After making or reorganizing your website you need to make your www-voice heard and reach that target public you’ve always wanted to reach. You prepare your tone of voice, your marketing strategy is all set, you’re thinking of your social media indicators and you feel that everything is good. Not quite. SEO is an important part of every website’s life. Great SEO can bring users to your website more often and faster, while bad SEO can lead to little or none ROI.
“Search Google or Type URL”
That’s how it all begins. You usually type a word or phrase and hit enter, you get the results and unless it’s a really pressing matter, you never go on to the second search results page. Why is SEO important? SEO helps Google index the best results for its users and keeps the best sites in its top-ranked database. Why do you need SEO? Research shows that 91% of users don’t go past the first page of search results, while 50% of them don’t go past the top 3 search results on the main page.
You need to know how to choose your keywords. If you have a travel agency for instance, using words like travel, tickets, vacations or fun will not do much for your page since these are indeed some of the most searched words related to travelling, but if you have 100,000 other people using them as well as keywords you won’t make it in the top 5 results. Search engine optimization is so much more than just finding the right keywords.
First of all, SEO helps in creating a great user experience, therefore search engines look to gather and index the most relevant content for their users. They follow indicators such as content, performance, authority and user experience in all kind of devices either desktop or smartphones. These track if your site has non-spam content that is relevant for its theme, if it runs well and has good uptime, if its link is mentioned on other trustworthy sources on the web be it in articles or on other sites and last but not least if the overall look and feel of your site are safe and keep users around for more than a click on the exit button. In a nutshell, you need to keep all channels optimized, have consistency in domain names and stick to doing the basics right if you want to do a good job.
Take It to The Next Level: Use Sitemaps
If your website constantly has to add data (the way news sites or blogs do), content is generated frequently, making it harder and harder for crawlers to index everything. In this case, there are solutions like using sitemaps through which you can submit your list of URLs to search engines and make their job easier and your content visible. Visual Sitemap Generators help a great deal in creating relevant sitemaps that can help make your work easier.
Sitemaps not only help you index your sitemap through SEO, but they can also point out potential flaws with your website, aiding you in making the right changes at the right time and easing your work in simplifying your site’s content and reducing the noise. Like in every domain that has a specialization in order to be able to do a great job, for different types of content you have different types of sitemaps. Google offers support in identifying the types of sitemaps and in giving general sitemap guidelines so you know how to best put them at their use and help each other out in creating quality content easy and fast since types of content like Videos or GIFS are much harder to index than text.
There are two main types of sitemaps: XML and HTML. The XML one is meant strictly for back-end users, while the HTML one tries to transform the data so it makes sense to the front end user. If you have a large website, a sitemap can stop search engines from overlooking important pages or content that you might have, by clearly indexing it. If, however, you have a smaller website, you don’t necessarily need one but it can come in handy to index all pages despite eventual dysfunctional links that you might have.
If you make a sitemap, ensure that you keep it updated at all times and you take it into account every time you perform any type of update or maintenance on your website. If your website grows, in order to avoid having a really large sitemap that barely loads, try using multiple ones in order not to clutter everything in one place. Even though machines are used to operate with it, less is more for them as well and a sitemap with less content is faster and easier to process. This also helps both you and the search engines ensure that there are no parts of your website left un-indexed since occasionally, content might be bypassed in large sitemaps.
Generally, you should make sure that its size doesn’t go past the size of 10 megabytes, where it can hold about 50,000 links without breaking. Make sure you check your sitemap often just in case it stops updating since this could make search engine’s jobs much harder in crawling your content. Remove deleted pages or links and perform maintenance just like for the website, re-checking it whenever needed or after major changes.
Generating content is not the only thing that is going to keep your site visits up and your users accessing your content. There are a lot of processes that trigger search engine’s interest and help you keep traffic at a high and bad reputation at a low. So next time you think of deploying your marketing campaign before indexing everything and making sure that your deployment won’t be a road stop, check twice all details and ask for a helping hand from a social media specialist. It’s the best time invested in regards to the future of your business.