The Importance of SEO Today
With the vast amount of information on the web, people need a helping hand to find what they are looking for online. Search engines do just that: sorting through billions of web pages to present users the most relevant and useful results for their search term.
How do you make sure that your website is in those valuable top search engine results, and not lost in the sea of content online?
The answer is to look back and identify the consistent trends that influence how Google ranks a website and implementing these established SEO best practices. So what are the consistent trends that keep showing up and should influence your SEO strategy?
Quality is the key to increasing the visibility of your site and standing out from your competition online. Define exactly what it is your business provides and how you communicate that message to your potential customers. You need a quality product, showcased on a quality website, and a quality strategy to make sure your website is seen by the right people.
Since Google rolled out mobile-first indexing, even if the majority of your visitors access your site from a desktop, how well your website performs on mobile will have a significant impact on your ranking.
More people in the world own a smartphone than a toothbrush, so making sure your site is mobile friendly, with an intuitive interface and fast loading speeds, is more critical than ever.
Improving the user experience of your site is a sure fire way to improve your ranking and website performance. Can users easily find their way around your site? Make your site intuitive and straightforward to navigate. Are you making use of ample white space in your web design? Sometimes less can be more, especially when it comes to the usability of your website.
The Structure of your website
Just like the major cities of the world, the majority of websites started off from small beginnings. All of the pages, links, and posts you added contributed to the sizeable website you have now. Is the structure of your site able to cope with all these additions?
Be ruthless with your site content and delete anything that doesn’t serve the purpose of the page, or rejuvenate it into something that offers value to your users. Are your internal and external links all working?
Make sure your site has a solid structure that enables users to find what they are looking for with ease. Just like a well-planned metropolis, you want traffic to be able to flow without interruption, not a sprawling mess where outdated content and dead ends bring everything to a halt.
Google has stated for a long time how loading speeds are a factor in their ranking algorithms. Search engines want to provide answers to a users search query as fast as possible, something a slow site fails to do.
If you aren’t matching the loading times of your competition, you need to optimize your website to bring it up to speed. Even if your site matches the speed of your rivals, if your competition is improving their speeds, you’re getting slower in comparison.
Up Your Content Game
The days of trying to game the system with keyword stuffing are long gone. A tremendous amount of content is published every day, so why should your content rank high in the SERP for your targeted keywords?
Search engines are always developing and getting more advanced at judging the quality of a text, promoting the content that is most relevant and useful to the searcher. Web users are also more educated at evaluating the quality of a text, determining how much trust they will place in a website and a business. If your content isn’t up to par, users won’t trust your site, and search engines won’t give you a high ranking.
The Intent Behind the Search
Besides the actual text typed into the search box, what is the person conducting the search really looking for? Are they seeking a solution to a specific problem, do they want to purchase a product?
Search engines are getting more adept at determining the intent of a search query and rank web pages on the search intent as well as the search term. That’s why understanding search intent is crucial for informing both your web copy and your keyword strategy.
According to Comscore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020. People like to take the easy route, and with improving AI and voice recognition, voice search is the easiest way for users to conduct a search.
With voice recognition technology embedded into most modern smartphones, it’s no surprise that voice search tends to focus on local and mobile search terms. If your business is reliant on a local customer base, understanding and implementing voice search into your SEO and keyword strategy could be crucial to establishing your company’s online presence.
The Key to Driving Traffic – Now and The Future
With all of the above factors influencing SEO, what should be the focus of your strategy?
Although it sounds obvious, you should always be focused on improving your site to appear in the valuable first page of search results. You need a flawless high-speed website that provides high-quality content – content that aligns with your keyword strategy and is targeted to your potential customers.
SEO is always adapting to keep up with a continually evolving and changing Google. While it can be challenging to keep up with the latest SEO trends when you’re focusing on the day to day running of your business, maintaining the best practices is vital to establishing your online presence.
Search engines want to promote the best results to their user’s search query. To be visible and rank for those top spots, you need a quality SEO strategy.