As we consume more and more information digitally, it is vital that not only does your digital presence share what makes you unique but is created to help customers find you. Unfortunately, the “if you build it, they will come” mentality won’t work these days. Now, it is important to ensure that your website is user friendly, updated and contains content that Google will recognize as worth sharing.
Why mention Google specifically? Google owns about 90% of the market share when it comes to searches in most parts of the world. Search engines like Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and others make up the rest of the market. Since Google is king, its policies are the standard for how people interact with search engines. So how do you make sure that they see your content is worth sharing?
Search engines are building a picture of you
Search engines are looking at more than just the words on your website. They want to know who you are, what you do and what audiences are looking for you. They analyze everything connected to you, like your social media platforms and the quality of sites that link back to you. As the political and global landscape has evolved, the desire for reliable information has grown. Search engines like Google pull information to determine how your content fits into their E-A-T (expertise, authority and trustworthiness) guidelines. Keeping your content up-to-date, informative and factual is more important than ever. This also means keeping all your social media platforms current, as well.
Consider the user experience
COVID-19 changed consumer behavior dramatically and forced us to adapt to “new normals.” Companies that didn’t evolve were – and will continue to be – left behind. The same goes for your digital presence. Your website is being ranked on its speed and functionality, among other things. The easier it is for your customers to find the information they need and the better your site functions, the higher your site will be ranked in search engines. Is your website user-focused? Ask someone who isn’t familiar with your website to look at it and see if it operates as smoothly as it should, both in functionality and content. If they find it difficult to navigate, then so will search engines and your pages will be ranked lower.
Know how your customers find you and adapt
Most of us have heard of search engine optimization (SEO) even though we might not know exactly what it means. SEO has been around for years and strategies have changed over the years. Initially, the more times you put a keyword or phrase in, the better your page would rank. That kind of behavior is now considered spammy and will result in a lower ranking.
Good content is key. If Google ranks your pages higher in the search engine results page it is because your content is able to answer the questions being posed. This also means writing content in the way that the users are asking it. We don’t phrase our questions to Siri, Alexa or Google “make pancakes.” We ask questions like “How do I make pancakes from scratch?” or “How do I make pancakes fluffy?” Search engine intelligence has adapted to recognize the user intent behind the question and will only get better at it. Your content needs to do this, as well. Research the phrases your customers use to find you and include that in your content.
Your organization is great at what it does. It’s vital for customers to be able to find you to learn that. A well-crafted digital presence that includes content that answers the questions your customers are asking will help them navigate their way to your front door. Creating and maintaining a digital presence can be a challenge. If you’re not sure where to start, Chartwell can help.