Three letters are crucial to your site’s success: SEO. Search engine optimization is basically making your website appealing to search engines, with a heavy focus on Google. When your SEO is on point, you’ll get more organic traffic - non-paid, voluntary browsing by people who are interested in your software.
Tip #1: Use natural, well-written text
Search engines recognize when text seems repetitive or grammatically incorrect. For example, Google recognizes synonyms in text and factors it into the keyword analysis it does on pages. This means if your FAQ page is talking about protecting sensitive data, it’s best to use a variety of synonyms - data breaches, leaks, hacking, cyber attacks, information breaches - rather than just using the term “data breaches” over and over again.
Tip #2: Don’t copy other sites’ text/images
Search engines also recognize phrases, paragraphs, photos, and graphics lifted from other sites. You might not copy other sites’ text with bad intentions - maybe you’re using wording from a supplier or manufacturer - but Google notices duplication from anywhere on the web and ranks your site lower for it. If you must include certain wording, link to it or add it on your resource page.
Tip #3: Create SEO-friendly internal links
Build your site so that it naturally includes references to other information within your site, with in-copy links to preserve the flow of the words. The key word here is "naturally"— don't just stick links in because you haven't added one in the last couple of paragraphs. Be sure that it actually pertains to the subject at hand.
Tip #4: Use keywords and remember voice search
Make sure your site includes a variety of keywords that are important to your business. And remember, voice search - speaking words aloud - is how 20 percent of mobile users look for information. The basic structure of data of your pages must include the right keywords to connect with voice search.
Tip #5: Keep it short
Don’t go overboard on product descriptions, FAQs and other site text. It’s hard to tell precisely how long is too long - Google won’t say, exactly - but if people have to scroll and scroll to read long blocks of text, it’s way too long. And not just for Google, but for the average human's attention span. (Our increasingly-digitized lifestyle has now reduced our attention spans to a mere eight seconds.)
Tip #6: Make sure it’s mobile friendly
This is perhaps the most important issue in modern SEO. Google began giving preference to mobile-optimized content in 2015, and Bing and other search engines quickly followed. Making a site mobile friendly doesn’t just mean paring it down to look good on a smaller screen. Google has a helpful step-by-step guide to mobile optimization.
Tip #7: Freshen it up
Create a blog and update it frequently with new content. Ideally, pick a day (or days) to post each week, and stick to it.Ensure the blog posts are genuinely helpful to your customers and contain in-text links to pages throughout your site. When you have new posts, share them on social media as another channel to build organic site visits. Has your blog been around for awhile? Investigate the posts from the early days, and see if there's anything you can freshen and re-publish. This will take some of the heat off of your content writers and ensure that you stay on schedule.
Tip #8: Cover your basics
Remember, there are some other very basic things search engines use to rank your page:
- Page load speed. Beyond 3 seconds, users will abandon it and it will be ranked lower.
- Enormous images/files. Scale down and optimize your pictures for web use.
- Redirects. Each time your entire page redirects to another URL, it dings your rating.
Tip #9: Run free analytics
You can also take a few easy—and free—steps to check your page:
- Install Google Analytics or other analytic tools.
- Check Google’s Search Console for errors that can be fixed easily.
- Use Google Keyword Planner to see if you’re using the right words.
- Try the Google Mobile Testing Tool to ensure your entire site is mobile-friendly.
Tip #10: Give it some personality
Don’t forget about the value of your brand’s voice. A friendly brand is relatable to customers, which encourages them to visit your site and social media more often. Yes, you should take your business seriously, but not so seriously that you sound like you're writing stereo instructions every time you blog. Add a touch of personality with cheerful text, engaging photos, customer service info, and testimonials from happy customers. Soon, you’ll see an uptick in organic traffic from people who view your business as a friend.
SEE ALSO: Ways to Promote a Site Without a Budget
SEO is one component of growing your digital presence. If you're ready to boost your digital growth even further, click here to download FastSpring's guide, What You Need To Know About Selling Online.