Let’s start this blog post with an acknowledgment for Searchmetrics, who painstakingly  complete this research to help anyone who wants to gain momentum in Google search. The white paper is awesome and is well worth casting an eye over if you are serious about your search engine position. You can get your copy of the white paper here

At 83 pages long, this piece of research is a bit more than bedtime reading, so we thought we would share a few of our thoughts on what we think are the most important points

  1. Technical Architecture – This is really important – Your site needs to be up-to-date, quick to load, and have an optimal internal linking structure. If your site doesn’t tick this box, you need to address this now. If any of these factors are not present then it will have a negative effect on your site.
  2. On Page Best Practice – Please make sure your meta tags are completed (unique per page) and also you have the relevant Heading tags on your page.
  3. Page Content In Searchmetrics words “Content is no longer an addition to, but is the main focus of, SEO” . In general page word counts are on the increase as is HTML length, so if your site has any ‘thin’ content now is the time to get rid of it.
  4. Page Content Keywords – Correlated and semantic keywords are now important. Its important to write naturally, for your user and include all the different types of keywords that should appear naturally together. (e.g if you are talking about weight loss it would be reasonable to expect to see the words diet and exercise on the same page)
  5. Rich Media Including images and video all help to make the content more relevant and so increase your chances of success.
  6. On page Analytics For the first time, user signals were measured, and it will come as no surprise that a high click through rate and a high time on site have an impact. Also watch your bounce rate, the lower the better!
  7. Backlinks Still of course important, but quality and not quantity wins out. A diversified backlinking profile that has been built naturally will win every time.
  8. Brand Google loves brands, and now is the time to make sure you are turning your business into the brand to go to for your niche.

Social metrics were lowered a tiny bit this year (the number of +1’s you have for example) but what is listed is clear.

Make your website the best “Search Experience Optimisation” that you can. For everything that you do, make sure that you are completing that task with the user in mind. If you are just completing a piece of work for the Search Engines now is the time to stop. More than ever, up-to-date, fresh, media rich content, that entices visitors to your site to interact with you, is the way forward. If all this frightens you, give us a call and lets help you make a plan!