It’s often said that you can’t please all of the people all of the time – something that rings true in most areas of life. But when it comes to your search engine optimisation strategies, it isn’t in fact impossible to please bots and humans at the same time. For too long now, firms have been focusing on abiding by the gospel according to Google, rather than focusing on what really matters – their target audience.
There was a time when focusing on site quality meant something of an enormous and problematic tradeoff. Keyword stuffing, artificially built links and similar black-hat techniques could get even the most affecting website right to the top of the rankings. These days however, priorities have shifted enormously and the 2016 landscape really could not be more different.
1 – Mobile Responsiveness
You probably don’t need reminding but the fact that catering to mobile crowds is just about the most important priority of all right now. Nevertheless, there’s a big difference between offering a mobile version of your website and offering a mobile experience that’s actually worth checking out. Tick all the right boxes in this department and you’ll score big with all parties.
2 – Technical Prowess
It’s exactly the same story for the general presentation and performance of your website as well. These days, any sign of outdated technology, glitches in the system, imperfect navigation, broken links, slow page loading times and so on are the biggest turnoffs in the world for site visitors. Not only this, but they will also see you lumped with a bad reputation in Google’s all-seeing eyes.
3 – Serve A Purpose
When it comes to optimising website content for SEO purposes, there’s one rule that rings true of all and beyond almost all others. If it doesn’t serve a purpose, get rid of it! In the olden days, you could fill your site with largely any kind of detritus and filler, for the sake of blocking it out and currying favour. These days, not only is Google more than wise to such tricks, but there’s no better way of wrecking your reputation with your target audience than presenting them with outright garbage.
4 – Streamlining
When it comes to conversion rates, there is very little more important than streamlining your website in a manner that makes purchasing as easy as possible. Along with creating a fantastic user experience, these are the kinds of efforts that can massively reduce bounce rates. And in case you wondered, the answer is yes – Google does very much take into account bounce rates and will happily deal you a bum hand if you aren’t performing at your best.
5 – Engagement
Last but not least, the days of websites being one-way channels of communication are well and truly over. These days, consumers generally expect websites to be interactive, accessible and in some way practically useful for voicing their opinions and joining the conversation in general.
To focus on engagement is to tick some of the most important boxes of all – fresh content, up to date content, various content, relevant content are the reason for your visitors to return. Suffice to say, all of the above also work wonders when it comes to winning over the major search engines.