This is one of the top questions SEO agencies and specialists ponder during their days off. Of course, you can’t forget about your users, to whom your content should be dedicated. However, if you don’t optimize for search engines like Google, your efforts will be in vain. Think of all the work you’ve put into your blog posts, videos, images, and product description – only to have a few visitors each day.
SEO should be a balancing act. It should cater to both search engines AND online users. Because in the end, an optimized web page is one that also offers great content. Content that is helpful, informative, and shareable. With its recent algorithm updates, Google was able to find the middle ground to answer this question. So what kind of page does Google – and your users – love?
Optimized 404 Pages
But aren’t 404 pages bad? In some aspects, yes. A 404 page means that a particular page no longer exists or the URL has changed. The older a website is, the higher the chance that it contains several 404 errors. This might be due to an update with the web design, or by removing some pages that are no longer required.
Take advantage of this downside by creating something entertaining. Include a funny or amusing image, put in a clever copy, and don’t forget a couple of your internal links. This helps users get back on the right track should they stumble upon your 404; while offering a good chuckle. This strategy also allows more of your inner pages to be indexed by Google.
Pages With Related Outbound Links
Outbound or external links point to other sites that are not your own. Don’t just limit your links to your own domain. Branch out and develop interesting connections with those in the same industry at the same time! Google has long established related, popular outbound links as a key SEO factor because it promotes clarity.
Say you have a blog on your website that is all about SEO. Linking to authoritative industry leaders such as Moz or Search Engine Land will give your page more advantage because these sites are already recognized by Google. Plus, you would be giving your visitors more resources to gain valuable information. A third benefit? You get to meet experts in your field!
What do we mean when we day ‘content-rich’? This refers not only to the length of copy (which is ideally a 1,000 words or more), but also to multiple types of content. Text is no doubt wonderful for SEO – but there are plenty more web elements that your page can benefit from. There are photos, videos, podcasts, infographics, charts, and PDF files.
You don’t have to fill an entire page with stacks of information either. Pick two or three components that work well together to make magic happen. Combine comprehensive text, stunning photos, and a smart video to create a fantastic blog post. Or showcase video demos coupled with helpful customer reviews for a sensational Product Page. This keeps a user’s interest on the page; minimizing bounce rates as well as increasing traffic.
One Attribute All Pages Need
What’s the one thing ALL web pages need in order to succeed in SEO?
Speed. Google is now on the prowl for pages that don’t load completely after 4 seconds. And for many users, that’s already 4 seconds too long. A study on MunchWeb revealed that about 75% of users won’t go back to a site that loads more than 3 seconds. Based on this knowledge, work on your website’s loading speed, as well as its overall layout.
Investing in your content nowadays is one of the best steps you can take towards online success.