Text of my newsletter from 23rd May.
If you prefer to listen:
I have a freebie for you this week.
The algorithms that the search engines use to decide which web pages to show in response to a search have always been confidential.
But the top search engine optimsation (SEO) agencies generally reckon that Google considers over 200 different factors.
Add in that it is constantly making changes or running experiments (Google made over 4,500 algorithm updates in 2020) and you begin to see why you might get different results for the same search within a matter of hours.
It’s complicated, and it’s constantly changing.
Back in 2003, when I started out, it was quite easy for webmasters to influence how their sites appeared in the search results by adjusting a few tags, and changing some headlines or body text.
If your site received a lot of visitors, the results of your changes could show up in a day or two.
Today it takes 3 – 6 months before changes you make to your site will reflect in the search results.
SEO is now a long game.
But there is one factor that has remained constant throughout:
Google’s over-riding aim is to provide the best possible results in response to a search.
Since understanding the algorithm and making changes to take advantage of it is not an option, and hiring an SEO agency is expensive, you might be wondering what you can do to improve your website’s performance in the search results.
The answer is to focus on giving your users the best experience possible when they visit your site.
In recent years, Google has been completely up-front about emphasising that user-experience is a high influence factor in their algorithm.
And it’s one that you have direct control over.
So what should you be doing?
Here are some points to focus on:
- The clarity of your website structure
- Simple navigation
- Accurate, detailed and up-to-date content
- The speed at which your pages load
- The use of headings and sub-headings
- The use of lists
- The use of whitespace
- The use and tagging of images
- Sentence and paragraph length
- Correct spelling and grammar
- Clear calls to action
- Internal linking (linking between pages within your site)
- Correctly written SEO titles and META descriptions (this is not a user-experience factor but it is within your control)
When you boil those items down you come to three things:
- Fast loading pages
- Good, well-presented content
- A simple user journey
Focusing on those items will improve the user-experience on your site, which will help to improve your site’s performance in the search results, and your conversion rate.
So here’s my offer:
If you would like me to take a look at your website, completely free of charge, and recommend some things you can do to improve the user experience, hit reply and give me the following information:
- Your website address
- The objective of your website – e.g. to sell stuff, to get leads, to raise brand awareness, etc.
- Your first name
Please hit reply to this email to give me the information.
I will visit your website and get back to you with 3 – 5 suggestions for improving the user experience.
No obligations or commitments on your part. Just a gesture of good will on my part.
This week’s links
This week I’ve covered how to get more followers on Twitter, 8 growth hacks to scale your business, tips on how to scale yourself, and 5 truths about inactive email subscribers.
How to get more followers on Twitter – 3 tips
If Twitter is your preferred social media platform, Josh Spector offers 3 tips for growing your number of followers:
8 growth hacks to scale your business
Adam Clune discusses 8 things you can do to grow your business. One of them (#4) is counter-intuitive, but they’re all great tips:
Is it time to start scaling yourself?
One of the reasons you may be struggling to grow your business is that you don’t have the bandwidth. If that’s the case, these tips on the Patreon blog could help you free up the time you need:
5 truths about inactive email subscribers
You often hear that you should unsubscribe inactive email subscribers to maintain a high delivery rate.
Making your list as engaged as possible (high open rate and high click rate) is a powerful way to ensure your deliverability remains high.
But it’s not always that straightforward. Here are 5 facts about ‘inactive’ email subscribers, and the ways different businesses deal with them:
Just so you know: this email may contain affiliate links. If you click one of them, and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission as a ‘thank you’ from the product or service provider. I only link to products or services that I use, or have used, and am proud to be associated with. There is no additional cost to you.
Cool (and smart) people and businesses to follow
Smart, current and insightful tips from:
Eric Clapton is one of my guitar-player heroes – here he is doing Layla, live:
Struggling to grow your business?
Every week, I do deep-dive research into the mass of information on how to start and grow a successful small, indie or one-person business.
Join us, and you will be among the first to receive the best resources I find each week – in your inbox, every Monday:
Fire up your business growth – get 4 top tips a week: