The online business world is constantly expanding. As the world went under lockdown to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, people went on an online shopping spree to cope with the ‘new’ normal. But even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the availability of smartphones and an increase in the accessibility of internet services added tremendously to online traffic.
Going online is not enough. As a business owner, you should have a fair idea of popular trends and how they could impact your business n the future. What products are high in demand? And how customers know precisely what they want? The answer to these questions lies in Search Engine Optimization, widely known as SEO.
Search Engine Optimization is how businesses bring high quality and quantity of traffic to their websites. When you create powerful content targeting user search intent, you will see incoming traffic on your website increase organically.
However, increasing traffic can be difficult if you are unaware of the characteristics of your website visitors. Where are your users located? Which age group do they fall in? Or how many times did they visit your website? To answer these questions, business owners can use a website traffic checker to find more details. By using this tool, you can also view how well your competitor’s website page is doing.
One way to experiment with the success of your content is to search your own website on Google. If you don’t see yourself appear on the first page of the search result, consider yourself invisible in the eyes of Google.
As Google changes and updates its algorithms now and then, businesses must adopt best SEO practices to increase their visibility on search engines. Don’t know what these SEO best practices for staying relevant in 2021 are? Continue reading.
1. Your Content AndSearch Intent Should Be In Sync
Search intent, also known as user intent, is the reason why the customer uses search engines. Are they looking for a product? Do they want to buy something in particular? Or are they merely there for information?
Since Google aims to provide the most relevant answers to the query sought, your content should always be aligned with the user intent. If this is not the case, the possibility of your website being invisible to Google is high. One of the best ways to ensure that your content is relevant is to keep user intent in mind when creating the content.
Here are the four types of search intent that you should be aware of:
- Transactional: when the searcher intends to buy a specific product. Typically, they will search for something like ‘iPhone 12 price’ or ‘buy Samsung Galaxy s10.’
- Navigational: when the searcher intends to find a particular website on Google. In this case, people almost always know the exact domain name, but instead of writing the complete URL in the address bar, they simply type apple, Facebook, or Amazon in Google search.
- Informational: when the searcher is looking for information. For instance, you must be looking for ‘best SEO practices’ and eventually landed on this article!
- Commercial Investigation: when the searcher is on the internet to search for a product, but they don’t have a specific brand name in mind. Phrases like ‘best smartphones’ or ‘top 10 New York Times bestsellers’ are examples of commercial user intent.
2. SmartTitle AndMeta Description
The title is the clickable headline of your company website that appears on the internet search result, while the meta description is a summary of your page placed right below the title. Though the title and meta description does not rank your article or page high on search, it guides users to your website. So always make sure that your content aligns with the title and the meta description.
To display your title fully on the Google SERP, keep your title between 50 to 60 characters long. On the other hand, meta descriptions can be 150 to 160 characters long. The ideal meta description contains the keyword and compels the user to click on the title.
In any case, avoid using duplicate meta descriptions; Google highly discourages this practice. Also, do not use non-alpha characters or quotes. The key is to remain short and sweet!
3. Achieve Optimal Page Speed
What is the most frustrating thing when you are browsing Google? When the page takes FOREVER to load! In this contemporary online industry, where convenience and speed are everything, opening websites that take ages to load is a nightmare.
Businesses don’t realize this, but they lose a customer or have low traffic because their website takes too long to load. This, ultimately, leads a potential customer to your competitor’s doorstep, or in this case, their website.
Another reason why Google pushes online businesses to have optimal site’s loading speed is the mobile-first concept. The widespread use of smart devices has reduced the usage of desktop computers. As a consequence, websites need to be mobile responsive. This means features and navigation on the page should be easy for people to operate on a smartphone or tablet.
Achieving an optimal loading speed is easy when you:
- Shrink the size of images used in your content
- Avoid using redundant plugins
- Avoid using heavyweight themes
- Lower the number of redirects
4. The Bottom Line
Not inculcating SEO practices to boost your website’s visibility is a mistake that you, as a business owner, cannot afford to make. This holds true even more so for 2021 as the pandemic has significantly increased digitalization and online traffic – a trend that is not dying any time soon. While the list above shows only the top three techniques that ensure quality online traffic, there is a long list of other SEO practices that you must adopt when creating and marketing your content.
Before finalizing on SEO practices, just remember that you are not the only business or company looking to attain the top position on Google search results. Whether you are operating in a niche or a mass market, the competition is tough. It depends on what type of content you are creating and to what degree it aligns with the user intent. If you have a good command over both these aspects, you are all set to soar high in 2021.