When Google talks about SEO, everyone should listen. And Google is speaking volumes in a new video series on the Google Webmaster YouTube channel: SEO Mythbusting. Here’s what it’s about:
Hosted by Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Martin Splitt, the first episode explored the top three SEO factors to focus on. While none of them are new, it is revealing to hear a more in-depth explanation on why these factors are considered so crucial to Google:
SEO Factor #1: Content with a purpose
Splitt says that your content not only has to be good, but it has to serve a purpose:
“You have to have really good content. And that means you have to have content… that serves a purpose for the user.
It’s something that users need and/or want. So, if your content says where you are, what you do, how you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish, that’s fantastic.
If you just have a page that says we are a fantastic company and we have plenty of products, that’s not serving a purpose.
So you want to make sure to serve the purpose of the people who you want to attract and…you want to make sure that you’re using words that I would be using…. So speak the language that I’m speaking.”
The key takeaway here is that your content needs to say (1) where you are (many searches are “near me” so location is important), (2) what you do, (3) how you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish, and (4) use the same language I’m using.
SEO Factor #2: Metadata
Metadata is defined as data that describes other data. In terms of SEO, metadata tells Google and other search engines what a web page’s content is all about. This is done via a meta description — the short summary of what a page’s content is all about that appears in search engine results — as well as meta tags, which are snippets of code that describe a page’s content.
Splitt explains their importance to SEO:
“Make sure that you have meta tags that describe your content, so have a meta description because that gives you the possibility to have a little snippet in the search results that lets people find out which of the many results might be the one that helps them the best.
And have page titles that are specific to the page that you are serving. Don’t have the same title for everything. The same title is bad. If you have titles that change with the content that you are showing, that is fantastic.”
SEO Factor #3: Performance
Google has always said that page speed is important for SEO because it wants user to have a good experience. A slow loading, hard-to-navigate website does not deliver good user experiences.
However, Splitt notes that performance is not just about making your website faster; it’s also important for being found online. Slow loading time means your site will probably not be ranked on the first page of search results — and more than 90% of users never go beyond that first page. So your ability to even get your site seen is negatively impacted by poor performance.