Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) uses strategies which assist your website in ranking higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) of search engines like Google and Bing.
Google provides a free service called Search Console which allows you to manage and monitor your sites presence on the Google search results page, providing you with insights about “how Google views your site and optimize its performance in search results.”
SEO elements you need to get right
We look at key SEO considerations to optimise your website for Google ranking as follows:
1 – Visitor retention rate
Search engines monitor the amount of time a user spends on your website as a metric of the user’s experience of your site and as a way of determining your content’s relevance and value. Research into the time tolerated for a website to load before abandoning it shows the length to be 6 – 10 seconds. (Although, if you really think about it even 6 seconds can even feel too long!)
One of the keys to keeping your visitor on your site is creating strategies which encourage interaction. Interaction facilitates further engagement, increasing the time that your visitor spends, while enhancing the visitor’s relationship and connection with your brand.
Promote interaction as follows:
- Call to Action buttons
- Links to other pages (this also enables bots to go from one page to another on your site)
- Content such as assessments, videos, infographics and eBook resources accessed via download options, encourages interaction and increases the time spent on your site while adding value to the visitor’s site experience and overall knowledge of the particular subject.
2 – Strategic use of Headings and Sub-headings
When it comes to content, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it that counts. This holds especially true when it comes to your sub-headings. Make them interesting, sexy and descriptive to provide your visitor with a quick overview of each paragraph and the overall page content.
Sub-headings also provide a road map of the page information, making it easier for your visitor to digest. Additionally, sub-headings can be used strategically to break up the text, increasing readability and accessibility by providing breathing spaces which help avoid overwhelming your visitor with too much information at once. In turn, this encourages the reader to engage with the content and keeps them on your site for longer.
In addition to engaging your visitor, keyword rich headlines and sub-headings play an essential role in enabling your page to be discovered by bots which crawl headings and sub-headings when searching for content.
3 – Google’s Rich Answers
Google’s algorithm and search results page are constantly evolving to maximise user experience. One of its newest features is the rich answer box, containing the best information which answers a searcher’s question.
Good news for websites is that this provides a new opportunity for visibility on the first page of a Google search.
Appearing at the top of the search results page, rich answers often provide information to questions which answer ‘when’ where’ ‘how’ what’ and ‘who’. This is something to keep in mind when choosing keywords and creating content, presenting this in a way which may be considered by Google as a definitive answer.
Refine this content further by checking out Google’s autocomplete or search suggestions and to target trending topics and their related keywords.
4 – Optimise your website for mobile
With mobile penetration reaching 64% in 2017, it is essential to have a mobile responsive website. This enables your user to access your information regardless of the device they are using.
You only have to think of your response when finding an unresponsive website via a mobile search. The chances of staying on the site, let alone reading through the content are extremely low, especially with so many other responsive sites from which to choose.
Google’s mobile-friendly test allows you to test your site’s responsiveness, giving feedback on which components either make your site mobile-friendly or not.
5 – Optimise the UX of your site
Search engines are user-centric in their focus. This means they want to deliver the best website pages for the user’s search, both in terms of content and experience. When it comes to experience, there are certain elements such as page loading, layout, font and images and navigation experience that make the site easier to use.
Keep in mind – the more engaging the experience, the more likely the visitor is to connect further with the website, indicating to the search engine that your site content is relevant and valuable which in turn helps to optimise your ranking.
Wrapping it up
SEO is a dynamic entity and needs to be constantly tweak and refined as changes are made to the Google algorithm. Using the different elements of optimisation, SEO becomes a powerful tool in helping you to achieve your website’s objectives: being ranked as high as possible on Google SERP, in service to your ultimate goal of driving traffic to your website which can then be converted into sales, further building your business and brand.