How important is a website?
Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking, in these heady days of social media marketing, that your website doesn’t matter as much as it once did.
A company website may no longer be considered worthy of top billing in your online marketing show, but its role is still very important as the place to turn engaged users into paying customers.
Blogging and activity on social media networks now, increasingly, perform the customer engagement role. However, it’s a mistake to neglect what should be a valued element of your online marketing efforts and you need to understand that benefitting users is how to make your website impress Google.
Quality matters for success in Search
It’s estimated that in excess of 75% of people now search for products and services online, before they make a purchasing decision. The web link suggestions delivered to users, in answer to a search enquiry, are listed in an order that’s considered most authoritative and best quality (ranking).
The method search engines use to arrive at this order is through applying an ‘alogorithm‘, determining search engine ranking. You could consider an algoorithm as a search engine ‘quality control checker’.
Salute the spiders
Every page of any website should aim to be well turned out for inspection by search engines spiders. Spiders are automated robots that visit and crawl around web content, reporting back to Search HQ with how well the site conforms to ‘quality criteria’. The better the quality score, the better the chance of your web page content being suggested as an answer to a Search user enquiry.
The aim of Google is to benefit users, so applying a quality rating system, known as a search algorithm, is their method of sorting out the wheat from the chaff – makes sense really, doesn’t it?
Check if your website passes Google ‘quality’ checks?
You can run a DIY check on your website content quite easily, in as much time as it takes you to look at all the pages. Here’s 10 tips to consider, to get you started.
- Is the content on your pages primarily to benefit the user more than search engines?
- Is the information on your pages authentic rather than designed in any way to deceive your users?
- Has your content been developed with motives of improving search engine rankings through use of terms that are not really ‘authentic’ about your business product/service?
- Has your content been crafted with care, or is it just combining content from different web pages without adding sufficient value?
- Does your content help your users?
- What makes your website stand out as engaging and unique, in relation to competitors in the same field?
- Do you provide helpful links within your website pages to other relevant websites?
- If you have website pages containing product affiliate links, are the product descriptions/reviews copied exactly from the original source without adding any original content?
- Do any affiliate links promote a product/service appropriate for your website audience? If these links aren’t considered relevant to the subject of the website they won’t add to ‘quality criteria’.
- Does your website content contain links to other sites as part of a reciprocal linking arrangement? Links to content offsite which are not relevant to your product or service will not be considered to benefit the user.
If you follow the guidelines above you’ll be well on the way to meeting content quality criteria for success in Search. There are additional checks that should be run to make sure that coding, behind the scenes, is giving accurate information about the content of both the website and individual pages.
Advanced ‘quality’ aspects required for websites
If you understand and have access to meta-tags then these need to be optimised to provide maximum potential for your website pages being considered ‘authoritative’ and likely to provide a quality answer to a Search user enquiry.
If you don’t understand coding aspects of a website, but want to check out whether your website is ‘up to scratch’, I can check that out for you, identifying issues which could be road-blocks to success in Search. Contact me for more information about the website reports services I provide.
If you want to learn more to be able to DIY the quality of your website, you could attend one of the courses on ‘Developing a website strategy’ or ‘Developing effective web content’ I’m delivering in Leicester, for the eBusiness Club on 21st and 25th June.
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