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The More You Know - The Better the Design
Search Engine Optimization
More than 8000 domain names are registered every hour of the day
This creates over 192,000 Domains every day and more than 70 Million domain names a year. The big problem is that more than 75% of registered Domains are not ever used or online. They are parked or not available.
Search Engine Optimization is a long and wide subject, no doubt about it. Simply put it is all about how the search engines rank a particular web page. Web pages technically are the elements that are given rank but quality of the content plays a huge role and the website or domain can also add to the juice if it’s an Authority in the given subject area. But let’s keep this as easy as we can make it. If you have the best information that people are searching for and provide it in such a way that the search engines can determine exactly what you have, you get the traffic. Sounds simple enough but it can be a huge challenge.
Search engines can provide a slew of traffic if you start from the ground up on making it as easy as possible for the user or visitor to find exactly what they want regardless of the topic. Competition plays a role as does tightly targeting your audience. You’ll also hear the terms Onsite SEO and Offsite SEO. Onsite is all about the structure and content of your webpages whereas Offsite is about who links to you and their rankings. We’re going to stick with Onsite SEO, often called On Page SEO, for this article.
Google and the rest of the search engines use what’s called an algorithm to determine how valuable your web page is compared to others on the same topic. This algorithm consists of factors like how long your visitors spend on your web page, how well you communicate the information, how quickly your website loads, and how long a visitor stays. Now those are a few that directly apply to website design and content but there are many more factors too, well over 100. And there are some factors that are real deal breakers that can actually penalize you (or prevent any rank) like duplicate copy (where someone use the exact same information on your or another website). You always want to provide unique and original content for many reasons.
There Are A Lot Of Opinions On SEO
As an example of how crazy people get over SEO topics is the latest ongoing debate about content and specifically how much. Some will swear that you have to have large and long articles to rank, like 3,000 words or more per article, often called a skyscraper due to length. Short articles were the rage forever, 500 words on a particular subject would attract attention and get some juice. But along the way the search engines got more picky about the quality and depth of content, which is hard to do with 500 words on many subjects. So now the “experts” say you better have at least 3,000 words to rank. But many forget that what should dictate the length is the subject matter. You should try and adequately cover the information, that certainly requires more than 500 words in most cases so yea, 500 words isn’t going to get it. But to pull a number out of your hat, doesn’t solve the problem if your article sucks. So the best choice is not to worry about the exact length but insure the subject matter is well covered. How do they measure quality and depth? Well, the amount of time a visitor spends on your webpage is probably the most important since that signals that you are providing worthwhile content to the visitor.
There is a good website that can review your individual web pages on some of the common methods of measurement andon page SEO techniques. It’s owned by Neil Patel who is a well known and respected authority on SEO. Now there are many other websites that also do on page SEO analysis but most I’ve seen go too deep or don’t really offer any solutions. Neil’s is much better due to not going overboard and providing good advice on how to fix any problems found in their on page SEO report. You can check it out here.
And perfect on page SEO doesn’t mean that you will rank for that subject if you are going up against big Authority Websites. And lately we’ve seen evidence that the credibility of the author comes into play too. Google’s last update definitely went after medical advice web pages by non-qualified authors. This is a good example of the constant change on ranking factors, on any given day your good buddy Google can decide you no longer “deserve” to be ranked. This happened to a lot of medical subject mater websites that were not written or created by an expert in the field.
Now SEO is both mystical and elusive since many website owners game the system too. And when Google and the others figure it out they create a new guideline to render it ineffective. These updates are given names like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and etc. And they can ruin your day and drop your traffic like a rock if you have been abusing the system, and at this date there have been at least 8 major updates that addressed very specific methods that were abused. Yea, and these updates catch a whole lot of websites that may not have intentionally tried to game the system too. Not pretty.
There are a lot of opinions on every aspect of SEO. But that’s all they are, opinions, since no one but the search engines truly know the criteria. Now you can test different aspects and see evidence on particular methods on how well they produce results (in this case more traffic) but there are no guarantees since the rules can change at any given time. And it can drive you crazy if you continually look for the latest secret method or loophole.
So What’s The Answer On SEO?
So the only good way to deal with this whole SEO world is to adhere to the basics, give the user the best possible information, and make sure you make easy for the search engines to recognize your information. Remember that the best advice on any SEO are just guidelines. And we incorporate all these guidelines into our website designs right from the get go. And there are a lot of little factors that make the big factors work for your particular website and subject matter. During the planning stages of your website we go over these factors and even use a checklist to make sure we don’t miss any important items.
Our SEO philosophy is simple and effective but we never recommend you depend on organic traffic. I’ll take all the organic traffic I can get but I’m also going to pursue other methods to promote and generate highly targeted traffic. The old saying, if you live by the sword you’ll die by the sword applies here. Diversify your marketing efforts so you don’t depend on any one of them. We cover the different ways you can promote your website in our planning sessions too.
The bottom line is that you should consider SEO right from the beginning and design your website in such a way as to attract search engine traffic. Building a sound foundation based on the on page SEO best practices is the smart choice and will serve you well for the long run. And always diversify your marketing to include other traffic sources.
A Very Few Resources I Recommend
I try and be very selective on who I recommend for resources. I only recommend a vendor that I personally use frequently. All three of these companies we use and really like everyday.
Brian Dean is one of the best SEO guys out there today. He offers tons of great free recommendations that can be very effective. Well worth the time to go check out his website and information.
I recommend FastComet for a couple of reasons. They offer so many extras and clearly explain how to use them very well. And they have great support that’s quick and effective. We use them, so should you.
There are quite a few graphics websites that are good, but Canva takes it to a whole new level for the beginner. The templates and ease of learning are the best I’ve seen.