The start of a fresh year is the perfect opportunity to gauge past successes and look forward to exciting new ones. Resolutions aren’t just for people – they also give discerning businesses the chance to establish a clean outlook and set the wheels in motion for twelve months of growth and innovation.
With this goal of planning ahead in mind, we’ve put together a shrewd list of realistic eMarketing resolutions (or reSEOlutions, if you prefer!) for 2014 which will boost your website’s performance across the board. If you stick to these 5 rules, you’ll end the year the business equivalent of slim and good-looking.
Lots of it. Not for the sake of it, but because you have interesting things to say about your industry, and you more than anyone know what you’re talking about.
Content is the single biggest driving force behind your online presence. As well as propelling engagement with your existing customers, it enhances your reputation with search engines and gives you the ice-breaker to open conversations with potential new customers on social media.
The value of creating content cannot be stressed enough. Set up a blog and post regularly – once a week is better than five times in one day and nothing for the next fortnight. Try not to repeat yourself, but find new angles on old topics, and think about what your audience will be interested in reading. The more engaging content you can create, the more roads lead to you. The more roads lead to you, the more traffic you’ll attract.
Keywords are still relevant, because they tell us what real people are searching for, and they’re still at the heart of search engine rankings. But it’s been a while since packing your page with a valuable key phrase was a viable strategy. Google’s algorithm is now much more sophisticated, with an understanding of how humans use language and of more granular search language patterns.
The lesson to take from this is that, while baseball may be your keyword (okay, so probably not, but hear us out), Google knows that bat, ball, pitcher, base and New York Yankees relate to baseball. So use synonyms and write like a real person would read, and like the real person you are. Include your target keyword in a natural-sounding way, in your page’s title, description and copy, but don’t worry about jamming it in at every opportunity; Google’s got your back.
Keyword research will help you to identify which search terms are the best ones to focus your content around and optimise for. If you’re not sure where to start, or are doing this for a multilingual site, we can help.
Many people believe that because Google’s algorithm – and others – consider inbound links a major ranking factor, the most astute tactic is to construct links back to a website at all costs. Two years ago, that may have been the case, but in that time, a couple of major updates and ongoing work have made it much easier for Google to spot engineered links and remove them from the linking picture.
Instead of barging into spammy corners of the web armed with manipulative methods, the best way to build links back to your website also happens to make business sense in a dozen other ways: build connections with people. Web trends are orchestrated by influential people and organisations, and by shaking digital hands and working out how you can work together, you’ll generate much more sustainable links to your website that Google will recognise as much more valuable.
Use 2014 to make yourself one of the most prominent online voices in your sector, and start by getting active on Twitter and Facebook. Your social media profiles are not alternative customer support inboxes; they’re a primary and invaluable way of presenting your brand to existing and potential customers.
What you get out of social media is relative to what you put in. Push the content that you create out into the world through channels like Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and you’ll reinforce your values at the same time as seeing your traffic increase. Ask questions and engage in public discourse to get your brand in front of new people. Give social media the respect it deserves as a marketing channel and your web presence will benefit greatly as a result.
It can be a sensitive topic, but the first step to a fantastic web presence is a fantastic website. The work starts at home, so to speak, by making sure the design of your site is crisp, perfect and on-brand, checking that the code of your site is efficient, safe and compliant, and ensuring that the user experience is smooth, engaging and measurable.
Taking the time to make even the smallest improvements to your website will have an impact on your website’s performance, and consequently your bottom line. If this seems like too large and daunting a task, focus on improving key metrics such as your website’s bounce rate or visitor conversion rate, and prioritise working on the things that will affect these.
To help you identify opportunities for improving your site’s performance, Web-Translations offers an easy Web Audit service, where a team of experienced web consultants will tell you both the quick fixes and the long-term goals you can set for developing your website into an industry-leading marketing channel.