Category Archives: Search Engine Ranking

 

Essentially, boosting your Twitter ranking means getting your Twitter account to feature in organic search result pages (SERPs). This, in turn, will help your website and its content get found.

But what if your Twitter account is not ranking in search results or you find that its’ ranking position is fluctuating?

Here’s 4 simple tricks to get your Twitter profile indexed and ranking for queries that relate to your content and your brand …

1)     Create a clear and informative profile using your Twitter handle and bio.

  • Your ‘real name’ on Twitter is searchable, so consider the keywords that clients may be using to search for you online. If you work on your own you may want to use your name. Otherwise, use your business name. This helps your branding and generates consistency across all of your social media channels which Google likes to see.
  • Choose an appropriate ‘user name’ – otherwise known as your Twitter handle and avoid being too vague or using initials. If you’re called Sue’s Florist don’t go by @SMflowers use something like @StAlbansFlorist or @SueWeddingFlorist as this really shouts about what you can offer.
  • Write a simple, short and snappy bio as this is likely to be indexed by Google. To boost your Twitter ranking, consider using popular keywords for your industry that’ll help you get found. If you are a local business, make sure you use local keywords too.

2)     Curate your Twitter content carefully.

  • Avoid multiple tweets as this looks spammy. Instead, plan a couple of well thought out tweets each day for maximum impact. Share relevant news and add value to any re-tweets by adding a comment of your own.
  • Use hashtags to make your tweets searchable. Spend some time researching popular hashtags that are relevant to your industry. You can also include popular general hashtags such as #MondayMotivation or #WednesdayWisdom to boost your posts.
  • Pictures and infographics are a popular way to boost your Twitter ranking and often help to gain interest in what you have to say.

3)     Include links and URLs in your tweets.

  • To drive business back to your website you need to make sure that you include links to your website in a proportion of your tweets. Whilst you can shorten URLs on Twitter with online tools such as Bitly, it is often recommended to use the full URL as people are more likely to click through.
  • Share useful information and an in-depth knowledge of your industry by linking to your website content such as new blogs or articles. This will help build your social authority.

4)     Engage with your Twitter followers and build relationships with key influencers.

  • The best way to boost your Twitter ranking is to gain a high level of engagement with your followers.
  • Not all of your followers will add value to your online presence, so it can be a good idea to regularly review who you want to focus on interacting with. Choose people who are key influencers within your industry. Make sure you tag people by their username if you tweet about their business and always thank people for any likes or re-tweets. Join in conversations and take part in any local or industry relevant Twitter hours as these are a great way to boost engagement.

So, why not start working on boosting your Twitter ranking today! You’ll soon reap the benefits of an increased profile of your brand, more traffic to your website and higher sales. And don’t forget to send us a tweet at @SEO_StAlbans – we’re always happy to connect on social media.

For more information on how to boost your Twitter ranking, feel free to get in touch with a member of the Wagada team.

 

Working in the search engine optimisation industry we know that great content can really add value to your website. Therefore it was really interesting to read that a recent SearchMetric report has shown that natural, relevant and high-quality content is a must have if you want to help improve your website’s ranking in the search engines. The key focus here is on high-quality content, which must be one of your main priorities if you really want to make an impact on how the search engines perceive your site.

What the search engines are looking for at the moment is not only lots of content, but also content that is truly relevant to your customer’s wants and needs. They want to see you offering something of real value to your readers. SEO experts have noted four main criteria that you should include in order for your content to meet all of the requirements of the search engines. So if you can keep these in mind when planning and writing your website, then you’ll know that you are providing the quality content that Google wants to see – and that your potential customers want to read!

In this blog we’re going to take a look at these five factors and talk a bit more about how you can use them to improve your website content.

