The world of digital marketing is full of terms, jargon, monikers, acronyms, and euphemisms that drive the most patient business owners crazy.
Schema? Does that mean someone is trying to pull a fast digital one on you?
HTTPS? Is that digital version of an SOS? Site audit? What could that possibly have to do with search engine marketing?
Fear not. Despite appearances, you do not have to earn a PhD in digital marketing to understand the basic concepts that make schema, https, and site audits important parts of any powerful SEO strategy.
Schema and SEO
Schema markup are specific pieces of data that you include in the code of your website to assist search engines in returning more targeted results for online users. Users will gain a better understanding of your offering, and your site will be better optimised for the search engines.
As an example, you run a hotel and you want to prompt Google to present useful details about your business. You add schema markup to alert Google to the information that potential hotel guests want to know, from opening times, to price ranges, to customer reviews. Schema markup explains to the search engines exactly what all of your website data means. It represents an effective way to reach more of the customers you want to target, and then to give them key information that could encourage them to visit and/or use your site.
Here are some examples of what kind of information schema markup highlights to create a more practical experience for your prospect customer:
- Opening times
- Product status
- Special offers
- Locations and dates of special events
- Company background
HTTPS and SEO
Google puts considerable search engine ranking weight on the S in HTTPS. Data analysis clearly proves websites that acquire a security certificate (the S in HTTPS) have a much greater ranking advantage than websites that use only HTTP. Whether you store confidential information or not, acquiring the https prefix for your small business website domain goes a long way to boosting your SEO.
The best part of this underused yet highly effective SEO strategy is that you do not have to spend much time to secure your small business website. The third party that issues the security certificate has earned the trust of Google, Bing and Yahoo. Customer prospects that see the S at the end of your HTTP domain prefix immediately visit your website with the confidence that their personal data will remain safe. A security certificate is a must-have SEO tool for ecommerce websites.
Site Audit and SEO
Just a little tweak of a meta description or the addition of a word in a meta title can make a huge difference in the success of your SEO strategy. Site audits range for narrowly focused tests to broad analysis of metrics. Regardless of the type of audit you perform on your website, the goal is to improve your rankings in the big three search engines.
Other SEO factors a site audit can measure is website speed, webpage responsiveness, quality of content, and technical code analysis. Comprehensive site audits not only count the number of backlinks per webpage, but also determine the quality of the webpages that link to your site.
Here are the four primary types of website audits:
With social media playing an increasingly important role in determining the strength of your SEO strategy, a social audit helps you determine the extent of your social media visibility.
Search Engine Marketing Has Come a Long Way
Back in the early days of digital marketing, the number and quality of the right keywords used in an article and blog post largely determined where a website ranked in Google, Bing, and Yahoo. We have come a long way, as devising a successful SEO strategy today involves securing each webpage and performing a site audit that includes analysing whether one or more of your pages requires schema markup.
Such sophistication would have been difficult to imagine even just a short time back, which is why another essential factor in a successful ongoing SEO strategy is constant review, evaluation and adjustment of your search engine marketing campaign.