Changes to Google's search engine algorithm over the last few years have made it more necessary than ever for small businesses to have a high-quality website. Many SEO companies attributed changes to website ranking to the Panda algorithm update in 2011, but truthfully, there are more than 200 factors that influence where your website stands in the search rankings, and those factors constantly undergo updates too. In fact, Google released roughly 500 search improvements and more than a dozen additional updates to Panda in 2011. This week, Google confirmed changes that specifically address quality control issues, but so far have declined to specify the exact details of the update.
Throughout the last few years, however, one thing has become clear: high-quality, relevant websites will always prevail over low-quality ones. Instead of focusing on search engine algorithms, here are some helpful tips for making your small business domain a high-quality website that converts leads to customers from the small business internet marketing experts at CyberMark.
What makes a website â€œhigh-quality?â€
Simply put, the aim of all search engines is to help people find high-quality, relevant websites to their query by reducing the search rankings of less-quality websites. While search engine providers like Google do not provide the exact metrics that go into their algorithm, they do disclose the qualifications they consider when programming the algorithms to compare the quality of each website. Here are some of the questions regarding website quality that Google wants you to consider:
Would you trust the information presented on this website?
Is the content written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it shallower in nature?
Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
Does this article have spelling, stylistic or factual errors?
Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
Does the website provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
Does the site provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
How much quality control is done on content?
Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
Was the website edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
Does the site have an excessive amount of ads or links that distract from or interfere with the main content?
Is the content short, unsubstantial or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
How to improve the quality of your website
Low-quality content on one page of your domain can impact your entire website's rankings. Removing or rewriting thin, spammy content can help fix the problem, as can improving the design of your website. Make sure your on-page SEO includes relevant, niche keywords, as well as ensuring that the copy itself is unique and valuable. When it comes to website design, consider the intent of the person who is searching for your product or service.
It's not enough to simply rank once for a query. Your website must prove its worth time and time again. Search engines are always evaluating search results by analyzing click-through-rates and bounce rates. Essentially, if many people click on your website from the search results and then quickly hit the â€œbackâ€ button, a search engine will assume that your website did not meet the expectations of those visitors. In short, for your small business website to succeed, it must fulfill these obligations at all times:
- Provide a great user experience
- Contain direct, actionable information that is relevant to the query
- Be professionally designed and mobile-friendly
- Deliver high-quality, legitimate, credible content
If all else fails, start from the beginning. Ask your SEO provider about disavowing spammy links, redesigning the website, and removing or rewriting low-quality content.
At CyberMark, we are experienced in all facets of internet marketing for small business websites. Please contact us today for a free website consultation, and learn how we can improve the quality of your website and help your customers find you on search engines.