SEO, if you don’t already know, stands for Search Engine Optimization, and refers to the ways that digital marketers can change their website pages to rank higher in search engine results. Landing high up in search engine results is critical for any business because, as the world becomes increasingly digital, your business will depend more and more upon digital foot traffic. There are two kinds of search results, paid and organic. Search engine optimization is the only way to get organic search results. So how does SEO work, or how did it used to work? Digital marketers would optimize web pages by including keywords in the content and meta description. They would also include backlinks to other trusted information. This way Google’s and other search engines “robot crawlers” would find those key words and show those websites at the top of the search results.
But something is changing with SEO. With the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence, search engine results have become “stuffed” due to practices like “keyword stuffing.” And as a result, consumers are having a hard time trusting search engine results. Things are changing, in 2022 Google rolled out changes in its algorithm to “punish” websites that use practices like keyword stuffing. There is not really a punishment, but those websites will not rank as high as they previously might have, and therefore, see a fall in organic traffic. So how do we get to the top of Google search results without resorting to practices like keyword stuffing? Here’s four practical methods:
Write Relevant and Engaging Content.
This may seem obvious, but relying on repetitive templated content may not be engaging to your audience. Staying on top of trends, and creating content that will not only get your audience’s attention but also engage them, means they will stay on your website for longer. While having a top result on search engines is good, having a high bounce rate and low average page view is an indicator that you may have a content issue. As a marketer, staying innovative and on top of the evolving media landscape means taking advantage of new ways to spread your company’s message.
Writing and creating content from the angle of relevant and up to date events is a great way to stay top of mind. Mindshare, is when a brand takes up a certain “spot” or space in an audience’s mind. By staying on top of new trends, or keeping up with the news in your website content, your audience can associate your brand with those trends that already are taking up space in their minds.
Penetrate New Audiences
Perhaps you're not seeing the organic traffic rates that you want. Yes, the new SEO algorithms are changing that, but you may need to think about brand growth and gaining market share. The audiences you created may be great matches for your brand. But, if you have been reaching this audience for a while then they may not be the best audience to keep retargeting. Changing your keyword phrases to match a different customer base that may be interested in your product or service is a great way to remain at the top SERP (search engine results pages).
Optimize for The Rise of Voice Search
One of the most significant changes in SEO is the rise of voice search. Voice search is becoming more popular, thanks to the increasing number of voice-activated devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. People are using voice search to find information, products, and services. As a result, SEO is becoming more conversational, and content needs to be optimized for voice search.
To stay ahead in this changing landscape, you need to focus on long-tail keywords that are more conversational in nature. For example, instead of targeting "best pizza restaurant," you could target "where can I find the best pizza restaurant in my area?" This will help you to rank for voice search queries.
Consider Local SEO
Local SEO is becoming more important as more people are using their phones to search for local businesses. Local SEO is about optimizing your website for local search terms, such as "best pizza restaurant in New York."
To stay ahead, you need to focus on local SEO. This includes optimizing your website for local search terms, creating a Google My Business listing, and getting listed in local directories.