In 2015, marketers began to realize the value of SEO, aligning their content for customers’ needs and mobile optimization for better results. 50% of all mobile searches are conducted in the hope of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase (searchenginewatch.com).
Videos receive organic page rankings in Google that are 50x better than plain, static text results. Video searches also garner 41% higher click-through rates.
Google ranks pages higher if they have a mobile site available. Mobile websites are no longer an extra thing but now a necessity. Responsive design has been a great way to set up a site so you do not have to make a separate web-only site, but mobile users should be a priority because of the following reasons:
- 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. (Source: Convinceandconvert.com)
- 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. (Source: Socialmediatoday.com)
- Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. (Source: Mobify.com)
- Global mobile traffic now accounts for 15% of all Internet traffic. (Source: Newtarget.com)
- 95% smartphone users have searched for local info. (Source: Adwords.blogspot.com )
Voice Search Functions are a current trend that can easily be integrated to increase search engine rankings. Young people utilize this feature far more often than older generations. Web pages that target a demographic of teens and young adults incorporate this crucial tool. Older generations also use the feature, so there is no reason to avoid adding voice search function into a search field.
Local SEO has been gaining traction and is thought to continue to do so in the future. Local SEO is important for many reasons:
- Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within a day. (Source: Searchengineland.com)
- More than 60% consumers have used local information in ads. (Source: Business2community.com)
- 50% mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results. (Source: Business2community.com)
Local SEO attracts site visitors who are local residents who could become regulars at a business and who are likely to complete a sale within a short period of time. This should be kept in mind when working with clients who need a new or updated website – the business is out there for them, and we are able to connect them with those sales.
Long Tail Keywords
On the left is the head, and to the right is the never ending tail
Searching “computer,” “funny picture,” or “car dealer” will populate your SERP (search engine result page) with results, but will any of these pages be what you are looking for? You do not want your website to get lost in a sea of pages like that. “Long tailed keywords” add to the “head term” in search queries and are important to provide more detail. With the example of searching for “car dealer,” car dealer is the head term, but a long tail keyword search result might instead result in “used El Camino car dealership Houston.” A search with just a head term may produce results, but they will likely not be a specific, local business that can actually solve your problem.
A paid search marketing campaign certainly nets high rewards from long tail keywords, and since there is much less competition, the cost per click is dramatically lower.
Content and SEO
It is a good practice to keep pages short with little to no “happy text” and to treat your site visitors like they will exit quickly if they can’t find what they want immediately. Modern website practices certainly are adopting a clean look with little in the way of words, but search engines consider this a lack of content. “Fluff” writing will turn off visitors and potential search engine rankings will be lower unless you write in depth about one subject. In depth content on a particular topic will bring up many other keywords related to the subject and rank higher in a fuzzy search. For example, searching “drummer at the wrong show” will still lead you to a “drummer at the wrong gig” video.
It is important to have a regularly updated website since websites without updated content lose rankings over time. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain your site or to have someone maintain it for you. Most search engines require at least 250 words on each page, preferably not including repeated content such as that contained within a footer. Page load speed is also important, so all images must be optimized for the web so that load speeds will be fast and search engines rankings will be high.
A mixture of images, videos, backlinks, external links, and even a dedicated sitemap can increase a search engine ranking. Keywords are not as much a focal point for search engines anymore, but they still are important to check. The recommended amount of keywords is anywhere between 8-12, and it is important to have the keyword in the meta tag show up on the page it is housed in.
A new and important trend to pay attention to Google’s ability to track how long people stay on your site. If someone clicks on your page and then quickly navigates away, this is called “bounce rate” and hurts your SEO ranking. Your page might not have had relevant content for the user, or perhaps the design of the website was confusing to them. Either way, these are issues that must be fixed in order ot get users to stay on your page for a length of time. Good design and good content go together for SEO.
NAP – Name, Address, & Phone
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone. Google grabs this information off of a website automatically and displays it in search results. It is important not to display your address or hours in an image, because then Google cannot grab the information, and this will hurt your SEO ranking. NAP takes no special coding to get working, and customers find very useful. If you have multiple locations for a business, it is acceptable to have them all on one page, and Google will figure out the closest one for the user. However, it is a better practice to have a unique profile page for each NAP you would want to have. For example, if you have three different locations, you want three different profile pages for them so that Google can make sense of this. NAP is an especially critical search engine feature for local businesses.