The most commonly discussed element in SEO is backlinks. For a long time, backlinks were the central feature of SEO, determining whether your website design would achieve top rankings. Backlinks are still a crucial factor in the process, but there are other parts that play a key role. How does a DYI Website Design stand up against a Custom Web Design?
On-page optimization has grown in importance in recent years, with a negative user experience damaging any chances of long-term success. If your website has not been optimized properly, Google can detect this both through their crawling and the response of searchers who visit your pages. So, what are the website factors you need to consider for effective SEO? Want more info on On-Page Optimization?
Website loading speed is not as commonly discussed as it should be. The time it takes for a page to load has a huge impact on reported user experience, with a matter of seconds between a positive and negative impression. Google have a page speed tool for testing loading times, while there are additional alternatives helping to get a broad picture. In the result of a problem, look at image optimization, quality of hosting, and using a CDN like Cloudflare.
The content on a page is of great importance, but it doesn’t need to be the same style in every instance. The best type of content for SEO will provide the bulk of searchers with exactly what they are looking for. This concept is called search intent. For example, some keywords will require a detailed article that goes into a lot of depth or niches only require a step by step guide that can be short and to the point. At the end of the day what is the traffic to your website looking for in return? Do they want quick answers? Or do they want to gain a deeper and thorough understanding of a specific subject. Get to know your traffic and your target.
Other queries, though, might only require a short answer to satisfy the search query. It is helpful to use your target keyword within the title and copy, while also including related terms. Dwell time is another SEO factor, so elements like video content can help increase the time spent on site.
Mobile First vs Responsive
Google has switched to mobile-first indexing, reacting to the increasing popularity in mobile usage. If your site does not offer an optimal experience for mobile users, you will struggle to maintain a great ranking. Most modern sites will offer responsive design, so they work across all types of devices. It is important to test your site using different devices, though, and run pages through the Google Mobile-Friendly tool. A great mobile experience won’t just replicate the desktop, but will instead be catered to the mobile browsing experience.
Here at Green Thoughts Consulting we find many clients have out dated and non-mobile friendly websites. Having a website in this state is hurting you more than you know. It’s simple really. How much do you make on your average sale? If a client ready to buy comes to your site and can’t see it due to issues with mobile etc they bounce or leave and then find a competitor. If we can redesign your site and get you just 2-5 new customers due to the design changes and optimization what is the worth to you based on your average sale?
Test your websites mobile friendliness with Google’s very own test here.
Social media is a useful tool for promoting your website and blog content. Users might like and share your posts, leading to others seeing your content. This process can lead to greater visibility and engagement, creating backlinks for your site. The importance of social media for SEO is still debated.
However, the level of importance Google places on social links is not worth worrying about as there are plenty of indirect benefits to social promotion. The targeted backlinks you can gain on other platforms like industry blogs, often resulting from social media marketing, will play a huge role in ranking a page.
Nice post on how to use social media to promote your site.
The URL structure might seem minor, but it can have a high impact on SEO and click-through rate. Some content management systems use an awkward URL structure that isn’t optimal. These URLs might be long and feature dates or random digits to make them unique. This type of URL can negatively impact click-through rate, with the search engines lowering your ranking as a result. Various tests have shown shorter URLs are most effective, so try to use a keyword phrase that sums up the article content.
Bruce Clay has a classic post on SEO Siloing. It’s a must read really.
Internal linking helps to pass authority around your site, increasing the rankings of certain pages. Wikipedia is the best known example of effective internal linking, with related pages helping users navigate around the site. This process also helps lower the bounce rate, avoiding a common SEO issue. Outbound links can be used to show the topical relevance of your content, with links typically going to authority sites within your industry.
On-page optimization can play a key role in an SEO campaign. Many site owners focus exclusively on the off-page factors, attempting to gain increased numbers of backlinks. Some quick changes to the way a site is set up, along with adaptations on individual pages, can often be enough to satisfy the search engines and individual visitors. When you can offer an exceptional user experience that satisfies the point of the original search query, you stand a great chance of maintaining top rankings into the future.
If there’s anything we can do to help you out on your journey and increase your Return on Investment reach out to us.