5 Ways to Improve Your Website
How do you make sure your site gets noticed? Content is key and making sure your site follows Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices makes all the difference.
In today’s digital world, having a website that is easy to find and stands out in search is essential. One of the most common ways that people are likely to come across it is by searching for your products or services online. So, how do you make sure your website shows up and gets noticed? Much of it has to do with your website’s content and making sure it follows SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices.
Search engines populate the most trusted, relevant information they can find based on the query that you enter. People trust search engines, most notably Google (currently used for 91.89% of online searches worldwide!). There is a general perception that if Google ranks your site near the top of the search results, your site can likely be trusted too.
So how do you get Google to rank your website near the top? Here are 5 key factors that we help address in all of our website projects:
1. KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
When our team develops content for a new website, we begin by getting to know our clients target audience. We then create personas that represent key demographics that we want to reach. Understanding what’s important to these people, what makes them tick and how your product or service can solve their problems will influence the site’s organization and the keywords used throughout.
2. DEVELOP A CONTENT PLAN
Once our target audience/personas are defined, it’s time to start thinking about the content structure and plan. What is most important to our target audience? What problem does your product or service solve for the various personas? These are the questions we consider when developing the information architecture. As a best practice, we try to limit the number of clicks it takes a visitor to reach the information they were seeking. Ensuring each product or service has its own dedicated page is also important for SEO.
3. OPTIMIZE CONTENT FOR SEARCH
Now that the information architecture is complete, we focus on optimizing the content for SEO. This includes creating a meta description and title tag on every page. These should be informative, include relevant keywords and be the appropriate length. Focus on including keywords in the headlines, body copy and the URL of each page as well. Try to ensure that there is no duplicated content on the site and that URLs are kept short.
4. CREATE HIGH QUALITY CONTENT
When people have questions, they trust search engines to deliver the most relevant, informative answers. Your website needs to answer questions relevant to your products and services clearly and position your company as a thought leader in the financial industry. High quality content means spending time crafting attention grabbing headlines and creating content with depth. Consider long-form content and video to succinctly explain complex ideas. This increases time spent on your site, which is something search engines look for when ranking sites.
5. LEVERAGE THE POWER OF 'BLOGGING'
Posting new content in your site’s blog, not only helps position you as a thought leader, it’s also an indication to search engines that the site is active and remains fresh and relevant. Blogs also provide another opportunity to leverage traffic-driving keywords in headlines and body copy and the ability to share to your social channels. Lastly, blogs provide long form content, the ability for users to get all the information they need in one place, which increases their time on the page and that in turn can result in a higher organic ranking.
In addition to these best practices, there are a multitude of other optimizations that should be considered and several online resources that can help get you started. SEO is strategic, always evolving and a necessary part of your website process.