  1. Make sure your content is covered in a rounded and comprehensive way

When you write your content, you need to make sure that you think holistically about the general topic as a whole – rather than simply focusing on just one keyword. It means that as well as writing about the key topic, you also need to look at related issues and sub-topics and include those as well. As the Google algorithms get more sophisticated, they are now able to work out words that relate to each other and are likely to be relevant to each other. This is known as co-occurrence analysis. So, if you were writing a blog about bridal hair styling, it would recognise that hairdryer and hair salon were complementary phrases. However, if you included the word restaurant in the same blog, the search engines would pick up that it was not relevant to that topic.

It’s all about context and so before you write your content, consider which subjects complement each other, and think about the other sub-topics that your readers may want to find out about, which could be a good fit within that article.

 

  1. Ensure that your content is the right length

It’s very tempting to think that because people are often time-poor these days, that this means that content which is short and snappy would be more popular. Statistics show that this is not the case, and in fact, sites which have longer content are more likely to rank higher in the search engines. It’s also really interesting to note that content which had between 3000-10000 words actually received more social shares too. The reason for this could be that the longer an article is, the more value it actually adds to your readers, as you can include far more in-depth information and a greater and more helpful level of detail.

 

  1. Include engaging images and videos

Research has shown that including engaging images or interactive videos in your content can really help your search engine rankings. Google can tell when you have enriched your text with images and it definitely correlates to a higher ranking for sites that take the time to do this. It has also been found that posts which included videos or pictures gained twice as many social shares as those without. When you add images to your text, make sure that they are optimised as well to make them easier for Google to find.

  1. Make sure your text is readable

We all know that consumers want websites which are easy-to-use, and a user-friendly website is valued highly by Google too. Part of making a site usable is ensuring that any text or content is easily readable. When high-ranking websites were reviewed, it was found that they all had content that was easy to read. When you have written your content you can review it using one of these readability tests. It’s also worthwhile re-reading any old content on your site to make sure it meets the readability requirements that the search engines require.

  1. Encourage social sharing

Although Google says that they don’t currently use social signals as part of their rankings, it has been noted that many articles which do have a high Google ranking also have a large number of social shares on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. We feel that encouraging customers to share your articles on social media still has an influence over your site optimisation as it means that more people visit your site, and it will help you to build and increase your brand profile.

As you can see the quality of the content on your website can have a huge impact on where your business sits in the search engine rankings, and there is a lot that you can do to review and improve your content to support your online proposition.

Firstly, think about your content holistically and consider the sub-topics that might add relevance or bring real value to your readers.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to make your content longer and in-depth.

Thirdly, add images or video clips that will bring your articles to life for your customers.

Fourthly, when you have finished writing your content, check it over for readability to make sure that it will be easy for people to read.

Finally, encourage online influencers to share your content on social media to get more clicks to your site and improve your brand profile.

By focusing on what your customers want to see on your site, you’ll also be giving the search engines what they want to see and helping your business to rank higher in the search engines.

How so successful businesses get links to their websites?

If you are familiar with optimising your website to gain a high ranking in the search engines, then you will know that a great way to encourage Google to view your website as credible is to get some high-quality links pointing to the content on your site. The reason that such links can provide a boost to your search engine ranking is that a link from a high quality site can transfer valuable ‘link juice’ to your website. This means that Google recognises that a website that they view as authoritative is recommending your site – and therefore they take that to mean that your site must be credible too.

However, it’s not always easy to get the type of links that you need to help your company move up the search engine listings.  Whilst you could get a high number of low-quality links relatively quickly, this will not provide your site with the credibility that it needs. In fact it may actually end up damaging your search results due to the fact that Google will view lots of low-quality links as ‘spammy’ and may therefore categorise your site as a spam site too.

So, how do successful businesses get high-quality links to their sites and what can you learn from them? We’ll look at some of the great ways that they generate links and explore how this could benefit your business.

  1. Build SEO into your PR and marketing campaigns

What we notice about the top firms is that they have very much built their search engine optimisation into their marketing plan as a whole. Rather than seeing SEO as a separate entity, it is fully integrated into the businesses’ marketing and PR campaigns. Reaching out to online influencers via great PR is a brilliant way to get natural links to your business, and getting your marketing campaign right means that you won’t even need to ask people to link to you – they will be so impressed that they will want to do it!

