In a recent conversation about SEO I brought up usability, the thing is, the person I was having the conversation with didn’t realized there is a correlation between the two. Which got me thinking, with so many factors that can affect your websites SEO, it’s really easy to overlook some of the less common ones. Content will always be king and mobility is a must, but in this blog post we are going beyond content to go over some of the other factors that could affect a site’s SEO.
Usability and User Experience
Usability and user experience provide an indirect but measurable benefit to a site’s external popularity, which the engines can then interpret as a signal of higher quality. (Source) For instance a site that is difficult to navigate can shorten a users time on the site, decrease pages viewed, or increase bounce rate: which can be quality factors for Google search.
Quality of Backlinks
Backlinks are a measure of implied trust and authority to your brand. Links on other websites pointing to your website suggest search engines should consider your content as authoritative and of high value. When it comes to backlinks not all links are created equal; Google is not only looking at the quantity of links to your website, but the quality. Not to say a single bad backlink will profoundly affect your SEO, but it is recommend that you use a backlink checker to monitor the quality of links to your website to ensure there is not an abundance of bad links to your site. If you do find that your site has bad back links you can use the Google Webmasters “Disavow” tool to remove these links to your site.
Sitemaps help search engines find and classify content on your site that they may not have found on their own. Sitemaps also come in a variety of formats and can highlight many different types of content, including video, images, news, and mobile. (Source) According to sitemaps.org using the Sitemap protocol does not guarantee that web pages are included in search engines; however making sure you sitemap is up-to-date allows web crawlers to easily crawl your site that in turn can help with your SEO.
When it comes down to it, there are 200+ Google ranking factors and we will never know exactly what they are or what algorithm updates Google has up their sleeve next. But it’s our job as marketers to be aware of the many factors that can affect our sites SEO and do our very best to make sites that are not only user friendly, but also Google friendly. What are some SEO factors that you find are often overlooked?