Have website, will travel…

The Matterhorn as a kind of visual metaphor

“I have a new website. How long until I’m on page one of Google?”

Being on Page #1

Most businesses I can think of would like to make their way to page one of a relevant Google search result. High ranking ‘organic’ search results are the holy grail of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

Several things are self evident though – spaces are limited; competition is fierce. And building a new website doesn’t mean it will happen automatically.

In fact getting a new website (with a new domain) to rank well in search results may well take longer than optimising an established site.

So what makes it happen?

The answer is quite a bit of focussed, specialised work, beginning with the website design but extending to social media profile and beyond.

Search Engine Optimisation is a science and an art. It requires good tools, experience, plenty of time and some intuition.

Google is a Mystery…

No one really knows exactly how Google Search operates, it’s a complicated, ever-changing beast. So guarantees about positions on the first page of Google results should be treated with suspicion.

But there are a range of well-documented principles, techniques and technologies dedicated to SEO.

Keep in mind that Google Search wants to provide its users with the best possible search results. So thinking about what makes a site worth visiting is a good place start thinking about SEO.

What makes your site worth visiting?

Google has some complicated technology – constantly analysing huge amounts of data – that determines how search results are presented. The folks at Google Search have to keep up with an ever-changing web as they assess the factors that make a website worth visiting.

The rest of their time is spent preventing people from trying to exploit their system. So rather than trying gimmicks or following fads, it’s best to focus on the common-sense aspects of making a visit to your website a fantastic, worthwhile experience.

Usability & Aesthetics

SEO is an integral part of web design – a well coded site is where it all begins. Yes, there’s a bunch of tech that only your web developer or designer may fully understand. Moreover, things change over time and need updating and tuning.

However, there are the more obvious things like, is your site nice to look at? Design communicates and has to be appropriate; the medium is the message.

Is it logically structured and easy to navigate? Does it load quickly?

Does it work well in any device? In January 2014, for the first time ever, it was reported that US internet traffic from mobile devices was greater than that from desktops. And that trend is continuing. There’s no question; your website needs to be ‘responsive’.

Information & Authority

Good sites are content-driven and functional. Again, this is common sense, but often forgotten. The type of content will vary, but people want to find original, useful, up-to-date content on a site they visit. If they are using your site to purchase goods and services, they want a smooth experience.

This is the key to establishing a site as a reliable authority and a useful search result. Google doesn’t look kindly on content that has been ‘borrowed’ from elsewhere. Take the time, write from your own experience and you’ll write good content.

Popularity & Reputation

When people find good content and a great browsing experience, they naturally want to share it with others. This is why Google factors social media into the equation. Not only social media mentions but also links from other reputable sites back to yours – ‘back-links’.

Again, Google assesses the quality of back-links, looking for signs it’s genuine and penalising back-linking scams and attempts to artificially create a large back-link profile.

The Work Begins

Needless to say, SEO is a big topic and we’ve only touched on a few aspects. 

If it all sounds like a lot of effort, it is. Why would achieving the most coveted position on the largest search engine in the world be easy?

And building a website is only the start of the journey. To scale the heady heights of Mt Google takes time, commitment and enthusiasm, without which, apparently, “Nothing great was ever achieved…”.

If you have SEO goals in mind and need some assistance, drop us a line, we’re doing SEO on pretty much a daily basis and love helping people get results on the web.

Talk to us about SEO »

Related Post: 7 Steps towards an Effective Online Presence

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