How Putting Users First Can Boost Your SEO

How Putting Users First Can Boost Your SEO

Reading Time: 3 minutes
mobile users

User experience plays a huge role in your search rankings. It may be one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO. After all, it doesn’t really matter how well-optimized your content is if users have such a poor experience on your site that they leave. Google tracks user experience and uses it as a factor in determining SERP rankings.

How Does Google Quantify User Experience?

User experience is a qualitative feature, so how can a search engine quantify it to influence SERP rankings? Google looks at more quantitative factors that can indicate user experience. For example, bounce rate and dwell time are both linked to user experience. A high bounce rate means users aren’t staying on your site. Whether that’s because the user experience is poor or because the site just isn’t what they’re looking for doesn’t matter; both are signs that the site isn’t meeting user needs and therefore shouldn’t be ranked as highly. A high dwell time, by contrast, indicates a good experience because users won’t stay for long on a site that isn’t meeting their needs and expectations.

How Can You Optimize for User Experience?

There’s no optimization shortcut for user experience. The only way to optimize for this essential SEO factor is to provide a good user experience. This means offering high-quality content written for users first rather than for search engines. Your SEO strategy should be for your audience, not to game search engines into ranking you higher than you should be.

What Is High-Quality Content?

Google uses the following criteria to determine whether content is high-quality:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authoritativeness
  • Trustworthiness

To have high-quality content that Google will rank at the top of the SERP, your content will need to embody all of those traits. This will involve well-written, informative content and demonstrating that you are an authority in your industry so that others will want to link to your content as a source.

Can You Use ChatGPT Content?

ChatGPT has taken the Internet by storm. The predictive text AI program already caused a lot of speculation on how it can change the way we work in many industries. There are rumors that companies may start to replace humans with ChatGPT for things like content production. However, this is not a good idea if you want to rank well, even after Google has stated it won’t punish AI-written content just for being written by an AI.

Is ChatGPT Content High-Quality?

The problem is that AI-written content just isn’t very good. There are some major limitations to what an AI can do. It looks good, but it tends to be more style than substance and substance is what Google is looking for with its EEAT criteria. That’s not even taking into account the factual errors, lack of ability to understand humans, and the fact that AI can really only work off of input that it gets from real humans

Are Keywords Important for User Experience?

While keywords are still important to an SEO strategy, it’s important to use them sparingly. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing actually improving your rankings. You’ll need to balance your keyword strategy with making sure that the content is readable. Write your content for your users, not for search engines, and that will help you to create high-quality content.

Need help in improving your presence on search engines?

Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid in 2022

Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid in 2022

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Black Hat SEO Techniques to Avoid in 2022
Black hat SEO techniques are SEO strategies that try to trick search engines into awarding higher rankings. Search engines like Google typically punish sites that do this with either lower rankings or, if the offenses are bad enough, blacklisting. These are some techniques that you should avoid in your SEO strategy.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of inserting your target keyword into your content as many times as possible. Imagine trying to read something that reused the same words over and over again in close succession. It just doesn’t read well and isn’t enjoyable for readers. On top of that, how useful could the content be when it packs the same word into each paragraph without actually providing any new information?

Tip: Focus on LSI keywords, which are keywords that you’d expect to find alongside your primary keyword. For example, if you’re writing about pandas, then you’d expect to see keywords like bamboo, endangered, China, conservation, zoo, etc.


Buying Backlinks

Backlinks play a major role in SEO strategies because they’re a signal to Google that your website is considered trustworthy by others. However, if you’re getting those links back to your site by buying them, that’s not a good strategy. Not only is it a black hat technique, but it doesn’t really work to boost your SEO. This is because sites that are willing to sell backlinks aren’t the most reputable, which actually damages your reputation with Google instead of boosting it.

Tip: Having high-quality content is a good way to attract backlinks, but it’s only part of the process. It’s also important to build relationships with others in your industry as well as publications that might be interested in linking to your content.


Spamming Comments Sections

Participating in comments sections is a way to build relationships with others in your industry, which can help in getting backlinks. However, there’s a line between leaving comments and spamming. Anyone who spends any time on social media has certainly seen spam comments that are basically just there to link to someone’s site and aren’t relevant to the post or to the conversation that’s going on. This is considered a black hat SEO technique and can get you blocked by users.

Tip: Use the comments section to engage in conversation with others in your industry and your potential customers. Build a relationship over time rather than jumping right in with a spam request or link.


Hidden Content

Hidden content is anything on a web page that is colored the same as the background. Hidden content is how people try to hide black hat SEO techniques that are designed to trick the search engines so that it doesn’t create a bad user experience. However, Google can still see the hidden content even if users can’t. Plus, Google can see the hidden tag and will recognize it as being hidden, which will result in a lower ranking.

Tip: Hidden content can be okay if it’s usually visible to both search engines and to readers except in certain circumstances. For example, some websites may include content on their desktop pages that is hidden from mobile versions.


