When it comes to SEO, the basics will never change - quality content, an easy to navigate website, image optimisation, no broken links etc. These things are the foundations of a good website when it comes to SEO.
I've spoken about SEO basics for small business many times - here's a quick refresher of some places you can hear/read me speak about SEO basics:
🎧 PODCAST: Suz Chadwick - Making your website SEO easy in 5 simple steps
But today I want to briefly talk about 3 of the main SEO players happening in 2022, in my professional opinion. These things are already happening, but 2022 will see them become more and more important for businesses that want to stand out and create a real impact.
That's you, right? It's all of us - so let's get into it!
1. 🧏♀️ Website Accessibility
Your website, right now, might be discriminating against people with varying disabilities such as vision impairments, hearing loss or dyslexia and you don't even know it.
Wikipedia describes website accessibility as - "Web accessibility, or eAccessibility, is the inclusive practice of ensuring there are no barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to, websites on the World Wide Web by people with physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions on bandwidth and speed."
Some examples of a website that isn't accessible to everyone may include:
Not having a screen-reader function
Using colours that are difficult to read
Text that is too small to read and not having the ability to zoom or enlarge the text
Not highlighting internal links
Using flash or visual effects that can cause injury
Not using image alt titles
Just to name a few.
So how can you make your website accessible to all? One of the best and easiest ways is to install an Accessibility Widget, such as the one I have on my website, called EqualWeb.
There is a free, lite version of the widget (the same as the one I use on my website) or you can choose to pay for the premium widgets. I highly recommend this widget for all website users.
2. 📹 Video
Before you roll your eyes and say "yeah yeah I know" - you might know, but are you actually doing it, or has it been on your "shit I have to do" list for the last year?
I'm not talking about Instagram either. Or YouTube.
I'm talking about video content on your website.
Did you know, the conversion rate for websites that use videos is on average 4.8% more, in comparison to 2.9% for the websites that avoid videos?
Or that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text?
Also, Google shows a video thumbnail next to a search result about 26% of the time, and users are more likely to click that listing.
MY FRIEND - video content on your website should be in the top 2 of your website must haves. Like, yesterday!
So how can we use video content on our websites?
If you're a service-based brand, you could:
Create a short welcome video as a pop up on your website, like my new video on my website that you probably just watched 😉
Why do I think this is a great idea? Because it makes you MORE HUMAN! There is nothing better than seeing and hearing the person behind the brand/business on their website. Your potential clients/customers can get a sense of your personality, create a please emotional connection with you, and this helps them to feel more comfortable with you.
Comfort + connection = trust in you and your brand.
Create a short video on one of your services
People find it far easier to listen to you speak about your services or what you do than they do reading about it. It's faster to listen to a 60 second video than it might take them to read it.
Video explanations can help you...explain, what you do in less time that it might take you to write it, especially if you're writing your own website or package/media (however, do not skimp out on writing, words are super important not just for those who like to read, but for SEO).
You might have a service that even you have trouble communicating via writing, but when you explain it on video the words just flow out. Your potential client/customer can also see your passion and joy when you talk about your service, which is likely to have a flow-on effect and make them excited to work with you.
And lastly, video content keeps people more engaged on your website than reading text. We want to keep people on our websites for as long as possible - this signals to Google that people are willing to spend their time on your site which means your content must be valuable and engaging = SEO goals!
If you're an e-commerce brand and have an online store, two of the best pieces of video content you can create on your website include:
1. Product video descriptions
Seeing what a product really looks like, sounds like, the way it moves, the shape, the colour, and from different angles is like seeing your product in real life - and way easier to understand the product than reading about it (especially if the product description is lacklustre or non-existent).
Here's a couple of examples
3. Page experience - thinking more about creating a visual experience + an engaging story on your website
People's attention spans are shorter than EVER, due to the ever increasing content consumption on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. We're scrolling past content faster than a speeding bullet - this means that your content has to be freaking good and capture the users attention SO FAST.
Creating short form content that gets to the point will help increase the likelihood of the user consuming the full piece of content you create, rather than scrolling past it or exiting within a second and probably missing your call to action.
When I talk about 'visual experience' I'm talking about creating your own images, video and other content for your website that thinks a little bit outside of the box. Creating content that is unique to you, not doing what every other website is doing. Get creative. Take risks.
One of the BEST examples I can show you of this is Wordfetti's website - it's a visual delight and keeps the user engaged in the most creative way I've seen in years. It's a work of art.
But at the same time - getting *too* creative can sometimes backfire - it might be so clever that people get lost on the site, which runs a higher risk of people exiting because it's just too confusing.
At the end of the day, your website needs to speak to your target audience, it needs to make their eyes pop, and their fingers clicking. Visuals and special affects on websites has never been more important if you want to stand out from the ever-growing crowd.
YOU KNOW WHAT HASN'T/WON'T CHANGE WHEN IT COMES TO SEO?
Easy to use website
No broken links or pages
These are things that every website should have as a base - they're not negotiable, they're required. And there's no excuses to not have your basics sorted.
There's also no excuse to ignore SEO or not have even a basic SEO strategy - you can't expect magical website and SEO results if you don't do the work.
And it doesn't have to be rocket science! I'm Desktop Monthly SEO Planner keeps you accountable, on track, and helps you stick to the plan. It's a constant reminder that SEO SHOULD be in the forefront of your mind when it comes to your business and digital marketing.