Search engine optimization (SEO) is a great way to increase traffic to your website without spending oodles of money on Pay-Per-Click advertising. When working on SEO, companies rightfully invest a great deal of time in analyzing their offering and their market to determine the keywords that should be used on their website to attract prospects.
However, there are plenty of other factors that affect SEO that you should also be paying attention to. And many of them are easy to implement.
Compelling content. Google loves when they linger! Bing and other search engines do, too. The amount of time a user spends on your site (referred to as “dwell time”) is a strong indicator of how well it is meeting their needs. And the more quality content you have for them to browse through or dive fully into, the longer they’ll stay.
Long-form content (>2,000 words). The search engines currently seem to favor content pieces in the 2,000-2,500 word range, as something of that length allows you to provide valuable details about a topic. Be sure your site has some long-form content.
Lightning loading. Consumers have little patience for a web page that loads slowly, including when they first arrive at your site and as they navigate through it. Ensuring that your website code is streamlined and well-written, that you minimize redirects on the site, that images are optimized, etc. all play a role in load speed.
Optimized images. As mentioned above, image optimization can affect load times. Images should also be optimized for relevance by including keywords in the image file, including file name, description, caption, alt tag, and title.
Mobile-friendliness. People used to address how well their website was optimized for mobile devices late in the design/implementation process, if at all. Then Google started to place more importance on mobile-friendliness. Now, it’s critical that your site is developed following “responsive design” principles. The world’s gone mobile—you don’t want to be left behind.
Readable content. Long-form content is great… if people read it and therefore “dwell” on your site longer. However, if your 2,500 words are all lumped together in a couple intimidatingly-long paragraphs, they won’t. Break your content up with headers, images, etc. that make it skimmable so the reader can see that it’s worth their time. Use short sentences and paragraphs to increase readability. And use text attributes like bold, italics, and color sparingly and wisely to draw attention to important information. There are a number of tools available for testing and scoring the readability of your site content.
A variety of media. There are many ways to enrich the user experience beyond simple text: images, slideshows, infographics, video, and audio files just to name a few. Use them! Search engines will reward you for making your site interesting and interactive.
Broken link-free. Use one of the many tools available to regularly check your site for broken links and fix them promptly. When a site visitor finds something they want to learn more about but can’t get to the information due to a broken link, it’s a real buzz kill—for them and for the search engines.
Relevant outbound links. Pointing visitors in the direction of authoritative sites where they can get more information on a topic improves their experience. It also sends important “trust signals” to Google, meaning your willingness to send visitors elsewhere to get their questions answered is likely to help you gain their trust.
Adequate contact information. Nobody likes doing business with a company that is, in effect, a black hole. The more ways you give visitors to contact you, the more Google believes you are a reputable company.
SEO can have a powerful impact on the success of your inbound marketing efforts. As a leading content marketing firm, we use our two decades of marketing expertise, along with cutting-edge tools like HubSpot, to help clients in Colorado and around the country attract and engage prospects and turn them into customers. We’d love to do the same for you.