Staying on top: Easy wins for SEO and User Experience with routine maintenance (Pt. 3)
26th July 2018 - 0 comments
Written by Lauren Heno
Making the most of your online presence
As the digital marketing landscape continues to evolve, it is a constant challenge to keep pace. Maintaining an effective online presence goes far beyond setting up a new website; it involves creating a responsive virtual business interface where visitors can find useful information and interact with your brand.
Add a blog and keep it updated
In order to build a successful online presence you need to offer visitors regular, useful content that keeps them coming back for more. If your website doesn’t currently have a blog, we highly recommend incorporating one. A blog enables you to write up-to-date articles on topics of your choice that will be of interest to your readers. It also shows visitors that your website is still current, up-to-date and regularly maintained, demonstrating your commitment to user engagement.
Page and content updates are also an important ranking factor for search engines, so a blog is a great way to ensure a regular flow of content that keeps the Google bots on side. If there are several members of staff in the company, why not share the workload and plan ahead for blog posts? Varying the authors will add character and can help users feel more connected to who you are, but be sure to brief everyone of the pitfalls of posting online and review everything before it is uploaded.
Lacking ideas? Why not write a review of a product or service e.g. one that is complementary to yours, and that you think will be beneficial to your visitors; or carry out an interview with someone your readers would find interesting? Even better, record the interview and upload it to your website in both written and audio-visual format, offering visitors more variety in how they access your information.
Another way to boost readership of your blog is to repurpose content into infographics, social media posts and email blasts so that users can engage with your content in the way that best suits them.
Make sure all areas are updated, not just your blog
While blog posts can be particularly helpful for SEO, it’s important that this is not the only area that is regularly updated. Your company and markets will change over time and it is important that the information provided on your site reflects this. For example, if you have a guide that was uploaded last year but is still largely relevant today, it is best to read over the guide, update it where required and re-upload it to your site, referencing the updates. This also applies for all content listed on your website.
Staff changed? New services to offer? Make sure your website is up-to-date on all that is happening at your company. Also, try and keep testimonials as up-to-date as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask for and encourage them, and remember to add them to your website – they can have a huge influence on potential customers.
Other websites (directories are a good example) often pull information from your social media accounts and website to create a company profile. It is important to track what sites hold data about your company, as well as ensuring that the information they do have is up to date, requesting changes to inaccuracies when needed.
Link to/from social media
Social media is now an integral part of most companies marketing communications activity and while it clearly has more to offer in B2C markets, it can still be of great value in B2B. One often overlooked benefit of social media is the impact it can have on SEO. Social profiles have an influence on the content of search engine results and are often amongst the top results in search listings for brand names. Moreover, when conducting a brand name search in Google, the company’s Google+ profile information will appear in the right-hand sidebar of the results page. This means that it is one of the first things a searcher will see, so it’s important to have a Google+ profile that is both up to date, and engaging.
Another way social media can impact SEO is through link building. When used correctly, social media can increase valuable traffic to your sites and can be used to drive awareness to new visitors. As content is shared/retweeted, its reach grows, placing it in front of new audiences who may then link back to you.
Social media is also a great way to connect with other businesses and potential clients. A great way to boost your posts and reach a wider audience is through the use of hashtags.
Hashtags work as a way to categorise content, allowing others to find your posts. However, knowing how to use hashtags correctly can be fundamental to your success on social media. The first step towards building hashtags into your social marketing strategy is to make a list of popular industry related terms that are certain to gain the interest of you audience. Once you have that, you then need to incorporate them into your posts and join in related conversations. Building a social media presence takes time, but hashtags are a powerful way to increase engagement and attract new leads, so it’s important to start using them straight away. Hashtags are also a great way to monitor what content is being shared by other industry experts as well as keeping an eye on competitors.
People check their social media feeds on a daily basis, which means that you can control what your followers see about your company and keep them up-to-date with company news, products and services. LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for this in B2B, however as with all social media profiles, upholding your company’s reputation is key. It is important to ensure that, as far as possible, all employees linked to your company have social profiles consistent with your brand. Their profiles are directly linked to the company page, so it is important to have guidelines in place advising employees on the use of social media, as their actions can have an impact on your company’s reputation.
Wondering what to do first?
Throughout this three part series we have covered a range of topics to help boost SEO and UX of your website, from getting to grips with the technical, legal and security requirements, to keeping up-to-date with website design and development, to making the most of your online presence. However, before you embark on a major overhaul, it’s always a good idea to take stock of current performance, to see how individual changes affect the results against this benchmark. You could even try some A/B testing to see what works best. The results might not be what you expect and could help to inform decision making about further changes.
The next thing to do is set yourself a target. Think logically based on your user’s needs, requirements and desires but also the function and role of your website. What do you need it to do? What changes need to be made? Are you able to make the amendments yourself or do you need a developer to help? Once you have decided on this, create a plan and set targets.
As you can see throughout this series, there are a number of relatively simple measures you can take that should make a big difference to UX right away and improve SEO over time. However, we understand that even the simplest updates can take time which is why we are on hand to help. Why not get in touch today to see how we can help boost SEO and UX for your website?
Written by Lauren Heno – Digital Marketing Communications