Social media marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat may get all the headlines, but it is still search engine optimisation that is the key to generating sales online.
Social media can be great for branding and generating discussion about products and services, but for targeted leads it is hard to beat being at the top of the first page of search engine results. If someone is looking for a new television, they may well ask their friends and followers for recommendations, but most people will end up searching for the product – and you want your site right there.
So, what does search engine optimisation (SEO) mean in 2017 and how can you make your site stand out from the billion other competitors?
Search engine algorithms have come a long way since Sergey Brin and Larry Page first described their Pagerank algorithm twenty years ago. The number of links pointing a website or webpage are still important, but they now make up one of dozens of other metrics search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo use to rank pages for particular search terms.
For online content to perform well in search results, it must now be authoritative. This means that not only does the content need to be well researched, well argued, and professionally written, but that it also must gain the attention of important influencers in the field both through social media and more traditional news outlets and blogs.
According to LD SEO Sydney, people now spend upwards to 10 hours per day on internet-connected devices, and much of that time in on smartphones and tablets., with the split around 60/40 for most Western nations and as high as 70/10 in other countries like China and Brazil. This means that it is vital for all websites to look good and work well on mobile.
Google’s Android holds the lion’s share on the mobile market, and the search giant has used its clout to push websites to get their website’s up-to-scratch for mobile users. If a site does not work properly on mobile in 2017, Google warns mobile users in its search results before they click. As such, if your website is not mobile optimised, you will be missing out on mobile clicks no matter how good the rest of your SEO strategy.
As the online world becomes ever more mobile focused, this means search engines will increasingly be able to take into account the location of the user when delivering results. If a user searches for “restaurant in London” while in Canada, they are probably looking for choices in London, Ontaria rather than London, England – and this search signal can be very important for mobile search.
Photograph by Lalmch