The rules for effective SEO have shifted seismically over the past few years and marketers have beefing up their investments to good content. Search engines are getting smarter by the minute and Google are updating their algorithm over 500 times a year.
In light of this harsh reality, we have to adapt to providing a better user experience to visitors, and effectively design websites towards mobile and desktop platforms with quality content in mind. Only a few years ago, in order to rank highly for a few keywords we’d simply improve the website’s overall authority for that given keyword with a couple of content changes to the homepage and some decent PR backlinks. This was the golden ticket to top rankings on Google. Deep links are losing their importance over good content on a website with a good relevant URL structure, because the user engagement of this content provides a better insight to Google on relevance and how engaging your content really is.
1. Avoid thin articles and posts
It’s a common mistake everybody is doing, and ultimately adding pages and posts to get Google’s attention is seen as just that, and unless there’s more than 200 words of engaging content, it won’t do anything for your rankings. We’ve seen a plethora of useless spammy articles on websites in the last few years simple because we’d learned at that time that more and more content was good; regardless of how useless it had become.
2. Keywords aren’t everything
In order to make a page rank a couple of years ago, mentioning that given keyword in a page title and mixing it up a little in the content was enough to get a page to rank well; Google has become much smarter at noticing semantics in page content. Now user reviews, testimonials, and citations are enough to look genuine and relevant for the search bots. You no longer have to ram chosen keywords into every nook and cranny to rank well, but plenty of page text is a good thing and this hasn’t changed in the last few years.
3. Video Content Will Overtake Written Content in ROI for B2C Industries
This is becoming more and more obvious as each day goes by in the world of digital marketing. The fact of the matter is, YouTube is the second most popular search engine to this day, which means you need to get on YouTube and start bashing out quality videos when possible. There’s been a huge increase in sales of video recording equipment and lighting in the last few years; no doubt a reflection of the ever-growing need to communicate to users through video rather than words.
4. Think mobile when it comes to web design
This is an obvious one, but we need to understand digital assistants more, and research into voice search assistants like Cortana, Siri and Google Now. Spoken language queries tend to be much different than typed queries, meaning a whole new type of long-tail keyword queries – particularly those that mimic spoken dialogue – will emerge.
5. Use unique images in your content
It’s a good idea to skill up on your photography and photoshop skills as fresh unique images are likely to get more visits on Google search, rather than copied stock images found on other websites. Also, pay attention to Google and it’s amazing image recognition ability. Naming your images as ‘daisy-ridley-topless.jpeg’ simple aren’t going to impress Google or get you relevant traffic that results in conversions.
6. Use Google and Bing webmaster tools and pay attention
It’s amazing what we learn from webmaster tools these days. They tell us a whole range of information, from website problems to unknown 404’s to duplication in title and meta tags. There’s a wealth of information which can save you from penalties. And penalties ultimately affect profit and conversions.