  1. Target the most influential sites for your industry

When you are link-building, you need to make sure you target the sites that will work well for you. For example, if you are a clothes boutique then a link from a fashion blogger will be a lot more valuable to you than a link from a technology site. There are two reasons behind this. Firstly, the more relevant the site is, the more likely it is that your link will be clicked on by interested people who are eager to buy your product. Secondly, Google is very keen on links being relevant, and so if a company who has few connections to your industry links to your site it won’t have as much power and authority in the eyes of the search engines.

  1. Blogs and editorial comments are some of the most linked to content

Of course, when it comes to gaining high-quality links, content is always really important and it is interesting to note that, other than paid links and PR links, the most linked to content is blog posts and editorial comment. Sites will want to link to articles that are useful and relevant to their readers, so it can be really important to provide interesting and inspiring blog posts and to add new content on a regular basis.

Link-building is a fine art but if you manage to get it right it can really pay dividends in terms of helping your website optimisation and seeing your website rise up the search engine rankings. Make sure that you consider SEO holistically as part of your marketing and PR campaigns, target the sites that will bring you the highest levels of authority and keep on creating interesting and relevant content such as blog posts. These tactics have been really successful for a number of top businesses and they can work for your company too!

A Beginners Guide to Vlogging

If you take an interest in the online world and enjoy reading or writing blogs, then you might have noticed that there’s a new kid in town – the vlogger! Vlogging is simply a video version of a blog and its gaining popularity fast, especially with the younger demographic. Some famous vloggers such as Zoella are even getting book deals and product ranges based on their online presence.

We already know that blogging can be great news for your website – it attracts potential customers to your site, shows Google that you are an authority in your industry and can get you lots of social shares and recommendations. However, many people are now asking if vlogging can have the same powerful effect. We think that vlogging can be brilliant for your business but there are also a number of issues that you need to consider before you create your first video. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the vlog.

Vlogs can bring your business to life

Vlogs can really show you at your very best to your customers. If, as with many small businesses, you are the face of your brand, then it’s a great way for potential clients to get to know you before they decide to purchase your product or service. When you create a video, it builds a very immediate connection between you and your viewers. It’s as though you are there with them in their living room having a chat! People often feel more engaged with a vlog than a blog and it shows the human face behind your business.

However if you are planning to make a video you do need to consider your own personality and whether you would feel comfortable featuring in a vlog. It’s great if you are confident and bubbly but if you are more of an introvert you might not enjoy appearing in a company vlog. Don’t worry though as you can still utilise online video. Maybe you can narrate off camera whilst showing viewers around your premises, or you could encourage other members of staff to get involved on screen. Ultimately you need your confidence and industry knowledge to shine through, so if you feel happier with the written word then don’t be afraid to stick to blogging instead.

Vlogs are a great way of showing off your product or service

A picture may speak a thousand words, so just think what a video can do for your product! The great thing about vlogging is that it can literally show your customers how your product or service works in a way that a two dimensional photo just can’t do. If you’re selling a product, then a video enables you to give a live demonstration of how customers can use it. For example a hardware store might want to publish some “how to” vlogs about various D.I.Y. tasks or a florist could show clients how to create a simple floral table decoration. Vlogs can really help potential customers to understand what you do, and they are also a great resource to show off your industry knowledge and to encourage customers to keep returning to your site as a hub of information.

Vlogs appeal to the younger demographic

Vlogging has a great appeal to younger customers, particularly the under 25s. They love engaging with vloggers and will really expect to see some video content on your website. Whilst older customers can enjoy vlogs too, they may feel more comfortable with the written word, so before you decide to start a vlog, think about your customer demographic. If you are looking to appeal to a young clientele, then vlogs are a great way to do so. The under 25s are also more likely to share your content on social media if they like it, so make sure you get it right! It’s worth taking the time to do some research first to see what sort of video content your customers are looking for, so that you can ensure that your vlogs reach your target market.

