Lesson 4 – The “new” way of doing SEO

This is the fourth lesson of the Gotch SEO Starter Course.

In today’s lesson, I’m going to show you the “new” way of doing SEO.

Let’s jump right in.

Prioritize Your Users Over the Search Engines

If you read my blog you know I always say: “please your users and you will please the search engines”.

It’s a simple concept and much easier than trying to manipulate the search engines.

Google’s mission is to serve the user the best results.

That’s why your goal must be to make your website an amazing experience for every single user.

Good User Experience Starts With Content

Valuable content is the single most important element of a good user experience.

If your content sucks, it won’t matter how fast your site loads or how beautiful the design is.

Quality content trumps all things.

Technical Errors That Will Kill User Experience

Google uses hundreds of factors to determine what a “quality” user experience (UX) is.

Fortunately, you don’t need to know all of them and you likely never will.

Using common sense is the single best way to improve user experience on your site.

You need to step into the shoes of someone who is visiting your website.

The following technical errors can damage UX on your website:

Site Speed

Overwhelming data proves that site speed is critical to your SEO performance. Not only that, but it can also have a tremendous impact on your conversions. Work hard to improve your site’s loading speed. No one likes slow websites (especially Google).

Mobile Friendliness

The majority of searches in Google are on mobile. Your site needs to be mobile friendly. If it isn’t right now, then it needs to be your top initiative.

Broken Links/404 Pages

Nothing is worse than wanting to click on a link to learn more about something and landing on a 404 page. It’s super annoying. And guess what? Annoying things on your website hurt user experience!

Distracting Ads/Page Elements

Distracting/annoying ads will repulse your users. A few extra cents isn’t worth damaging long-term user experience. Don’t forget that pleasing your users is the #1 priority.

Content Readability

You already know the importance of good content, but creating “good” content isn’t enough. Your content has to be readable! It doesn’t matter how good your content is if it’s unbearable to read. What makes content unbearable to read?

To make your content more digestible do the following:

  • Break up walls of text by making each paragraph no more than 1-3 sentences
  • Inject headings, images, or videos to break up the content
  • Edit ALL your writing to avoid grammar and spelling errors
  • Write your content at an 8th grade reading level. Your college professor isn’t grading your content.

Being User-Centric Makes SEO Easier

Improving your site experience improves your organic visibility AND will improve conversions.

Every move you make on your site should be in consideration of your users.

Have a “users-first” mindset.

How to Measure User “Experience”

Knowing exactly how user feel about your website isn’t possible (yet). The good news is that there are some tools to help you get one step closer. You can use metrics inside Google Analytics such as Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration, Pages Per Session, and Returning Visitors to estimate how users feel about your website.

Some questions to ask yourself on a routine basis include:

  • “Does this content idea serve my users?”
  • “Will this content improve or enrich my readers lives?”
  • “What can we change on your site to improve user experience?”

Actions Items for Today:

  1. Audit your site for technical errors
  2. Prioritize and fix all issues
  3. Perform a UX audit

– Gotch

In the next lesson, you will learn how to rank without backlinks.

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