Everyone with a website has the same goal – to be found by people looking for them either specifically or in more general queries about products, services and needs. Here are five ways to improve the changes your website will be found by your target audience.
First, it is important to note that some aspects of search have fundamentally changed.
The First Search Results Page Has Changed
The traditional goal was to be in the top 10 results for specific keywords or search terms. That doesn’t work anymore.
Search engines now give real estate to more than results. There are maps, quick lists of advice, ads, and more. Even if you are in the top ten, your listing may not be on the first page.
Add to this, the impact of personalization.
Impacts of Search Personalization
Google and other search engines now personalize search results based on the location, device and search history of the person doing the search. This means that the same search performed by different people may yield different search results. Bottom line is that search rankings will differ so there is no such thing as earning a consistent search rank.
In this changing landscape, there are things you can do to support your SEO.
Tip 1: Use Google Analytics to Support SEO
In addition to visible page elements, there are background settings that impact SEO. Log in to Google Search Console regularly to check for errors and incomplete settings. Clearing these ensures that the Google search crawler will get the best results for your site.
Tip 2: Keep Up with the Way People Search
SEO is about more than catering to the whims of Google. You need to keep up with how your target customer searches. Gone are the days of searching using logic to include or exclude words and phrases. Most searches today are informational queries formed as a question.
Search practices have shifted away from exact keyword optimization. “Long-tail” variations formed as phrases and questions are regularly searched. These commonly change by location.
Your content needs to match this way of thinking about information. Address the questions that your target audience has in mind and address the phrases they commonly use. You will improve your search results.
Tip 3: Pay Attention to Your Content
Search engines want to be the conduit to the best content. Offer the best content and you will do well. Easy!
Make sure you are providing quality content. Offer enough detail to be meaningful. Address questions and concerns. Keep it all updated.
Present the most important information first, at the top of the page. Make sure that your page speaks to the needs and interests of your target audience.
If you are a great source of information, trust me, you will rank well.
Tip 4: Practice Link Quality Control
Links to your website are still among the most important ranking factors. Focus on the quality of links rather than the quantity.
Not all links help your SEO. Be careful about who you allow to link to you. If the does not provide quality content that you are proud to be associated with, you don’t want to be linked. You can disavow links within the Google Search Console.
Tip 5: Make Your Home Page Helpful
Your home page does not need a lot of content for your site to rank well. Include enough content to state who you are, what you do, where you are location, and your core product or service. Couple that with a call to action that lets visitors know what to do next. The other pages of your site can do the heavy lifting of providing deep content to address all of the interests of your target audience.