Make sure you have the right vlogging resources

If you’ve invested in great branding for your business and spent time and effort setting up a fantastic website, then you don’t want to let your business down with a poor-quality vlog. This means that it’s important to make sure you have the resources you need to create high impact video content. Blurred images, fuzzy sound and patchy editing will look unprofessional and could end up losing you credibility online.

A good camera and a high-tech editing package means that you can create professional looking vlogs that your users will really enjoy watching. Don’t forget to add the extra finishing touches such as music, graphics and subtitles too.

Don’t forget to write a vlog transcript

If you’re keen on vlogging, you need to remember to add a written transcript to your website too. At this point in time, Google doesn’t have the ability to watch blogs which means they are not able to index them. To ensure that Google knows what your vlog is about, add a description or transcript to your page. You will need to do this to make sure that Google can rank your content in the search engine. It’s often recommended that you embed your vlog into a short blog post based on the content subject.

A transcription can also be useful to customers who are hard of hearing or who have English as a second language, and it means that clients can print the transcript too if they want a written record of the information on your vlog.

Vlogging is a fantastic way of reaching your customers and of highlighting your products and services. Before you start your vlog, make sure you have high quality equipment and that you feel confident on camera! Don’t forget to research your target market too, in order to make sure that you are vlogging about subjects that interest them, and always add written content to help Google index your site. We think we’re going to see more and more businesses utilising vlogs in the future and so it can be a great idea for your company to get a head start in the vlogging world!

When deciding where to position a site in their search engine rankings, Google uses a number of complicated algorithms to determine how to award the places. Usability, high-quality links and good content are just some of the factors included. However, because the algorithms are fairly fluid and are regularly updated, they incorporate many other elements too, one of which might be click through rate.

Click through rate measures the number of people who click onto your site via a search engine query. For example if you were to search for “the best pizza restaurant in Hertfordshire” you would see the results listed on your screen, and the one that the majority of people chose to click through to would have the highest click through rate.

Many SEO professionals are starting to notice that click through rate could work as a ranking signal – but is this really the case? Google have not given a definitive answer to this question and some SEO companies feel that measuring the click through rate for the vast range of search terms used would be too hard to implement even for Google! However several digital marketing experts have decided to do their own experiments as to whether click through rate can actually impact on ranking. Rand Fishkin of the popular MOZ blog performed a trial last summer that showed that when he spent over an hour clicking on a particular site for a particular search term (he used the search term ‘best grilled steak’) he saw that site quickly move up from number 4 to number 1 in the rankings. However there was a query as to whether this was a short term fix and whether this intensive clicking would only produce short term results.

Search Engine Land contributors Cesarino Morellato and Andrea Scarpetta have also conducted a detailed experiment into whether click through rates have affected a sites ranking in the search engines. Interestingly their experiment did show significant results. After a week of activity, the clicked URL improved its ranking from the 10th to the 3rd position and maintained an average rank for the rest of the time between the 4th and 5th positions!

If you would like to find out more about the full experiment it’s definitely worth a read. To summarise, their conclusion was that whilst they couldn’t say that click through rate was definitely a ranking factor, they did believe it to be a significant offset which would change the search engine results so that there was a correlation between the clicks and visible ranking of a query. This means that making sure your page has an engaging title and well written meta description, in order to encourage people to choose your site to click through to, can have a really valuable effect on your rankings.

We thought this was a fascinating message. At Wagada we have definitely noticed a link between the click through rate and page ranking – and have been testing this out for a number of our clients to great effect!

One of the things that we love about working in SEO is that it always keeps us on our toes! We are always looking out for changes to the way that Google perceives websites and how it ranks them. Recently we noticed something very interesting on the topic of longer meta descriptions when we were doing some work for our client James and James and we wanted to share it with you.

Meta descriptions provide the text that sits below your website name in the search engines. This snippet of information is actually really important as it is usually the first piece of information that a customer sees about your company when they search online, and is the information that they use when deciding whether to visit your website, or someone else’s.

