Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?
By Kirsten Meintjes
Reading time: 6 minutes
Let’s set the scene – imagine if I told you right now that that one thing you have always wanted but never found actually exists and is available. Today. Naturally you would ask me where it is, and how you can find it. But before I had mentioned it, you would not have known about its existence.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is much like this. No matter how beautiful and perfectly-suited your website is to your target market, if they have no way of locating your website in the first place, it may as well be an undiscovered desert island in the middle of the sea. Nobody will find it.
Global eCommerce sales are expected to break the $3 trillion mark in 2019, and already more than 50% of consumers in both America and the UK prefer to shop online. And companies have cottoned on to this. In an overwhelming sea of goods and services offered online, ensuring you rank well on a search engine is more important today than ever before. The top three listings on a Google search page get 61% of clicks, so it is critical to optimise your website to compete on this front.
Here are a couple of systems and tools we recommend you put into place to ensure your business ranks well.
This is SEO which is ‘internal’ to your website. They are elements which you will have most control over. If Yellow Door creates your website, we cover the first two bases (the third is an optional extra).
1. Meta title, description, and keywords
2. Mobile-friendly (responsiveness)
It is no secret these days that all digital products need to be mobile-friendly, or responsive. mCommerce (mobile commerce) is set to take over eCommerce in 2019, and this figure is expected to rise to 72% by 2021.
A mobile-friendly website is not just a smaller version of a website, it requires larger buttons (think thumbs and not pointers) and fewer but more powerful images (think data limits when on the move). Google favours sites that accommodate all screen sizes and are therefore easy for a visitor to use, regardless of what device they use to access it.
3. Website relevance
In essence, ask yourself whether your website is stale or relevant to today’s Google searches. You might have created incredible content – or sold brand new products – many years ago. If the most recent product released for sale on your website is an iPhone 5, Google is not going to rank it as a relevant tech eCommerce website.
Similarly, if your recent blog posts about traveling the world were last posted in 2016, how competitive will you be compared to the countless travel blogs that have more recent content?
This is SEO which is ‘external’ to your website; in other words, things that are not built-in attributes of your website, yet still affect its ranking.
1. Google Knowledge Panel
Let’s be honest – when we talk about Search Engine Optimisation, we are only really focusing on one of the many search engines – Google. As of January 2019, Google had 89.95% of the search engine market share.
If you have taken the time (or have outsourced the job to us) to claim and update your business listing on Google, the search engine will have more information about your business that will correlate with what appears on your website. You have taken the time to provide potential customers with quick information, therefore you will be rewarded with a better rank score.
2. Google reviews
If your business has positive reviews on your Google business listing, then the search engine is more likely to promote your business’ website over and above a competitor with a lower average review score (or none at all!)
Tip: encourage current and past clients to leave a review for you on Google after you have successfully completed a project.
A good indicator as to whether your business will appeal to future website visitors is to see if it appeals to current ones already. In other words, if you have a high volume of traffic to your website, this indicates to Google that your business is of interest to people and this motivates it to display its URL to potential visitors going forward.
One way to improve traffic to your website is via backlinks. If your URL is listed on a number of other websites (i.e. if there are many backlinks), then people on those other websites are easily directed to yours. This also reinforces your business’ legitimacy to Google.
Another way to create high volumes of traffic to a website – the easier method of the two, especially for a new business – is through advertising. Website traffic ads can target people of specific interests and buying habits that match your target market. This method requires digital marketing expertise but is a sure-fire way to increase the number of people accessing your website. Retaining visitors and converting them is another story The website conversion funnel will be covered in part 4 of this series.
If there is one key insight to take away from this SEO piece, allow it to be my core philosophy: a website can be as beautifully-designed as some of the best in the world – but there is no point in having a beautiful island in the middle of the sea without anything pointing in its direction. Stay relevant and ensure enough people know the route to get to your business’ presence online.