​The race to stay ahead of competitors in SEO is a continuous battle. Knowledge of the basics will only get you so far.

As search engines refine their algorithms, the stakes get higher for businesses and entrepreneurs trying to get front and centre on the web.

Anyone who is serious about SEO needs to be revising and reviewing their SEO strategies on a regular basis.

In this article, we will unpack new and current search engine optimisation methods that will help give your site that much needed competitive edge.

We will look at the relevance of backlinks, how JavaScript affects SEO, the relation between UX design and SEO, page load speeds, and mobile optimisation. Let’s dive in.


Backlinks Are Still Relevant, But They Need To Be Genuine.

As the world’s number one search engine, Google is naturally cautious about the nature of backlinks. Unethical tactics like black hat SEO have only served to make things more difficult for bona fide businesses.

What this means is you can’t buy backlinks from questionable sources. People should be linking to your site because of the quality of your content.

While this may seem punitive to some, it should be looked upon as a positive. Google rewards sites with value-rich content. Through its increasingly sophisticated algorithms, Google identifies genuine backlinks and authentic endorsements.


Brand Mentions Or ‘Linkless’ Links.

Even without actual backlinks, Google takes into account social chatter about your brand. Brand mentions are indirectly referenced by Google search quality guidelines:

β€œFor Page Quality rating, you must also look for outside, independent reputation information about the website. When the website says one thing about itself, but reputable external sources disagree with what the website says, trust the external sources.”

In simple terms, a good brand reputation equals good SEO. Useful, informative web content and good user experience should lead to more organic mentions on review sites, other high ranking websites, and social media.


How To Get Page Crawlers To Crawl Sites That Use Javascript.

Over 90% of websites use JavaScript. As an essential tool for improving site interactivity, JavaScript is indispensable. The issue with page crawlability relates to ‘client-side rendered’ JavaScript which can affect the loading of content on certain web pages, sometimes making those pages ‘invisible’ to search bots.

If your site relies on a large amount of client-side rendered JavaScript, you might want to consider a pre-rendering service to ensure all pages are accessible to search engine indexes.


Focus On UX Design For Better SEO.

When building a website, the first priority should be understanding the needs of users. Your site should be easy to access on desktop or mobile, easy to navigate, and easy for users to achieve their user intent.

Consider every detail right down to the colour scheme, organisation of links, and the overall usefulness of your site to its target audience. Not just good, but great UX design will massively improve your search rankings.


The Importance Of Page Load Time.

Google is working to improve overall page speed through new metrics and new tools for webmasters to help improve page load time.

Many web users are browsing on their mobiles, using expensive mobile data. This makes page load time extremely important. For mobile searchers on the move, time really is money.

Google offers a range of free tools at https://developers.google.com/speed/ for page/site loadability analysis and optimisation support but we prefer the data provided by the team at GT Metrix. Type your site URL into either of these tools for a detailed breakdown of load time and overall site performance along with audits and tips for improvement.

You will be presented with an overall speed score. As you scroll further down, a list of opportunities is presented to speed up your page load. This is a highly useful tool for finding out issues slowing down your site.

You may find oversized images and CSS code issues on WordPress sites may be the cause of page load lag. Whatever Google suggests you improve should most definitely be improved.


How Mobile Indexing Impacts SEO.

Given the fact Google operates a mobile-first index, mobile optimisation is vital to the SEO of your site.

Your site should be able to load in a search content result block with clear and concise, easy to read information. Better still, if your site comes up in a mobile search like the business2community site (clearly defined URL, concise text and a menu of relevant links), your SEO is in good shape, one that users will appreciate.


In Summary

Good on-site and off-site SEO constitutes many parts. The practices listed here reflect the current time and trends in accordance with advanced search engine algorithms.

Staying updated with industry trends is a must to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of search engine optimisation.

Even seemingly evergreen concepts like backlinks are changing. Be authentic and do what you’re good at. Authenticity is the key to positive search rankings as Google doubles down on fraudulent practices and manipulation tactics.

A quick loading, mobile responsive website, optimised for JavaScript, with a user-friendly layout, and content that speaks to the needs and problems of potential customers, subscribers, and online shoppers will always fare better in the battle to reach page one of Google.


What To Do If You’re Not An SEO Expert.

A busy entrepreneur can’t wear too many hats.

SEO can be broken down into many subcategories which require specialists. If you have the time, you could focus on learning some SEO.

Hiring an SEO expert may save time and money in the long run if you simply don’t have time to learn these individual skills one by one.

Broadly speaking, these are the categories of SEO you will need to learn if you’re prepared to take that journey:

  • Web copy/content/blogging
  • Web design
  • Code

Each of these categories has subcategories of their own and require a level of dedication. SEO also stretches beyond your website to your email marketing and social media marketing efforts but your website still comes first in the search ranking pecking order.

It’s time to make a start on improving your site and optimising it to maintain and increase web visibility, if you need help you can always get in touch with us here at In:link for expert advice and SEO services from a trusted SEO company right here in sunny Oxford.

Until next time!

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