Your website is the gateway to your company’s soul, and it is important that you keep up to date with SEO trends to maintain its relevance in the marketplace. Relevance is the key word here. Google’s continuation of developing and implementing new algorithms means black-hat SEO is no longer as effective as white-hat techniques. Google has prioritised the user’s experience and deepened the interaction between website and customer; it’s penalising sites which fail to abide by the best SEO practices, and many ad heavy, revenue hungry sites have found their conversion rates plummet. Overall, you need to keep an eye out on how the industry is moving and stay ahead of the game.
Search engines are going to become much more entwined with the end user experience. Google, in particular, is ensuring that the user experience will affect the ranking of a site; you need to understand your customer more than you understand Google’s algorithm. The user’s experience has the greatest influence on SEO through its ability to enable sharing and site distribution. By ensuring that your products and content is shareable, you can get your visibility to grow organically.
Another aspect of the user experience to be considered is the ‘dwell time,’ or length of time, that they stay on your site. If, for example, a user is sent to your site and stays on it for a short amount of time before reverting to the search results to click on a different result, your site could be considered irrelevant, and there is speculation that this bounce rate can be used as a ranking factor.
With the potential for the dwell time and bounce rate to be used as a way to measure your ‘rankability’, you need to ensure that your content is as relevant to your audience and site as much as possible. Pages that have thin content are routinely ranked poorly: you need to ensure that what you do have provides your user with a complete experience. Long term, Google will be able to use algorithms to calculate whether your site provided your user with a solution, and engaged them enough to satisfy the formulas. This means that your content must be useful to the site but also attract an audience to it initially; your content must not disappoint the user and waste the opportunity of the traffic: make sure that your content supports your business objectives and goals.
The solution to this emerging user experience trend is to not consider the user experience and the SEO as two separate entities. You must think of them as different halves rather than different sides of the same coin; if you fail to do this, you will create conflict. People have short attention spans, and if you can’t solve their problem or provide a service quickly, they will look elsewhere. If you address your audience’s questions and needs better than your competition, you will succeed where others have failed.
By changing the way that you approach your SEO, and by keeping a handle on the latest Google updates, you will be able to create and develop a marketing strategy that will proactively push your company forward to achieve further success.
Image courtesy of: webtexttool.com