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  • Writer's picturePeter Sickles

Think SEO Is All About Keywords? Think Again.

When it comes to ranking websites, Google and other search engines don't just look at keywords. It has become far more complicated than that. Today, Google is all about the user experience of website visitors. Google prioritizes usability features that enhance the user experience. Here are some key website usability features that significantly impact search engine rankings:

  1. Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing prevalence of mobile browsing, search engines favor websites that are mobile-friendly. This means websites should display well on various devices and screen sizes.

  2. Page Load Speed: Fast-loading websites provide a better user experience. Search engines, especially Google, consider page load speed as a ranking factor. Websites that load quickly are typically ranked higher.

  3. User Engagement Metrics: Search engines analyze user behavior on a website, including bounce rate, time spent on site, and page views per visit. These metrics help indicate the site's relevance and value to users.

  4. High-Quality Content: Content that is informative, relevant, and valuable to users is essential. Search engines rank websites higher if they provide content that meets users’ needs and answers their queries effectively.

  5. Easy Navigation: A well-structured and easy-to-navigate website helps users find information quickly. Search engines prefer websites with a clear hierarchy and logical navigation paths.

  6. Secure Website (HTTPS): Security is a top priority for search engines. Websites with HTTPS encryption are often ranked higher as they are considered more secure, especially for e-commerce sites where sensitive data is handled.

  7. Accessibility Features: Websites that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities, are favored by search engines. This includes proper use of alt tags, readable fonts, and accessible navigation.

  8. Internal Linking Structure: A coherent internal linking structure helps search engines understand the relationship between different pages on a site and can aid in indexing them more effectively.

  9. Use of Headers and Bulleted Lists: Proper use of header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and bulleted lists helps in organizing content, making it easier for search engines to understand and for users to read.

  10. Optimized Images and Multimedia: Websites that optimize images and other multimedia content for faster loading and proper tagging are ranked higher. This includes using appropriate file sizes and alt tags for images.

  11. URL Structure: Clear and descriptive URLs are preferred by search engines as they provide a hint about the content of the page.

  12. Schema Markup: Implementing schema markup helps search engines understand the content of your site and provide rich snippets in search results, enhancing visibility.

  13. Social Signals: While not a direct ranking factor, social signals such as shares and likes can indicate the popularity and value of the website content.

  14. Error-Free Functionality: Websites with minimal errors, broken links, or technical issues are ranked higher as they provide a smoother user experience.

  15. Regular Updates: Frequently updated websites with fresh content are often seen as more relevant and are favored by search engines.

These features not only improve user experience but also align with search engines' goal of directing users to the most relevant, useful, and accessible content. By focusing on these aspects, websites can enhance their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Want to know how your website stacks up? Contact us... we can help.

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