The Positive Side-Effects of Optimizing for the Search Engines
While you might use search engine optimization to find new clients and increase revenue in your business, you’ll see a bunch of positive side-effects if you optimize well.
Focusing on the User and Their Experience
As we already pointed out, Google and various other search engines have improved their algorithms to the point where they can identify how effective your website is at meeting your visitors’ needs. So improving their experience will, in turn, help your SEO results.
Making your site more usable for your visitors should be a top priority. In other words, making it easy to navigate around the site and find relevant information. If a visitor clicks on your site in the search results and immediately clicks back and clicks through to a different site, that’s going to harm your rank.
There are some less obvious usability factors as well, such as the speed of your site. Studies have shown that going from a 1-second to a 3-second page load time will increase the probability of that visitor clicking away (known as a “bounce”) by 32%.
Increasing page load from 1 second to 5 seconds increases the chance of a bounce by 90%.
If your site doesn’t load fast enough, it won’t matter how good your content is – a lot of your visitors won’t wait long enough to see it.
Another factor Google considers when ranking pages is the accessibility features on the site. Features like image titles, “alt” text, and clean code make it easy for assistive technology like screen readers to do their job.
Whether a visitor needs those features or not, it’s factored into the algorithm that ranks your site. And for any visitors that do need it, having those features in place will make their experience much better. It could be the difference between getting the information they need and not being able to retrieve anything at all.
Optimizing for Mobile Devices
A factor that’s becoming a more important part of SEO is optimizing your website for mobile devices. Over 50% of all web pages viewed around the world were on mobile phones. Google saw that trend coming several years ago and started considering that when ranking sites.
Most modern phones will display a website designed for standard desktop browsers but it’s not a very good experience trying to make it work on such a small screen. Once again, designing your site to meet Google’s expectations will also make it more usable for your visitors, and vice-versa.
This is even more important if your business works with local customers. Because so many people search for answers on their mobile devices when the time comes to make a purchase, having a site that works well on small screens, along with effective local SEO, isn’t negotiable.
You’ll Be More Careful About What You Share
Google considers some types of websites to be “bad neighborhoods.” In other words, the content on the site or some other factor in how the site operates breaks one or more of Google’s terms of service.
If you link out to those types of websites, it can hurt your search ranking. Those types of sites are generally not designed with their users’ best interests in mind and might even be actively trying to deceive them. Considering whether a link is going to look bad to Google will also help your visitors avoid problems.
It’s not only about not sharing bad things, mind you. It’s also about diversifying what you share.
Having different types of content on your website, such as text, images, and videos, can help your site rank higher. And like so many other factors we’ve already covered, adding different types of media will also help your visitors.
Some people learn better by reading, others by watching a video. By sharing different styles of content, your visitors will be more likely to find something that resonates with them.
You’ll Be More Aware of Your Competition
Part of an effective SEO campaign, especially when you’re first getting started, is reverse-engineering the sites that already rank at the top of the search results. Figuring out what they’re doing to rank well gives you some insight into what you need to do to compete and what you can do even better to outrank them.
This will give you a ton of information about your competition that goes beyond competing for search traffic. You’ll also have a much better idea of what kind of offers they’re making, what their marketing funnel looks like, and various other aspects of their business.
Once a visitor finds your site, you still need to convert them into a lead or a customer. You can use this competitive research to improve your offers in general so prospective clients are more likely to pick you over your competition.
It’s All About the User
You’ll see and hear lots of talk about search engine optimization but it comes down to doing what’s best for the user. If you focus on providing quality information in an easy-to-understand format, you’ll be well on your way to ranking near the top of the search results.
You can learn the rest with a bit of research but if you’d rather focus on what you do best and leave your SEO in the hands of experts, Reputed can help. We offer a range of services including our professional SEO service that will help you compete for the highest rankings.
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