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Welcome to SEO Myths in 2018 Part 3! Click here if you missed part 1 or here if you missed part 2. This week we will be getting into local SEO, user experience, featured snippets & more! Read below for 5 more SEO myths.
Still stuck in the old “the more, the better” mindset? Just like with links stated in SEO Myths Part 1, quantity is not better than quality. If you have tons of pages but the content on said pages is sub-par, you will not rank well. Google’s Matt Cutts said in 2013 “I wouldn’t assume that just because you have a large number of indexed pages that you automatically get a high-ranking. That’s just not the case.” So there it is straight from the source.
To elaborate, not everything you publish will be indexed. Also, sometimes pages are indexed but do not remain there. This happens because search engines decide that two pages of content may be too similar to already indexed pages. Lastly, just because pages are indexed does not mean they will drive the right audience to your website.
Google’s Panda algorithm, released in 2011, continues to get better at recognizing quality content that doesn’t help visitors. Google will also penalize your site if your content is extremely poor.
User experience or UX for short is defined by Dictionary.com as, “the perception and response of a person toward design elements of a software or digital media while interacting with it.” Now, this may seem confusing, but it’s really not. User experience is about making sure your website traffic can easily use your website and get to their desired locations with ease. For example, when you are at a grocery store, the isles are numbered and then defined by what each isle contains. Now imagine going to a grocery store with no indication of where to find anything. That would be a terrible experience because there is no direction. The same idea holds true with websites. Make sure that when users are visiting your web page, they are enjoying their experience.
Google judges your website on user experience by taking a look at its analytics. How long did your website take to load? Do users immediately exit your site when they enter (bounce rate)? How long are visitors staying on a page? Are your users going to other pages on your website? Google uses this information to determine if your site has quality content. So once again, quality content is king when it comes to SEO.
This right here is key for small and local businesses. If you’re a local business, you want to do local SEO. Local SEO takes the location of the user into account when performing a search. The majority of local searches come from a mobile device. According to Nectafy.com, “88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours”. This statistic proves the importance of local SEO.
In July of 2014, Google released its Pigeon algorithm. The algorithm changed the way that Google looked at local search rankings. Google now views local search rankings like traditional search rankings. This algorithm also evaluates the distance between the user and the businesses when determining rankings. Local SEO is more important now than ever.
Like Big Brother, Google knows all (creepy, I know.) Just like the old saying goes, one bad apple (link) can spoil the whole bunch (website.) So puny, I know. The point is Google knows which websites are credible and which are not. You only want credible sources linking to your website.
Ever since Google’s Penguin update, you can be penalized for having bad backlinks. It’s okay if this happens to you because there is a fix for that. Disavow those links on your site and your problem will be solved!
Image optimization is a very important aspect of on-page SEO. Image optimization is a fairly broad term but essentially it means making sure your images are small file size, have a proper file name, alt text is added, and using captions when appropriate.
Search engines can’t see images on websites. To make your image visible to a crawler, you need to add a relevant file name and alt text to it. If you don’t do this, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to be seen by Google. For example, an image with the file name ade343.png versus the file name puppy.png, which do you think would perform better on a search engine? Google also looks to see if you mention the image in your text using similar keywords that are used in the alt text and file name. Google can only index certain types of image files so make sure your images are one of the below:
You may be asking yourself, what is a featured snippet? Search Engine Watch defines it as “a summary of an answer to a user’s query, which is displayed on top of Google search results. It’s extracted from a webpage, and includes the page’s title and URL.” For instance, if you Google how to make pancakes you will see this: That right there is a featured snippet. If you fail to optimize your content for the snippet, you’re at risk of losing a lot of clicks in the SERP, even if you are in the number 1 spot. The snippet steals clicks from the number 1 spot because it openly offers the information the user needs. Ahrefs did a study and found that a regular #1 ranking page with no snippet above it receives about 26% of all clicks. When a snippet is put above the #1 spot, the #1 result only gets about 19.6% of all clicks. This proves that being a featured snippet can be more important than being number 1.
So it turns out that having more pages does not mean better results. And while you may have a bunch of images on your website, that doesn’t mean it will help with your SEO unless they are optimized – Blue Water Marketing can assist you with that! Google has a lot of different variables that can affect your website’s SEO. Check out our SEO page or call us for more info. The final part of the series is out now! Blue Water Marketing Stuart, FL