Is your website a needle in a haystack buried among the trillions of other websites fighting to get people’s attention?
If so, we’ve put together some info to help you understand some of the aspects necessary so you can get your website found online with Successful Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO isn’t just about keywords or mobile optimization. There are several key features to consider when forming an SEO strategy that’s going to succeed and get you the search engine rankings you need to stand above your competition:
1. Time on each page
Average time on page is the average amount of time that your website’s visitors spend on a specific page. This is a good metric to see if your website visitors are actually reading your content.
Search engines use this metric of average time spent on each page when figuring out your website’s ranking. There isn’t necessarily a fixed number as to how long you want visitors to stay, but we have found at least 2 minutes per visit has been helpful. This is sometimes referred to as “Dwell Time”. It can become even more important as a ranking factor if a visitor has left your competitor’s site quickly and then come to your site.
2. Bounce rate
Bounce rate is simply the percentage of website visitors who only viewed a single page on your site, and who stayed on that page for less than 30 seconds.
If you have a high bounce rate, it may not be just your content that needs improving, but your SEO as well. Things to consider for your bounce rate and SEO include relevant keywords, titles, and page descriptions throughout your website. If people land on your page and find something different than what they were expecting, too short, or not compelling, they are likely to “bounce”.
3. Number of pages viewed
The number of pages viewed is what signifies the quality and/or relevancy of the content your visitors are finding what they’re looking on your site. For example, if most of your visitors leave your website after only viewing one page, it could indicate that there’s an issue with your content. On the flip side, if they’re visiting too many pages before they reach your final conversion page, the process is taking too long.
One of the hallmarks of good SEO is your number of inbound links. If you have a healthy amount of inbound links to a diversified group of your website pages, you will have a proportionately good number of pages viewed.
4. Load time of website
Site speed (also called page speed) refer to how long it takes your website to load. This plays a huge role in search ranking algorithms. If your page has a slow load time (longer than 1-2 seconds to be safe), search engines can crawl fewer pages, which negatively affects your indexation and rankings.
Page speed is also essential to user experience. Pages that take longer to load will have higher bounce rates as well as a lower average of time spent on the page because visitors won’t wait long for a page to load… they just move on. Websites with long load times will almost always have a poor conversion rate.
5. Amount of content
Size actually does matter when it comes to your amount of web content. However, it’s probably not in the way you think. More words don’t automatically rank you higher, but rather, more content DOES give you more opportunities to rank. What does this mean? Essentially, that you can integrate keywords more often when your page has 500 words as opposed to just 50. Additionally, more content is likely to keep someone on the page longer if it is if high quality and relevant to the topic the website visitors is interested in.
6. Relevancy of content based on keywords
There are certain areas on your website where your keywords should be located for maximum relevance. It is basic SEO strategy to include your target keywords in these places:
- On the page, in the body of the content (at least a couple of times but not so much that the text becomes uncomfortable to read), as well as, for example, in the title tag, the H1 and 2 headers, and the image names and alternative text.
- Inbound links that point to the page should have keyword anchor text, but this text needs to be a low percentage of overall anchor text. It is wise to keep it under 5%, and to make sure the rest of your anchor text is branded, uses your URL variations, and also uses other texts such as “click here”, “visit our website”, etc. This is absolutely paramount if you do not want to get tangled up in Google’s Penguin filter.
- Keywords need to be placed in areas of high visibility, such as the headline tags, in-document jump links, and image alt attributes.
- In your URL slug.
Essentially, your target keywords should be included in any place that you have the option of using them! However, you must also avoid keyword stuffing. More as, overuse of a keyword on a page will result in Google realizing that you are just trying to rank the page and this could hurt your overall ranking significantly.
7. Recency of content
Websites with the most recent and up-to-date information on a specific subject rank higher on search engines than websites with older or outdated information.
From an SEO standpoint, this basically means that in order to rank higher on a search engine, you need to make sure that your content stays fresh and updated constantly, otherwise, it could be overtaken in the ranks by websites with more recent content.
8. Interlinking between pages on the site
Internal links are links that go from one page on a domain to a different page on that same domain. They are typically used in the main navigation.
Internal links are vital to both visitors to your website and to search engines, both of which will use them to navigate around your pages. If you want good SEO, you will need to create internal links for search engines to crawl as well as for your visitors to use.
9. Mobile friendly
When your website is mobile-friendly, it means that visitors using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have an experience that is optimized for their device. Website design, website structure, page speed, and other elements all ensure the quality of a visitor’s mobile experience.
Search engines, especially Google, now prioritize mobile-friendly websites in both mobile searches and desktop searches. If your site doesn’t have mobile optimization, you’ll be penalized with lower search engine rankings.
In order to create a successful SEO strategy, you will need to consider all of these elements and build a plan around them. If you’re interested in achieving high search engine rankings that give you the boost you need to beat your competition, the Art of Online Marketing can help. Call us today at 1-800-764-8528 to schedule a free consultation!