How were meta descriptions traditionally used – and what has changed in recent months?

Traditionally we have always advised to keep their meta descriptions fairly short and sweet. The recommended limit is between 155-158 characters. This made writing a meta description a fine balancing act. If you made it too short it might not provide enough information to encourage potential customers to click through to your website. However if it was too long Google would cut it short – meaning that your customers might miss out on seeing vital information.

However during 2015 we have noticed that actually there are a number of longer meta descriptions out there that seem to break these rules, and which suggest that things are changing when it comes to the length of your meta description.  A recent survey by MOZ showed that a significant number of snippets now did in fact have more than the recommended amount of characters and, whilst doing a search for the term ‘fulfilment’ for our client, we noticed that the top searches had meta descriptions which exceeded the recommended amount.

Why Google is allowing longer meta descriptions?

So why is this happening? Google’s aim is to provide search engine users with the most relevant and useful experience and one way of helping customers to make their selection is to provide more detailed information about them on the search page – rather than risking customers spending time clicking onto sites that don’t meet their needs.

However this also means that webmasters may not have as much control over their meta descriptions as they used to have. As Google looks to match queries more accurately they are taking more liberties with snippets. This could mean that even if you make your meta description longer Google may still choose to pick out other information from your site that it feels is relevant and won’t necessarily display the text that you write in the meta description.

We think that these changes are definitely ‘one to watch’ in the SEO world in the early part of 2016. It will become increasingly important to make sure that your meta includes the right keyword themes for your site which may mean that longer meta descriptions become the norm. However we may also see Google retain more control over your website snippets as they Google adwords logomove towards a fully user friendly experiences for searchers. We are a Google Partner so you can be confident that we will stay ahead of all the latest developments. Find out more about our Search Engine Optimisation service, tailor-made for all budgets. 

LinkedIn has become so successful since its launch in 2003 that it now ranks third behind Twitter and Facebook in terms of the number of unique monthly visitors it receives. However we find that many businesses and professionals can underestimate how useful their LinkedIn profile can be. This means that they often don’t pay enough attention to their profile. In order to ensure that you are getting found by the customers and clients that you want to connect with it’s vital to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is professional, optimised and up to date.

We have found that lots of people don’t realise that you can actually optimise your LinkedIn profile so that you can get found more easily in the search engines – and look more professional online. It’s simple to do and it could have a really big impact on your business, so here’s how you can go about doing it.

Create a customised URL for your page

Creating a customised URL for your business or personal page gives a much more professional feel to your profile and it makes it much easier for people to share your page online. It can also improve your click-through rate as people can instantly see what the link is about and are more likely to use it to visit your profile.

A standard LinkedIn URL usually just has a number code at the end so anyone receiving a link to your profile or seeing a link on social media may be reluctant to click through to your page. However you can make a personal URL i.e. http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmith simply by clicking on your public profile settings then going into your public profile URL (found on the right-hand side) then customising it with your name or business name.

Use keywords to optimise your LinkedIn profile

Just as you use keywords to optimise your website you can use them to the same effect on your LinkedIn profile.  Think about the kinds of words or phrases that people might look for when they are searching in LinkedIn with reference to your industry, product or service and make sure that these keywords are included within your page. It can be particularly important to place them in high profile areas of the text such as your headline and summary.

Make sure that anchor text for website links are optimised

If you have links through to your website or blog on your LinkedIn page you can make sure that these are optimised too so that they offer more information to people viewing your profile. This means that they are more likely to want to click through. Instead of using the default text links you can modify the anchor text by editing your profile. Begin by clicking Profile >> Edit Profile at the top of the page. Then click the Contact Info section, click the pencil icon next to your website links, and select Other in the drop-down menu.

Now you will find that instead of simply having the word ‘blog’ as your link you can add in keywords that are relevant to what your blog is really about i.e. ‘Wagada’s SEO blog’.

