Firespringers have been adding to their family roster lately. We’ve amassed more than seven newborns over the past nine months, and at least five are expected later this year. It’s an exciting time to say the least, and I’ve heard some interesting conversations about all the changes a new parent experiences—whether it’s their first or fifth go-through from start to never-ending finish.
This got me thinking about the never-ending changes nonprofits, business owners and brands constantly face with SEO changes (something I know much more about). You want your website to be showered with visitors and gifts of good rankings, so don’t let the perpetual algorithm changes cause morning sickness.
At the end of the day, Google’s (and other search engines’) goal is to provide the best and most relevant results to match a searcher’s query. You may not always see immediate results during your first trimester—err, quarter, but keep in mind, SEO is a long-term strategy. Search engines have gotten smarter over time in deciphering what a user is searching. Your job is providing high-quality website content to help a search engine understand your website, otherwise it’s out there crying alone.
That sounds like a simple job, right? It can be with a focused approach to tailoring your website’s content for your audience(s) and tying together different types of resourceful information your visitors are looking for as it relates to your organization and website.
Before you can look ahead, it is important to understand the basics. An SEO audit is a good place to start to see that your website is SEO and user friendly.
Google has noted three important factors in their ranking algorithm, essentially spelling out some facts of life…on the web.
- Content: The standard phrase in the SEO world is “content is king.” While there is much truth to that statement, there are a lot of other factors to consider including context, resourcefulness and relevancy. Users are hungry for information about every aspect of a particular topic, cause, product or service. By providing a variety of images, video, content and additional information, you can help the visitor find what they need quickly from one location. This positions you as an authority which leads to users staying on your website longer, returning to your website and sharing your content.
- Links: If your webpages have a handful of related websites linking to them, then it must be a valuable resource; otherwise, why would websites offer that link to their visitors? If you have relationships with similar organizations, reach out to them and ask them to link to your website from theirs.
- RankBrain: This is Google’s artificial intelligence that helps determine relevancy of a keyword phrase based on (1) users performing a search, (2) clicking on a webpage from the search results and (3a) staying for a period of time and (3b) not bouncing out. If this behavior continues, then intelligence would say that website meets the users’ intent and therefore is relevant for that keyword phrase.
Armed with these standard considerations for getting your website into shape, you can now think about the things to expect in 2018 to help create a good growth plan.
- Site speed: Mark your calendar as this due date is fast approaching: Site speed for mobile search in July will be an important ranking factor, so you want to make sure your website is responsive, mobile friendly and fast, especially if you notice visits from mobile devices outpace visits from desktop computers.
- Mobile first: This is essentially Google determining relevancy and rank based on the content appearing in the mobile version of your website. Cut the cord of your old website and make sure the mobile experience is as good as your desktop.
- Voice-driven searches: No crying necessary. These are conversational inquiries to a variety of different voice-activated devices finding their way into people’s homes and the existing voice search option already on mobile devices. People are asking questions such as, “Where is the nearest place to donate clothes?” Or, “What events are happening this weekend near me?” Think about what you might ask Amazon Echo or Google Home as it relates to your organization and see to it that your question and answer appear in the content of your website as voice-activated inquires grow.
- Videos: If one-third of online activity is spent watching video, you can be certain using video within your website and on social media to engage with your audience will be a key component now and in the future. Videos don’t have to be high-budget to appear on your website; they can be filmed using a smartphone and can include such things as a tour of your office, an employee or volunteer testimonial or even a simple greeting by the CEO.
No matter your website’s life stage—bun in the oven, infant or even the terrible twos, we are ready to help deliver with our SEO services. We can guide you through all that is search engine optimization and simplify it to a few key action steps you can take to arm you with the right resources to optimize your website. By reproducing a few simple tactics, you can watch your website grow and become strong and healthy.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help you position your website to induce more traffic and position your website as a relevant resource for your visitors. You won’t even have to provide a birth certificate.