With 2014 fast approaching we are starting to be asked about how one should be promoting their website moving forward into the coming year.
When it comes to your online business reputation and to ensure a continued high visibility in organic search, you have marginal room for error in your SEO campaign.
Competition can be rife and to be best you have to beat the rest. To do that is going to take effort and you are unlikely to be able to do it alone.
That’s why our team of experts are on hand to help you to promote your brand name, which will maximise your visibility online.
We know what it takes to run an SEO campaign smoothly, generating results via a number of methods. Those methods require a hands on approach both on your website itself, and on the offsite optimisation too.
Since the rollout of the Google Panda Update, followed by the Penguin update, there has been a ripple effect across the SEO landscape.
With the Panda update hitting subpar content on the website itself, and the Penguin update brutally assaulting backlink patterns, they have changed the entire way SEO and link building needs to be conducted.
The modern SEO is to promote a brand name via a multitude of marketing methods. But only after the website in question has been carefully analysed, or custom created, to ensure optimal performance.
Let’s go into the factors that equate to an excellent website ready for ranking:
1) Responsive Web Design
The days where your customers only find you on a laptop or desktop PC are long gone. Smartphones and tablets are the new way people are searching the web, and the only way to ensure the best user experience, is to have a responsive web design in place.
This allows your website to adapt to the device a user is using to access your content. If you are on a static domain with fixed pixels, users have to scroll left to right, and up and down. Not good and it will drastically affect the amount of people that drop off from your site, due to poor usability.
Have your website responsive to all platforms, and you’ll increase usability, increasing your time on site.
2) Fast page load times
This one is crucial and your analytics metrics will tell you your website load time and for good reason too.
No search engine wants the top recommended site returned to their user, resulting in a fifteen-second page load time, to find out if it matches their search query.
Your site needs to load as fast as possible, saving your visitors the headache of frustration when your site hangs on load.
Using a multitude of scripts will slow down your load time. The less scripts that are running the better, and will lead to a faster page load time.
3) High quality content
You can have the best responsive web design, and fast page load time on your site, but it’s going to make no difference if you don’t have high quality content for your readers to absorb.
That content needs to be presented in an easy to understand manner, with plenty of whitespace that enables your visitors to scan quickly through your page. The faster they can absorb your quality content, the more satisfied an experience they’ll have.
Your content is what yields the best returns from all of your site visitors. Without it, you’re dead in the water, both in visitor satisfaction, and in terms of your SEO campaign.
4) Social media signals
This is by far the fastest way to get your content spread across the net. When you think of the set up of social media, the connections are key to getting your content found, shared, and increasing visibility online.
It’s the friends, friends of friends, and recommendations that signal your site is of quality and worth sharing.
When you have referral traffic from social media sites, it’s a good indicator that the site you have is one that’s trusted as it is being recommended.
Trust is an important factor and is weighed by search engines, to ensure the results they return to their searchers are a trusted source, as they are being recommended by others.
The site itself needs to be optimised, but the mistake most will make is optimising for search engine purposes only.
That is not the approach you should take to your onsite optimisation. It should be optimised for the best user experience.
A good example of that is by having an FAQ page on your site. At the mention of anything that a new visitor may not understand, instead of having the same content inserted repeatedly, you can simply link to that section of your FAQ page (click here to learn more) sort of thing.
By doing this, users can establish trust that you know what you are talking about, as they don’t have to disappear back to a search engine to run another query just to understand your content.
Inter linking is an integral part of your optimisation, but they need to be considered carefully, always ensuring that they are inserted for user benefit and not solely for search engines.
The words you use on your pages, the linking structure, and the navigation are three major aspects of a well-optimised website.
6) Unnatural linking is no go!
In the past, a major impact on search rankings weighed heavily on the backlinks a site had coming in. The number of referring sites acted a trust metric, establishing trust in the domain, pushing it higher in rankings.
Penguin crushed that game as it was widely open to manipulation.
Backlinks, while still weighed in search, you need to be encouraging the natural links, and not manually building them.
The key to building natural links is to generate awareness of your brand name. When you do that, discussions begin online, and people link naturally to you.
Google is one of the search engines that help website owners to control their incoming links. Referring domains are shown through webmasters tools, and analytics reporting.
By monitoring these, you can see the linking domains and the inner page that directly links to your website. By monitoring this section of your analytics, you can identify where low quality and irrelevant links are pointing to your domain.
If this spikes, then Google does have a disavow tool that you can use to notify them to disregard certain incoming links.
That should be a last resort though.
Site owners should handle any unnatural, or spam looking links themselves at the outset. They can do so by contacting the site owners themselves, and request a manual link removal. If you have no success there, then use the disavow tool to notify Google that you do not want that site/link/page associated with your domain.
It is considered a more advanced measure, and used the wrong way could have negative impacts on your search rankings, so use this tool with caution. The manual approach should always be attempted first, before instructing search engines to disavow certain links.
7) Own your prime space
The prime space on a website refers to the section above the fold of your website. The part that is immediately visible when someone lands on any of your pages. This is your prime space and the area your most important message should be.
If you are a plumber, then describe your services here, give your readers your contact details, and place any key information that you need to engage with your readers.
What you should not do is give it up for advertising. If you are linking out to another site, then web spiders could view it as a doorway page, with the sole purpose being to direct traffic to another website.
That will affect your ranking position, so the key is to own the most prominent area of your website, to encourage user engagement on your own domain.
Each of the above are areas measured by search engine algorithms, and need incorporated onto your website and your offsite optimisation too.
Speaking of off page optimisation, this is how most SEO firms look at it. The way we look at here, is to promote your brand name, with the emphasis on the marketing aspect of your business, marketing in a way that encourages conversation, and naturally boosts your backlinks by making your target customers aware of your online presence.
That is what we believe makes for a successful SEO campaign.