It’s no secret that whether you’re a digital marketer or a business owner working on a new site – staying on top of your SEO game is crucial.
Search engine traffic is renowned as one of the highest converting traffic sources.
Google’s secretive ‘cloak and dagger’ ways keep us all on our toes when it comes to new algorithms and its important, if you want to rank highly, that you’re in the know.
Although we’ll never get a clear crib sheet from Google on exactly how their system works, there are plenty of tips and tricks out there. Here’s a few pointers that we think help in 2017.
The good old pyramid trick
If you’re a trained journalist or writer, then you’ll be familiar with the inverted pyramid technique. In other words, give your readers what they want right at the top of the page. So, start with the key info, the juicy bits – the reason why they clicked on your page. Then go on to the important details, expanding on the top section and, for those that make it to the bottom of the page, provide other useful background information.
This will help your users by providing them with the information they need straight away. They are more likely get value from your content and return in future.
Although Google has never 100% confirmed this, there are clear correlations between user engagement and a website’s ranking. It appears that Google recognises pages with high user engagement and improves their overall ranking in results. The reasoning for this is simple; the longer a user spends on a page the more useful it must be.
So how do you increase engagement if it’s an area you’re struggling with? Here’s a few things we recommend:
- Ensure your site is easy to use; a simple easy-to-navigate system will help ensure users don’t leave through frustration
- Formatting is key: it’s obvious nowadays that essays don’t work on websites. When you’re uploading your content, make sure you break it down so it’s easy to digest
- Use images: people like them; it breaks your content down and helps complement your article.
This definitely deserves some focus, given that 55% of searches of Google provide at least one video. What’s also important is that over 80% of those videos are on YouTube. Therefore, focusing on your YouTube SEO, will give you a stronger chance of appearing on the first page of Google results. Here’s a handy guide on how you can boost your SEO once your videos are live.
Focus more on queries rather than keywords
Google’s algorithms mean that a key part of any SEO strategy is to find keywords which make up the searches our target audience are inputting into Google. Keyword focused content then helps pages climb the search results. Simple? Not anymore. Google is getting smarter and now using artificial intelligence programmes like RankBrain to help understand what we’re looking for.
This helps to provide higher quality results which are more meaningful to users. Here’s a useful guide on how to implement this into your strategy.
It’s a bit of a buzzword that’s been doing the rounds since Google implemented AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages back in February 2016. Put simply, it’s a project designed to make mobile pages load quicker, providing an improved user experience. It takes away the elements that slow down pages on mobile devices, helping users to stay engaged in your site. There are plenty of useful guides and tip sheets to show you how to set this up yourself, here’s one to get started.
Monitor your reviews
90% of customers read reviews before visiting a business.
We’ve all been there – you’re about to splash out on Nike’s latest running trainer. Do you dive straight in, or are you curious to hear what others who have tried and tested them think?
Reviews aren’t just important for your customer’s buying decisions; they can have a real impact on your ranking.
They are also an ideal form of user generated content which in turn helps to organically refresh your site’s content. What’s more is that Google’s local algorithms (used to decide who appears in the map pack for search results) favour sites with a high number of reviews – it’s a great endorsement of the product or service you offer making it seem more useful to those searching.