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In a business world that happens online much of the time, and where potential clients reach first for their iPhone or computer keyboard in the quest to answer any question or find any product, SEO (search engine optimisation) can be crucial to commercial success.
SEO, put simply, is an attempt by a business to put clients who may be interested in their online service in touch with their website, by aligning web surfers' browsing intentions with their online marketing. Here are the hottest tips on how to make your website the first that appy-happy consumers click on.
We spoke to MatchOffice SEO consultant Christian Højbo Møller for the latest tips.
1. The intention of the customer is paramount
Too often, SEO can seem like an attempt to trick customers who might not have any interest in a website into funding its revenue with their clicks. But people browse the internet with an intention, and the purpose of good optimisation must be to capture the interest of the most relevant potential customers.
"The success of SEO is not just to capture clicks, but to satisfy the consumer intention, and keep them on your site", says Christian.
"A click followed by a swift 'back' is as useless as no click at all - and actually have a big negative impact.”
2. Keywords are the SEO of the past
Anyone who has read anything about SEO is obsessed with keywords. They used to form the backbone of good optimisation, as search engine algorithms relied on finding consumer words in the phrases of articles online.
But now, says Christian, "Google understands, better than ever, what you mean when you search". Newer algorithms use the connected keywords of previous searchers to 'learn' what it is that people really want to read.
"For an example if I searched for good birthday presents, and then searched for a card fem minutes later, then Google perhaps understand that I am looking for a birthday card and will show me that."
3. Online user experience means SEO success
It might sound obvious, but making sure that visitors to your site have a genuinely useful and enjoyable experience is the best way to increase the performance of your site.
"The more original, interesting content you produce, the better. While list features might crack up your click statistics, if your content is boring and people leave your site unsatisfied, then keywords and search engine wizardry are unlikely to make a difference".
"People only share things they think that other people will enjoy".
4. So long, so much better read
"In general, longer written pieces will perform better in search engine optimisation than shorter", says Christian.
"Breaking up your content with sub-headings will mean that people can more easily browse through, enabling them to find the information they need without getting bored and clicking back to the search results or their newsfeed.
Many sites list the sweet spot in article length between 1200 and 1500 words.
5. Get mobile
Depending on the service that you offer or product that you sell, it may be that consumers are more likely to search you out via mobile. If that's the case, (or even if it's not!), you ought to make your content equally searchable on other devices, as well as desktop PCs. Making sure that Google can easily access and understand your content in a mobile site is a tricky business, but a crucial one to access that all-important portion of the internet market.
"It was over two years ago, in 2014, that mobile browsing overtook desktop browsing as the number one way to use the internet. To not optimise based on mobile devices is a ludicrous method of online marketing."
6. Keep it visual and striking for more interest
The first thing that catches a potential consumer's eye when they browse online is the image that you have used to accompany your text. It's an easy way of filtering out those that have lazily searched stock images to fill the space, from those that have used interesting and individual image creation and photography to illustrate their ideas. The latter will always draw in more traffic, and keep your customers and visitors interested and happy.
"Focus on your audience. Would you want to read an article with a 100x100 image with little relevance, and clickbait text? Nor do those on your website."
Read more about Social Media Optimization:
American Marketing Association: Six SEO rules for 2016
Entrepreneur: Here's what really matters for SEO in 2016
Marketing Zen: Social media Optimization - 10 important factors for 2016