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16 Website SEO Musts for a Higher Search Ranking

Search engines strive to create the best user experience possible, providing the most relevant, useful information based on the user’s search terms. If they didn’t, users would no longer rely on them for information.

This is good news: the more relevant, informative and useful user experience you create, the better the chances that search engines will serve your pages. By practicing good search engine optimization (SEO) habits, you can continually work to increase your search engine results page (SERPs) position. Here are some top SEO practices for SERP success.


On page (your website) SEO practices:

1. Relevant keywords: Using a keyword tool can help determine which words will help attract the most visitors based on popular search terms. Pick the most relevant, popular keywords for your business and try to rank for different keywords on your web page.

2. Short, catchy and original title tags: Title tags describe what your website is all about while attracting the user’s attention enough to (hopefully) click through to your pages. Limit the title tag description to 55 characters so it will display well on SERPs. Keep title tags descriptive yet short and sweet to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page.

3. Keywords at the beginning of page title tags: Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.

4. Keyword focused meta descriptions: The meta description appears under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a chance to learn more about your company before clicking into your site. Aim for a meta-description length of 150-160 characters.

5. Proper sitemap: Make sure your website’s structure is up-to-date and easy to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier search engine crawlers can find and index pages. Aim for a three-click rule—customers should find what they need on your site in three clicks.

6. Properly structured, SEO-friendly URLs: URLs help crawlers to figure out page topic and relevancy. Creating short URLs with your keyword in it, using “-” instead of “_” between words as well as static words (rather than numbers) will help users and crawlers read URLs faster and easier. Also, try to use sub-directory root domains instead of sub-domains.

7. Link internally with anchor text: Linking internally to your other web pages adds keyword-rich internal links to every page. Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your site, provides readers with more reading options and improves ranking for some of your keywords.

8. Outbound links: Referencing and linking to reputable (authoritative) sources shows you are a helpful internet information steward that is willing to share pagerank. On the internet, helpful sharing is caring.

9. Website’s loading speed: Search engines do not like slow pages as they know that users will not wait long for a website to load. Strive for lickity-split load times.

10. Really helpful content: Create relevant content on your pages that is easy to read, unique, helpful, fresh and grammatically flawless. Your content should be so helpful and relevant that your target audience will want to stay on your page and others will want to link to it.


Off page SEO practices:

1. Search engine submission: It can take a while for search engines to find and crawl your site. You can help to speed up the process by submitting your website to popular search engines.

2. Local directory submission: Submitting your business listing information to top or niche directories creates more places where users can find you and crawlers can confirm your business information. Be sure to submit NAP (name, address, phone number). And, if possible, website and category. A high percentage of searches are by keyword rather than business name, so strive to use category information wherever possible.

3. Social media marketing: Be present on all relevant social channels and manage your online reputation. Strive to get likes, shares and links by being 80% helpful and 20% promotional.

4. Video marketing: Help users find out about your business by sharing your relevant and helpful videos on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, etc.

5. Backlink outreach: Earn backlinks by conducting content PR to get others to read your pages and possibly link to you. The more quality backlinks your web page has, the more authority it has, and the more search engines will deem the page as relevant and useful.

6. Forums and communities: Answering questions in forums and communities can help to build your reputation as an industry expert. This can provide a possible opportunity to include your website or blog link if it is relevant to the answer.

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55 Stellar Statistics for Websites

Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of design, functionality and content stats for websites.

Imagine a world where a single, gigantic shopping mall hosted a store for every business across the globe. It’s easy to imagine that any business that doesn’t have a store in this mall may as well not exist, as every consumer looking to shop would come to the mall to find what they need. If a business was nowhere to be found in this mall, the consumer would shop at one of the other infinite stores. Simple solution: all businesses need a store. However, simply having a store in the mall is not enough. Each store needs visible signage spread all throughout the mall to entice consumers, and businesses need to be accurately listed in the mall directories so shoppers know they exist. The more often a business and products/services are displayed and mentioned around the shopping mall, the easier it is for the shoppers to locate the store. Another simple solution: businesses need visible signage, and accurate listings in the mall directories. But, again, there’s more to attracting customers than just having pretty signs, and the store itself has to provide value, too. Once the consumer walks through the door, the look, feel and contents of a store have to be good enough to keep customers from turning around and walking out again.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Good thing this shopping mall doesn’t exist, right? Wrong. The thing is, this shopping mall exists. It’s called the Internet. The store is your website. Everything that holds true for stores in our fantasy shopping mall is true for businesses on the internet.
Accurate signs and listings in the appropriate directories will get a business found, but it’s the business’s website that’s going to keep consumers interested. With over half of businesses having websites, businesses who want to experience success need to know how to stand out.

These stats for websites illustrate why it’s essential to build the best store in the mall, and how to keep traffic and conversion rates on the rise.


General

1. The average revenue for a small business is $3.6 million, but the average revenue for a small business with a website is $5.03 million
2. 53% of small businesses had websites in 2014
3. 67% of businesses with annual sales of $1,000,000 – $2,490,000 have websites

Functionality

4. 64% of shoppers who had a poor experience with their site visit will shop somewhere else next time
5. 39% of consumers will stop engaging with content if the images won’t load
6. 39% of consumers give up on content when it takes too long to load
7. 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less
8. 23% of online shoppers will stop shopping if page loads are too slow, while 14% of online shoppers will take their business to another site
9. More than half (52%) of online shoppers say that quick page loading times are important for their loyalty to a site
10. Delays at peak traffic times made more than 75% of online consumers abandon a site for a competitor’s
11. A one second delay in website loading time can lead to a 7% loss in conversion
12. Increasing your site’s loading speed from 8 seconds to 2 seconds can boost conversion rate by 74%
13. A site that takes 6 seconds to load will have a 50% loss in conversion
14. 40% of consumers will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load
15. 75% of online consumers will use the “back” button before a slow page fully loads
16. 51% of American online shoppers say that a slow loading time is the top reason they abandon a purchase
17. Slow websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales each year

Design

18. 38% of consumers will stop engaging with content that is unattractive in imagery or layout
19. A consumer’s first-impression of a website is 94% design-related
20. Website credibility is judged 75% on the site’s overall design
21. 85% of consumers will abandon a site due to poor design
22. Given 15 minutes, 66% of consumers would prefer consuming content that is beautifully designed than something simple
23. It takes consumers 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about your website, so use that time wisely!
24. The right colors increase brand recognition by 80%
25. 52% of consumers states “aesthetics” as the main reason why they would not return to a site

Devices

26. 90% of consumers use multiple devices sequentially
27. Not only are 97% of millennials mobile users, but 20% don’t use desktop at all
28. 61% of digital media time is spent on mobile, with only 39% on desktop
29. 85% of adult consumers believe that a company’s mobile site should be good or better than the desktop version
30. 65% of customers develop a better opinion of brands, services and products when they have a great mobile experience
31. 88% of consumers prefer to shop with retailers that deliver connected cross-channel experiences
32. If consumers have a good experience on your mobile site, they are 59% more likely to make a purchase
33. 67% of online shoppers are more likely to buy from a site that is compatible with mobile devices
34. Mobile-commerce (m-commerce) saw an annual growth of 56% in 2015, while desktop e-commerce only saw an increase of 8%
35. 50% of online shopping is done on a mobile device
36. Almost 70% of tablet users make a purchase on their device every month
37. Over 20% of tablet owners admit to shopping less in real life since they purchased their device
38. While 50% of consumers will switch devices if they are having trouble interacting with the content on a site, 33% will stop engaging entirely
39. 62% of companies that designed a site specifically for mobile experienced an increase in sales

Content

40. 47% of consumers check the products/services pages of a website first
41. 65% of consumers want to see contact information on the site’s home page
42. 44% of consumers left the website because there was no contact information
43. Over half of consumers want to see an “about us” section on a company’s home page
44. 54% of consumers find that a lack of contact information available on a vendor’s site reduces the vendor’s credibility
45. In a study of 200 small business websites, 70% did not display clear calls-to-action
46. TL;DR! 38% of consumers will stop engaging if the content is too long
47. 50% of sales are lost because consumers can’t find the content they’re looking for
48. 46% of consumers say that the most annoying thing about a website is the lack of message (unable to tell what the company does)
49. Keep it down! 33% of consumers said that video/audio that plays automatically on a website annoyed them or caused them to leave
50. 69% of consumers reported that having too many form fields deterred them from filling out a contact form
51. 70% of viewers look at lists with bullets, while only 55% look at lists without
52. Websites that have 51-100 pages generate 48% more traffic than website with 50 pages or less
53. 69% of North American marketers say that personalized and dynamic content is important for their business’s website
54. 20% of consumers think that a blog helps establish a company’s credibility
55. B2B companies that blog once/twice a month generate 70% more leads than companies that don’t blog at all

Sources: business2community, Adobe, Econsultancy, Statistic Brain, Hosting Facts, Online Marketing Institute, KoMarketing, Fifty and Fifty, NN Group, InvasionApp, TechRadar, comScore, IronPaper, Business Insider, Kinesis Inc, Entrepreneur

The world has gone digital, and business has followed. It’s easier to go where your audience is than to bring them to your door, and the biggest audience lives online. Carving out your own corner of digital space with a killer website is the first step to dominating the online world, and these stats for websites can be your guide.