We think LinkedIn is a really valuable tool for businesses and it definitely makes sense to take the time to optimise your LinkedIn profile for the search engines. You might also want to make sure that your profile looks polished and professional by adding a custom background photo relevant to your business, making sure that your latest customers have endorsed you and keeping your details up to date.

If you are designing your business website and starting to think about how you can make sure that your product ranks highly in the search engines, then one of the key things that you need to think about is how you can put your website users first. The website optimisation industry is no longer about being re-active to consumer trends and opinions but rather about being pro-active in understanding your audience and putting them at the centre of your online proposition.

In fact at a recent SEO conference the delegates discussed how the focus within the industry was moving from SEO (search engine optimisation) to SUO (search user optimisation). As we see a rapid change in search technologies from the increase in mobile search to the new voice search options businesses will need to move forward towards building increasingly user centric websites. Of course at Wagada we like to provide the latest innovative techniques to help our clients get to where they want to be on Google, so here are some of the things that we feel you should be focusing on when considering your website optimisation.

Understand your user and get intuitive!

To build a great website you need to really understand what your potential customers want to see on your website and how they will use it. Make use of all the data that you have about your customers from their age to their geographical location, hobbies, interests and the search terms that they might be using. Ask yourself how they interact online, what papers they read and what social media they prefer to use. Once you have collated your data it is recommended that you build ‘personas’ for your customers and refer back to these constantly whenever you are making any changes or developments to your website. Customers want businesses to intuitively understand their needs and to be aware of their preferences and will expect to see this when they search online.

Include search queries that go beyond keywords

The way that your customers search for information online is changing, and as search engines get ever more sophisticated – so should you! You need to look beyond only considering simple keywords which will only take you so far. Instead you could try using long-tail query sites to help you understand the different phrases that people are using to search for your product or service.  You could even search relevant forums online to find out what the demographic that you want to target are talking about, and take a look at any relevant items that are trending on social media such as Twitter or Facebook. You should also look at what search terms your main competitors are ranking for as well because this can give you some guidance as to how your target audience is currently using the search engines.

Make site usability and speed a priority

Getting customers to visit your website is only half the story to successful optimisation. Once they are there you want them to stay and fulfil their purchase. If possible you want the option to upsell to them and of course you want them to keep coming back and to recommend your site to others. One of the best ways to do this is to make your website as usable as possible. To do this you must make sure that it will meet your customer’s needs and deliver what it promises. Make the customer journey through to purchase as easy as possible and think about what information your customers might be looking for and how you can clearly signpost them to it. A key part of a usable site is the speed with which it loads so pay attention to this too. Slow pages or graphics can lose you customers instantly and increase your bounce rate so make sure that your customers can get to your site quickly and easily.

Remember that content is still a vital part of SUO

Content is key in SEO and it is still a vital part of an SUO proposition. However businesses now need to think about content holistically.  Rather than simply generating content as a place to put your keywords start to think about how useful your content is to your user. Google really wants to see articles that have a real relevance to your audience so you need to go beyond just basic content. Think outside of the box when it comes to your product or service. For example a travel company might write not only about holiday destinations but could also offer checklists of what to pack when you go away for the summer or ideas for entertaining children on long flights. By keeping your content fresh and useful you will also encourage your customers to keep on coming back to your site.

Build your own community of online influencers

The power of social media has really increased over the last couple of years and if you can build a supportive community of online influencers who will share and promote your business you could see real benefits. Use your Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts to connect with your audience and keep them up to date with content that they will want to read and share with others. You could also consider connecting to bloggers who are relevant to your product or service and who will be able to help you spread the word online. Make the most of social media to see what topics are being talked about that relate to your business and you can then use them to inform your content and learn more about what potential customers want to see on your site.

Keep up to date with your search results – and those of your competitors!

The search engines are constantly changing and evolving so you need to keep up to date with the world of search engine optimisation. Make sure that you check your rankings frequently as this will enable you to make simple changes as and when you need them rather than suddenly realising that you have dropped down the rankings. It’s also worthwhile seeing what your competitors are doing and keep an eye on the market as a whole. This means that you can then pro-actively respond to any changes that you see and implement any successful ideas that are working well for others.