Need help in improving your presence on search engines?

White Hat SEO in 2022

White Hat SEO in 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes
White Hat SEO in 2022
SEO has changed a lot since Google was first started in 1998. Early Internet searches weren’t easy. The websites that ranked the highest often got there because of shady SEO tactics like keyword stuffing. White hat SEO means optimizing with the goal of helping users find what they’re looking for rather than to game the system with the search engines.

Why Is White Hat SEO So Important?

Keeping your SEO tactics completely white hat is important because Google takes measures to discourage black hat techniques. Every update that Google has implemented has been to improve search results and experience for users online. With that goal in mind, these updates have also implemented ways to decrease the rankings of pages that engage in black hat techniques.

What Is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a set of SEO techniques that seek to trick search engines into ranking better than they should. As Google has implemented updates, exactly what techniques are considered black hat have changed. Those who engage in black hat SEO techniques stop using what Google is now punishing in the rankings and find other ways to try to game the system instead.

The following are considered black hat SEO techniques:

  • Private link networks
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking
  • Buying links
  • Offering free products in exchange for links
  • Hidden links
  • And more

If Black Hat SEO Techniques Work, Why Should You Use White Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO techniques are considered unethical and are also typically against the terms of service of the search engine. Google and other search engines try to eliminate the use of these techniques and therefore if one works, it likely won’t be for long. Google regularly issues updates that render black hat techniques quickly non-viable. Therefore, you should focus on white hat SEO techniques because any success with black hat techniques is likely short-lived.

Does Using White Hat SEO Future-Proof SEO Strategies?

Because SEO does change thanks to regular updates, many wonder how to future-proof their SEO strategies so that they don’t have to change them with each update. The best way to do that is to focus on using white hat SEO techniques. Keep in mind that Google and other search engines want to match users with the highest possible quality content that answers in the best possible way their search query. If you focus on providing users with helpful content and use your SEO techniques as a way to help Google match searchers with your content in the results, then that’s a good way to future-proof your SEO.

What Is a White Label SEO Company?

If you’re hiring an external company like BrainVine to handle your SEO, it’s important to look for one that uses only white hat SEO techniques. Such companies can be described as white-label SEO companies. Other verbiage, like UX-based SEO, is also a sign that a company uses white label techniques. White label SEO focuses on the users while black hate SEO focuses instead on the search engines.

Need help in improving your presence on search engines?

How to Tell Whether Your Website Is Healthy

How to Tell Whether Your Website Is Healthy

Reading Time: 2 minutes
How to Tell Whether Your Website Is Healthy

The health of your website can play a major role in the amount of traffic your site gets and keeps. A website that takes too long to load may get visitors for a time, but slow loading tends to result in users clicking away in frustration. This, in turn, can cause rankings to decrease, which would then also mean a decrease in traffic.

But what can you do to check that your website is healthy?

Test Your Page Load Speed

It’s a good idea to regularly check that pages load quickly enough. There are free tools available that you can use, such as Google’s own PageSpeed Insights. There are other free tools for measuring page speed, but using Google’s may be best if you’re looking to improve your rankings on Google’s SERPs. This way, you can see how Google itself is measuring the speed of your webpage.

Tip: Check your page speed once a month at minimum or after any significant changes to the page. You’re looking for a load speed of fewer than 2 seconds.


Check for Broken Links

Links are an excellent way to demonstrate your trustworthiness (see EAT in SEO) but it’s important to keep them up-to-date. Sometimes, however, web pages you’ve linked to may be removed or may have their URLs updated. Google regularly crawls web pages and if it finds broken links, then that could negatively impact your rankings. Fortunately, you don’t have to manually go through every page to look for broken links. You can use free tools like dead link checker and Broken Link Checker to analyze your entire website for broken links.

Tip: How often you should check for broken links depends on the size of your website. Smaller sites may only need to check once every few months while larger sites should probably check closer to weekly.


Ensure Your Site’s Mobile-Friendliness

Google has indexed websites on a mobile-first basis for years now. This means that the mobile-friendliness of your site has a huge impact on your search rankings. Google made the switch in the first place because about 70% of people making a Google search are doing so on a mobile device. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly tend to end up with much lower rankings than those that are. You can check the mobile-friendliness for free using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Tip: Check your site’s mobile-friendless after any significant changes or additions.


Gain Insights from Google Analytics

Google provides many free tools that you can use to determine the overall health of your website and how well it’s performing. Google Analytics is another such tool. This one lets you know certain statistics about your website, from traffic data to website speed. On top of that, you can determine which pages are your best-performing ones and use that information to create more content like that.

Tip: Unless you’re an experienced web developer or SEO marketer, you may want assistance from an SEO specialist in interpreting the insights from Google Analytics.


Need help in improving your presence on search engines?