Are you thinking about updating your company’s website? Before you start launching any changes, it is important to be sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps that will ensure you can execute a strong SEO strategy once your new website is complete. With Search Engine Optimization (SEO) playing such a key role in establishing a healthy ranking signal, it is important that it is not an afterthought. Not sure where to start? Here are a few SEO elements to keep in mind when designing your new website.
Choosing the Right Domain Name
First things first, your domain name is a chance for you to give your new website some serious SEO power. One of the safest solutions for your domain name is to use your company’s brand. Using the brand name in your domain will build brand awareness within your target audience and increases your chances of being found within a navigational search. Other than building brand awareness in the minds of potential consumers, using your company’s brand as the domain name will fire off brand signals to search engines. Brand signals are simply any mention of your company’s name or website online. Establishing quality brand signals can help push your website into a high ranking position.
Other than using your brand name, you may consider an exact-match domain. What’s an exact-match domain? It’s a domain name that uses a keyword phrase. For example, if your company wanted to rank for “buy cheap flights,” your exact-match domain would look like, www.buycheapflights.com. Even though you’re using more keywords, the jury is still out on how effective it is. In September 2012, Google noticed how many companies were using exact-match domains and launched an EMD update. This update prevented low-quality websites from establishing a high ranking position for just having keywords in a domain that matched a search query. However, if your business plan is to maintain a high-functioning and honest website, an exact-match domain may still work in your favor.
“In the long run, it’s usually better to build your brand name over using a generic domain name,” Brad Pitzl, SEO Manager at Intertwine Interactive, said. “A good example would be brands like uber.com and lyft.com. You probably haven’t heard of the website rideshareservice.com.”
Invest in a Strong Hosting Platform
In a world where everyone wants information within seconds, a quick loading time is a key factor for your new website. However, the web hosting system is not always to blame for a slow loading time. It is important to be sure your website’s coding system is up to snuff in order to eliminate any cause for a slow loading time. Your website speed can fluctuate, especially if you are constantly uploading new products or content that contains images.
“Since a faster site creates a better user experience, Google has made page speed big priority in its ranking algorithm,” Pitzl said. “If you choose the wrong platform or Content Managing System (CMS) you can see technical difficulties that will end up hurting your user’s experience.”
Speaking of platforms, investing in a mobile-friendly website has never been more important. With 60% of searches now being conducted on mobile devices, you will want to make sure your company isn’t missing out on easy business opportunities. Even though there are a lot of aspects to consider when constructing a mobile-friendly website, less is always going to be more. It is important to keep your layout and navigational tools simple and easy to find since you have a lot less space to work with compared to a desktop website layout.
“Site navigation helps SEO in two main areas. Having a solid site structure helps users and it helps search engines find your pages for indexing,” Pitzl said.
Quality Content is Key
The whole point to having a website is to promote the product or services your company offers. Potential consumers come to your website or blog in hopes of fulfilling a purchasing need or to read up on the latest developments within your industry. However, when it comes to content, it is important that you don’t stuff keywords into your website in the hopes of boosting your ranking signal.
“Google has become so good about knowing what is on your website, you really have to create quality content to rank. The days of low-quality spam content are over,” Pitzl said.
This type of writing not only creates a poor user experience on desktop and mobile websites, keyword stuffing does not advance your website in search results. It is important to implement industry-related keywords into your content, but don’t overdo it. Creating useful and high-quality content is what will get your website noticed by consumers.
When was the last time you had a SEO audit conducted? Contact our SEO department today!
We have all been there. You find a mobile website that you believe will answer a question or fulfill a purchasing need you have, but once you click the desired link on your mobile device you are left waiting for the page to load. In today’s mobile era of instant gratification and the high expectation for a seamless user experience, how long do you wait? Five seconds? Three seconds? For a business owner that relies on their company’s website for conversions those few seconds may seem minuscule, but you may be surprised! When it comes to mobile websites, less is actually more. Think with Google recently released a study that stated that the probability of bounce rate increases to 90% if a mobile website takes one to five seconds to completely load.