The world of website optimisation is changing at a fast pace, and as you can see it is vital to keep abreast of any changes within your industry. Build and create a website that has the user at its heart, know your audience and don’t forget about making it fast and usable too. Make the most of what social media can offer your business and build a strong online community. By doing this you should be able to maintain a strong position in the search engine rankings and reap the benefits that this will bring to your business.

The bounce rate from your website is one of the most talked about, but perhaps the least understood, Google Analytics metric. However, understanding your bounce rate and working on factors that can reduce your bounce rate can greatly improve your conversion rate, and can potentially offer a boost to ranking.

So what is your bounce rate and what does it tell you? Well in simple terms the bounce rate is the number of people who click through to a landing page on your site but then go no further into your website. They simply take a look at the landing page and ‘bounce’ out again. You can view the bounce rate for a particular page, such as a campaign landing page or home page, and for your website as a whole.  People often believe that bounce rate is linked to the amount of time people spend on your page but that is actually a separate metric and does not have an impact on your bounce rate.

Bounce rate is a really important analytical tool as a high bounce rate tells you that something is amiss when visitors come to your site. Most website bounce rates are in the region of 30 to 60%, depending on the types of keywords you are targeting and the types of content that people are consuming. Blog articles often attract a higher bounce rate, as this type of content can rank for a wide variety of keywords, and visitors often arrive, digest the blog article and then go elsewhere. The bounce rate to your Contact Us page may also appear to be high – as people may only be searching for a telephone number, or to send you a contact email. A high bounce rate should therefore be analysed within the context of the type of traffic and the intentions of those people arriving at the website.

However, a high bounce rate may be a sign of problems with your website. Firstly, the quality of visitors coming to your site is low and you are not attracting the kind of online visitors that really fit with your product. Secondly, your site may not be offering the right customers the value that they need, it may not be relevant or helpful enough to them to get them to stay, or enticing enough to encourage them to delve further into your site. Obviously if you have a high bounce rate then reducing it should be a real priority for your business, so here are our top tips for how to reduce your bounce rate.

Ensure that your website is getting high quality web traffic

If the people visiting your website are coming for the wrong reasons then your bounce rate is going to be high as it is a sign that your site is not reaching the target demographic that you want. This is bad for your ranking and bad for your business as if you are not getting the customers who will be attracted to your product or services then your sales will plummet.

So how can you rectify this and encourage high quality traffic to visit your site? Firstly a keyword review can have a big impact. Make sure you are using the right keywords and long-tail keyword phrases that your potential customers will be using. It can be worth using a keyword tool to help support you with this. You will also want to look at your marketing channels and who they are reaching. Ask yourself if you are connecting with the right people on social media and if your marketing materials are correctly targeted. Doing some customer research on how people search for your product or service can also provide you with really useful guidelines as to how people are finding your site.

Create a strong call to action on your landing page

A strong, visible call to action is a great way to encourage customers to go further into your site. Often web pages are just not clear enough and they fail to tell customers what they need to do next. Use buttons, banners and heading text to clearly signpost to your website visitors what you need them to do next i.e.:

 Click here for 50% off bargains

 Click here to find a restaurant in your location

You also need to make your call to actions relevant to your customers and they must match what the customer is expecting to find. So, if you are advertising a sale online, they may be confused if they land on a homepage with no obvious mention of a sale. Try to use campaign-specific landing pages if you are running a marketing campaign as this enables you to create a clear and relevant call to action.

Create customer relevant pages with great content

Great content is always recommended as it can boost your website in a number of ways and this is particularly relevant for reducing your bounce rate. Interesting and relevant content keeps customers engaged with your website and the more they want to read, the more likely they are to stay on your website. Good content encourages customers to visit other areas of your site and you can help signpost them to this by using “if you like this you might like…” buttons which will keep them clicking through to other relevant pages.

