What Actually Works for Driving SEO Traffic from Search Engines?
It’s important to note that Google is responsible for the majority of the search engine traffic in the world. This may vary from one industry to another, but it’s likely that Google is the dominant player in the search results that your business or website would want to show up in, but the best practices outlined in this guide will help you to position your site and its content to rank in other search engines, as well.
So how does Google determine which pages to return in response to what people search for? How do you get all of this valuable traffic to your site?
Google’s algorithm is extremely complex, but at a high level:
- Google is looking for pages that contain high-quality, relevant information relevant to the searcher’s query.
- Google’s algorithm determines relevance by “crawling” (or reading) your website’s content and evaluating (algorithmically) whether that content is relevant to what the searcher is looking for, based on the keywords it contains and other factors (known as “ranking signals”).
- Google determines “quality” by a number of means, but a site’s link profile – the number and quality of other websites that link to a page and site as a whole – is among the most important.
Increasingly, additional ranking signals are being evaluated by Google’s algorithm to determine where a site will rank, such as:
- How people engage with a site (Do they find the information they need and remain on the site, or do they “bounce” back to the search page and click on another link? Or do they just ignore your listing in search results altogether and never click-through?)
- A site’s loading speed and “mobile friendliness”
- How much unique content a site has (versus “thin” or duplicated, low-value content)
There are hundreds of ranking factors that Google’s algorithm considers in response to searches, and Google is constantly updating and refining its process to ensure that it delivers the best possible user experience.