This article was contributed by Roman Daneghyan.
Is SEO important for every business, or just selected ones need it? Should you invest in SEO, or can you get by without it? Most online startups ask questions like these.
It is important to understand that Search Engine Optimization or SEO is Google’s way of identifying which websites should rank high for queries searched into its search engine. In the absence of SEO, it won’t be difficult for businesses to manipulate the search results and rank their websites high in search engine results.
SEO is responsible for keeping the search results fair. It minimizes the ability to exploit search results to a large extent. It would not be wrong to say that SEO helps deserving websites appear in search results.
How Search Would Be Like Without SEO
It is difficult to imagine how we would ever search for businesses or other information we want daily without Search Engine Optimization. We guess it would be easy to manipulate search engine results, and we would have to work harder to search for valuable websites.
SEO is essential because it makes sure that you don’t have to spend more than a few seconds to find the relevant information you want – this is a general function of SEO for search engines.
Now let’s find out how does SEO help online businesses.
Advantages of SEO to Your Business
SEO helps businesses create a fast, powerful, and user-friendly website that ranks higher in search engine results. In general, SEO optimized websites entice more potential customers and boost better conversion rates comparatively.
When you optimize your website for search engines, it builds brand awareness, and people start showing trust in your business. As an online business owner, you must optimize your website for the search engines to build a strong web presence and gain new customers. Around 57% of B2B marketers admit that SEO helps them generate more leads than any other marketing tactic.
So why not you invest in SEO and measure the results yourself. Below are a few key benefits of SEO for businesses of all types.
Better User Experience
Today, SEO is not only about optimizing a website for search engines, but it also helps you with creating a faster and user-friendly website.
The modern SEO is all about providing a better user experience. A well structured and clean website attracts visitors to stay longer, therefore decreases the bounce rate and boosts page views. Similarly, a website with relevant content keeps your readers happy.
Also, SEO-optimized websites are more likely to solve answers to the questions of their target audience. When you optimize your website correctly for search engines, it makes your users as well as search engines happy.
Build Brand Awareness
One of the significant advantages of getting higher rankings on the SERPs is, when your website appears on the first page of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other major search engines for a specific search query, people start showing trust in your brand.
That’s why businesses that want to build brand awareness must invest in SEO. Thus not only they gain good search engine rankings for the key terms related to their business, but also they acquire hot leads.
Don’t forget; search engines play a significant role in making or breaking a business.
Improve Conversion Rates
Websites optimized for search engine load faster and are easy to read & navigate. Moreover, such sites display correctly on devices of different screen sizes and resolutions. Therefore, SEO-optimized websites hold more attention from their visitors and readers and eventually bring more leads and conversion.
Keep You Up With Your Competition
In today’s competitive world, running a business is like being in a marathon. Luckily, with the help of SEO, you can bypass the competition.
Let’s take an example of two businesses that are in the same industry, offering similar services at similar prices. One of them has an SEO optimized website, while the other has a non-optimized site. Which business do you think will attract more customers from search engine searches? Which firm has more chances to grow faster and become more successful?
The benefits of SEO are boundless – it’s up to you how you put it into practice to boost your business.
Below, we have put together a few SEO statistics that should be known by every business owner.
- Every day Google receives over 63,000 searches (Source: Live Internet Stats)
- The first five organic results of Google get 67% of all clicks. (Source: Advanced Web Ranking)
- 70% of marketers admit SEO is more effective at driving sales than other methods. (Source: databox.com)
- 46% of all Google Searches are local
Advanced SEO Techniques for Success in 2020
Over the past few years, SEO has changed a lot. In its infancy, SEO was just limited to stuffing keywords, spamming links, and tweaking back-end code. Fortunately, Google has stamped out many practices that were only designed to manipulate search results.
To enhance the quality of search engine results, Google keeps modernizing its algorithms. As a result, SEO techniques that were used in the first decade of the 21st century are no longer efficient today.
For that reason, online businesses must keep up with the latest algorithms of search engines and update their SEO techniques with time.
In the following section, we’re going to talk about a few SEO techniques that will help you generate leads in 2020 and upcoming years. So, without any further delay, let’s get started.
1. Prioritize Mobile-First Ranking
The end of 2016 was the first time when mobile internet users exceeded desktop users. According to a report, 72.6% of internet users will access the internet through their mobile devices by 2025.
So, if you are running a website, then it should be accessible on desktops as well as on mobile devices. After Google’s Mobile-first indexing, which is Google’s effort to make the web more mobile-friendly, it has become crucial for all website owners to have a mobile version of their websites as well. With this Google update, sites along with their mobile versions are welcomed together.
For those who don’t know, mobile-first indexing means Google primarily uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. As the majority of people access Google search via their mobile devices, Googlebot has started indexing pages with the smartphone agent. Launched on July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is by default enabled for all new websites. However, for existing sites, Google will continue monitoring web pages based on the best practices.
According to Google, websites which have an attractive, user-friendly design, and incorporate with mobile phones will get fast ranking.
It would be safe to say that optimizing your website for mobile devices will doubtlessly work for you in 2020.
Some quick tips to prepare for mobile-first indexing include:
- Switch to the responsive website at the earliest opportunity.
- Make sure both mobile and desktop versions of your website serve structured data.
- Verify your mobile site as a separate property in Google Search Console.
- Make necessary implications as per the needs of users. Don’t forget; users behave differently on mobile devices when compared with desktop.
- Also, create content which is easily readable over a smartphone.
You may use Google’s tool to check the mobile-friendliness of your website.
