The more things change, the more they stay the same. It seems like the online marketing industry moves faster than most, but despite the fact that Google likes to move the goalposts with their algorithm updates, the team at Hit Search still press home the importance of basic SEO best practice.
We recently published our predictions for SEO in 2015 and in preparation for the article we asked our resident SEO experts what was staying, going or coming soon in the digital marketing industry.
According to the guys, it’s still just as important to get your content right, if not more; and there were other best practice guidelines which are too important to ignore.
It’s the other C-word and it sparks more debate in online marketing than just about any other word in the English language.
Many are critical of the so called content bubble, as the internet is quickly cluttered with Top 5 lists and a lot more. They argue that content production becomes less valuable as PR, and as a ranking indicator, precisely as more marketers jump on the bandwagon.
Some claim that content, like SEO, is dead. The truth, naturally, is more complex. Neither is dead; they just need to be used correctly to guarantee the best return.
It’s not just about making a lot of keyword relevant “stuff”, it’s about producing something that is useful to the customer or client. Useful might be informative, it might be entertaining, it might be an opinion on an industry topic. It doesn’t matter as long as it is made with the company’s goals in mind.
In the furore around content you could be forgiven for thinking other aspects of search optimisation simply didn’t work anymore but that could not be further from the truth. In fact, Hit Search SEO exec Stuart Brandwood believes that bread and butter SEO techniques should be top of your priority list.
But what does that mean? When we talk about technical SEO, we’re talking about site structure, META details and other factors which help Google to understand your site, to categorise it and rank it within that category.
You could have a site full of great content but if it lacks a cohesive structure or organisation, Google may struggle to make the most of that content and present it to the user. The best way to ensure that Google can make sense of the site is to focus on the simplicity of the site map and the internal linking structure. Don’t bury your great content under a larger volume of not-so-great content; and never - ever - duplicate.
User Experience and CRO
Most companies will introduce key performance indicators like reaching a certain ranking position or increasing traffic by a certain amount, but regardless of the sub-targets that the company sets, the bottom line will always be the ultimate barometer of success.
For this reason, conversion rate optimisation and the user experience of your site is an essential part of the marketing mix. Of course, we’re not telling you anything new here. Making money is obviously the most important factor here. But did you know that conversion rate was also informing your website’s ranking strength.
Two very good reasons to take a good look at your website in 2015 and ask if it could be improved to benefit the user - and the bottom line.