SEO in Cyprus – what can you do to improve your search engine ranking?
Are you selling enough of your products and services throughout Cyprus? Are you targeting residents, other businesses or tourists? Here are a few steps that you can take to improve your SEO.
Can I rank more easily in Cyprus?
We think so. Because we have a dedicated Google search engine (www.google.com.cy) you should see an improved search engine ranking for your target keywords. Not least because the likelihood is that many of your ‘backlinks’ are coming from other companies and websites within Cyprus. Which is good for your own SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Our smaller geographical region with a population somewhat less than a large town or city in the UK equals less competition.
However, you still need to employ best practices for search engine optimisation. Furthermore, there are a number of do’s and don’ts to consider.
Some estimates suggest the Google Algorithm changes 500-600 times per year. That’s more than once a day. If you’re ranking today, you may not be ranking tomorrow. There are clear indications from Google that in order to rank you must be creating good quality, authoritative and useful content. We covered this in our post What is Content Marketing?
Accelerated Mobile Pages (“AMP”)
It’s 2018 and you absolutely must have a functioning mobile ‘optimised’ website. Using AMP helps to strip out all the content that isn’t wanted by a mobile user. Google’s mobile-first ranking objectives are in full swing. Have you received a message yet on Google Search Console telling you that your website has been accepted into Mobile First? Don’t worry just yet if you haven’t. But, ultimately, these updates will affect your rank and you’ll need to review your content and your strategy. Read more about AMP here!
How do you avoid SEO Penalties?
Understanding the policy of Google and other search engines.
Website speed and page loading times are a key ranking factor. If your website is still using large graphics that take a long time to load you need to remove them. A website that loads in 1-2 seconds is ideal. Any longer and you’re ranking will suffer. Back in the 1990’s when we first started building websites, the fastest connection speed was via dial-up and ISDN connections. I can still hear the handshake. There was no such thing as broadband or fibre optic. In those days, the target maximum size of a web page was 70kb. Imagine it. Nowadays that’s about the minimum size to which numerous people might optimise an image. And, there may be many more images of the same size on a single page.
Thankfully there are a plethora of techniques that greatly reduce load times. Including; browser caching, minifying html and css, Content Delivery Network (“CDN”) to name just a few. Owing to the advent of faster connections speeds, the target size of a web page is around 1Mb (14 x larger than 20+ years ago). Connection speed improvements permit us to use improved programming techniques to deliver engaging content. Such as booking systems, interactive banners, sliders and image galleries. But there is a catch. Each tool or plugin added to the website directly impacts the loading time. So, if you’re using a content management system such as Joomla or WordPress, it pays to keep the number of plugins to an absolute minimum.
You can test your website speed and even select servers from around the world at Pingdom. And, of course, Google has its own Pagespeed Test site. The SEO results from both Pingdom and Google will give you a pretty good idea of what might need to change.
You have a great product and you have plenty to say about it. Right? Wrong! All too often we see very thin and poorly written content on business websites in Cyprus. Consequently, a visitor, who would probably have bought from you; is reduced to picking up the phone or emailing you for more information. If they bother with you at all that is. We talked about the importance of content quality in our SEO blog post about ‘Cornerstone Content‘
The minimum number of words for each piece of content you write should be 300 words. Ideally 1200 words. Pages with more content perform better. Whether it’s a blog post, product description, or information about your company. Creating valuable content is exactly what Google is looking for. Providing credible solutions to customer enquiries by anticipating their needs is crucial to your success. Therefore, user intent is the ‘watchword’ for 2018 and beyond.
Avoid Duplicate Content
Just to be clear. We’re not talking about ‘product mentions’ and contact information. It’s more about virtually identical blog posts and deep descriptions of products and services. By duplicating this kind of content, the only outcome will be your own pages competing with each other.
Aim for better targeting
Ranking for a ‘broad’ general search term is the goal of any online business. However, it’s harder to rank because there is greater competition. Eventually, you may see your visitor numbers increase, but if they’re not converting as customers, was it worth it? We talk about niche market targeting in our blog post about ‘long tail keywords‘ – this tactic won’t result in huge numbers of visitors, but it will bring good quality visitors.
Good use of Social Networks
Whilst not a direct (or big) ranking factor, getting your news out to your followers on Facebook is an easy win. When you boost that post, you can select whether you want to promote to an audience demographic (country, age, interests). And, you can also run promotions targeting Friends of the people that have already liked your page. You should experiment, and play around with the options.
Back to the Future
Certainly, there are many resources available concerning current and future trends in Website & Graphic Design and SEO. Some speculative opinions and others objective.
Be prepared to do ‘more’ going forward if you want your website to succeed. Video Marketing is on the increase. Did you know? Youtube is the worlds second largest search engine. Processing more than 3 billion search requests each month. Do you have a corporate video? Are you preparing for the Rise of Voice Search or, smart technology? Where do you want to rank?