2. Better Optimization for Loading Speed
Page loading speed is undoubtedly worth thinking in 2020. Today, every business wants its website to provide a great user experience. After all, a site that delights new or returning customers is more likely to perform better than one that does not.
Since users’ behavior on the internet has been continuously evolving, you can’t overlook the importance of website load speed.
Below are some stats that confirm how important it is to optimize your website for speed.
- 46% of people admit that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike most about browsing the internet on mobile.
- Around 47% of buyers expect websites to load in two seconds or less.
- According to Google, 53% of mobile website visitors will leave a website that doesn’t load within three seconds.
Besides this, site speed is one of the crucial ranking factors considered by all major search engines. Google has indicated website speed one of the signals used by its algorithms to rank pages long before in 2010.
Don’t forget; the first experience is the last experience. So instead of de-motivating the mood of your customers with slow loading speed of your site, optimize your website speed in 2020.
Some quick ways to boost the speed of your website include:
- Move your website to a better hosting option. If your website receives enormous traffic, consider choosing VPS or Dedicated server.
- Optimize the size of images on your site. You may compress images size using tools like JPEG Optimizer, Kraken, ImageRecycle, Tiny PNG, etc.
- Detect 404 errors
- Reduce redirects
3. Produce More Video Content
Image credit: Donald Tong
If you want to improve your conversion rate in 2020, you must include video content in your SEO strategy. The rise of Stories in Social Media, a growing number of smartphones, and the way people have started consuming media; have contributed to making video content more significant than ever before.
According to Smart Insights, 83% of marketers believe that video content is becoming quite substantial. It indicates that businesses should use video as a part of their SEO marketing strategies. And why not? Video content can capture a broad audience. Moreover, videos make great storytellers. So, what are you waiting for? Focus more on creating video content this year.
Nowadays, plenty of useful tools available in the market that let you create a professional video without breaking your bank.
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Here are some ways to optimize your video content for SEO.
- Since you’re creating video content to gain website traffic and new leads, you should choose the right video hosting platform that can accommodate the needs of your website.
- To make your videos accessible to a broader audience, insert a video transcript.
- Make sure your thumbnail image is engaging. After all, it is what a searcher sees when your video is indexed.
- Pay attention to the title and description of your video as they play a crucial role in search engine ranking. Do proper research to ensure you’re targeting keyword is being searched by your target audience.
- Make sure the rest of your page is relevant to the video and optimized perfectly for search engine optimization.
- Don’t embed the same video in multiple places otherwise; you will be competing against yourself.
4. Improve Voice Search Ranking
Voice search lets users speak into their device as contrary to typing keywords into a search query to generate results. Though it might seem a brand-new concept, the technology has been around for a while. Google Home, Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa are some excellent examples of voice search.
Since voice search significantly improves user experience, Google is giving more considerable attention to voice search optimization. As a result, you must optimize your website for voice search.
Tips to Improve Your Voice Search Ranking
Like traditional SEO, Google voice search also gives more importance to websites that load quickly. So make sure:
- Your website is responsive and works well on devices of different screen sizes and resolutions
- Images are properly optimized
- The response time of your server is low
2. Write content in the way people speak – your content should give candid answers.
3. Focus more on local search as the majority of voice search queries are looking location-based content.
4. Voice search queries often have more words, so target long-tail keywords to get a top ranking on Google.
5. Schema Markup for SEO
In Spite of plenty of algorithm updates, the content remains one of the top-ranking factors in SEO. However, what is changed is the way search engines index and understand the web content.
Over the years, Google has become much better at understanding queries and intent of users, and therefore, provides the most relevant results. Most businesses don’t know, but schema markup and structured data play a crucial role in helping your webpage transmit that information to the crawlers and search engines quickly and more systematically.
It is possible due to schema and structured data; Google and other major search engines can display a direct answer to your question or pull up an appropriate rich snippets. It would not be wrong to say that it can be your powerful tool for SEO in 2020. So, include schema microdata in your HTML code so that it can help search engine bots interpret the content of your pages more effectively.
Pay More Attention to Local SEO
According to different SEO experts, local SEO will be more critical over the next few years. Already, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local businesses, services, and information. A study by Forbes concludes that 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches. So pay more attention to local SEO, especially if you have an audience in a specific location.
How can you optimize your website for local SEO
- To optimize your website for local SEO, include local business schema or structured data markup to every web page.
- You may also use a VPN service to boost your local SEO. When you connect to a VPN server in a specific region, you get to know different search queries being performed on that particular reason. Based on that information, you can plan your local SEO strategies. To gain maximum benefit from VPN, invest in the best VPN software only.
- Claim your Google My Business Page.
- Update NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) citation on your website. Also, take a look at how your business is listed in your Google My Business and other popular business listing websites.
- Have social media signal points to your local business. It will also help you with local SEO. If you haven’t created your Facebook business page yet, you should now.
- Try creating a separate page for every product, services, and locations, and apply a schema to each of them.
Search Engine Optimization is vital for online businesses to survive in today’s competitive market. Not only it helps you improve the search engine ranking of your website, but it also boosts the conversion rate.
Besides this, it is one of the most affordable ways to make your brand popular in a natural way. When you present your business in the top search engine results through SEO, you gain a large number of visitors.
However, to gain better SEO results, you should keep up with the latest SEO techniques. Since SEO will always be evolving, you should be well-aware of by now. In this post, we make you familiar with some advanced SEO techniques following which you can get a good ranking in 2020 and beyond.