With search engine optimisation (SEO) typically taking between three to six months to see results, it’s a good idea to get started on your SEO strategy sooner rather than later. This handy visual guide takes you through the current rules that you should follow to ensure Google’s algorithm picks up your website in organic search results.
Note: You’ll need to have a top-line understanding of the back end of your website, so you know where to add things like metadata and page titles. Or, if you leave your content creation and publishing to someone else, run over this checklist with them to ensure they’re covering all bases.
E-A-T: Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, and it’s part of Google’s algorithm that evaluates the quality of a webpage. This includes paying attention to:
- The expertise of the creator of the content
- The authoritativeness of the content and the website
- The trustworthiness of the content and the website
So, how does Google’s algorithm figure this out? The exact formula isn’t known, but some of the potential signals include:
- The number of backlinks linking back to the page
- How long the website has been publishing content in the topic area
- Whether the webpage’s content is relevant to the website/business
- Whether or not the content satisfies user intent (e.g. to find out more information or get an answer to a question)
- How much time users spend on the page
- External profiles on sites like Yellow Pages and Google Business Profile that provide context about the brand
YMYL: Your Money or Your Life.
Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) refers to content that, if inaccurate, untruthful or deceptive, could negatively impact a reader’s happiness, health, safety or financial stability. This includes content categories such as:
- News and current events
- Government and legal information
- Health and safety
- Content related to big life decisions, such as buying a house or choosing a university
Google’s algorithms are designed to determine whether a webpage qualifies as YMYL content. If it does, it’s subject to additional scrutiny against Google’s E-A-T standards. In other words, it’s important to make sure your website content is as accurate, truthful and transparent as possible – otherwise it could hurt your search engine rankings.
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So, there you have it: SEO best practices in a nutshell.
There are loads of SEO blogs and SEO checkers out there with all sorts of advice and recommendations, but the truth is that Google simply wants your content to offer genuine value to readers.
If you can create content that’s fresh, informed and relevant to your audience, half the SEO battle is won right then and there. Instead of trying to stuff keywords in as many places as possible, think of them as a tool to find out what sort of things people are searching for, form ideas based on those searches, and help give your content context.
Above all, your content should be:
- Clear and easy to read
- Well-structured and broken up into digestible parts
- Insightful and relevant
If your content fulfills all the points above and you’re following our SEO checklist, you’ve pretty much nailed it. Well done! Or, if you need a hand with your SEO, Yellow Pages’ team of experts is here to help – in fact, 90% of the keywords we target for small businesses appear on Google’s first page within six months. Find out more here.