With all the changes in our lives over the past year, keeping up with the latest in search engine optimisation (SEO) may have fallen to the bottom of your growing to-do list.

Unfortunately, the ins and outs of SEO change regularly thanks to Google constantly bringing in new features and making changes to its algorithms. If you can keep to the core premise of SEO then you won’t go wrong.

Firstly, what is the core premise of SEO?

The core of SEO centers around…

  • Great content
    Ensure that the content on your site is unique, relevant for your visitors, and interesting.
  • Site speed
    Ensure that your site is hosted on a fast server, loads quickly on both mobiles and desktops/laptops, and functions with ease.
  • Quality links
    Ensure that your site can be found via other relevant sites, blogs, directories, and social media sites. Relevant being the keyword there.

If you can keep these three factors at the forefront of your online marketing activities then your SEO will stay on the right track.

Factors to Remember

No. 1: The Number One Spot

When we talk about the number one spot in SEO terms we are referring to the first organic listing in search engines like Google. The first free listing that shows below the sponsored/paid listings in your search results.

Statistics show that those sites in these number one spots have a click-through rate on average of 32%. This shows two things, firstly that this is a key spot for websites to achieve. But also, that being in the number two or three spots is not the end of the world as individuals do move past this number one spot.

Keep this in mind when checking your average ranking positions for your chosen keywords/phrases.

If you are trying to find your average ranking positions then ensure that you check out Google Analytics, Google Search Console (used to be call Webmaster Tools), or other keyword-specific systems out there. Do not just search for terms on your own computer as that will be weighted towards your search history and behavior online.

No. 2: Long Tailed is Better

Speaking of keywords and key phrases, keywords and phrases can be broken into two groups - short-tailed keywords and long-tailed keywords. Short-tailed keywords tend to have a higher volume/number of pages but a lower conversion rate, whilst long-tailed keywords tend to have a lower volume/number of pages but a higher conversion rate.

For example, ranking for ‘Sofa’ is much more competitive and likely to be taken up by big brands or reference pages (i.e. a Wikipedia page listing the history of a sofa). Whereas, ‘Chesterfield Sofa in Kent’ is likely to generate a search engine listing that is more relevant for the individual who is searching for a chesterfield sofa in Kent. And it is likely to have fewer relevant pages in search engines which allows for your website which sells chesterfield sofas to rank highly.

An individual who is at the start of their buying process may start with a short-tailed keyword such as ‘Kitchens’ but then when they know what they want and are ready to make a purchase they are likely to search for longer-tailed keywords such as ‘Farmhouse Kitchen Doors Kent’.

Most search queries contain four or more words as individuals tend to ask search engines questions or for specific products. They might be…

  • Garden center in Kent
  • Dog Training classes near me
  • Long-sleeved shirts men
  • Black heels with a round toe
  • Top Restaurants in Hereford

When you think about your own search history you will notice that you naturally use longer-tailed keywords, with this in mind, why do companies force themselves to focus on ranking for single keywords which simply don’t have the same conversion rate? Take this thought and apply it to your online marketing efforts.

No. 3: Mobiles First

Most individuals will use their phone as their primary device when searching for a product/service. Google has recognised this shift and now ranks your website mobile-first.

If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly website, then this should be your first priority. If you do already have a mobile-friendly website, then ensure that you check your content regularly to ensure that it is optimised for mobile use.

No. 4: Don’t forget about local SEO

Quite often businesses look at SEO from a very generalised perceptive forgetting the emphasis placed on local SEO by search engines such as Google.

If you are searching for a product/service that is generally provided by a local company – this may be window cleaning, car servicing, pet shop, or even a restaurant – then search engines have a preference for showing businesses that service the individual’s immediate area.

This is a huge benefit for small businesses that perhaps gain 99% of their work from individuals who live and work in their area.

This preference is because individuals looking for specific services/products will use terms like ‘near me’ or include the name of their town or county in their search term. So make sure you use these terms when generating a list of keywords your website wants to rank well for and ensure that you implement them on your site and within your Google my Business listing.

Statistics show that 75% of people looking for a local business will visit or make contact within a day. Make sure that you don’t miss out on this traffic.

Lastly, in the near future

One element that has been growing in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down is the use of voice-enabled smart devices in homes. If you haven’t done so already then it is worth taking the time to consider how these devices may impact your website.

Optimising for voice search is a separate activity but also overlaps quite a bit with your general SEO activities. The key overlap is ensuring that your website loads quickly and that your website content is simple and easy to understand.

As voice search grows in popularity it will be clearer how search engines like Google respond to this and integrate it within their algorithms.

Want to improve your SEO?

If you want to improve your website’s SEO and aren’t sure where to start then speak to the team here at Digital Nachos. We can assist you in any way that you wish, from simply helping with a plan and implementation of strategies, to curating your website to improve its search engine optimisation.

Stats taken from: business2community.com

Published: 21st Sep 2021

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