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U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, December 2015 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

For many website owners, ranking on the first page of Google’s normal search results is still the Holy Grail of Internet Marketing. Trying to (ab)use loopholes in Google’s search algorithm (calculations of relevancy) no longer works: if your rankings have not been slapped already, they must likely will in the foreseeable future. You best focus your Search Engine Optimization efforts on increasing relevancy. But how to do that?

Here are some tips:

1) Publish useful content regularly. This will not only help you to achieve more authority with Google, you will also enjoy higher perceived authority with your visitors, and increased conversion rates.

2) Offer a great user experience. Don’t clutter up your pages. Offer safety nets like Site Search and Site Map. Perhaps even an online support chat option. Make your website easy to use, and make it effortless for people to contact you.

3) Keep your site updated. Nobody wants to stay on a website that has outdated information, or dead links. And Google knows this, so your rankings will suffer if your website has any of these issues.

4) Social Signals. Some of the metrics that Google uses to determine relevancy are time spent on site, bounce rate (people that leave a site after only visiting one web page) and mentions of your website in social media. If you post useful content, people will want to share it. Or at least your own share of it will get some sort of interaction (shares, likes).

5) Make your website secure. More and more websites get hacked. Google will show a warning in its listings, and may even block access to your website. You want to do your utmost to secure your website in order to keep hackers out. And you’ll want to set up alerts to warn you if your website is showing signs of having been tampered with.

Showcase what you do well on your web pages. Share case studies, white papers, testimonials and more. A useful website will often automatically turn into a popular website, with rankings to match.

For more information: contact your web developer, or website optimizer Nardo Kuitert at www.asknardo.com or 519-787-7612. Nardo has written the On The Web column on behalf of the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce since 2006.

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