Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a term that sounds simple and confusing at the same time. While it is attributed to being the sole reason for your website to rank higher in the search results of search engines, it comes with a lot of vagueness, which is hard to understand for the layman. Because search engines have become particular of what they like and want in a website these days, getting to know about the various
With that in mind, here are some
1. Pogo Sticking
The term pogo-sticking refers to the practice of visiting several search results to find out the result that best satisfies a user’s search query. For instance, let’s imagine a user searching for something on Google. He clicks on the first result but finds the website does not contain the information he is looking for then goes back to the search result and clicks on the second result but still does not find what he wants. He comes back to the search result and clicks on the third result and keeps continuing until he finds the information he wants. This movement to and from a website to the search results is called pogo-sticking.
How does pogo-sticking affect your website?
If many users pogo-stick after clicking on your website in the search results, it sends a clear message to Google that they are not happy with your website and the result provided for the search. This, in turn, would prompt Google to push down your website by a few ranks to allow space for more relevant search results. And that definitely cannot spell well for your website in the long run.
Ways to void Pogo Sticking
- Adding Internal Links: Adding internal links high up on the page the user lands on when searching for something prompts the latter to move deeper into your website. This reduces the chances of him going back to the search results almost immediately.
- Increasing Font Size: Increasing the font size of the content on the website makes it more readable and encourages the user to spend some time on it before moving back to the search results.
- Adding Table of Contents: Adding a Table of Contents with internal links high up on the search result page will make it easier for users to locate the information they want rather than spend time navigating through all the content on your website (in most cases, the user will move back to the search results after going through the first few lines).
2. Dwell Time
Dwell Time is another important ranking signal considered by Google. It refers to the time spent by a user on a particular page before moving back to the search engine results. It differs from the page bounce in the sense that a bounce occurs when the user spends some time on the page and returns without clicking anything on it. Dwell time, on the other hand, is simply the time the user spends on the page he visits.
How does Dwell Time affect your website?
Let’s say a user visits your page but does not find any relevant content. He moves back to the search results in 5 seconds. Then your dwell time is 5 seconds and indicates that the user is not interested in your website.
Now, let’s say the same user visited another website below yours in the search engine results and stayed on the site for about 2 minutes. If the same happens with multiple users, Google gets a clear message that the other page provides a better result than yours and gives the page a ranking boost while pushing your website down.
Ways to Increase Dwell Time
- Following the PPT formula: P – Preview of the content to let the user know your page contains the content he is looking for, P – Proof of the content on your page and T – Transition or general nudge to the user to continue with the content.
- Embedding Videos: Either replacing the entire content with a shorter video or embedding video links from sites like YouTube instead of linking to blog posts.
- Writing Longer Content: Longer but relevant content, which can hook the user to spend more time on your page.
3. Doorway Pages
Doorway pages refer to those pages, which are created solely to draw viewers to pages optimized with select keywords. They feature higher in the search results than actual pages.
How do doorway pages affect your website?
Doorway pages can be a boon or bane for your website depending on how you use them. In most cases, these pages are created to generate more traffic to a page irrespective of the content present in it. As such, while they may help you attract more users to target pages on your website, they may ruin your reputation if you use them only to draw users to otherwise irrelevant content on your website. Google has only recently revealed that it would penalize websites using doorway pages, meaning you could take a hit if found to be using these pages.
Ways to spot and avoid doorway pages
Remove the page if:
- It is not an integral part of the rest of your website and exists merely to generate traffic.
- Duplicates another page and has nothing but multiple keywords stuffed in it to score search engine hits.
- A part of an island of pages, which are hard to navigate to and from.
- It has links only intended for the search engines.
4. Content Pruning
“Out with the old, in with the new,” as the saying goes. With regard to SEO practices, content pruning involves analyzing, assessing and removing certain pages of your website, which have little or no value to your target audience.
How does content pruning affect your website?
Content marketing, which was regarded as a numbers game for long, took a hit after Google started penalizing websites with substandard content. Content pruning helps you do away with old, outdated, irrelevant content and replace them with new, updated and more relevant content to attract viewers. In addition to helping you provide meaningful and quality content to your audience, this practice helps remove unwanted clutter from your website.
Ways to Prune Content
Identifying the content to be pruned: Do an in-depth analysis of your content to see which pages need to be pruned. Such pages can be identified by metrics like:
- Publication Date: The date when the page was originally published
- Page Views: The number of times viewers have visited the page in the last 12 months
- Bounce Rate: The number of times viewers have left the page without clicking on anything inside it
- Conversion Rate: The number of times the page has driven conversion in the last 12 months
- Inbound Links: The presence or absence of any links of value
Improving, Updating, Combining or Removing Data: There are different ways to prune the content on a website. These include:
- Improving Content: Improving the appearance and quality of relevant content to improve its performance metrics.
- Updating Content: Reviewing, updating and republishing relevant content to boost its performance metrics.
- Combining Content: Combining old and new content to create single, in-depth content and using topic groupings to identify and remove pages with similar topics.
- Removing Content: Marking a page as irrelevant to a search result by marking it with a “no index” tag, which will allow the page to remain on the website but drop it from the index and prompt search engines to skip it when searching for results.
5. Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalism refers to those pages on the same website, which have the same keywords in use. Let’s say, for example, you have two pages on your website that are linked to the same keywords. When a user searches for this keyword on Google, both pages from your website will pop up in the search results.
How does keyword cannibalism impact your website?
This practice confuses search engines to the extent they choose the less relevant page from your website for a search query. Having too many pages with the same keywords may also send a warning sign to search engines that your website or webpage is not the most relevant result for a search query.
Ways to avoid keyword cannibalism
- Looking for duplicate title tags: Map out individual themes and titles to each page to avoid different pages reflecting the same keyword or topic.
- Reorganizing the site’s existing architecture: To regroup the pages of the website to identify and weed out pages targeting the same topics or keywords.
6. Deep Links
Deep links are those links, which direct users to specific pages within a website instead of the “About” or “Home” page. These links are used to direct traffic to more specific content on keyword related searches and can improve the chances of a website ranking higher on search results.
If done properly, deep links can help websites rank higher on search results and thus, increase the traffic. It can also improve user experience to a great extent while boosting your domain authority.
- Create valuable content: Deep links target specific pages, which need to be filled with high-quality, relevant content to draw visitors.
- Interlink to relevant content: By adding links associated with the topic or content you add on blog posts and social media platforms.
- Creating strategic backlinks from external sites: By posting guest posts or blogs on these sites and adding backlinks that link back to the most relevant content on your website.
7. Page Rank
Page Rank is the top
How does page rank affect your website?
A higher page rank would automatically mean more organic traffic to your website, along with more visibility to users and more quality external links that are neither spam nor false or paid.
Ways to Improve Page Rank
- Increasing the number of quality backlinks: from external sites
- Posting relevant, high-quality content: to improve domain authority, relevance, and reputation
- Being active on social media: to help distribute your content better and to reach out to relevant and similar influencers who can provide quality backlinks by sharing your content with their audience.
SEO has a lot of terms and jargon that may sound confusing to the layman. While some terms may seem very familiar to experienced users, others may be unheard of but still need to be taken into consideration to adopt the best