Search engine optimization techniques have always been quick to evolve and this year is no different. The topics are the same, but the techniques are changing fast. Here are a few of the key shifts that everyone in the marketing department needs to consider this year:
Social Media Ranks Highly – Especially as Google hides more keyword ranking data, SEO is becoming more about brand visibility across platforms. Users may find you first on any number of social platforms and click back to your site – so the game becomes less about ranking and more about being found where your users hang out.
Make the Most of Google Results – Google is delivering more data within the results themselves, so make sure you are providing the best data for Google to serve up. This doesn’t affect rankings, but will drive more action from search results. Google calls it “rich snippets and structured data” and offers lots of guidance for Webmasters to make the most of it. Marketers need to think through the best “microdata” to show in search results.
Long-tail search phrases – Google’s algorithms now work to consider context, intent and meaning to make a more precise assessment of what you are searching for. We’ve also become increasingly trained to type in (or speak) more detailed search queries to receive more precise results. And marketers know how expensive and sometimes unreliable it can be to focus popular short phrases. Optimizing for many more “conversational queries” is a sure way to win greater search traffic moving forward.
Make Good Content Better – Yes, we’re still harping on content, but it’s becoming more sophisticated. Make it visual-oriented for better rankings and more interesting SERPs (search engine results pages). It’s all intertwined – content spread across your social channels as well as the “homebase” of your website. Add content designed to help you build more quality inbound links – partnering with other brands or publishers and pushing out content that will encourage more “earned” links back to your site.
Our list covers just a few of the latest key SEO points. Don’t assume you’ve heard it all; be sure to keep reading up on the latest tips and tricks because the art of SEO continues to evolve quickly.