How to Optimize Your Website for 2019
Brands that are looking to stay relevant need to constantly be on the lookout for ways to optimize their digital footprint. In the world of SEO and User Experience (UX), every year brings fresh approaches to reaching consumers in a more personalized and efficient way. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best practices for optimizing your website in 2019, so your brand can build a better buzz.
Just How Critical Is SEO?
It’s hardly an exaggeration to say that SEO can make or break a modern brand. That’s because a whopping 93% of website interactions originate from search results. SEO tactics for driving organic traffic have evolved beyond mere keyword stuffing — it takes a concerted effort and a fair amount of time (usually at least four to six months) to start seeing your rankings rise.
Quality Content Counts
Google’s ranking algorithms have developed to the point where they can tell the difference between content created solely for search engines versus content that is catered toward human consumption. No matter how keyword-rich your content is, it’s unlikely to give your site much of a rankings boost.
Content that is informative and engaging not only looks better to Google, but it makes your site worth revisiting and sharing. This is why it’s so critical to…
Meet UX Expectations
While intuitive, sleek website designs have become a must for the modern web, fast load times are even more important to users. If your website lags for even second, valuable conversions are lost. While internet users in 1999 may have had all the patience in the world, in 2019, you’re either instantaneous or you’re out.
Mobile Comes First
In today’s on-demand environment, mobile readiness is non-negotiable. On top of reducing load times, be sure your site passes Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Mobile accounts for a growing majority of web traffic worldwide, and Google has enacted recent changes that rank mobile-friendly sites higher. Your site should be adaptive to any device, held in portrait or landscape mode.
Have a Voice Search Strategy
With the advent of voice-only platforms such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, your site should be optimized for verbalized searches. This often includes cutting out industry-specific jargon and describing what you do in a simple way. In addition, local “near me” searches have skyrocketed in the last year, making location-specific information an important element of your website discoverability.
Effective voice search strategies also include the right questions. Since voice searches are typically in the form of a question, you can include FAQs with the most relevant verbal queries to get users the information they desire. Think, “What sort of questions would drive consumers our way?”
Mind Your Tags and Titles
H1, H2, and H3 tags are used to signal to Google the importance of certain content. These “header” tags work like a pyramid — the H1 tag being the most important. By loading up these headers with your keywords, you help Google properly rank your page.
Optimized HTML titles are also critical to your SEO. Title tags are unique descriptions of your web page and are important whether or not they are visible to the end user. Think of your title tag as the most important piece of copy on your page, and treat it as such. Frontload your keywords and mention your brand in an informative and catchy way.
Google’s RankBrain and Dwell Time
RankBrain is a machine learning algorithm that Google uses to better sort its search returns. This system watches how users interact with content to determine the best content out there. One of the most important factors that RankBrain considers is how long a user spends on a page, or “dwell time.”
This means that if people are slamming on the back button the moment they see your front page, RankBrain is noticing and adjusting your site’s ranking accordingly. If, on the other hand, your content is engaging users to stick around for a good while, you’ll likely see a rankings boost. According to SearchMetrics, the average dwell time for a top 10 Google result is three minutes and ten seconds.
Keeping Up with the Changes
In the game of online visibility, it may seem like the goalposts keep shifting. Just when you thought your site was fully optimized, a new set of practices comes out and forces you to reevaluate your SEO approach. This makes it critical to always keep learning, and constantly work to improve your rankings.
Staying ahead of the SEO curve can be a full-time job in itself. Partnering up with a web agency can be a solid way to refine your digital footprint while freeing up some of your own brainpower. Website development companies can ensure that your brand is optimized for today’s best practices and ready to take on tomorrow’s. Stay optimized, everyone!
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece as much as we did!