The future of online search

 

Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of an online search.

It was once all about links and keywords. But, as the internet has evolved and the search engines have adopted new algorithms to provide more accurate and tailored search results, SEO has evolved too. A much larger group of contributing factors now impact your position and how your business is perceived online.

We’ve detailed some of these factors below. Take a look to see what you should consider when working on the SEO strategy for your business:

Share, Share, Share!

Although it’s open to debate, many believe that links to your website from social media (also known as ‘social signals’) do have an impact on your rankings. Sharing your original content shared across social media platforms such Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn may help indicate to the search engines that your site is credible and should therefore rank higher than a site without these social signals.

Whether there can be a direct impact to your search position is unproven, but it’s also important to remember that people are turning more and more to social networks when searching for content. Building a strong and engaging social profile in itself can be highly beneficial to boosting the reach of your business.

To find out more, book a place at one of our social media seminars.

Be more mobile friendly

Since April 2015, Google increased the importance it placed on ‘mobile-friendliness’ as a ranking signal and began raising mobile optimised websites to the top of the pack in mobile searches. With people spending more and more time on their mobile devices and tablets, this is hardly surprising. And it’s not just about the rankings. A mobile friendly website also provides a better user experience for your customers, without the need for constant screen pinching and zooming.

Factors that determine just how mobile friendly your website is include:

– Page speed
– Site design
– Use of flash and/or pop-ups
– User experience

Tools like Google mobile friendly test can test your website to see just how mobile friendly you are. This can then help you highlight any areas in need of improvement.

Don’t scrimp on content

Although you’ll often hear that our attention spans are getting shorter and that ‘people don’t read anymore’, long-form content is still very much a contributing factor towards your search position. Longer news articles and blog posts not only provide your customers with more detail and potentially more valuable content, it also gives the opportunity to include more long-tail and conversational phrases, which lend themselves to more relevant search queries.

It’s also been shown that longer content can be more sharable. Last year Moz and BuzzSumo analysed the shares and links of over 1m articles and found that longer form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content – key factors in influencing your website’s position in the search results.

Keep it fresh

Updating your website, along with providing your customers with fresh and interesting new content, can also provide a positive impact in the search engines. A static website, without updates, may be viewed by search engines as a “dead” entity – with nothing new to offer. The more fresh content that you add to your website, the more often the search engines will crawl and index your site, providing you with the opportunity to achieve higher rankings on both your new and existing content. Put simply, updating your website with high quality content on a regular basis could score you big points with the search engines.

This recent Moz blog details 10 of the ways Google may determine the freshness of your content, including new page creation, new links and engagement metrics. Take a look to see how you can keep your website ‘fresh’.

Want to find out more about SEO and how it fits into your overall marketing strategy? Get in touch with the team and gain access to specialist support from our expert marketing advisors.