You’ve got a website. You’ve created a blog. You spend hours writing great content.
All good things.
You’ve spent time and money creating all of those assets. But if you forego the final step to optimize content for SEO, you leave a significant amount of business on the table.
The Power of SEO
When executed properly, search engine optimization (SEO) is a formidable force that can significantly impact the way you bring new business to your company and even the way you transact that business.
In today’s competitive environment, it can be difficult for your business to stand out.
- WordPress users alone post more than 2 million posts each day. That’s 24 posts per second!
- Google alone has billions of users and sees more than 63,000 searches per second per day.
- Millions of people each month search for information about SEO.
- The first five results on Google’s first page get 67% of the clicks.
Often, the difference between a business that thrives and one that merely stays afloat or sinks is appearing on Google’s front page.
There are an infinite number of ways to drive more traffic toward your business using SEO. And new techniques are coming out every day.
Google hides many of the more than 200 contributing factors of its algorithm, so research and hard work are going to be critical.
By strategically incorporating SEO into your overall marketing approach and maintaining a vigilant commitment to its optimization, you can continuously innovate and improve the way you leverage SEO.
The job is never done.
- Each approach involves research, analysis and trial-and-error.
- The SEO landscape is dynamic and continually adapting to provide better user experiences.
You can certainly move the needle when it comes to SEO, but it won’t be easy and it can become overwhelming. Many people become so overwhelmed, in fact, that they quit before trying even one approach.
- According to a recent survey, 54% of small businesses have no budget put aside for SEO efforts.
If those businesses are hoping SEO goes away, they are bound to be disappointed. SEO is here to stay and with a little bit of due diligence, it is easy to get started.
First, you need to find a strategy worth your time and effort. It can’t demolish your budget and it needs to produce results.
Background About SEO
SEO is the process of creating your content in such a way that a search engine recognizes it as valuable information for its users. Yes, keywords are important, but it’s much more than that.
Think about it this way, if the user is looking for the best dental practice in the area, you want Google to list your business first.
So how does that happen?
Like we said before, you’ve got the website, the blog and the content. SEO is that extra secret ingredient you must include in your content in order for Google to recognize your post as worthy of its front page.
Determining what that secret ingredient is, or how exactly to optimize, is usually where confusion begins.
- Is it the content?
- Is it the way you’ve designed the blog or the website?
- Is it an issue with links?
The answer is yes, yes and yes.
These concerns are among the many that must be addressed in order for your blog to receive adequate attention from Google. The list is difficult to nail down and it is constantly evolving.
It’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of SEO trends.
5 SEO Trends in 2020
It’s likely that some things about SEO will never change. For example, it will always be important to choose and include keywords that are researched and relevant.
But as the world races to advance technologically, Google and other organizations try to keep pace. Your business must do the same.
Trend 1: Customer is King
Google’s business model relies on being the preferred mode for online searching. The more clicks they have, the more money they make from their advertisers.
Accordingly, Google wants to make users happy.
Google entices users to come back again and again by providing them with high-quality content.
In 2020, Google’s main priority is being the chosen source of information for its users. Beyond the final destination, Google is also concerned, however, with the user’s journey.
You also want users to have a good experience. That’s why it’s important to design your site and your content to be useful, legitimate, secure, quick-loading and easy to navigate.
- Ensure your site and content is mobile friendly. Consumers today are searching on their mobile devices. When you optimize your site and your blog posts for mobile users, you optimize the user experience.
- Spot check for link problems.Broken links can negatively impact SEO. Test each and every link as part of your editing process.
- Minimize load time.When a page loads too slowly, users become frustrated. High resolution images can cause a time drag if not properly compressed or in the wrong format. Adding this to your regular editing checklist can prevent lost opportunities.
But there’s more to it than that.
Businesses who focus on providing content that is useful and wanted by their prospective and current customers are more likely to succeed.
The first step in providing that kind of content is creating a buyer persona.
How well do you know your customers?
- What are their needs, wants, and paint points?
- What do they want to know more about?
- What keeps them up at night?
Creating a buyer persona will help you structure content that will be relevant and more likely to be considered by Google as high-quality.
Trend 2: BERT Algorithm
Automation, Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have been buzzwords for the past few years. In 2020, Google’s BERT algorithm is taking AI to the next level.
Have you ever felt frustrated when searching online because the search engine didn’t understand you? BERT is going to eliminate that frustration.
NLP, or natural language processing, is a branch of AI that helps machines understand human language. BERT uses NLP to understand users and their queries more effectively. BERT allows Google to better understand the user’s intent.
Trend 3: Voice Queries
In 2020, consumers are busy. They are on the go.
And they search using voice queries, especially for local searches.
- In 2019, one report indicated that 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.
The majority of voice queries are long-tail. Users are seeking a specific and accurate answer. Users who search with voice queries are already in the consideration stage and are more likely to convert than users still in the awareness stage.
There is power in becoming a long-tail expert. Longer variations of keywords may have lower search volumes, but their conversion rates are usually very high.
To optimize for voice queries, bullet lists are effective and increase your chances of ranking with Google.
Trend 4: Influencers are Being Tapped to Drive SEO
In 2019, 17% of businesses spent more than half of their marketing budgets on influencers. Influencers can be well-known people in the local market, the industry or pop-culture.
Consumers have had enough online ads. They want unique and authentic information that they can trust.
Small businesses can participate in this trend, because influencers aren’t necessarily celebrities. They are simply people who already engage with your target audience. One mention and a backlink by one of these influencers can be extremely powerful in the eyes of consumers and Google.
- Influencers help your business generate traffic by increasing your online visibility and amplifying the reach your content.
- For smaller businesses, a micro-influencer – someone with 10,000 or more followers can be a good choice.
- Since micro-influencers are regular people who post about their interests, they are perceived by consumers to be more authentic than celebrities.
- Micro-influencers are a much more cost-effective option.
Trend 5: The Content Length Debate
Google wants to provide quality for its users, but research shows content most popular with search engines has an average length of at least 2,000 words.
Content that comprehensively satisfies the user’s query maximizes dwell time, which is the amount of time a user spends on a search engine results page.
Longer dwell times indicate to Google that users are enjoying that content and finding what they need.
You already knew that SEO services was important.
Now you know that keeping the customer experience as the driving force of your SEO efforts will pay dividends in the long run.
Understanding your buyers, creating content that informs and satisfies their needs and optimizing it for SEO will dazzle and delight the consumer as well as the search engine.
Creating valuable content is easy to do when you find the right marketing partner.
Whether you’re just getting started with digital marketing and SEO or you’ve already seen how powerful these tools can be, working with the right digital marketing agency can make all the difference.