SEO has undergone much evolution in the last decade. In the eyes of most people, the way the industry has moved forward has been positive.
Although SEO is still about promoting yourself and putting yourself ‘front and center’ ahead of everyone else, it has become much more about who is creating the best content, building the best designs, and reaching out to a larger audience with both of those in as many ways as possible.
Some people are still out there talking about the difference between writing for search spiders and writing for human readers. The reality is that the search spiders are becoming more human every day, so how a person will react to a website and the overall user experience is becoming all-important. New web design trends are also heading towards accommodating user experience above all else.
It is clear, then, that most of the internet is becoming user-led and driven. How can you ensure your SEO campaigns and activities reflect this?
In the dark days, people would try to build the biggest, most complex website they could find, all in the name of having more content to index which, back then, would give them a better chance of attaining a higher ranking.
Simple and effective site navigation is a big part of search today, and used in line with a sitemap demonstrating how clean and concise a website is, will have a massive bearing on where you end up in search results. Of course, it is better for the user to find what they want by clicking through two links rather than ten, too.
Focus on the Fold
The different ways in which you present text on your website is one of the few factors that can still throw up the spiders vs. humans debate.
In general, blocks of text are great for getting attention from search spiders, but the human reader likes bullet points, short paragraphs, pictures, video, and many other features to make a page easy on the eye.
Try to forget about that, and instead focus on the content above the fold. A good test for yourself is trying to fit everything necessary above it, so that content is together and a user never has to scroll or go searching.
Ensure you refine your definition of necessary. We’re thinking it means without it, no one would know what your site is about. Content for the sake of content is never a good idea, particularly if you’re a small business looking to become better at local SEO.
Do You Flash?
Search spiders aren’t fans of flash, and it a bit outdated even in the eyes of someone who doesn’t like to use the internet all that much.
There is no merits attached to this one, the message is simple; don’t do it!
When you write content, just write. People are more clued up to articles blatantly written to rank well or be promotional. A lot of the time, Google et al will see through what you have tried to do anyway, but on the occasions they don’t, your copy won’t convert anyway, because it isn’t reader friendly.
A simple, sensible website is clearly the way forward. Look at your site as a browser would, for that is what search spiders are increasingly doing.
Derek is an SEO enthusiast passionate about user experience, believing this should be the only thing Google takes into consideration. Derek’s interest in SEO came about after a particular search where he could only find poorly written, difficult to navigate websites.