich content. Not only that, it will actively punish sites for thin content. The average length of a top ranking blog result is now around 975 words (or 8,313 characters), so flimsy posts are no longer going to cut it.

This doesn’t mean waffle on for paragraphs about nothing. If there’s one word you need to associate with Google now it’s quality. Do more research before writing and try to create content that will genuinely help people, not trick search engines into thinking you are.

Less ads

Advertising is one way that online brands make money. But overdoing it on the advertising creates a poor experience for users, and Google are recognising this. Generally, the top thirty 30 positions occupied in search results contain fewer advertisements than the pages that follow.

Upload a SiteMap

A sitemap is a document that contains the structure of your website, including details on every page that exists within it.

You can create a sitemap with a variety of different free and paid programs. We prefer to use Screaming Frog SEO Spider (as it provides a bunch of useful functionality).

Once you’ve created a sitemap using any program, a developer must attach it to your website. Then head to Webmaster tools and submit it.

This will prompt Google to index your entire site and pay attention to content on every page – awesome!

Site speed

No one likes waiting around. Not for trains, not for a bus and especially not for a website. Google is no different, so you’ll be punished for having a slower than average loading time on your site.

There’s a bunch of ways you can improve this, one of the main ways is compressing images so your page is easier to load as well as more technical things such as reducing the number of redirects on your server (and things too complex to discuss briefly here!)

Need more SEO tips?

Search engine optimisation is multifaceted and seems to be constantly in a state of flux. Most small to medium size companies are too busy to check and update their site to meet the growing demands of search engines, so why not get someone else to do it?
We provide SEO services to a variety of different brands and have helped improve their search ranking standings. To find out more, drop an email to us, and we’ll talk you through the options that are available.
A Marvellous blog by Simon

Simon co-founded Marvellous in 2005, with the aim of building a dynamic digital agency – combining the latest technology with cutting-edge visual design.

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