Remembering what’s important for SEO
We already know how important it is to use the keywords and phrases that people are actually searching for when creating content for your website, but over the past few years, SEO has changed – but some businesses haven’t kept up to date and have consequently seen their traffic and audience engagement slowly decline. This post will cover the new best practices and provide pointers on where to focus your SEO efforts…
Quality is a priority for authority
With SEO constantly changing and becoming more important with each passing year, spending time on improving the quality of the content you produce, as well as the user experience, will have hugely positive implications for your search engine rankings.
Quality is a priority for user engagement
We have been steered towards the belief that the attention spans of our readers are gradually decreasing and that we should only publish quickly digestible content – but this has led to a lower quality audience experience. Last year, research began to show that audiences were moving away from this trend and rather demanding in-depth and educational content which meant they were then more likely to engage with and purchase from a business.
Content really is king
Thankfully we’ve moved away from the quantity algorithms and Google is now very much focused on quality. It favours high quality, valuable content, so if you’re writing helpful, interesting, factual and relevant content for your existing and potential visitors, you’re likely to rank higher in search results for those efforts.
Ensure your snippet is just right
Your snippet is what will be displayed under your webpage in search engine results and is vital to your SEO efforts! To entice a user to click through to your website rather than a competitor’s, ensure your snippet includes the keywords and phrases that people are searching for while still being complete and relevant sentences.
Images, videos and other visuals should be labelled
To ensure that the bots can find relevant content on your site when crawling, don’t forget to rename anything that you’re going to be adding to a page or blog post before uploading, including images and videos so the bots can read in text format. For example, if you’ve taken a photo of your team for your “about” page and it’s downloaded from your phone as “IMG2318”, change this to something like “Team_photo_abcPractice”.
Do not link only for SEO’s sake
If you think that being linked to from another website will mean higher search rankings for your site, you’re out of luck. In the past (and still now) it was possible to do link swapping or pay to have your site linked to within another site’s content, but these practices are no longer accepted by Google and they even damage your site’s search engine rankings. Now only organic links to your site will help you to rank. One idea to get legitimate, organic attraction is to guest post on relevant sites.
Mobile is paramount
As of 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches and have continued to increase. It’s no longer a good idea to optimise for mobile, but a necessity!
Think holistically about the content you create and share
When creating content for your website, don’t only think about new blog posts or updates to pages, but rather about sharing content to the social media platforms where your audience hangs out, such as Facebook and Twitter. Adding relevant and interesting content to these platforms really does count, and remember to link back from your posts on social media back to your website.
The key to succeed with SEO is to stay up to date, know what changes are being made regularly – i.e. what works and what doesn’t work – and above all, one thing that will likely never change with regards to SEO, even if you can’t stay current with the constant changes, is that if you create quality content for all your platforms, you’ll be on your way to being an SEO champion!