4 Characteristics of Successful Websites
There are many myths associated with Search Engine Optimization. No matter what you may have heard, there are four main elements that together, determine how successful your website will be in the search results.
The number of resources required to succeed is determined by your online competitors. Your website does not have to be the best site on the Internet, only better than your competitors.
These are the elements or resources required to succeed:
Resource #1 – Link Strength
Link Strength (from inbound links) has historically been – and still is – the most important factor in organic search engine success.
How many links are there on other websites pointing to your website? It’s like the owner of the other website saying, here’s where you can find more information, like citing you as a reference. The more links you have and the more credible your sources, the better your site does in the organic results.
Are those high quality websites, or spam websites? The website with the most link strength is not always at the top but would be if all other things were equal. A link from the neighborhood kid’s Wix website about rock collecting is not going to be as valuable to your website as a link in an article in the New York Times for example.
I should mention that link strength is the most difficult to improve out of the four main factors. It takes a long time to see results.
Resource #2 – Citations
Citations are essential for success in map search results.
Citations are similar to links, in that they appear on other websites, but instead of a link pointing to your website, they are simply a mention of your business name, address and phone number (commonly referred to as NAP). A Facebook page for your business would be one example.
Also like links, the website with the most citations is not always at the top – there is a quality factor to citations as well.
One gigantic quality factor is how well the citations match throughout the internet. If on some websites your business is XYZ Inc, and on others, it’s The XYZ Ltd, there’s not a match. So instead of that counting for you, it counts against you, as it contributes to less validation instead of more. What we see is the cumulative mess from having changed locations, phone numbers, toll-free numbers, business name that includes the location and so on. Our citation cleansing service offers a chance to clean it all up.
Resource #3 – Unique, Interesting, Informative Website Content
The whole reason for search engines is to organize the content on the internet. Content is vitally important if your website is to be successful and there is no substitute! An online brochure is not going to do well anymore.
Both the quantity and quality of the content is important. A large quantity of good informative pages is a sure way to the top of the results. When it comes to quantity, there shouldn’t be too much, but also not too little content for each page.
If you have a 5-page website, it could be successful. It would depend on the other three main factors being excellent. If your website were 50 pages, your website should be able to dominate any 5-page website you compete against. However, if you create a 500-page website to work with, and every page has high-quality content, it is quite possible that your business would dominate your industry throughout your region.
The biggest problem that we see with content is duplication. Either duplication of other content on the internet, or duplication within the website. That is not only poor quality content, but it can produce a penalty in Google. It’s worse than poor quality content!
Resource #4 – Technical Perfection
Warning – Myth Busting Information! Your website is not capable of getting your business to the top of the search results all by itself! It needs links and citations and great content.
However, technical issues can keep your site from succeeding. So, in other words, your website can hold you back, but can’t get you ahead in the search results. To get ahead you’ll need the other factors to make major contributions.
We have seen websites that spring to the top of the results once all of the technical factors have been eliminated. Everything was already in place, but the technical side of the website was holding it back. What’s really remarkable is that to the untrained eye, both versions of the website would look the same.
There are dozens of potential technical issues – too numerous to mention them all. Fortunately, there are lots of tools available to help find any technical issues your website may have. Then it’s just a matter of fixing them and keeping the site maintained at a high level.
Our technical performance services could help you if this is an issue for your website.