Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a core component of any digital marketing strategy. If used correctly, it is an effective way to attract consumers to your online platforms. Up to 80% of users focus on organic results, with 28% of those leading to conversions, so it is important to have your SEO perform well for your business.¹
To be at the top of Google rankings, various different metrics need to be monitored and updated, to keep up with the Google algorithm, which has evolved considerably over the last few years and continues to do so. There are a range of activities that need to be done from a technical, content and design perspective. Depending on your resources and level of expertise, you may be able to implement these in-house or reach out to a team that specializes in SEO services for advice.
Instead of cramming your pages with keywords, with little focus on structured content, Google now expects high quality content across your web pages. As for off-site links, only natural links will be of benefit to your ranking, unlike in the past where using several spamming links helped with organic rankings. Overall user experience has also become more and more important, to meet the demand of users and the Google algorithm.
Off-site activities still play an important role to help improve your rankings; that is, actions taken outside your own website such as building backlinks on other websites to direct traffic back to you. The engagement of professional search engine optimization services will provide confidence that you are giving attention to what matters to maximize your chance of improving your Google rankings.
With SEO constantly evolving it can be a challenge to stay on top of the latest updates, however, here are some of the trends for this year to help outsmart your competitors and get you on your way to improving your business’ performance.
1. Core Web Vitals
These metrics measure a website’s performance from the user’s experience, focusing on making websites more enjoyable and responsive. So, while it will improve the overall experience for your website’s visitors, Google also use them as a ranking metric, covering three specifics:
Largest Contentful Pain (LCP) - the time it takes for the largest content asset to load. Note this is only for elements above the ‘fold line’.
First Input Delay (FID) - the time it takes for your site to respond to a user’s first interaction, whether that is a link, button, text field, check box or drop down.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) - the number of layout shifts that occur during the lifespan of the page. This includes text shifting because an image takes some time to load; these shifts can be extremely frustrating for a user.
2. Quality Content and On-Page SEO
Google still places great consideration on excellent page content. Google considers ‘high quality’ as offering Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT), along with good titles and purposeful information. Ensure your content is up to date, original and contains relevant keywords.
3. Be Familiar with Google’s Algorithm Updates
Research Google’s algorithm so you’re across any new updates so you can take the required actions on your website to boost your rankings. If an update has significant implications on performance, you want to know straight away.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is really changing how users interact with online content and plays a part in Google’s ranking algorithm. AI can generate content with minimal inputs, enables voice search, creates strong analytics and reporting, improves brand visibility, can offer personalization to your customers and so much more.
5. User Experience & User Intent
Not only do Google and website users expect good user experience, but user intent is definitely a current priority too. If you optimize your SEO strategy and keywords for search intent, it will improve your rankings. Give users the information they want with detailed and useful content.
6. Keyword Analysis of Your Competitors
Looking at your top three or four competitors’ keyword rankings and domain authority will give you valuable insights into how you are comparing in your field. Also, look at your own keyword rankings in case you are cannibalizing keywords, which will negatively affect your rankings.
7. Voice Searches
Due to the various innovations now available such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, voice search technology is rapidly advancing. It is predicted that more and more households will own a smart speaker this year so it’s something to consider.
8. Technical SEO & Indexing
Your website needs to be able to be indexed and crawled by Google so ensure it is set up effectively. Focus on security, page speed, structured data and canonicals. There are SEO marketing services that can assist with the technical space if you need some professional input.
9. Videos & Images
Using text in combination with images, graphs and videos is an effective SEO strategy. YouTube alone has over one billion users² which indicates the high volume of users who prefer video for information, therefore consider this for your website content. In addition, optimize your images and graphics for improved SEO.
10. Mobile Usability
Ensuring your website is mobile friendly is becoming increasingly critical as the majority of users search on the move. Note that Google’s algorithm primarily uses the mobile version when determining rankings.
Get the ball rolling to improve your Google rankings today. Contact the expert search engine marketing services team at Web Force 5 and speak to a specialist consultant for a free no obligation chat.