Google is by far the biggest search engine on the planet, and although upstarts like DuckDuckGo are snapping at its heels, the mighty Google still dominates. For this reason, it is important to place Google front and center when devising strategies to build an online audience.
SEO is a mystery to many people. They assume that if they write a blog or build a website, people will visit. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Anyone can build a website using sitebeginner.com, but success is not guaranteed. There are literally billions of websites out there, languishing in dark corners of the website, abandoned by their owners and now home to malware and viruses. To ensure your shiny new website isn’t one of them, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to creating a positive user experience.
Google looks at many different things when it decides where to position your website or blog in the search results, but its algorithms place a great deal of importance on user experience (UX). In previous years, webmasters tried to ‘game the system’ by keyword stuffing, unnatural link profiles, and cheap content designed to please search engines, not humans.
You can’t get away with this any longer. If users land on your site and immediately click away because it has nothing interesting to offer them, Google pays attention. Because of the importance of a positive user experience, you need to pay attention, too.
Create Valuable Content
The more useful and interesting your content is, the more likely readers are to share it with their friends. Social sharing is a critically important of SEO, but you can’t force it. People will only share content if it has an intrinsic value. It should be interesting, useful, or even funny. For this reason, the days of cheap, illiterate content are long gone. You can’t get away with posting reams of junk content online, even if it contains keywords. Users are wise to this and don’t stick around long if pages offer no value.
The same applies to on-page ads. Advertising and affiliate links are a popular way to earn money from a website or blog. It’s easy to insert ads on a page. If the site enjoys a decent level of traffic, your advertising income will rise accordingly. You might not make millions, but ad revenue from popular sites easily runs into thousands of dollars a month.
However, if intrusive ad placement affects the user experience, Google will knock your site down in the rankings, which in turn will affect your income. It’s OK to place ads on a site, but not at the expense of your customers. Do they want to be bombarded with ads and pop-ups? No, of course, they don’t.
Look at page analytics to understand what users do when they visit your site. If some of your pages perform better, work out why. Perhaps the content answers a question or is just more interesting. Use any knowledge gleaned from analytics to inform your decisions going forward.