If you’re like most Internet marketers, your ultimate goal is to get on page 1 of the search results. But have you given much thought to what you’ll do when you get there? You might think that you can simply relax, enjoy lots of free traffic and high conversion rates and not have to worry about doing any more SEO. This would be a critical mistake. In fact, the concern for continued optimization is even greater (not less) than you think. This may require a different kind of optimization.
The primary reason for this is because the Internet is exceptionally competitive, and your competitors are just as intent as you were to get on page 1 of Google and working as hard as you did to get there. This meaning, you’ll have to work just as hard to stay on page 1 as you did to get there in the first place. If you remain passive, your competitors will successfully take your spot in just a short time.
A second reason is that once you get on page 1, you’ll have more traffic coming to your website, either remaining there or leaving right away. If visitors choose to leave, it’ll be a message to the search engines that your website isn’t providing users with what they’re searching for.
Although basic optimization techniques like keyword research, content creation and link building might have gotten you to page 1, other criteria such as user behavior and user experience become very important in determining whether your website will stay there. In order to stay on page 1, you’ll need to develop further advanced SEO strategies than you were initially using.
User Behavior and User Experience
An ideal place to start is by analyzing user behavior. One method of conducting this is by using the navigation summary that Google Analytics provides. This will help you to follow your visitors’ path when they arrive at your website. So for instance, if you find that most visitors go right from your home page to your products page, it might be an indication that your home page needs more detailed product information.
Additionally, you should check which traffic sources deliver the most targeted traffic to your website — a particular article or specific web page, for example. You’ll then need to ensure that your articles or web pages are as relevant as possible to the specific traffic sources. This will generate more positive user behavior which in turn gets picked up by the search engines.
One important element of user experience is the website loading speed (having been a critical part of Google’s ranking algorithm since 2010) which holds greater emphasis on positive user value. Aside from user experience, faster loading web pages improve indexation because more pages can be indexed in the time allocated by the bots. Ultimately, this will increase traffic, page views and conversion rates.
Consequently, slower loading web pages will have a negative impact and rankings can suffer if the search engines have a difficult time trying to crawl them. Also bear in mind that search engines will take into account negative user behavior with respect to slower loading pages. To assist you in monitoring your website’s performance based on visitor experience, analysis services such as Synthetic Web Performance Measurement and Real User Measurement are available.
On-Page Advanced Optimization
Advanced SEO tactics for maintaining your rankings should include more sophisticated on-page optimization. For instance, besides optimizing your content for targeted keywords, you ought to fully utilize synonyms and mix them into your content to make it look as natural as possible.
One way to search for synonyms on Google is by using the tilde sign before your search term. This way, you’ll also be able to see how the synonyms rank on competing web pages. As you increasingly use synonyms in your content, your website will begin to rank higher for more relevant long-tail keyword terms.
Effectively, another way is to utilize what is called relevance authority. If you put up a web page that’s dedicated to defining the keyword term for that page, it will rank highly since the search engines will regard it as the most relevant match for that keyword. For example, if you have a website devoted to music, web pages completely devoted to definitions of rock music or classical music will push your website up in the rankings.
Of course, you should be aware that you’ll need to regularly update your content. Also keep in mind that this doesn’t only apply to your general website content, there needs to be regular fresh content on all individual pages. Doing this will encourage the search engines to visit your website more frequently, and in turn it will boost your rankings.
Consequently, the less often you update your web pages with fresh content, the less frequently the search engines will visit them and your rankings will slide. In addition to adding brief updates to individual page content, other simple ways to update your pages include adding a Twitter Feed or inviting posted comments.
One easy thing you can do to keep your pages updated regularly is to have website content that’s clearly structured and organized. Doing so will make it clear to the search engines which parts of your website are optimized for your targeted keywords. One effective way to keep your website organized is to use a silo structure where there’s clear navigation from your home page content to other pages optimized for secondary keywords.
In this hyper-competitive world of the Internet, it’s not enough anymore to get ahead – you must stay ahead. To achieve this, you’ll need to do a lot more than what you’ve been doing. You’ll must be proactive in predicting what users and the search engines will be looking for and work toward giving them far more than they expect. Search engine optimization is about the future and if your website isn’t ready for this, it sadly won’t survive.