“It’s no secret that shoppers expect a fast mobile experience. If there’s too much friction, they’ll abandon their cart and move on,” Daniel An, Global Product Lead at Google and author of the case study, said. “Today, it’s critical that marketers design fast web experiences across all industry sectors. Consumers want to quickly pay bills on finance sites, get rapid results when they’re browsing vacation reviews, and view an article immediately when they click through.”
With mobile speed being directly linked to revenue, the study explored a variety of industries to track Google’s advertising partner’s success.
“We did an analysis of 900,000 mobile ads’ landing pages spanning 126 countries. That new analysis confirmed our thesis: The majority of mobile sites are slow and bloated with too many elements,” An said.
It was discovered that for 70% of the webpages that were reviewed, it took almost seven seconds for any visual content above the fold to load. It also took more than 10 seconds for the content below the fold to properly load.
“The average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds, yet 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. That’s a big problem,” An said.
Despite the frustrating results, there is still hope for slow loading mobile websites. According to the case study, 30% of pages could save more than 250KB by compressing images and text. A few other ways that can help decrease a mobile website’s loading time include, optimizing images, browser caching, optimizing CSS and keeping the scripts below the fold.
“When it comes to mobile pages, speed and size matter,” An said. “Marketers must keep consumers engaged on mobile and focus on building mobile-first experiences.”
Are you not sure how your mobile website matches up against your local or national competitors? Check your mobile website scores today at Test My Site.
It doesn’t matter if you run an e-commerce or brick and mortar business, incorporating a blog into your marketing strategy can be a very effective and long-term investment into your company’s brand. Other than driving traffic to your website and properly increasing your domain authority, consistently publishing well-written content on your website can also have a positive effect on your website’s overall organic progress within search results. Here are five other ways that incorporating a blog into your business plan can help your company become a reliable, go-to source for important information relating to your industry.
Establish Yourself as an Industry Expert
Just because you understand the products or services your company offers, doesn’t mean everyone else does. At least not yet. Is what your company offers an everyday type of product or is it seasonal? By focusing on a certain aspect of your company within a blog post, you are able to answer questions consumers may have with an unlimited amount of characters. A blog post gives you the platform you need to explain to potential customers why they need your product, when they will need it, how it works, and what puts your product above the rest. By consistently publishing content in a way an interested consumer would search online, your brand will be taking the necessary steps to showing up in prime areas of search result pages.
Grow Your Keyword Data Base
If your company is investing in paid search, you already understand the importance of nailing down strong keywords that relate directly to your business model. By targeting long tail search phrases and creating valuable content about your company’s products or services, you are increasing your keyword set. Brainstorming key phrases that not only relate to your industry, but have a high search volume, can make it easier for interested consumers to stumble upon your website. To ensure you are putting your best foot forward for your business, it is important that you are familiar with Google’s recently updated Search Quality Guidelines.
Increase Your Chances of Gaining Featured Snippets
When you are consistently publishing content on your company’s website that users find valuable, you increase your chances of obtaining featured snippets. What is a featured snippet? A featured snippet is a summarized answer to a user’s search query that is taken directly from a webpage. A portion of the content not only shows up at the top of Google’s search results, it also displays the website’s title and URL. Even though Google has never released formal guidelines regarding featured snippets, a number of case studies have been conducted regarding the topic and explain how industries can potentially boost their chances of having their content appear in this highly sought-after spot.
Give Your Social Channels More Value
Are you looking to promote more engagement on your company’s social channels? Publishing blog content on your company’s social channels will not only build your target audience and promote website traffic, it is an easy way for potential customers to learn more about what your business offers on a more conversational level. Having social media is an easy way to connect with current and potential customers. However, when sharing content on your company’s social channels, you want to be sure that you are always providing your followers with something of value. Take your followers into consideration and create an easy-to-follow promotion schedule to avoid any practices that may resemble spam. With so many foolproof tools available, optimizing a blog post across a number of social channels has never been simpler.
Keep Conversion Rate in Mind
Have you ever been casually scrolling through a website or social channel and made a purchase that you didn’t set out to make? Chances are you have. How does this happen and why does it happen more often than we care to admit? The power of persuasion is real and is achieved through well-written content. It is important to focus your blog post and keywords on what a potential customer could be needing or searching for before they take a desired action on your company’s website. A blog post is the perfect platform to promote what your business does or provides in a way that appeals to those who may not have necessarily been in the market to buy.