Viewing the ‘bigger picture’ of your website’s SEO and marketing performance is vitally important. It’s all well and good focusing on different aspects like link building, Meta tags and speed, but when you start to think about how they all link together in an organic ecosystem, your search engine optimisation efficiency will skyrocket.
Consider how each activity affects or relies on another. For example, sending high quality links to a website that loads at a snail’s pace isn’t going to get you anywhere. As is publishing great content that is impossible to read on a mobile device.
It’s important to follow best practice for each SEO task individually as well as overall.
Here are four aspects of SEO that are possibly the most important to consider when designing and auditing your website.
By now it should be clear that content is king. But it’s not as simple as just having pages and pages of content up on your website with keywords in mind.
A whopping 91 percent of online content generates no traffic from Google, according to research conducted by Ahrefs. But why? What is it in particular that Search Engines are looking for when it comes to determining what ‘good’ content is?
Content aimed at User Intent
The SEO landscape as evolved to strongly focus on user intent. A large proportion of Google ranking shifts in the past year were attributed to experimental algorithm changes, including new neural matching capabilities and the dawn of neural embeddings.
Essentially, Google’s algorithms and AI are working to better understand the real meaning behind people’s searches, what they are looking for, and how to best accommodate their needs.
We’ve already seen the likes of answer boxes, knowledge panels and diverse SERPs as a result of these changes.
You could argue that content relevant to user intent is the most important factor in SEO. After all, if your content isn’t relevant, why would it be shown to users?
How to optimise for user intent
- Understand the intent of your keywords (informational, shopping, navigational).
- Analyze the SERP of these keywords and see what type of content is ranking.
- Research semantic similarities to that keyword and optimize content around those terms.
Whilst SEO usually seems like you are optimising your website purely for Search Engines and robots, it’s important not to forget that it should also be done with real users in mind.
Look at your website and content from a fresh perspective, paying particular attention to how engaging your pages are.
Pages Per Session
The Pages per Session metric indicates how many pages a user views before leaving your site.
This metric will give you a good indication of how interactive and engaging your website is, in terms of navigation. Comparing this with the user flow you will be able to see where the most drop-offs happen and the most common behavioural patterns.
It can also show you how users are consuming your information. For example, if a user is browsing through multiple blog pages or articles, it’s a good indication that your information is valuable and engaging.
A high bounce rate could mean that your content isn’t relevant or engaging, however it could also mean that users have found exactly what they’re looking for from a single page and have no need to continue browsing your website. It all depends on the type of information you’re offering and what you would expect the behavioural flow to be like.
A strong technical structure will have an impact on overall user experience and engagement. Having a good foundation will help all other aspects of your SEO, and likewise if your technical structure is crumbling, no matter how much effort you put into other SEO factors, it will be a struggle to rank.
Be sure to pay particular attention to:
- Clean URLs
Interlinking your content is important for both Search Engines and users alike, and affects multiple different SEO aspects including:
- UX and IA
- Link Building
Be sure to keep your content organised in a hierarchy that doesn’t nestle any pages too ‘deep’ in the link structure.
By adding breadcrumb navigation to your website, a clear hierarchy is laid out that both users and robots can utilise.
Generally, your hierarchy should be designed from a top-down approach, allowing search engines to crawl and index certain pages under buckets or clusters.