Good SEO without promotion?
I know that the title above sounds a bit controversial because rather all experts on brand building and SEO exactly know that without social media, links, or proper advertising with Google Ads, it is difficult to get a really good position in the search results. However, as is well known, the final position of our pages in the browser is influenced by a huge number of different factors. These are, among others: the quality of the website, performance, the appropriate use of HTML tags, the content - its quantity and uniqueness, and much much more, of course.
I'll build a webpage for myself
Until now, working as a frontend developer, I mainly built websites for other people. However, this finally has changed this year. I decided to start my private projects. Projects, thanks to which I will not only be able to learn about new tools for creating pages (yeah, for this blog I decided to use Gatsby.js, for the one I am about to tell you about, I used Next.js) but first of all l will be able to check in practice how Google starts positioning new websites. Which pages are better and worse positioned and what is the pace of positioning.
I started my first project six months ago. This is a thematic side - a hobby one, dealing with a niche topic, which I was interested in quite a lot in the past but maybe a little less recently. However, I do not want to tell you now the exact topic of the page. It is not really important. Let's focus on statistics and SEO 😎.
I am very curious about how my content will be perceived by indexing robots. The main content is to be articles written with all SEO principles: with headlines, photos, and links, both internal and external. In addition to the articles, the website will contain an extensive catalog, which will include a large number of automatically generated subpages, but without a large amount of content. Initially, I planned to write one article a week, but in practice, I found it difficult to write once every two weeks 🤓.
Website traffic monitoring
In order to start the adventure with analyzing traffic on the website, I had to say "Hi Google, I'm here". For this purpose, I used the Google Search Console tool. I am not going to describe this tool and its possibilities at the moment, but in a nutshell, it is used to speed up the page indexing process and monitor the "condition" of the website.
The most frequently reviewed charts in Search Console are Performance and Coverage. In the Performance section, I see two of the most interesting indicators: Total Impressions and Total Clicks.
Here's what the results of my site are currently looking like. There is a clear increase in both indicators, so the trend seems to be promising. However, the growth rate is quite slow.
Let's see how my website coverage is currently based on data from Google Search Console.
Of course, I must add here that from the very beginning I generate a sitemap for the site and send it to Google via Search Console. You may be surprised to see such a large number of pages, but as I wrote before several hundred pages are automatically generated pages almost without a content. It is interesting, however, that despite submitting the complete site map to Google, most pages have not been indexed so far.
Since I do not promote my website anywhere, I do not expect to have visits from outside the search engine at the moment. The analysis of data from Google Analytics confirms my assumptions. 90% of entries are organic traffic and 10% are referral and not-set (I suspect these are mine). The most visited page is the home page. However, the largest number of direct entries from the search engine goes to other pages, mainly to those with long content and the largest number of original phrases, words and unique names. So it is natural that after hitting a page of an article, the next page chosen by users is the home page.
Do not copy the texts
A few years ago, I was writing some articles for my association's website. So far, these texts, or at least some of them, are well indexed in Google. However, I wanted to put some of these articles on my new website. As a result, it turned out that despite the fact that the posts were indexed, they do not appear in the search results at all, and the phrases I would expect them, they lead to my very old, slow and ugly page 🤨. So this is true that Google doesn't like content copies.
Picture doesn't always matter
I expected articles with photos to be more interesting for the reader. And perhaps it is so. However, for Google it probably doesn't matter, and maybe even better if there are no pictures at all because the page loads faster. Anyway, pages where I don't have pictures are very well indexed and highly positioned as well.
I will write about the next conclusions and observations soon in the next post. In the meantime, to my set of pages in Search Console I am adding another page, which is ... my blog that you are currently reading. Again, I don't want to promote the site in any way. I am very curious how a page written in English with definitely more popular and readable content will be found in the Google search engine.