When we first started hearing about SEO, it was a term mostly used by geeks; it was purely tech-speak. Marketers wanted to get their hands into that pie, but most didn’t because it was too technical. That changed dramatically when Google went from being a search engine to a browser to a verb to a virtual assistant, and it goes on…Marketers now had no choice but to become digital marketers, helping their clients take advantage of Internet technologies and search marketing. SEO became the buzz word for…you got it, for EVERYONE!
Try Replacing “Engine” with “Experience”!
So, in this dynamic, constantly evolving world of content marketing, do you find yourself asking the question, “What really is SEO today”? Perhaps the simplest way to explain it is Search Engine Optimization is now Search Experience Optimization. As a marketer, you don’t stop at making your digital real estate perfectly suited for the search engines. You MUST go beyond and ensure a positive, optimal search user experience. That means, providing useful, relevant, meaningful, relatable, shareable, informative, educational, entertaining content to users.
SEO techniques change every few weeks, if not every few days, and it may be overwhelming to deal with the rapidly emerging new requirements. In fact, Google is known to tweak its search algorithm about 500 to 600 times each year. Accordingly, the tips and tricks that could land you a top page SERP until just a few months ago may not be valid today.
Without continually learning and adapting to new SEO techniques, it’s tough to earn and maintain your page #1 digital real estate. Hence, as brand experts, content creators or SEO professionals, it is time to delve deeper into what is the most relevant SEO strategy today.
- Despite being top-ranked in organic positions, are you achieving the desired level of CTRs, impressions and traffic?
- Is your site optimized for the ever-increasing adoption of voice-assisted searches or video?
- Is it possible to carve out a holistic and sustainable approach that helps you navigate your way through frequent algorithmic updates to Google search, without compromising the volume and quality of organic traffic to your website?
Insights into the Top 4 Current SEO Best Practices
Achieving the delicate balance between pleasing your users, satisfying the search intent and building your backlinks, while navigating changing search algorithms is not an easy task. Today, it is all about creating an integrated approach to achieve SERP marketing and on-SERP SEO. In order to stand out in the crowd and dominate page # 1 digital real estate, you will need to increase your footprint in several new elements, such as knowledge panels, paid ads, featured snippets, videos, maps and more. This includes content optimization for site links, social media, branded searches, and featured snippets.
Other aspects that influence the success of today’s SEO strategies are:
1. Zero-Click Searches: With Google’s latest click-through-rate (CTR) showing 61.5 percent mobile searches resulting in no click, it has become increasingly important to optimize your content to win maximum featured snippets and knowledge panels. Additionally, you need to maintain your page # 1 rank status, and factor in core metrics, such as CTR and CPS for identification of target keywords.
2. Voice Searches: Given the heavy adoption of digital assistants and voice-assisted smart devices, tech experts offer a highly optimistic forecast about the depth and reach of voice searches. According to Gartner, by 2020, 30% of web browsing sessions will happen without a screen. Hence, another critical aspect of today’s SEO is to be future-ready with a voice search optimization strategy. Moreover, since digital assistants rely on featured snippets for crisp, easy-to-read answers, SEO specialists will need a coordinated effort that combines the on-SERP SEO strategy with voice-search optimization.
3. ‘Near Me’ Searches: For local businesses who are looking to be the top-ranked service or solution providers, on SERP, ‘near me’ searches are a handy tool to attract potential consumers. With 30% of all mobile searches using the phrase ‘near me’, you have an excellent opportunity to increase the foot traffic to your physical store/outlet. Setting up your Google My Business dashboard, optimizing your website for local SEO services, and maximizing your PPC ad spends will generate the desired interest that offers true ROI on your SEO efforts.
4. User Experience: In addition to optimizing your content and maintaining your rank status, today’s SEO is about improving the User Experience (UX) across your entire website. A site that looks spammy, is difficult for users to navigate, has high bounce rates or reduced page views, or the time-on-site is quite likely to lose its rank status, even if you have optimized your content for on-SERP SEO.
Master today’s SEO Techniques, but Stay Flexible and Adaptable
For any business that has an online presence, it is important to know the success parameters of present day SEO, and build your marketing and content strategies around it. However, given the dynamic nature of Google search algorithms, it is important to stay flexible and adaptable about the evolving definition of impactful SEO. Remember, it’s all about the Experience, not just the Engine!