18 / January 2016, Matt
Strong SEO practices can lift your website’s ranking fairly quickly. Once you start focusing on content and building your internet marketing campaign around themes relevant to your business, you create opportunities to drive traffic to your site and gain conversions from that traffic. If you approach your SEO process the right way, you give yourself an opportunity to grow steadily.
Unfortunately, many websites contain mistakes that keep them from reaching their full potential. These include problems that are relatively simple to fix, but if you let them linger, you can expect your site rankings to sink quickly. Staying on top of these will help you continue to rise to the top in your market space.
Content provides the key to your website’s ranking with search engines, and will only do so more in the years to come. But the flip side of this is that, if you fail to provide consistent, timely, new content for your readers, your rankings could drop over time. Dropping the ball on content can send your site into a death spiral.
This takes a number of forms. One is simply not creating anything new. Yesterday’s content will not help today’s site rankings. When you post something and just let your site sit for weeks or months on end, you can expect your rankings to decrease. Similarly, if you post content from other sites on your own, you can expect your ranking to plummet. Google and other search engines reward unique content; providing old content without updating or improving on what anyone can find online will sink you quickly.
Finally, posting content that is not relevant to your business or what you do will further sink your rankings. Current events or trending topics can provide a boon to you, but only if you are tying them to what you do. Without your content being relevant to you or your business, the search engines do not take long to treat it as spam and push your website down the list.
Yesterday’s content may have been great then, but it will not bring you success today. Your solution may be as simple as finding a new angle on something important to you, or describing a solution to a common problem in your industry. You can tell anecdotes about a customer situation or even tie in something from current events to your business. However you go about it, creating new content over time is the most important thing you can do to lift your rankings out of the abyss.
If your pages don’t connect to each other through your site, you are missing out on an easy opportunity to create organic growth within your site. Every page of content you provide should include links to other pages. These can be thematic links that connect the idea presented on your site, or even basic breadcrumbs leading back to your contact information or home page. These links provide a map of sorts, leading your site’s visitors through your pages to get them where you want them to go.
When you leave these out, or link people out of your site without bringing them back, you sacrifice page views that should be very easy to capture. Your failure to connect your pages costs you with the search engines, both because you lose page views and because it sees your content as less tied together across your site. The algorithms that run the sites see them as individual pages of content that do not share connections in theme or content.
Fortunately, this one is easy to fix. Go into your website, and find ways that your site connects to itself in style or theme. Find places where the information on one page helps inform another, and build links into your text. Finally, connect every page to your homepage or your contact page. You provide a product or service that should matter to people. Tell them why, and give them a path they can follow to find the solutions you provide.
Related to the issue of poor linking within your site is the problem of links from the outside. Many services offer packages of 1,000 links you can use to build your website’s traffic, and thus its rankings, quickly. While these may tempt you, they tend to be a poor investment because they come without regard to who you are and what you do. Instead of showing your site’s quality, they come across as spam that will do more to hard you in the search algorithms than they ever can do to help.
Instead of buying links that don’t discriminate, take the time to build ways that people can reach your site. Some of this comes through social media; getting a Facebook page and Twitter account is easy, and building an online presence can help you create your own links back to your website. Moreover, this also helps you reach out to others with interests in your business area. These connections, if cultivated with care, can also provide tremendous connection opportunities for you and your website.
Instead of chasing links outside of your business, focus on building relationships over time. This tends to yield dividends that are both more real and more enduring. Your site rankings will improve, and your business will grow.
Mobile searches have overtaken PC searches in both volume and importance. If your website is not designed for mobile searches, you are missing the boat. A design that fails to account for smartphone screen size means you lose the benefit of any of that traffic. Further, your content cannot be fully optimized for local SEO without building out this platform.
Designing with the mobile searcher in mind includes a responsive web design that adjusts the layout for users on smartphones and tablets. It also includes ensuring your location information is accurate and up front. A huge portion of mobile searches come from people looking for a local business. If you fail them on this front, you lose an immediate opportunity for not only web traffic, but conversions with people primed to become customers.
Your mobile-friendly design should be sleek and easy to navigate. You should have your name, address, and phone number readily available, with links to contact information and your home page from every page of content on your site. You should have information that is easy to view, with all of your content front-loaded on individual pages. If you fail to account for any of this, your SEO will falter and your site rankings will drop accordingly.
Finally, one of the most simple areas you can sabotage your own website rankings is having long load times for your pages. All of us have experienced moments that we click on a link or website and find ourselves waiting for several seconds while the page loads. We have a threshold, an amount of time we are willing to wait before we click on something else and try for a site less annoying than the one we landed on. That threshold tends to be a matter of seconds, and as Internet speeds increase, it is moving toward less time rather than more.
Often, this constitutes a simple matter of web design. If you test your site speed and find it lacking, look first to the number, type, and size of images on your site. This often creates problems with load times that smaller images or different file types could ameliorate. You may also have videos or other media files that make sense to you during the design phase but take too long relative to what they add to your site.
The problem with large media files is twofold: they turn off readers who might become customers, and they turn search engines against you. Page loading time is a factor in Google’s algorithm, and any time you leave your customers waiting, that creates a mark against you in the ultimate search logic. This fits with the common theme of efforts from Google and others: the goal of connecting consumers to information. The longer it takes your content to come up on the page, the lower your site rates in its ability to fulfill that goal. However impressive your content may be, if you can’t get it to your potential customers in a timely manner. you lose out quickly.
A common theme among all of these rankings killers is the simplicity with which they can be fixed. Building an SEO Internet marketing campaign takes time—especially if you do it right. But if you do take the time and invest wisely in first creating a site and then improving on it, that time can be well worth the investment into it. You can generate traffic to your site that will keep increasing, traffic that you can convert into the sales you want.
1st in SEO focuses on your Internet marketing so you don’t have to. We will evaluate your site thoroughly and find ways to improve what you are doing. Working with us, you will quickly find that you have opportunities to improve and grow quickly. We will eliminate the problems you may have on your website and find ways to move you into a position of strength and sustained growth. There is no reason you have to flounder in your Internet marketing, because we are here to help you improve. Contact 1st in SEO today to get started!