Are you as proud of your website as you are of your kids, your car or your company? Has keeping up with digital marketing trends and techniques been keeping you up at night? Or were you perfectly happy to launch it and leave it for the past several years?
Here’s a test. How do you like your pillar pages? Huh? Not even sure what they are? Just think of the pillars of a house. Pillar pages actually “hold up” the rest of your site by serving as strong, supportive central focal points. Often they’re the longest and most comprehensive pages, linking to the other relevant content on that topic. A simpler example is this: if your website was a book, the pillar page would be the table of contents.
Doesn’t this contradict conventional SEO marketing wisdom that says spreading out content over many web pages increases your chance of being found? Well now there’s so much clutter online and so much disorganization, it’s gotten impossible for even the almighty algorithm to find anything. If you don’t have pillar pages, your content will appear willy nilly. Creating a clean, streamlined user experience, where all the links make sense, shows you’re on the ball and increases your SEO.
Pillar pages are not the only way to insure you look and perform professionally. Here are some other ways to stay updated:
Speed It Up
Taking too long to load almost guarantees SEO failure. As we discussed above, pillar pages condense loose links and eliminate excess data to optimize formats and media size. But it’s still important to know how fast you’re coming up. Ask your web developer to use one of the metrics tools available to check your website loading speed. Then work on the factors that are slowing you down.
Mobile Is Global
It’s no secret most searching is being done from the smartphone. It takes a little work to go from looking good on the big screen to scrunching down to the little one. Take Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if you pass. They’ll scan your url to look for things like avoiding Flash usage, responsive web design and touch element spacing. Sites that are responsive will be rewarded by ranking higher in mobile search results.
Unclog That Blog
It’s called evergreen content. Information that stands the test of time. And it’s okay to recycle. Up-to-date content upgrades user experience and improves search results. It’s perfectly acceptable to republish a past blog with a timely twist. Reconstitute your current web content with just a few fresh flourishes. Your readers (and search engine) will love the new, improved incarnation.
Voice Search Is Siri-us
Many people take the voice search shortcut now, so be prepared. Aim for a keyword strategy that mimics the way customers really talk and ask questions. To do this, switch to long tail keywords that resemble conversational phrases rather than stiff, stilted language. For example, if you are a jeweler, instead of content for “ring resizing,” you might spell out, “We resize rings in white gold, yellow gold, silver and platinum.” When people voice this query, you’ll come up as a “direct answer” from Google Now, Siri or Cortana.
People are paranoid, with good reason, about using the internet for fear of having their information made public or stolen. Changing from http to https makes the site’s connection secure and keeps user details confidential. Online transactions remain private, a service Google values and ranks higher.
Fluff is for pillows and marshmallows. When it comes to high-quality content writing, you can’t throw some random thoughts together and call it a blog. It’s like any other product. It will only get used if it’s useful. Part of that allure is the quality of thought and expression that goes into the creation. Does it inform, elicit emotion or entertain? Then it has value. Google, Bing and Yahoo all value value. If you run dry, there are tools like Google News and Buzzsumo that track trending topics and will generate ideas for you.
Ride the Long Tail Rail
Long tail keywords are phrases more unique to your product or service than obvious, common single-word choices. Less people may be searching for them, but because they are so defined, the conversion rate can be higher. Super-specific keywords have less competition, too. For example, “cookies” brings up over 2 billion results, oddly mostly recipes on the first pages. If you make cookies, don’t throw in the towel. Use some long tail keyword ingenuity. Try “gooey-good cookies.” Then be sure you match that wording to all your site content and social media. You may rank higher with a longer, less-competitive keyword approach.
Learn to Share
Social media is habit forming. If you’re not yet addicted to tweeting, pinning and posting, check for a pulse. Even Katie Couric admits to it. Having a website with no social media support is like having a radio with no speaker. You have to get the word out. That isn’t done by an advertising agency. It’s done by you!
People share, retweet, comment and contribute every minute of the day. Get in there, create some useful content and get some attention. It’ll multiply exponentially and hopefully you’ll have backlinks and followers coming to you from around the world. Then these relevant external links will gain you more recognition with the search engines.
The ever-changing challenges of SEO keep marketers on their toes. User experience, speed, security, voice search and mobile responsiveness must all come into play before you can expect a boost in website ranking. For the latest in SEO tactics, give us a call. Our content writers and marketing specialists are set to give your site the SEO boost it needs.