As Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, there are more mysteries than answers. Things have changed entirely since the beginning of SEO. However, regardless of how the industry has evolved over the years, algorithms are getting smarter and search engines are getting better in indexing user content.
SEO is still the number one option for practitioners looking to boost their organic traffic. The best solution for SEO practitioners is learning how to improve On-Page SEO by optimizing for users and largely focusing on the fold.
Optimization – The term optimization reminds me of “Google Hummingbird”. As you all know, Google has been the leader in Search Engines. The term “optimization” refers to how relevant search results are based on the user’s intent. With each introduction & update of Google algorithm, the browser makes an attempt to think more like human and deliver the best search engine results. With Hummingbird, Google attempts to become “human” in order to deliver relevant content to its users in the least possible time.
Good UX/ User Experience – More and more companies are learning that in order to stay competitive, they need to be investing in user experience. The exact definition, as outlined by the International Organization for Standardization, is a “person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use and or anticipated use of a product, system or service.” Or, more simply, the user experience is how you feel about every interaction you have with what’s in front of you in the moment you’re using it.
I am detailing out few measures of user experience so that you can use it to test your website –
- Page Load Time– Page loading time is obviously an important part of any website’s user experience. And many times we’ll let it slide to accommodate better aesthetic design, new nifty functionality or to add more content to web pages. Unfortunately, website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites. Additionally, page loading time is becoming a more important factor when it comes to search engine rankings. You can check your website loading speed using GTMetrix, Pingdom Tools etc.
- Placing most important information “above the fold”– The term above the fold has been used in the newspaper industry for ages. It just means above the fold! In the online world, the term translates to mean above the scroll downline. You don’t need to put all important content above the fold. This part of the page, however, creates a visitor’s first impression, so it deserves special attention. The job of the above-the-fold content is to engage people enough to get them to take some action—something other, that is, then click the back button. The desired action might be clicking a button or filling in a form, but it can just as well be scrolling down to read the rest of the page.
- Responsive Website & Easy Navigation– If your user needs to access your website’s sitemap to find the desired information, this is not a good sign. Rather, strive to make your website as simple and responsive as possible so that users can intuitively navigate through whatever they are looking for. On an average, if it takes 4 or more clicks to access the desired information, this is too many clicks!
- Limit Pop-ups– Are you trying to entice your visitor with a pop-up announcing a freebie or a discount, are you asking them to enter their email address and subscribe to a marketing newsletter or buy a product from an affiliate or whatever. Visitors dislike bombarded with pop-ups and this leads to higher bounce rates and ultimately leading to lower rankings.
- Create informative and engaging content– Finally, above and beyond all other factors, web users today are browsing for high-quality content. They want information they can use right now. They are searching for original, shareable, potentially viral content that can help them achieve their own online and professional goals. Create content that precisely matches the search terms your users enter. You also want your user to be able to nab it, blog about it, share it, or use it to make purchase decisions — whatever they desire to do — in a few seconds as possible.