With 2022 right around the corner, digital marketers may ask themselves whether SEO is still relevant. The answer? Absolutely, but how we optimize SEO has changed over the years. Here are five ways to maximize SEO’s impact on your business.
- ORGANIC SEARCH
Organic search — when a listing appears on the search engine results page (S.E.R.P.) because of the direct relevance of the search term — is a critical part of the performance. Organic search is not influenced by search engine marketing (S.E.M.) but rather by how closely your site’s content matches the words people are searching for.
Consumers are savvy searchers; they are most likely to visit a site that appears organically because it feels more trustworthy. E.A.T. is the acronym Google uses to determine the quality of online page content: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. A High E.A.T. score means that either the site has received positive praise from reviewers or that the writing on the site seems knowledgeable and relevant. Marketers should review their site and make sure the content reflects expertise; they are looking for real-life expertise from a writer with first-hand knowledge of the topic. One way to increase authority is to get your business listed in industry-specific directories. Posting as much press as you can on your website also increases brands authoritativeness. Trustworthiness is essential to consumers; you can increase this score by capturing real-life brand experience. This can come from an influencer or testimonials from past customers. Including clear contact instructions on your site with phone numbers and addresses also increases trustworthiness. For retail brands, it is imperative to include easy-to-find return policies. These small details point toward the authenticity of the site content and organically builds trust.
- WRITE GOOD CONTENT
Since 2019 — with the introduction of Google’s B.E.R.T. algorithm that supplies intelligence through natural language processing — Google has been focusing on the intent behind the user search. Website content that matches what users are searching for is given priority in the search results. A brand should research what users are actually searching for when they enter keywords into a search engine. Site content should answer the intent of the user’s question. For bloggers and business owners who depend on organic traffic, it is essential to ensure that content matches the target audience’s needs and provides more information than the other pages currently ranking.
- LOCAL SEARCH
Local search has become a fundamental part of marketing success for small to medium-sized businesses. It is imperative to be vicinity-specific because mobile traffic dominates local companies. To enhance your locally focused business site, use hyperlocal keywords and ensure that all your directory profiles are complete and up to date, especially your Google My Business profile. Create an appropriate backlink campaign to increase visibility and be sure to gather positive customer reviews on services like Yelp, Yahoo, and Trip Advisor.
- FOCUS ON USER EXPERIENCE
The number one focus of digital marketers has become user experience. Optimal user experience directly affects a brand’s organic ranking. Consumers want their questions answered in as few clicks as possible. Google has started including information on the S.E.R.P. page, making it even easier for users to find just what they’re looking for. Google is continuously measuring the metrics for favorable user experience. They track how quickly page content loads, the speed at which the browser loads a webpage, and the rate at which the webpage responds to user input. The placement on the S.E.R.P. is a direct result of the ease and positivity of the user experience.
- KEYWORDS ARE KEY
Keywords are essential in broadening your brand’s reach and maximizing SEO potential. Using long-tail keywords like “how do I…” can elevate your brand’s authority on a topic, position it higher in the results than your competitors, and attract highly targeted traffic. Using broader keywords is an excellent way to widen your audience. Broad terms may be competitive but they receive a higher number of searches per month. If you combine these competitive keywords with long-tail keywords, you will broaden your brand’s reach. To start, businesses should list relevant topics related to their industry. Then use a keyword generator to create an industry-appropriate list with keywords ranked by the number of searches. This will help you understand the words you should be using and the user’s intent when entering the keyword.
SEO is here to stay but it is constantly evolving; it is beneficial for locally-focused businesses and national brands alike. By paying attention to the consumer’s experience, focusing your website content on their needs, and optimizing keyword usage, you will elevate your brand’s digital presence.