What is SEO? SEO is search engine optimization. In a nutshell this means, your websites ability to “rank” on google and readers to find your blog post by searching google. You NEED to understand and keep up the date with how google works to maintain a successful blog. We all know that a successful blog needs consistent and real traffic. You need people visiting your site.
Google has recently published a 200 page PDF with changes in SEO strategies for it’s quality checkers. But this PDF has been leaked and now we can understand the 2019 algorithm of how google judges your page! Google has hired an army of “quality checkers” who follow this PDF as a job description on how to judge websites. Including yours! So it is paramount that we understand how google tools will work in 2019. How does google measure how helpful your page is?
One of the #1 tools google uses to judge website quality is the “user experience”. It wants to make sure that your post BEST answers the topic the user is googling. Length of content is important. If you answer the users question in one sentence, there’s no reason for the users to stay on your site. Write 1000-1500 words per article. Click through rate is still important. Pogo sticking is where someone goes to your article, and leaves right away, goes to another post, then leaves right away. This is bad! Although, having a high bounce rate is not necessarily bad anymore! If your user is bouncing around from post to post, but still spending time reading the articles – google sees that as YOU having helpful information. Google sees this as the users exploring your info, as long as they are spending time on the page.
Formatting of your post will impact your user experience. Don’t have big blocks of text, break it up. Organize the info. Having a catchy title helps. What matters is that you answer the question that the user came for and quickly. Answer it in the first paragraph and then elaborate on the paragraphs to follow. Adding photos will encourage readers to stay on your page! Add a photo on the top, and a few photos throughout the page.
Flooding your article with affiliate links will impact the user experience (we can all relate to this one). Don’t pollute your page with ads and amazon links in efforts to make money. This will kill you on google and eventually kill your website success.
Googles cares about your reputation! This is one of the biggest changes that we are learning. Having GOOD and reputable links in your posts is a “leg up”. Trading link or buying links is not a legitimate way to do it. Rating of the authorship matters! If you are writing about parenting and the google quality checkers research that you have no children, that’s a strike against you. If you are writing legal advice and you are not a lawyer, that hurts your reputation. They will looks at yelp/product reviews for local businesses!
“YMYL” your money or your life. This is a google category for the important stuff. If you are writing on how to recognize a heart attack, the top google and most reliable source will be something like the American Heart Association and not a personal blog. Authority over information is something that google cares about.
Social media is an important way to establish a presence and establish your credibility as an author. A helpful tip is to create an “About the Author” or “Bio” page on your website. Readers and Google want to know about you! Include your name, degrees, credentials, speaking engagements, real experience that relates to your blog topics! Let the public and google quality checkers know that you have the authority to talk about what you write!
Collaboration is a big way to build reputation and establishing a presence. Write guest posts on other websites! Be a guest on a podcast! Have a youtube collaboration! Go speak at a conference!
What is google trying to do with these changes? Google is trying to help readers to find the most helpful information and answers to their question. They have refined the ways that they judge this ability.
SSL certificates. Every site needs to have SSL. This is no question! If your site isn’t secure, you won’t get visits. It’s free with most hosting sites. (This encrypts your site so the users info is kept safe.) If your site starts with “https” then you are safe. If your site starts with “http”, you need to contact your host!
Most important factors:
- How fast your site loads. Site speed (Images, host, crappy tech)
- If users can navigate your site on their phone
- Too many ads, pop ups, and affiliate links
- How long has your article been up?
- Copyright issues/plagiarism
If you want a comprehensive checklist to compare your website, here is one that was created the the Income School guys. CLICK HERE!
All the old tactics for google are dying. If you want to be the ideal website in the eyes of google, these are the tips you need. The top priority of google is the “user experience”. If you master that – you master the google algorithm. You will get consistent traffic, have a successful website, and make a living from your Blog! Isn’t that the goal?
*Disclaimer: I still use YOAST SEO as a plug in on my wordpress site. It is helpful in organizing your information. The SEO score and Readability is INVALID as of 2019. An article can still perform well on google even if you have red scores on Yoast. (Essentially keyword focus is not as important anymore!) The best part of Yoast is that you can edit the meta description, and you should be doing this on EVERY POST.
*I got all my info from these most amazing website guru’s. The Income School guys on youtube are my go-to for SEO and website advice. Below is the video presentation that I got all the above info from.
Meg, thanks for sharing. SEO is sometimes a bit of a mystery to me, but you gave some great advice here.
Thanks for the intro to the Income School. I wasn’t familiar with that site, but will check it out. Steve
UGH I KNOW! SEO has been a strange goal that I’ve been chasing since 2015. But after lots of research and some trial & error – i think I get it. I want my website to be successful and survive 2019. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you can take some info back to your blog!
Sara | mshealthesteem.com
Thank you tons for sharing Meg! Keeping uo with algorythm changes is always difficult. Especially when it comes to SEO (something I’m sure I could get better at!) I’m so gkad to have a heads up on this one ahead of time. Thanks a ton ♡