Did you know that more than 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new brand or product from a web search on their phone?
Even if you didn’t, you know how important search engine optimization and SEO services are to your website’s success. Most forms of traffic have to be paid for, such as advertising. But with SEO, your customers can find you without spending money on ads — if you’re where they can find you, that is.
But what are the most important SEO factors you need to get right for searchers to find your website? While the answer depends partly on who you ask and what kind of business you run, the most important ranking factors are usually design, content, and links. To learn why that is, keep reading.
Web design and user experience is about more than just how your website looks. It also has to do with how your site performs, how easy it is to navigate, and how quickly it loads.
Design is so important because it’s the first thing new visitors experience when they find you. Before they can discover how great your content or products are, they’ve got to at least tolerate the appearance and functionality of your site. If your site loads so slowly that people abandon the page before waiting to see what’s there, or if it isn’t optimized for mobile devices and easy navigation, you’re going to lose visitors. Not only that, but your reputation with search engines will drop significantly.
Assuming new visitors can navigate your website without any trouble, the next experience they’re going to have with your brand is the content you publish. This includes your homepage copy as well as any blog posts you publish.
Besides being a deciding factor for whether or not people are going to hang around on your site, Google takes high-quality content very seriously. And because website content has so much to do with keywords and other ranking factors, SEO services frequently prioritize content production as part of their services.
One of the best ways to plan a content strategy for your website is to try looking at the internet from Google’s point of view. Google’s job is to help its users find the information and answers they need. If Google fails to provide relevant, high-quality content, its users will spend less time searching, or may switch to a different search engine. Therefore, Google only promotes websites with high-quality content it can match with search queries.
Many digital marketing experts consider backlinks the second-most important SEO ranking factor, following quality content. This is because the quality and reputation of the websites linking to you reflect the accuracy and professionalism of your own site. Having backlinks from poorly-designed, disreputable websites is like hanging out with a bad crowd: you may not be a bad person yourself, but people will judge you based on the company you keep.
In addition to backlinks, which are links to your site from other sites, outbound links that go from your site to someone else’s are also somewhat important.
While opinions differ as to what the most important ranking factors are, these three are the ones SEO services often focus on the most.