Search engine optimisation or SEO is an umbrella term used to describe efforts to increase website traffic and improve search engine rankings so that potential customers who are looking for the product or service you provide can find you easily amongst the billions of other sites on the web.
SEO uses specific keywords and phrases that consumers are interested in. This forms part of the copy of each web page and flows naturally so it doesn’t stand out as advertising. Good quality content will draw in more organic (natural) visitors. These are visitors who have spontaneously chosen to click on your site and not visitors you pay for to boost ratings. Organic visits bring the real benefit to your business.
SEO can also be used in linked topics by using anchor text – an optimized phrase about the topic of interest – that the visitor can click on to reach a related product or service.
Ensuring that your website is keyword specific and that it has high quality information written for humans, not robots, will make it more popular with Google and help your site appear on the first page of the search engine where it will be found more easily.
The Changing Face of the Internet
SEO and online marketing has already had to develop quickly with the changing pace of technology and the rise of cell phones and other mobile devices have altered the way in which consumers view the internet. This led to the formation of ‘mobile-friendly’ websites that can be viewed easily from a cell phone, ipad or tablet so that the 21st century consumer could order online from their office, during their commute or on their lunch break. By 2015, the number of adult internet users who accessed the net via a mobile device exceeded that of the number of adults who used a traditional desktop computer.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP’s)
Accelerated mobile pages (AMP’s) are the new internet pages taking the world by storm. They are pages that are designed to open almost instantly on mobile devices, uses less data and can load your site up to four times faster than a regular site. Google highlights AMP’s with a lightening bolt symbol. Due to this preference, such sites are likely to have greater visibility on Google.
Comprehensive ‘Dense’ Copy
Buzzfeed ‘byte’ size articles or text were more popular in the early days of the internet but now surfers are becoming more demanding and wanting higher quality, unique information that they haven’t seen a dozen times before. Now, dense articles that cover topics in depth with reputable references, written with natural keyword optimization, is more compelling for potential customers.
Personal branding is 2017’s improvement on product branding. Instead of marketing your products, with personal branding you market yourself as an individual. Youtubers have successfully branded themselves in order to get more subscribers to their channels, but any business can apply the same technique. Establishing a personal image that other people can relate to and through the ‘relationship’ with you, associate with your products, is key to personal branding. Successfully marketing yourself will make it easier for you to secure a loyal following of people to your site. Using it in combination with SEO will enhance its results.
Using Artificial Intelligence
The subject of artificial intelligence and the potential of computers to ‘think’ has been explored in movies such as I-Robot but its no longer the stuff of science fiction flicks. In 2015, ‘Rank Brain’ made headlines. This artificial intelligence system can analyse phrases that are typed into internet search engines to bring up the most relevent content on search result pages. Unlike traditional methods, it can also make a guess at words it doesn’t understand, based on what it ‘thinks’ the web surfers intentions are. It will then list sites that are thought to be most useful to that user. The AI also ‘learns’ from previous searches so can personalize answers to those users and can update search algorithms automatically.
This could be useful in uncommon searches and those that involve highly specialized products.
The new technique is called ‘Machine Learning’. It is Google’s intention to use AI to improve users experiences of surfing the net. It could be used alongside SEO.
User Experience Optimization
Once your potential customer has arrived at your website, you have only won part of the battle The next step is to make sure your website is as user friendly as possible to keep them there so they don’t leave out of sheer frustration.
This means making sure your site has a logo so the person can clearly identify who you are and the service you offer, easy navigation menus that accurately describe what things are, graphics that are appealing and advertise your business and an uncrowded, professional front page.
An SEO specialists can help you re-design your website to improve the user experience for your visitors and bring you more customers that stay.