Depending on how much you know about SEO, you may or may not be aware of these tips, but it's well worth your time to memorize them: These little SEO tips will pay off big.
How Fast is Your Website?
You might not think of load time as something that’s important to your search engine rankings.
But you’d be wrong.
How long do you wait for a website to load? When you’re on your PC or laptop, maybe a few seconds. On your phone? Who has time to wait at all? The average user will wait three seconds—THREE SECONDS—before they hit that back button. And according to Google, the average time a mobile landing page takes to load is a whopping 22 seconds.
You can see the issue here.
Google takes note of the “bounce rate”: the time it takes someone to leave the site. Bounce rates increase by 32% when the load time goes from 1 to 3 seconds; and it goes up to 123% once the load time reaches 10 seconds. What is Google supposed to think in this scenario? That your site isn’t worth ranking at the top because it no one wants to stay on it.
So make sure your site loads quickly. Here are a few ways to do it:
Don’t use unnecessary plugins
Don’t pile too many graphics, videos, or fancy scripts on the landing page
Work on Your Brand Reputation
We have discussed this in detail in several posts, so we won’t rehash it all here. However, it is important to remember that reputation has always been an important part of marketing—even in the days before the internet. But nowadays, brand reputation is more important than ever. People search for online reviews and they’re one of the most significant factors affecting local business rankings. Google obviously has come to the (correct) conclusion that people would rather visit the websites of highly-rated companies.
How can you get more positive reviews?
Ask satisfied customers to leave a good word when they leave your store (or have a sign reminding them).
Promote your site on social media and ask people to leave a great rating if they’re satisfied.
Make the links to review sites such as Google and Yelp obvious on your site. The more places customers see it, the more likely they are to follow that link. However, make sure you aren’t harassing them to take action, or you’re likely to get an angry review instead of a good one.
Be Patient—and be in it for the Long Haul
In a world where we can search for something and have our questions answered in 5 seconds; where we can stream movies or songs with the click of a button; where we can order packages and have them on our doorstep in 2 days, we aren’t used to waiting for things.
In fact, humans are getting worse at it. Just look at some of these statistics—we won’t wait longer than a few seconds for videos to load. We need same-day or two-day deliveries, even going to the lengths of paying extra for this service. We don’t want to wait in lines. We won’t wait for movies. And, most absurdly, recent studies even show a majority of Americans will knowingly consume hot food or beverages that burn their mouths because they just don’t want to wait for it to cool down.
Did you read all of that? Well, if you did, congrats: You might just have the willpower to get a head start on this tip. People need to have patience for SEO to work. There is NO instant gratification in SEO, unfortunately.
SEO takes time to reach its full effect, and once it has, that’s not the end of it: it needs to constantly be adjusted to meet current best practice standards. But SEO is undoubtedly important: People find the information they want by searching for it using popular search engines. Local businesses rely on it even more, as 72% of consumers who did a local search will visit a store within five miles. 28% of searches for something nearby will result in someone purchasing something. These statistics speak for themselves: SEO is necessary if you want to attract customers.
So, there you have it: Make sure your site loads quickly, focus on getting positive reviews, and most importantly, be patient and work on SEO over time. You WILL see results if you keep at it.
Need any advice or help with your website? Talk to one of our personal marketing consultants and we’ll get you on the right track!