Search engine optimization (SEO) used to be a term that earned blank looks or sounded like marketing mumbo-jumbo. Now businesses view it as a must-have component of their digital marketing strategies. Google’s ever-changing algorithms and updates keep marketers scrambling to stay ahead of the curve.
As you start to plan your marketing strategy for the year ahead, here are our predictions for rising to the top of the search engine list.
RankBrain and UX Have a Huge Impact
In 2017, Google publicized that RankBrain was the third most important contributor to search engine ranking. RankBrain is a machine-learning system that measures how users respond to search results. When users input a query and click on a page that intrigues them, if they stay on the page and read content, rankings improve. If content isn’t what they were looking for, RankBrain takes off points. How long users spend on your page is as important as how many people click on your page.
Engaging your users with riveting content and a customized user experience improves your search engine ranking. Evaluate website analytics to find out what content works and create more like it.
Voice Capabilities Will Change How People Search
When people manually enter searches on their tiny cell phone screens, they use as few characters as possible. As voice technology continues to improve, the way people phrase searches will evolve. Expect more long-tailed keywords and natural language, and optimize pages to respond.
It Will Be Even Harder to Stand Out
Clickthrough rates have decreased across the board in the last year because of the increase in answer boxes, ads, and carousels. With so much vying for a user’s attention, marketers will have to figure out new and even more clever ways to attract user attention.
Thorough Content Matters
Google spiders used to analyze pages searching for keywords in title tags, URLs, description tags, and more. They still do, but they also analyze how well pages cover that keyword in-depth. When users can find out everything they need to know about the topic in one place, that page ranks higher with search engines. Longer content that includes 2,000 words on a topic outranks short articles.
Small Brands Benefit Most
While retail giants have more marketing funds at their disposal, people crave human connections in an increasingly digital world. The brands that focus on optimizing user experience and personalizing products and services will connect with loyal followers and receive the positive reviews that dramatically influence SEO.
SteerPoint specializes in improving the visibility and market positions of local businesses. Talk to one of our experts today about organic SEO strategies that can improve your online presence in 2018.