GoDaddy MD Tara Commerford gives us the lowdown on SEO and how to improve your search rankings, fast!
First – what is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? Essentially, it’s the process by which you try to drive more traffic to your website to help secure a higher position in a list of displayed online search results.
You don’t have to be an expert in SEO to know that it’s an evolving beast! From searching conversational phrases to prioritising mobile sites, there have been a few key changes to SEO rules over the years – all with the objective of refining algorithms to deliver the most relevant results and the best user experiences.
While Google’s increasingly sophisticated algorithms keep businesses on their toes, there’s no doubt, the effects can be positive for both business owners and internet users alike. It means everyone can have greater confidence the content they’ve discovered is good quality and well-suited to their individual needs – and that’s great for generating highly valuable leads.
Refining your SEO strategy is about being in for the long game, along with a few up-to-date and highly-effective SEO boosting tactics, to help ensure your website is more easily discoverable by your target audience. Here are six tips to help you on your way.
1. Faster page loading speeds
If your website suffers from sluggish loading times, no matter how fast your internet speed is, this could come back to bite in a couple of ways. If your site visitors are kept waiting for too long for your website to display, it could increase website abandonment rates and limit the potential for encouraging shares and backlinks. All these factors could impact your site’s overall ranking.
Google can recognise the speed of your website and use this as a factor to determine your ranking. Remember, they are all about improving the user experience! There is no doubt a swiftly loading website can help to make a positive contribution to your search ranking. In improving your website loading speeds, you may want to consider:
- Being clear on how you want your site to perform
- Identifying the performance problem to avoid throwing money at the wrong problem
- Whether the problem exists on your mobile-optimised site – you can test your website here for free
- Managing your uploaded image sizes
2. Use a variety of high-quality content and media
This is about keeping people on your website for as long as possible and giving them a great reason to come back for more. In other words, the longer visitors stay on your site and the more traffic you attract can help to give an overall positive impression of your website’s popularity. And that’s great for SEO.
So, what better way to do this than by frequently posting content that is informative, engaging and relevant to your target audience, including blogs, video, audio, as well as, professional imagery showcasing your products. Statistics have shown as many as 85 per cent of US internet users are watching video content online today.
3. Optimise for mobile
Google is taking websites that are optimised for viewing on mobile devices very seriously when it comes to search rankings. After all, when it’s all about the user experience, websites that are hard to read and difficult to navigate through on mobile won’t cut it for the majority of people today who rely on their smartphones to access the internet. This is why web hosting services such as GoDaddy are making it easier to get equipped with a sleek and functional mobile site from the start.
4. Create an audience persona
You might think this sounds slightly abstract for the purposes of SEO, but in fact, having a clear understanding about who your target audience is could be very helpful to your efforts towards keeping people on your page and encouraging social shares. And here’s why.
Website visitors may be more inclined to spend time on your website and share among their peers if they feel a genuine connection with your content. To help ensure your content really resonates, craft a tone and voice your audience is familiar with and use language they can easily understand, along with a visual style that reflects their personality, age and attitudes, across your website and other channels for your business.
5. Encourage your customers to share your site
Google uses Twitter and Facebook for SEO purposes to help push up your search results ranking. The more your website is shared, the higher you can possibly rank. You can encourage your website visitors to share your site on their Twitter and Facebook channels. You can consider contests, promotions and other encouragements to help your customers and website visitors to share your website.
6. Bump up your keyword volume?
Gone are the days where it was possible to cram your content with keywords to boost your SEO. That’s right, with Google able to detect overuse of keywords it could pay off to use them more sparingly. When possible, use your targeted keywords in headlines, or in a bold, larger font. What’s more, using title pages could be a great way to organically incorporate more useful keywords into your site.
Indeed, it pays to keep on the ball with the latest SEO strategies to help boost your ranking in your search results, to help your customers find you more easily online. If there was one guiding principle, it would probably be this: Take advantage of possibilities for building and managing a website that delivers a professional and engaging experience to the most relevant internet users – your target audience.