Some people want to climb Mount Everest, but some people just want to climb Mount Google.
Conversations about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can make these two feats feel like one and the same, but in fact, there are some important differences. For example, Mount Everest has not changed in thousands of years, in contrast, SEO techniques are constantly changing. To keep up, we have to constantly expand our skill set and stay on the cutting edge of developing trends. The best preparation is mastery of the five essential techniques described below.
1) Your website must be top shelf.
You can follow all of Google’s and Yahoo’s rules and you can try to stay one step ahead of the algorithms, but an underwhelming or difficult to navigate website will drag you to the bottom of the rankings every time. Even when you have effective SEO driving traffic to your website, if potential customers reach you and their path through the site isn’t intuitive and clear, those hits won’t convert into sales.
2) Build quality natural links to your website.
Invest time building a rapport with bloggers and other websites that can vouch for the quality of your site and provide links to it. Developing your virtual word-of-mouth reputation requires networking and relationship building. Investing time in these relationships and developing something to inspire their support, will bear fruit over time.
3) Invest time in Title Tags and Meta-descriptions.
You would quickly overlook a book with a generic title on its spine and an indistinct description on its back because you couldn’t know how fascinating it was on the inside. Treat your title tags and meta-descriptions the same way. Spend time mastering the essential skills associated with developing interesting tags and descriptions. If a customer conducted a Google search and your site came up on the first page, but didn’t show a concise, detailed, and engaging link and description, they wouldn’t be likely to visit your site. These few words and a brief description of your product or service are the last hurdle that stands between you and a potential customer.
4) Keep track of your site with web analytics.
Say you fine tune your titles and meta-descriptions and build quality links from other sites, using web analytics will help you understand how customers are interacting with your website. Are potential customers reaching your website and then immediately clicking or “bouncing” away? Understanding who is coming to your site, how many pages they are visiting, and how long they are staying can help you assess what is working and where there may be issues.
5) Keep it moving (or mobile).
We have all seen that person at the market or electronics store, checking product reviews on their phone. Maybe this is even us on occasion. Google provides a list and we start clicking, hopefully landing on sites that are mobile-ready. If your website is not yet mobile friendly, make fixing this a priority in 2016. Take a moment and think about how much time you spend researching products or services on a mobile device as opposed to a computer? Technology is changing, we have to change with it.
The techniques above are essential for you to master this year. They will strengthen your online presence and prepare you for wherever SEO will take us in 2017 and beyond. For more SEO information and tips, check out what the experts at Coalition Technologies are saying.