“I think the search engines are the new equivalent of publishing: an enabler of information”
- Sir James Dyson, British Inventor, Industrial Design Engineer and founder of the Dyson Company.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has been a never-ending system that started off using select “keywords,” and now it has turned into an elaborate necessity within every marketing strategy. SEO and organic page ranking is an ever-changing field within the Google ecosystem. Google relies on many individual ranking signals and these signals change at various times. These signals are otherwise known as algorithms. Be prepared for these exciting and much needed changes to optimize searches faster and better.
What's Changed and Why Is It Important Now for Professional Services?
Google's methodology is understanding the search's intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the datasphere. Google's semantic search (or a string of words/contextual) has replaced key words. Google has been much better and sophisticated in understanding the meaning behind search queries. How? They return content that matches the actual meaning and intent behind the request. Mobile versions are tried and true and continue to trend upwards.
SEO Trends Strengthening in 2018:
1. Page Rank Based on Your Mobile Website:
Your website must be responsive to mobile devices. Ranking signal alerts lead to mobile indexing.
Go-To Tip: Focus on a load time of less than 3 seconds. User navigation, the design and information on your page ranking could drop.
2. SEO Strategies for Voice Searches
Forget typing, rising popularity is abound of voice-activated smart devices (37% use Google’s Siri and 19% use Amazon's Alexa).
Activate Long-tail (your conversational string) within a wide spectrum of searches, i.e. "What is the best firm that specializes in _____ and could help me with _____."
Go-To Tip: Evaluate current keywords, start writing conversational words and put a call to your SEO specialist to update.
3. Providing Instant Answers in Featured Content
Up to today, we've provided a brief overview of content. With the rise of voice searches, it has become a requirement for featured content that provides instant answers.
Siri and Alexa can provide instant results to questions but they need to be able to quickly scan your content for the answers they are looking for: FAQ and Q&A pages.
4. User Experience Remains Top Dog
Watch those analytics reports – if your visitors abandon your site after 30 seconds or you have a high bounce rate, this will disaffect your SEO ranking.
Go-To Tip: Review and adjust your web pages or create new webpages.
Improve Your SEO Title
Not only will it have an engaging look, feel and sound, it will also aid in the long-tail effect.
Content is Still King
Google identifies and disqualifies lower-quality content.
Search engines today have a good idea, and statistically speaking, of what words occur together and make semantic correlations.
Its activities include people, places, things, concepts, or ideas which are represented as nodes and connected by their inter-relationships. Make sure these are on your website: News, photos, facts, articles, press releases, and white papers. Your content will have more viewing/reading when it contains original research insights, especially your opinion, and what is called thought leadership.
Leveraging a trending topic also provides practical insights or authoritative news content on new products or developments. Google formulates answers to the users' questions through thought leadership content.
Go-To Tip: Check content for titles that are engaging, have an opening paragraph using content that contains long-tail wording and add captions to images.
Backlinks: A Powerful Form of Application for Getting Better Search Engine Rankings
When a webpage links to any other page, it’s called a backlink. In the past, backlinks were the major metric for the ranking of a webpage. Now, a page with a lot of backlinks tends to rank higher on all major search engines, including Google. It is important to have backlinks from quality sites, and those backlinks should be contextual in nature. Your goal should be to get links from authoritative and relevant sites.
Engage in influencer marketing to acquire links, as you will have a degree of control. This carries more weight and a contextual link which helps your site rank more highly in search engines. It’s one of the best ways to acquire links.
Go-To Tip: Create links to individual posts/pages of content, articles, whitepapers that lead back to your homepage.
More of What You Can Do:
Add AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) To Your Site’s Content Pages
If your website hosts informative articles, blog posts, press releases or news articles, incorporate accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to your site – it allows you to serve content more quickly on mobile devices, and Google looks more favourably on sites that incorporate AMP.
Shares are important but so are links from many other domains. Attract new links and drive traffic to your site. Social sharing is an essential component of your strategy. You need both shares and links. Remember, social sharing is not enough and is not an amplification strategy.
Influencer strategies continue to be successful - Your CEO, Your Managing Partner, Your Leader. Your influencer should have multi-twitter followers but a much better strategy is in a niche with an influencer who has a highly engaged, but smaller (or niche) audience.
Go-To Tip: Syndicate your content on popular sites specific to your niche or specialty area.
Take an Integrated Approach
Content marketing, SEO and social media work together to drive traffic, build relationships and trust, and progressively grow your audience.
You will want to attract large volumes of traffic via search and social media and then, filter this traffic through directing viewers to various types of targeted content in your website and email content.
- CEO’s on LinkedIn have an average of 930 connections.
- LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform.
- 39% of the 562 LinkedIn users are paying for a premium account.
- 40% of members visit their professional social network each day.
- 80% of users prefer an authentic and honest personality on social networks.
- Video can increase purchase/buy interest by 144%.
"Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
- Stephen Covey, Author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Rank Brain
- Content Marketing Institute