You should also aim to make your content easily readable. Long, informative articles can be a fantastic way of attracting traffic, but long paragraphs of content can be daunting and difficult to read. Split your content into small chunks and use the tools for writing for the web successfully: bullet points, sub-headings, split content up with images, write in short paragraphs, make phrases bold, add links to additional information…

Make sure you pages are easy to use and well formatted with a clear user pathway

First impressions count in life and the online world is no different. Research has shown that customers take only 8 seconds to take a decision about whether to stay on a page or leave it so you need to make every second count!

It’s important that your page looks appealing and engaging and it’s just as important that it loads quickly and isn’t hampered by pop up ads that will just annoy customers and cause them to leave your site. Making sure that customers are signposted to where they need to go clearly and accurately can have a really positive impact on reducing your bounce rate too, and a site that is clear and easy to use will encourage customers to keep coming back.

User intent gives us a strong indication of whether a high bounce rate is a problem. If you think your high bounce rate is caused by user dissatisfaction, or the wrong visitor demographic, act fast to protect your ranking and your conversion rate. Google is taking user interaction into account in its ranking more and more, so having dissatisfied visitors can negatively impact on your ranking. Find out more about our conversion rate optimisation service.

When you undertake any keyword analysis for your website it can sometimes appear to be very daunting. You can be faced with a long list of keywords and search terms but might not always be sure of how to use to use them to best effect on your website. We have found that it can be really beneficial to split the keywords that you find into two groups for narrow and broad targeting. Narrow content strategies focusing on very specific terms which are searched for with a clear intent. In contrast, broad content strategies look at how you can employ more expansive search terms that may have a higher volume of searches.

How to analyse your keywords

When you have your keyword list you can assess each keyword to work out which category it falls into. Here are some of the key factors that you could look out for to help you narrow down where each keyword or phrase belongs.

Narrow Search Terms usually focus on a very specific search term. For example a women’s fashion store may have “blue mother of the bride outfits” on their list. This search shows that the user has a clear idea of the specific product or service that they want to purchase.  There tends to be much smaller search volumes for these terms as they are very particular and are not always easy to expand out into other phrases.

Broad Search Terms are far more fluid and there can be a number of reasons why a user may be putting in those terms when looking online. It could be that they are doing some research, looking to purchase or looking for further guidance.  These broad search terms can be easily adapted to other phrases and often have a very high search volume as they are more general. So our example of the fashion store could have “outfits for weddings” as one of their broad search terms.

How to utilise your narrow and broad keyword terms for search engine success

Once you have assessed your list of keywords and search terms you can then use this to your advantage when planning your website. For the broader terms you can make sure that they are used at a higher level in your site plan. As the terms themselves are fairly flexible you can look at the long tail keyword phrases that could work around them. You could also incorporate them into blog posts.

Then, for your narrow keyword terms, you can focus on using them to help customers find very specific products which they don’t want to spend ages searching online for. These narrow terms can be used to split larger pages into more product specific sections so with our example you may use ‘Wedding Outfits’ as your page title, then direct customers to “mother of the bride outfits” and finally allow them to drill down to their chosen product by colour.

What are the benefits of this dividing search terms in this way?

Using this type of targeting has many benefits both for your customers and for your website. Firstly it really helps you to understand the ways that your customers are trying to find your product or service online. This means that you can create your site map to capitalise on the search keywords, using the broader search terms to inform your heading and page titles, and then building on the narrow search terms for more specific product details.

Secondly it helps to provide the user experience that the customer really wants. So for customers who are researching general terms they will want to be given more wide ranging information and guidance to help inform their choice. Likewise customers looking for something very specific and with a clear intent will want to be taken to that product or service quickly and efficiently and including the narrow keyword terms in the right places will ensure that they can do this. We know that Google really values a great customer experience and so this will positively impact on your website’s place in the search rankings too!

Taking the time to analyse your keywords and to work out where to use them on your site really will pay dividends both in terms of happy customers and a great ranking with the search engines.