5 Ways Your Mother Lied To You About Search Engine Optimization
Our goal here is to set the record straight on some things your mother may or may not have lied to you about regarding search engine optimization. With our powers combined, we can help boost your value and protect your site from getting hurt by Google’s overhauls.
1. Social media doesn’t matter
While this one may not have been a blatant lie on your Mother’s part, it is a common misconception amongst some newbies. For a while, Google determined the value of a site’s authority based on backlinks, or external people linking to your site. The idea was the more people that were linking your site, the more trustworthy and valuable your site probably was.
Once it was discovered that these value rankings could be swayed by manipulating backlinks, people started buying them and even stealing them, rather than earning them through producing legitimately great content and comments.
A major shift has occurred, and now Social Media seems to be a major indicator of trust and legitimacy of a site or article through shares, particularly in the case of Twitter and Facebook.
This makes sense; For instance, if a blog post gets no shares on social media, the value is probably rather low. A post that gets thousands of shares across social media platforms is probably an awesome piece, leading people to want to share, or jam it onto their friend’s feed relentlessly. In this way Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms almost act like a focus group for Google’s rankings. Sharing something indexes it, and this is a good thing.
It is for these reasons that you should:
- Curate your social profiles alongside your blog
- Throw a hint their way that it would really help if they shared or reposted your stuff in the least needy/desperate way possible.
- Condition your readers.
- Do this within your niche, and the favor will be returned….sometimes.
- Share other works from other bloggers.
You have got to start looking at your social platforms as ways to help your SEO, not just traffic.
2. Backlinks don’t matter anymore
False! If your Mother lied to you about this, you might have to sit her down for a talk (tell her you’re not mad, just disappointed). Backlinks still matter! Google still believes that getting linked from trustworthy sources and blogs is one of the best ways to determine site quality. That being said, the lesson here is: DON’T BUY BACKLINKS! Not only is it against Google’s rules and a bad idea in general, but they simply won’t be worth what they used to be.
Our best advice to you: create resources, tools, and content that people actually want to link to. No pressure.
3. Your bounce rate doesn’t indicate much.
Your bounce rate is a metric which displays how many people leave your site before they even visit any other pages. I.e. “Hey bro, this page sucks, lets bounce.” Let’s break it down into numbers, shall we? If one visitor arrived on your page, then closed the window immediately the bounce rate you would have would be 100%.
This number needs to be as low as possible. Anything below 60% is doing well, while anything below 50% would be considered excellent. Not only has this always been important to Google, but experts say that it is even more crucial as of recent. If people aren’t lingering on your blog, Google is going to logically assume it isn’t very valuable. Harsh, Google, very harsh!
Good thing Stilt Media is here to show you how to lower your Bounce Rate
- Make sure your design is on point
- This helps win people’s trust, grab their attention, and keep them there. Here’s a good place to start
- Provide recommended posts
- Having a section of popular posts somewhere at the top of the page so people can easily click, or recommend post to people within your articles as well.
- Have a “Related Posts” section at the bottom of articles
- People like to click from article to article. At the end of a blog post or article, have a plugin that adds some further reading options. This can also be a sidebar if you’re into that sort of thing.
4. Returning readers doesn’t mean safety
Actually, similar to what was stated previously on Bounce Rate, we are now starting to see that ‘Returning Readers’ as a metric is more important than ever before. This, like everything on our list, is all about Google seeing returning readers as an indication of your site not only being safe, but useful. If you’d like people to come back to your site, follow our suggestions:
- Produce great content
- I know, easier said than done. But it can be as simple as cutting down on small “update’ postings and instead splurge with big articles chock-full of useful information.
- Email subscribers and your friends
- Continuously grow your email list. This safeguards your page against breaking any Google rules and incurring penalty, but it’s also essentially a form of engagement with your readers to keep them coming back to your blog.
- Engage, Interact, and Connect
- We often find that some bloggers rarely interact with their own readers! No replies to comments (even the good kind), re-tweets, or Facebook messages. Try your best to reply to all of them and build reader loyalty.
5. You don’t need to turn what you’ve got into a multimedia brand across platforms
Momma’s wrong again! Okay, I’ll lay off the “Mom” jokes now that we’re almost done. There are two important things that be focused on in today’s multimedia landscape; mobile and cross-media content.
When Google bought-out YouTube a couple years ago, this was a major signal that they would be moving away from just articles when it came to search results. Spoiler alert: this is exactly what they did, and they are making sure they appear more and more on smartphones. “Why”, you might ask? They realize as many other companies are starting to that the future of the internet as we know it is phones, tablets, etc. You must make sure you adapt with the times and your page moves with this trend accordingly. How are you going to get the best of Google in this situation? Let us tell you! Jeez.
- Create an App
- Start making videos
- They’ll be as big as written content soon.
- Consider doing a podcast
- This is an awesome way to engage with your audience, and show the robots over at Google that you’re legit.
Whether it is or isn’t, you need to start thinking of your page, blog or otherwise, as a brand. You want to not only maintain, but grow this brand across as many different platforms as possible. This will keep you staying strong on Google SEO-wise.Tags: SEO, Social Media