In the early days of online search, Yahoo was one of the first search engines. However, the search results returned to users simply consisted of a hand-written list that categorised search terms and returned a general list of sites that was determined to be relevant to the search performed.
However, over time, these lists of sites began to be insufficient for most searches made.
Therefore, Yahoo led to the introduction of the new generation of search engines, which examined real words on web pages and the relevance of content for a particular search. Pioneer of this new generation of engines was, as some of you may remember, AltaVista.
The Google difference
Google, when it was still a small start-up, extended this content-based search exclusively to the analysis of links from third-party sites to a particular website, so that the more links, the greater the “authority” of the site and the higher the relevance for the user who carried out a search.
Thanks to this evolution, Google began to gain its competitive advantage over other search engines, as it objectively returned the most relevant results for users.
The search today
There are more than a trillion sites on the web. For this reason, finding the right information can be like finding a specific grain of sand on the beach.
Google is based on sophisticated programs and aims to constantly refine its algorithm in order to return the best search results to users.
So what can you do today to position yourself on Google with your site?
Here are 7 valuable tips:
- Make your site “spider-able” by search engine spiders, in particular by creating the sitemap and installing the Google Search Console.
- Make sure that the links within your website are valid and functional, so that users do not encounter 404 errors that can cause a negative browsing experience.
- Use standard HTML code, avoiding Flash, ActiveX, etc., so that search engines are able to interpret the results and display your content on mobile devices.
- Correctly locate the buyer (or search) personas to find the content you want to create. The buyer personas are as faithful a portrait as possible of the user we want to address. For more details on how to create buyer personas, you can learn more with this article.
- Think about your users and the keywords they probably use to find the products/services you offer. Google makes extensive use of synonyms, so a user who types “usb stick” will get sites that also contain the keywords “pen drive” or “usb flash”. So try to use the most common related keywords within your texts and try to do so in a natural way.
- Use social media and blogs to spread your content so that people who read your site amplify it in turn with other people.
- Facilitates the shopping experience for the user. Search engines today reward ease and especially content that allows users to complete desired transactions quickly, comfortably and with as few clicks as possible. To help next-generation search engines recognise that your content can lead users to conversion, optimise your efforts for both search engine judgment and your target audience’s goals. Then, carry out surveys and usability studies: these are a great way to collect information about what users actively search for, what they want to find on a page, and what tasks they might want to perform. Also, try to include customisation tools in your content offering: for example, comparisons, applications that allow consumers to “try before they buy” or widgets that allow visitors to customise content once they return to your site.