Google as you already know is much more than just a search engine business. Aside from a couple of quirky projects like Google Ventures and their NextEra Energy Resources investments, Google have continued to reach into an ever increasing number of areas of our online world.
As a consequence their role in our lives is significant.
Whether putting up your latest video on YouTube, earning money from Ads on your website through Google Adsense or checking your visitor stats in Google Analytics - If you're a business with a website, in one way or another you'll be playing by Google's rules.
In the last few years Google has attracted a fair bit of criticism for changing the rules of the game without warning - especially when it comes to keywords, metadata, indexing and page ranking.
One of the great mysteries of the Internet is how Google calculates the value of pages in your website and then how it works out the order of listings on its SRPs - the reality is if your website doesn't measure up, its going to miss out.
...And the rules are about to change again!
Each time Google makes changes to the search algorithms, there are consequences for your website.
A few years ago we had a client who experienced this first hand when overnight his website went from the number 1 spot in Google SRP to being on page 23. Obviously he was devastated. It's hard to accept that through no fault of your own you are now the owner of an undesirable website in the eyes of Google.
It's inevitable that we'd end up needing SEO when the rules can change at any time and have such a dramatic impact on your online presence.
SEO experts will tell you that Google pays a lot of attention to the content you have on your web pages so you need to be focused on keywords and links. And they're right. Google likes pages with popular keywords and high value links.
In fact, up until very recently you could sit back and relax if your website had great content and lots of high value links going to your website.
Today you're getting a heads up
Google, through it's extensive online assets and access to lots of information about what people do online, how they do things and generally what people like, is about to embark on incorporating into their search and indexing algorithms new mathematical models that now take into account more things to do with human behaviour.
In a nutshell this means that for your website to be considered worth a front page SRP position,
- it must have great content;
- it must have high value links; and
- now it must have visitor activity.
What this means in terms of minimum traffic volumes is unknown. And there are many other unanswered questions.
For now the only thing you can know for certain is that if your website is static (doesn't change content for months at a time), is light on information (doesn't have any high value or "evergreen" content) or uses black hat techniques or automation tools to create traffic, then now is the time to start looking at a new website and making your website a part of your daily business operations.
Especially if you want it to survive the next big wave of change coming from Google.
How to get repeat visitors & web traffic to your Website
So the key to staying in the good books with Google, moving into the future, is to do what it takes to have constant visitor activity (growth is good too!) on your website.
Here are 15 ways you can ensure your website has regular or returning visitors
- When you're answering inquiries on the phone or in email, keep in mind the information you have on your website and give the person a URL for a page they may find interesting.
- Add links to your website content that links in to other pages and information that's already part of your website.
- Consider having a 'Daily Specials', 'Deal of the Week' or 'Sales' page in your website that is regularly changed.
- Regularly give away free items through your website, such as coupons, download files, videos, etc.
- Publish announcements about up-coming events, articles, etc on your website to create anticipation for content you'll be adding soon.
- Serialise your content so that you "drip-feed" regular chunks of information to your website, as chapters, instructions or versions.
- Submit your news worthy content to social bookmarking websites like Submit your news worthy content to social bookmarking websites like Delicious, Digg and Reddit.
- Regularly update your website by adding new content and making sure that people know you've done it.
- Allow customers to communicate and transact with you through your website so they can do things like make appointments, submit claims, download forms or buy accessories.
- Add a section of high value 'evergreen' content to your website such as an industry specific dictionary, a contacts database or directory.
- Create a membership program that can be accessed through your website, such as a loyalty, pay to access or community programs.
- Encourage visitors to contribute to your content through uploading photos and videos or adding reviews.
- Provide online tools such as calculators, forums and games so that people have to visit your website to use them.
- Incorporate RSS feeds from other websites that publish relevant content for your website visitors to increase the amount of fresh content in your website.
- Use Social Media Marketing (or any other form of online marketing you prefer) to drive traffic to your website.
Irrespective of which approach you take or how many you choose to act on, the important thing is to do something.
Whether you do it now in a planned way where you control costs and take your time managing the change, or later after you've been hit by Google and have no choice but to get it done at any price in a hurry - the choice is yours.
Consider yourself warned and informed!
Comments are closed.