Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important part of getting all of your marketing strategies to work together. That being said, the quest for SEO is a never-ending journey as Google is forever tweaking the algorithms used to rank websites. I say Google with the intended afterthought of, “and other search engines,” but won’t make that cheap play for extra words as Google continues to produce the bulk of Internet search queries.
Moving into the new year, we’ll find a continued need to stay on top of how best to optimize websites for discovery and ranking. Whether your organization handles SEO tasks on your own or you believe investing in professional assistance is well worth the money, here are some considerations for the next version of SEO.
We’ve all become well versed in creating content for search engines. Moving forward, our content needs to be all about our target audience. Google and other search engines will rank higher those sites with content that enhances the audience’s journey. The good news is that creating such content will also help us realize increased traffic and conversion rates.
Semantics are increasingly important as the average consumer creates search queries much in the way they would speak the request. The growing popularity of voice search will amplify even more the need for content specialists to focus on user intent of keywords versus the keywords and phrases themselves.
The key will be to create content that comprehensively answers any questions your target audience might ask in a search. Take that one step further and anticipate possible follow up questions and create content that provides answers to those queries as well. These extra layers of content are what will help your site rank higher as Google and other search engines focus not only on content quality but also on the depth and breadth of a site’s content.
To provide a high quality and in-depth experience for your site visitors, you’ll need to create content that solves a problem, that motivates people, and connects with their pain points, emotions, and needs. Simply answering a question is no longer enough. Your content must engage visitors and guide them towards the next action desired.
Other content considerations:
Verify that page URLs indicate page content
Keep overall page size under 5MB and image size under 500KB to ensure quick load time
Connect pages on your site to one another with content links
Feature structured, skim-friendly content with headings to help search engines navigate content
Create readable filenames for images and add alt text as well
Add tags and categories to gallery images, blog posts, and other content
Add a unique description to each page that is concise yet describes the contents of the page
SQUARESPACE SEO ADVANTAGE
One of the reasons we love building and maintaining Squarespace websites is because of the built-in SEO friendly features. We’ll highlight just a few of the many components that help us work behind the scenes to create high-performing websites.
We are able to produce pages with clean URLs and HTML markup. This means that search engines can easily crawl, read, and index site pages. The automatically generated sitemap for each site also makes it easier for us to quickly and efficiently submit sitemaps to Google ensure the search engine has no issues navigating through our sites.
Google gives mobile-optimized sites a higher priority. All Squarespace 6 and later templates let us create sites that are mobile-friendly and that present uniquely on mobile devices. We also love the accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) that are created to help minimize the load time of web pages when the user is on a mobile device.
For our e-commerce clients, we love the way Squarespace structures product information. The configurations make it so Google can show additional information in rich search results including a product’s name, description, image, and more. We are also able to help our clients understand the performance of their content with Google Search Keywords analytics. We can determine which search terms have resulted in the most clicks to a website and use that information to improve search strategies.
New SEO options recently introduced by Squarespace will provide our customers more control over how their websites appear both in search engines and on social platforms. These include an SEO and Social tab with new features such as the ability to update meta tags (page title and description used in search results) in the SEO tab on the page settings as well as search engine and social previews.
How can a professional agency help with your website’s SEO? Glad you asked. Experts at companies like Strategy Driven Marketing continuously research and analyze SEO trends and best practices to understand which strategies will improve website rankings in search results. Our goals are to meet ever-changing search engine guidelines as we improve user experience and maximize site traffic.
In general, SEO specialists serve the same primary purpose of any marketer – to create more sales. They ensure on-page and off-page optimization to increase a website’s visibility and grow lead volume and brand awareness. Here are some examples of services an agency like Strategy Driven Marketing can provide:
Search Engine Optimization
SEO Website Review & Analysis
SEO Strategy Development
Keyword Competitive Evaluation
Paid Search Advertising
Search Engine Marketing
Social Media Marketing & Advertising
More specifically, SEO specialists can monitor and evaluate search results and performance on search channels. Perform keyword research to identify powerful terms for a brand and then implementing them within site content and paid search marketing campaigns. Run pay per click campaigns and then collect and analyze data to identify trends and insights to ensure the maximization of ROI of the campaigns. Develop and implement link building strategies for both internal and external links. Diagnose and resolve technical issues like 404 errors, broken links, crawl errors, slow website speed, etc. Optimize user experience to increase dwell time and click-through rates while minimizing bounce rates.
If the list seems random and broad it is because the concept of SEO covers a wide range of topics and the approach is not an exact science. The key to best utilizing professional assistance is to work with an agency that takes the time to deep-dive into your business to understand your goals and craft a customized approach that suits your business. Avoid anyone who promises immediate results. Proper SEO takes time to implement and time to get results.
October of last year, we took a look at some anticipated SEO changes that will come about in 2019. The increasing use of mobile devices and voice search will influence how we optimize websites for search engine ranking. Advances in artificial intelligence will continue to impact keyword research and the growing popularity of Amazon as a search engine will also have an affect on SEO best practices. You can read the full article HERE.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing work hard to stay on top of the shifting world of SEO. We’re ready to meet you where you are and help you get to the next level. Whether you are in need of a new website or have an established site in need of redesigning we’d love to help. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do to help you best optimize your online efforts for search engine rankings. Let’s get started!