Most people think that the concept of SEO is constantly changing, and thus try and adapt their style to fit with whatever algorithm that seems to be on trend at that given moment. Although, the technology is constantly updating (i.e. we’re viewing more and more on our phones nowadays) the fundamentals of SEO have changed very little over time, and some practices are still just as important now as they ever were. Allow us at Northern Media to debunk some popular SEO myths.
Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge that Google’s algorithm utilises key words to decipher the topic of the page, and links from other sites to determine the authority, whilst this continues to increase in sophistication, the basic principles have remained the same.
The main things to consider with SEO are as follows:
- Can the site be crawled to find the relevant content?
- Is the site structure organised well?
- Is there a presence and a correct use of keywords?
- Does the site provide trustworthy information and have credible sources to enforce this?
So, let’s look at these a little more closely.
Can the site be crawled to find the relevant content?
Whilst the quality of the content is important, it doesn’t matter at all if the site cannot be crawled. This is perhaps the most important factor ensuring a solid SEO foundation. A search engine needs to be able to access the content, in particular the pages you want to rank. It’s also just as important that the content is readable.
This feeds in to the site structure…
Is the site structure organised well?
When designing the site, it’s crucial to make the site structure user friendly. It’s equally as important to help search engines to understand the hierarchy and the importance of the content on the site. Some pages will be more important to rank than others, these are the ‘money’ pages, and showing the search engine that the site has a hierarchical structure.
When search engines crawl a site, it attempts to navigate the homepage and click on every link on the site. The search engine will then see every page which can be accessed from the homepage, or which is listed in the footer. For less important pages, there does need to be a link to them elsewhere on the site, however they do not need to be linked as closely to the homepage.
The main rule for Google: the simpler the site is the use, the more they’ll like it!
Is there a presence and a correct use of keywords?
Using keywords to the site allows the search engine to gain an accurate picture of what the content on the site is about. Keywords will tell the search engine what each page is about, and can rank the content for queries which are the most relevant to the website. Using the keywords over and over again on a page in order to rank well will not give the user a good experience, and over time, Google will stop ranking pages which it perceives to have a poor user experience.
When it comes to keywords, Google are more interested that you’re answering the question that people have about the topic of the content. Look to only use one primary keyword per page, and use secondary keywords to support this which are related.
Does the site provide trustworthy information and have credible sources to enforce this?
Another ranking factor is the number of links from other reputable sites which encourages others to read your content. These are called backlinks. Backlinks give you ‘expertise’ credibility, and allow other users to trust the site. They also allow Google to see you as a trustworthy resource, the more trusted your content is, the more it indicates that there is a value to the information on the site. Effectively this is the online version of testimonials.
However, it should be noted that the backlinks should be from quality sites. If a website collects too many poor-quality backlinks, it could send the message to Google that these were paid for, rather than earned. Google finds this practice dishonest, and a way of cheating their algorithm and therefore will intentionally issue a penalty. If they decide not to penalise the site, they will simply disregard the links, thus losing the value anyway.
So, does SEO change?
Whilst the algorithm sees some changes along the way, the end goal is always the same. The fundamentals covered in here will probably not change, as this is SEO theory and will continue to help websites grow traffic and optimise for better rankings.
Northern Media provide a range of different SEO services for many local clients, helping them ranking highly for their specific keyword related searches. If you are struggling with getting your SEO campaign of the ground, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team on 10924 367105 to see how we can help.