5 Steps To Increase Traffic & Survive Google Updates (part 2)
Step 3: Improve User Experience
Recent updates have taught us that for the first time in search history Google is paying serious attention to how visitors interact with your website. That’s why user experience is so important. Your site should be as user friendly as possible, encourage multiple page views per visit as well as social sharing or bookmarking.
The absolute best way to improve user experience is to increase the quality of your information, the targeting of your visitors and split-testing design elements. The better your information, the longer people will stick around to read it. Next, if you’re just publishing content to rank for the big keywords; keep in mind the visitors will be less targeted.
The bigger the search volume, the less targeted the traffic. I see this every time I start a new site. To begin with I drive referral traffic from my list as well as forums and other communities I’m apart of. The result is ridiculously high time on site and lots of page views per visit. As the site grows and it starts to rank for the big keywords; the time on site drives down as well as page views per visit.
That’s why you need to be very selective over the keywords you choose to target. Don’t target keywords because they are high search volume and low competition unless they are your ideal audience.
If you target the wrong people because of high search volume; you’ll end up with crappy statistics which will make it difficult to split-test elements on your site to improve user experience for the people who are actually going to stick around and maybe buy something from you.
You can start on the ‘landing pages’ tab of your Google Analytics. This page gives you a list of your site’s pages along with average time on site as well as page views per visit. Start with the weakest links; work on improving their content and adding more internal links.
Go through the pages on your site and improve them as much as you can in terms of content. Next work on design elements. Split-testing is very easy when you have a lot of traffic.
Lastly encourage social sharing and bookmarking, a social site is a user friendly site.
Step 3: Publish Regular Content
Google likes fresh content, we all know this. Try publish content at least once a week to keep your site fresh. Google does not like static websites that are setup once and forgotten about. They want active sites with active contributors.
This means regular content and an audience (readers) who comment and share. Regular content also builds site authority and Page Rank. Authority is the key metric in SEO right now. The more niche authority you have, the higher you rank for everything. As your domain authority goes up, all of your internal pages go up the rankings; even the oldest.
Step 4: Social Presence
Building a social presence is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. Since Google Plus and Author Rank have come about (learn about it here), Google has been paying a lot of attention to social signals and your site’s SOCIAL PRESENCE.
Mainly Google look at your Google+, Facebook and Twitter presence. The other social networks are tiny in comparison to the big 3. The bigger your following on those three networks, the more authority you’ll have and the higher your rankings will go.
Right now you can’t rank a site with social signals alone, so they’re still very minor in the overall scheme of SEO. With that said they are a great way to ensure you have everything covered and will only increase in the ranks in future.
Building your social presence across the networks starts off with setting up Google Authorship. It gets boring to talk about after a while, so you can read how to setup Authorship here. The post also explains how to connect your other networks to your Google+ account.