As well as being the website design expert for Emphasize Design of Calgary, I am also responsible for all things SEO. Search engine optimization walks hand in hand with the design and functionality of your website. Intuitive site information architecture, great, easy-to-read, and informative content, combined with attractive, brand-friendly design are just as important for SEO as your keywords and meta data.
This downloadable report titled 20 SEO Myths You Should Leave Behind in 2018, provided by HubSpot, points out that over the last ten years SEO has changed so much that today’s tactics hardly even resemble those of a decade ago. One dominant theme is the increase of transparency when it comes to getting good search results. Black hat online advertising strategies have been virtually eliminated, which is good news for ethical site builders and marketers like us at Emphasize. A well-crafted website that is carefully maintained and updated is your best bet for scoring well in search engine results.
Below I will provide a few of the points that resonated most with me from HubSpot’s report, which prove we remain on the right track when it comes to SEO. These essentials are consistently incorporated into the sites I build for our clients.
1. Content is King
Back in the day, to rank well in searched sites needed to build a lot of links. It was not uncommon for site owners to create hidden link farms that had the single purpose of linking to a site’s target page, and that would greatly improve SEO results. Links are still important, but now it’s how you build them that matters. Appropriate and varied content that links to other appropriate and varied content is how you will build your value with Google. Hiring a professional to write your content is always highly advisable.
2. A Secure Website is Imperative
Given the prevalence of hackers today, as well as the uptick in buying online, secure websites are imperative to your SEO. This survey carried out by HubSpot found that 85% of consumers will not keep browsing on sites that do not have https: prefacing their URL, rather than just http:. HTTPS is an acronym for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, and is enabled with a valid security certificate from a recognized certificate authority. It encrypts data so that outside entities cannot track the user’s site activity, “listen in” to conversations, or steal personal data.
I’m very proud of the website insurance and maintenance package we offer our clients. For a small fee each month we will provide automated backups, security maintenance and monitoring, unlimited content and image updating, blog support, theme and plugin updating and even insurance against damage caused by hackers. Let us take all of this off your mind so you can put all of your energy into your business.
3. Good Meta Descriptions Can Earn More Clicks
People are savvy searchers these days, and landing at the top of search results does not necessarily mean you will get a click. Users can tell very quickly whether you are offering what they need. A good meta description that succinctly describes what is on your page and entices people to visit your site, followed up by useful content that meets the needs of your visitors, is just as important as your rankings.
4. Natural Keywords Work Just as Well
It used to be that website content had to perfectly match the keywords used in searches, which was extremely painful for writers who had to try to work in unnatural language such as “website design Calgary” and “best SEO Calgary” into content in order to duplicate what someone might be searching. Thanks to improvements in geo-targeting it’s not as necessary to include locations adjacent to keywords, and better machine-learning algorithms are able to ascertain the intent behind natural-language search terms and find the pertinent content.
5. A Good User Experience Should Always be the Goal
When Google’s algorithm provides you a list of pages after a search, they really do want to provide the user with high-quality choices. By presenting certain sites before others they are, essentially, endorsing the businesses that have been “chosen.” In order to keep you coming back they want to make sure you enjoy your experience with the recommendations they are making.
That’s why, as long as you provide quality content that is easy to find and presented well, you will tick all of Google’s boxes simply by focusing on your client.
Five More Tips Coming Up!
In my next blog I will go through five more tips for improving both your SEO rankings as well as the overall quality of your website. As well as SEO services, Emphasize provides content development, social media marketing, brand reputation management, and analytics and data services to small businesses in the Calgary area. Contact us today!