A website with good UX creates a good impression on visitors, consciously and unconsciously. Whenever you search for something and find a site that gives you exactly what you’re looking for, it’s a positive association with the brand or company that features it. And search engines that consistently deliver that to their users create tremendous loyalty, so it’s in their best interests to surface the most relevant results as frequently as possible.
How do search engines decide whether their results are relevant? By examining the user behavior of those who are doing the searching, specifically:
- Do users who search for a specific term or phrase click through to your site in search results?
- Do those users remain on your page long enough to read the post, or do they bounce shortly after arriving there?
- Do they then click around to other pages on your site, indicating that they’re looking for more of what you have to say?
A good user experience creates happy users who increase their reliance on the search engines that deliver that experience. Participating in this “virtuous cycle” is key to improving your search rankings.
4. Your Blog Posts Favor Quantity Over Quality
Once upon a time, writing “SEO friendly copy” essentially meant writing the same sentence over and over in slightly different ways. It was a great time to be a publisher of thesauruses. But things work differently now.
What’s the secret to great SEO copy nowadays? Please your readers.
If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re right. As with UX design and mobile friendliness, your blog posts should be written so that users who are searching for specific information find it in your posts.
Do some keyword research to determine which terms your target audience is searching for when they’re looking for the kind of content that you’re creating. But that’s really the only “secret hack” you should be spending a significant amount of time on. The quality of your content is what’s going to make or break you.
And if you’re not a naturally great writer, find someone who is. Your content will shoot up the rankings if you’re focused on your topic, you avoid going off on unnecessary tangents and you provide information that your competition isn’t.
5. You’ve Loaded Your Site Up With Shady Backlinks
“But, but, but,” you stammer, “my brother-in-law who does SEO says that he’s spent ten years building up a network of hundreds of sites that all link to each other, and he guarantees that this is the best way to improve my search rankings!”
Look, we’re not trying to make Thanksgiving dinner uncomfortable for you. But maybe the person who has built a business on a technology whose time has come and gone is not the person you should look to for an objective opinion about this. There are cassette tape purists out there too, and while they seem like wonderful cranks people, we’re not about to ditch our magical digital devices for vintage Walkmans.