SEO and web development are two processes that are crucial for any business. The processes go hand in hand as your SEO and your website work together like peanut butter and jelly to make each one successful. You can’t reach your marketing goals unless you use a strategy that blends these two elements together to form the perfect union of the two. Read on to learn more about how to use SEO and your website to their best advantage in support of your goals.
SEO or search engine optimization helps your content rank higher when users query with terms related to keywords used in crafting that content. SEO is a complex series of related strategies involving your website, content marketing on your website and social platforms, choosing keywords that match user intent, and mastering the algorithm used to calculate rank.
Let’s start with the Google algorithm used to determine rank and how it works. I use Google as my example since this search engine accounts for over 92% of online search meaning it produces an outsized impact on the success of your marketing strategy. The net goal of Google’s algorithm is to provide the best results to users. That’s how it got to be the most used search engine.
Why should you care about SEO? Because where you rank in a search has a huge impact on the performance of your website, as you can see below. After about the 5th position, your chances of getting a click through to your website dwindle to near 0.
No one knows exactly what the algorithm looks like except that it contains a large number of factors with different weights assigned to each factor reflecting the impact of that factor on rank. The highest weight is given to factors easily determined by running Monte Carlo experiments as well as hints provided by Google itself on its blog. The algorithm changes frequently with major changes every year to ensure the algorithm continues to provide the best user experience.
Among the most impactful ranking factors are:
- social signals supporting the value of your content such as low bounce rate on your website, engagement on social media, and backlinks from other websites
- page load speed on both mobile and desktop devices as reflected by Core Web Vitals
- a secure website using the HTTPS protocol
- match to search intent as reflected in keywords associated with the post
- other website factors we’ll discuss below.
As you can see from our discussion, website development greatly impacts your rank. In addition to producing high-quality content on a consistent basis on your website (and social platforms), several more technical factors impact performance. Site speed, for instance, is based on decisions made during development such as themes, hosting (which greatly impacts speed and uptime), security protocols, and handling content, such as caching. Many of these decisions aren’t impossible to change but most are pretty involved, so making the right decision during website development saves time and money later on.
Other factors baked in during website development impact rank. The most critical of these factors is usability. A website that provides a great user experience through logical organizations, a clear conversion process, and easy-to-use search capabilities vastly improves your rank Factors such as the age of your website also impact your rank, so buying an older domain offers some advantages over starting from scratch.
SEO and your website
It is important to consider both SEO and web design and development to create a successful marketing strategy. Here are some of the key reasons these 2 go hand in hand.
Increase traffic to your website
SEO helps bring traffic to your website. This is essential for anyone that offers a service or product online and can help raise your profile. The more eyes on your website, the higher your conversion rate as, on average, websites convert 1.3% of the traffic visiting the site. Search engine traffic outperforms these averages since a user query often reflects an intention to purchase the product in the near future while traffic coming from social media reflects less immediate need. Traffic from email marketing produces the highest conversion rate since the subscribers have an existing opt-in relationship with the brand.
Once a customer arrives on your website, you can impact conversion rates above these averages by offering a great user experience, constructing landing pages that match expectations, showing how your products address visitor pain points, and using marketing tactics such as influence to motivate a purchase.
Keywords bring more traffic to your website
Keywords are the driver of your marketing success online. The method is as follows:
- You enter new content on your website, hopefully on a daily or at least a weekly basis
- The search engine spider (a piece of code), crawls the internet looking for new content
- Once the spider finds your content, it uses keywords provided in the meta description, your title and headings, and alt image text to classify your content in a massive database based on keywords and ranks your content using the algorithm
- A user queries the search engine using ever-longer strings of words hoping to get a great answer
- The search engine looks through the database to find content matching the search terms used
- The search engine delivers links to content matching the user intent, as reflected by the query. It ranks the content so that content with the highest score shows up right after paid content
- A user clicks on a link until they discover the answer to their question, usually starting with the top links provided
Presenting Content Well
Content is crucial for capturing and keeping your audience’s interest. You should create regular, engaging content in multiple media, including blog posts, images, and videos. Consider your personas as you develop content to reach each persona in a voice that resonates with them, as well as create content designed to deliver at each stage in the buyer journey rather than deliver a dysfunctional journey like the one below.
Creating content on a consistent basis is also important. That means sticking to a publication schedule that meets best practices such as a minimum of once per week for your blog, 1-2 times per day for Facebook and Instagram, 5 times per day on Twitter, and once a day on LinkedIn.
Crafting custom images and infographics not only sets your content apart from that produced by others but gives you the best opportunity to gain attention and backlinks.
Improve the experience for mobile audiences
Your website needs to offer an excellent experience for both mobile and desktop customers. Neglecting the mobile experience is a common and serious mistake, as more and more customers use their smartphones rather than a desktop for shopping. This is in part thanks to the mobile nature of our smartphones, meaning customers can shop on the go.
Google now uses the experience provided to mobile users as an important ranking factor. Hence, most developers use a mobile-first website design.
Gaining expert advice
Since SEO and web development go hand in hand, most companies you find offering one service usually provide the other as well. This is excellent news for businesses looking for an agency to partner with for a comprehensive SEO, marketing, and web design service. You should look for a Web Development company like Moda.design, a business based in Edinburgh, that provides your business with everything from branding to marketing to SEO.
A successful combination of quality web development and SEO will allow you to stand out from your competition, crucial in today’s saturated digital world. It may help to assess your competition to see what they’re doing right and where you can improve.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.