Although SEO sounds like it is solely for the search engines, the truth is it is both for search engines and humans. But, taking that concept one step further, if you tweak your on-site seo, so that your readers are happy, you know that the search engine optimization will be looked after, as well. Consequently, when we talk about SEO, we want to focus on our readers, simply because they are potential customers, and conversely, bots cannot buy from your business.
Indeed, it is even more crucial today to maintain a site that is not only design-pleasing, but also, feature rich. The competitiveness of the internet should make everyone strive that much harder. Studies have shown, for many years, that the more competitive an industry is, the more the players have to improve to gain customers. They have to set themselves apart from the pack. The same is true of websites. There are billions of sites out there demanding everyone’s attention, but only a handful can really reap the benefits of the search engines.
In this article, we want to show you five ways how you can boost your rankings by keeping your readers satisfied.
#1 Strong User Engagement
Bottom line, you need to keep your users occupied. Whether your content is so interesting that they read right to the bottom of the article, or you add fun things to do, the longer the user stays on on the page, the better for you. As people become more familiar with your style, and enjoy what they read, they are more likely to return, and eventually, gain enough trust to buy what you are offering.
On the other hand, if the bounce rate is high, meaning that searchers go to the site and leave right away, then that page is not valuable enough to be shown. Relevance and value are determined by on-site user behavior. So, you can see if you keep your readers satisfied, then you will meet some of the criteria search engine bots are looking for, too.
#2 Keywords vs Phrases
With all the keyword tools out there, and companies promoting keyword research, you’d think that finding those gems would mean pure gold and extra cash! Unfortunately, you would be wrong. First, of all, think about how your customers would feel reading content that was full of keywords. In other words, there would be no basis to the article, other than to spew off words found from an online tool.
We don’t know about you, but when we were in school, we got penalized with using the same words in the same paragraph. We were told to write things differently, to mix things up, and find synonyms. The same holds true of writing on a website. For example, you don’t always have to say talk, as in “today, we will talk about hosting requirements”. In place of talk, you can use speak, discuss, examine, analyze, and many other like words.
Readers are not interested in boring regurgitation of the same words. Storybooks don’t use the same words over and over. They use colorful sayings and expressions to keep riders on the edge of their seats. They want more. Phrases are much more meaningful than spritzing keywords all over the place.
Obviously, the benefit to using natural speech when writing is that not only do readers love the experience, but the search engines are happy that it is real content and not phony material that is keyword stuffed. By writing properly and the way we were taught, we are not manipulating the SERPS and avoid nasty penalties.
#3 Expand Content
When you do the work and finally notice that one or more of your pages are ranking favorably, this is a good time to expand your content and leverage your position. Add more content and update what is there. But one caution with this method. Don’t change what you already have. If the page is ranking, there is a reason, and you don’t want to mess with success. Add to it. Don’t rewrite the article. And don’t remove anything. If some information has changed, you can make a note saying this is new information or you might want to highlight older dated information, but don’t tear the article apart. Enhance it.
This shows the search engines that you are keeping current, and also that you are updating the site. Of course, your readers will enjoy having more accurate information.
#4 Consider Local SEO
Needless to say, this will only be relevant if you have a storefront or you actually service clients in a particular area. But if the city or region is pertinent to you doing business, write articles that apply to that area. General content is fine, but remember that your customers need to know local things. An example would be if you replace basement walls. Whether a permit is required in that city or township is of concern to your customers. They don’t care about what is happening nine hundred miles away.
Another example is a landscaper. Speaking about flowers, trees and shrubs that do well in the city’s environment will be more appealing to potential customers than exotic items that are bred across the world.
The beauty of targeting information needed by your customers is that at the same time the search engines see your site as a relevant local business.
#5 Mobile Is A Necessity
You might think that your target audience only uses a computer, but millions of individuals are right now browsing sites on the internet with their cell phones. Others are using tablets. And regardless of what you think about your customers, and regardless of whether the stats still show mobile to be the lower number in traffic, the truth is a site in this day and age should not be built if it can’t work properly on different size screens.
Additionally, it needs to load fast on those screens. Speed has always been a key element for both humans and bots. And believe it or not, on a cell phone, if your site is not available within one second, the user will abandon the page. Think about that for a minute! How many potential customers are you losing due to not being mobile compliant or having a properly programmed site that works very nice on every screen size, but the pages are too slow?
And the final benefit of being mobile ready is that the search engines need to display results that work. Mobile is a key function of the SERPS algorithm.
This presentation should help you understand how to write more compelling content.
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