The dawn of a new Year brings many predictions, trends and forecasts. Being the new price of the iPhone, or the current market price of bitcoin all can be very valuable and interesting. However, after all said and done, a prediction is an assumption, whereas Google has the power.
New Year promises initially starts with reflection, what worked well in 2017, and will this aspire to 2018? A business model should incorporate the basics - knowing your competition better, has my previous SEO (search engine optimization) strategy boosted me ahead of our competition or left us behind. With success often brings failure, and the importance of failing is learning, what went wrong last year is a great opportunity to analyse why and how these mistakes can be a learning tool for the future.
Optimization for Mobile Devices
Today the use of mobile devices/smart gadgets has reached an unprecedented scale and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, and will continually grow. Optimizing your web site to cater for this is straight away the right place to start. With close attention to supporting the local rankings, there are several tweaks and adjustments to help boost your web sites ranking.
"Mobile searches are different from the desktop search"
This also means the content may vary between the two as well. This one reason alone is a good enough one to optimize your web site for the mobile search.
Monitoring the mobile ranking is also vital to succeed in the future, there are tracking tools online that focus on keyword ranking and can show you with 100 percent accuracy. To monitor the site visually is also possible with audit tools, so you can see first hand exactly how it looks when viewed on a mobile phone.
Useful, high quality, relevant content
Providing useful content has several advantages, one being having the ability to increase the amount of time a visitor spends on your site with the type of content your providing. Interestingly research shows us that articles/content around 2,000 - 3,000 words will generally rank the highest in the search engine results.
Having been said, this one reason isn't the only reason that your content is likely to be pushed higher, nobody is going to read content that is either not of interest to them, relevant, helpful or flowing. Content that has more information tends to provide more value, in turn helps people stay on your site for longer periods, where you can incorporate more links and include more keywords.
The dreaded 404 page after clicking on a link? Broken links make for bad usability, and a lack of confidence from the offset.
Search engines today also can notice broken links and flag them as old, or a neglected site that is no longer or rarely in use and can even be mistaken as replaced and not taken down. All being said this can influence your SEO ranking.
Monitoring your website regularly Is beneficial in many ways and the correct due diligence can help maintain your reputation as an up to date informative website that is free from broken links and errors that are likely to annoy and irritate the user, the exact opposite of what your web site is trying to achieve.
There are several tools and apps to help ensure that your site is free of broken links, here are two to help get you started:
- Google Webmaster Tool
- W3C Link Checker
Enriching the user experience by delivering relevant and quality information is a goal for all web sites, these days photo, slide show and videos are all big indicators of how the user enjoys spending their time. This also indicates the quality of content to search engines, so there are huge benefits to putting the work in to make your site busy with attractive photos banners and video!
Video marketing has become an increasingly popular avenue for web sites to display their message and goal. With the high usage of social media, web sites like Instagram are an ideal way to help boost your web site. A quick proven way to share your message and engage in larger audiences. In turn making free publicity for your business by targeting new potential customers and visitors back to your site.
Your Page load speed
Google amongst other search engines and likely to soon be all search engines, account the page load speed in their website ranking algorithm.
With technology on smart phones providing faster and faster loading speeds, it is crucial that your web site keeps up with the pace. Likely customers are easily influenced by loading speeds particularly with busier and busier life styles if your web site is lagging this can be a direct indicator of hindered sales. Users may leave your site if they wait even just an extra few seconds for each page to load. This ultimately will affect the average user time on your web site, increase your bounce rate as well as reducing the number of pages viewed. An obvious selection of reasons that will further hamper your SEO ranking.
The old saying "Patience is a virtue" doesn't apply to online!
Why make visitors download the same things every time they load a page?
- Enabling Browser Caching - lets you temporarily store some data on a visitors' computer, so they don't have to wait for it to load every time they visit your page. How long you store the data depends on their browser configuration and your server-side cache settings. Check with your hosting company to find the details.
- Optimizing Image Sizes - a common reason your page is lagging, simply converting the number of pixels on your images can help increase the speed of your web sites pages drastically.
- Simplifying Code - If your web site hasn't had a revamp in a while and your wondering why the hits has fallen over time, then adjusting the technicalities can vastly improve your web sites performance. Messy code can reduce the performance of your web site considerably. It is important that you eradicate extra spaces, any line breaks and indentation so your pages are as efficient as possible.
It is vital for future business to remain adaptive and vigilant to the changes that occur continually online. The small details can make the world of difference when adopting a business strategy, if your web site has suffered in recent times and has left you pondering the reasons why then paying close attention to some or all the points listed above will certainly keep you fresh, innovative and consistent.