Search engine optimisation is something that no business, no matter which sector it operates in can afford to ignore. Put simply, your main marketing strategy should really be to focus your efforts and limited budget on creating brilliant content tailored to the needs of your audience. But, with Google making over five hundred changes to their search algorithms in the course of an average year, how can you stay on top of it all if you aren’t an SEO specialist? The factors which make your site visible to the world have changed an awful lot over the years – you may vaguely remember something about longtail keywords from five years ago, but that won’t wash today. The techniques and tips that you may have picked up aren’t necessarily valid in today’s always-connected, fast-paced digital world, but there is one enduring principle which should guide your website optimisation and content creation efforts – and that’s making a great experience and quality, value-added content for your specific audience.
Get Your User Experience Right
Underestimating the importance of providing a quality user-driven experience on your website and also on your social channels is a grave mistake. Not only are you missing out on conversion and building a lasting relationship with new customers, but you’re getting on the wrong side of RankBrain – Google’s machine learning system which decides where pages rank in search results.This programme watched how users interact with the results they get and uses that information to affect the position of that result in a consistent feedback loop. If people are coming to your site from Google, finding what they need to and spending time interacting with your pages, it will boost your search position. For best results, aim to optimise your pages around a handful of medium tail keywords and make the content on that page brilliant. It’s also a good idea to look at your site metrics around dwell time and click-through rates. If you’re unsure what any of these terms mean or how to put them into practice, working with a specialist like Digital Uncut can help to clarify what the unique goals should be for your business.
Work On Your Video Content
Most businesses aren’t doing enough video marketing – not only is this a platform which commands great engagement from most user basis, it can be a huge traffic surge for your site. Don’t go mad making hundreds of videos though – quality content wins out. A handful of well-made, useful how to’s can be the winning strategy. Focus on creating cohesive, deep-dive video content that really adds value to your audience and positions you as a thought leader within your sector. As it’s been predicted that up to 80 per cent of all online traffic will be video by 2021, this is one trend that shows no sign of reversing, so if you don’t have a video content plan, it’s time to start making one. Great video content can also be ‘evergreen’ – keep the titles and descriptions updated to keep them cropping up in the search results and integrate them into the rest of your content site-wide.
Concentrate On Engagement
Engaged users are the holy grail for any website. Make sure all your posts are working as hard as they can, firstly by constructing them in the right manner to make them easy to digest – use of white space, headings and subheadings, bullet-pointed lists and concise paragraphs punctuated with relevant images are always a winner. Any links and offers on the page should be very targeted, helping to guide the user and answer their questions. This has the added benefit of working to reduce bounce and exit rates and draw customers further into your site. Experiment with different ways of presenting your information as well – a mix of infographics, text, white papers, and video will allow you to work out the optimal mix for your audience.
Consider Voice Search
Alexa, Google, Bixby, Siri…. no matter the system, the fact remains that voice search is booming. More and more of us are using the spoken word to find the content we want on the Internet. That means a whole new style of optimisation needed for savvy websites hoping to benefit. Voice search technology is constantly improving, and as it becomes more accessible the trend is only going to continue. Optimising for local searches with geo-targeted keywords makes sense for some businesses, so if you have a target audience in a specific geographic area, make this a part of your strategy. Build up good customer reviews and feature them prominently, and make sure that your contact information is displayed clearly and consistently. High quality optimised FAQs are also a great way to take advantage of the increasing number of online searches done via voice activated devices.
Remember The Human
In a word of algorithms and keywords, it can be easy to lose sight of an essential quality in the marketing mix; emotion. Human beings are fundamentally driven by their emotions, and even when you don’t think a decision is anything but rational and logical, emotions will generally play a part at a subconscious level. Always create content with the human interest angle in mind – using power words which trigger an emotional reaction within headers and subheaders can really support this, as can including devices such as parentheses or ellipses in your title. And always make sure that you have a strong and unique meta description attached to the page that will give your post a stand-out value. Each page should also feature a strong hook positioned above the page fold, and a network of deep internal linking that funnels visitors through to other relevant, journey-specific content you’ve hosted on your site. Factors such as your social proof and quality backlinks are also essential for enhancing credibility and giving your site’s Domain Authority a boost. Think of your website as an ongoing project which is always ripe for iterative improvement and keep your customers and their needs front of mind with every change you make.