he simple answer, yes. Getting your website further up those search engine rankings is still very relevant, even more so when the competition for places continues to grow every day.
However, the search engine giants are becoming more aware of websites who are trying to cheat the system. Recent algorithm changes over the past few months have meant some businesses are being penalised for their attempts to push themselves further up the all-important ranks.
Googlebots really do exist and they are everywhere, checking every site, every bit of content to make sure websites are conforming to their ever-changing rules.
Here’s some tips at making sure your SEO stays relevant.
Google regularly crawls across websites to determine how your website should rank and if they spot duplicate content – that which is purposely copied to help increase ranking – you could find yourself in trouble. To find out if you have any duplicates, run an SEO audit with simple and sometimes free tools. It could save you slipping down the list.
Page titles can be anything up to 150 characters, although Google recommends using only 70. Meta descriptions can be as long as you want but Google says to keep them below 160 characters. This matters because the engine limits the displayed characters in its search engine results page (SERP) to 160.
Within the permitted characters you need to provide as much clear information as possible. Your keyword should be at the start of your title. The closer the keywords sits to the beginning of the title tag, the more weight it has with search engines. Your meta description tells users what information your page contains and if you do it right, Google could reward you by displaying it as a “featured snippet” in the search results.
Googlebots have become very sophisticated and recognise synonyms to relevant keywords. Overloading a webpage with keywords is unnatural and you could be penalised for it. Write the way you would want to read information and don’t worry about an exact keyword match. When people use Google they do it in a conversational manner so be a step ahead and answer what they are asking in the same way.
Build it and they will come, as the old saying goes. Although they haven’t admitted it, there is evidence that Google does reward sites with strong user engagement, including search and total visits, direct visits, time spent on the site and page views. Spending more time on a site means users have found it useful. Make your content engaging by using professional, high-quality images such as photos, graphs, memes, gifs, cinemagraphs etc…