SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is changing. Google recently changed the way it ranks and displays quality individual web pages within its results. Gone are the days where webmasters and marketers can solely rely on inserting keywords into page titles, descriptions, URL’s, headlines and the body copy in order to improve a websites optimisation. Google is getting cleverer and its getting cleverer faster. There were 500 changes and tests made to the Google algorithm in 2010 which just goes to show that SEO is no longer an obsolete task, its a constant moving living breathing machine. Marketers must pay attention or risk losing traffic and also a complete vanish of their websites in search engines.
Marketers must also now think about the overall ‘user experience’ of the site and MUST take into consideration various metrics such as Bounce Rate, Time on Site/Page, Browser Rate, Click through rate from search listings and strong social signals such as Twitter shares and Facebook Likes. Most of your websites or website uses Google Analytics so therefore Google uses the data from your Google Analytics profile to get a better picture of how your website performs and how people interact with your site.
- What level of activity does this site get?
- How long to people stick around on this site?
- How long do people stick around on this page?
- How many times has this page been shared on Twitter or LinkedIn?
- Does this website generate conversions or goals?
- What do people type into Google to get to this site and then go onto complete a task?
See, it’s not just about keywords and phrases anymore. It’s about the bigger picture.
What also matters now is the quality of the content. Content is still king folks. What also matters is that you should try and fix those metrics like Bounce Rate, Time on Site and Exit Rates using Google Analytics and then make small website changes often. Refine and test and make sure you are measuring what is working and rectifying sources of poor or bad quality traffic.
Here is a simple video explaining the recent Google change called ‘Panda’ by SEOMoz: