Google’s goals have changed from finding the best keyword match to giving people the results with the best relevant content. Although similar, this approach provides distinctly different results. By adding the sophistication of machine learning, Google can infer a user’s intent and go beyond keywords.

Search results now present information that users find more relevant to their questions or problems. Improve your rankings in Google, Bing and other search engines by expanding your onsite optimizations to focus on providing content that matches users’ intent in a timely, succinct manner. Here are a few tips to get you started:

On-Page SEO

Improve your SEO by following Google’s lead to learn about where users are in the customer journey. This can help you build a site that contains useful, relevant information in every phase, from research to decision-making and buying. Although keyword should no longer be the only focus, they still have importance, especially when optimizing for search engines other than Google. Research the semantic similarities to your keywords and optimize the content around those terms and phrases.

Answer User Questions

Use the valuable H1 and H2 content on your webpage to answer the questions potential clients are asking. Provide additional information in the paragraphs below to improve relevance and authoritativeness. If you are not sure what questions prospects are asking, talk with your sales team and analyze your social pages. This can help identify what questions are trending, indicating what content should be added to your website to improve onsite optimizations. Extend your reach into consumer intent further by conducting your own research:

  • Check websites such as Quora to see what questions they are fielding. Not only does this focus on client concerns, but you can also see how those questions are answered in the top responses. This can help you address specific questions or concerns similarly.
  • Conduct Google research by typing in a question you think users have, then look at the “related searches” section at the bottom of the search engine results page. This lists queries related to the topic and may provide inspiration for improving the content and SEO value of your pages.
  • Browse industry-related sites that rank high on the SERP to see what questions they address and how.

Short paragraphs with headers, bulleted lists and a variety of media can not only add interest but increase usability, which can help your SEO.

Shorten the Conversion Time

Improve onsite optimizations by having a clear call to action on every page, whether it’s, “Buy Now,” “Schedule an Appointment,” “Get a Free Estimate” or other similar response. Large buttons with clear labels tell visitors exactly what you want them to do, providing a direct path from their arrival on your site to the results you want them to see. If you have a long-form landing page, use the CTA after each section so users don’t need to scroll to the top or bottom of the page. This is especially useful when users view your site on their smartphone. Consider these options as well:

  • Creating urgency can help reduce conversion time. If you have an e-commerce site or are offering a limited promotion, use terms such as “offer valid until midnight” or “only 2 left in stock.” In other instances, adding a countdown clock can boost urgency and encourage quicker conversions.
  • Popups are an example of a short funnel and are one of the fastest ways to get a conversion. However, you may want to conduct split testing to see what works for your visitors and what doesn’t.
  • Reduce the number of times a visitor needs to click. Consolidate content and remove unnecessary pages to make conversions quick and easy.

Attend to Technical SEO

It is not only the copy on your pages that can affect your ranking, but also technical, behind-the-scenes activities. Improve the customer journey by including technical SEO in your onsite optimizations.

Structure Straightforwardly

Websites that are intuitive and simple to navigate help the bots as well as consumers explore your pages and understand the content. Make sure your sitemap is up to date, making it easy for web crawlers to find and index the information on your site. It should be concise and free of blocked URLs, redirects and errors. Keeping the click-depth shallow with internal links can help the navigation remain clear, so that context is better understood.

Audit the internal linking structure to ensure the text clearly indicates the link destination, so the search engines don’t view them as click bait. Remove broken links and orphan pages to make the structure cleaner.

Improve Page Load Speed

Google rewards pages that load quickly with higher rankings on the SERPs. Faster sites typically have lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates. Take these steps to improve your loading time:

  • Optimize Images – Pick the best formats for your pictures and graphics, then remove unnecessary image resources. Ensure they are compressed and scaled to fit the display you need.
  • Reduce Server Response Time – Set the response time to less than 200ms, leverage resource hints and support IPv4 and IPv6. Get an additional boost by using HTTP/2.
  • Remove JavaScript Above the Fold – Noncritical scripts and third-party JavaScript libraries should be moved below the fold to decrease rendering time. If you must have one at the top of your page, use async in the <script> tag, ensuring it is non-render blocking.

Use Responsive Design

If you haven’t already included it in your onsite optimizations, make sure your site is mobile-friendly. This includes using responsive design and making sure it can adapt to any device, mobile, tablet or desktop. Although long-form content can attract more traffic, on mobile it may not improve your rankings. Keep title tags and meta descriptions as short as possible without losing onsite optimization.

Boostability provides a suite of marketing services, from SEM and social media marketing to mobile website design. We offer a free website analysis to help you improve your rankings and attract more customers.