In the digitally-dominated world, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not an option; it is a prerequisite for success. Forty-six percent of the global population hopped online in 2017. That figure is set to rise to 53.7 percent by 2021. Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. The top five results capture 65 percent of clicks, leaving the other millions of webpages to scrap over the remainder. Unfortunately, 75 percent of search users never go beyond the first page.
If it hasn’t become clear yet, SEO is a factor that can literally make or break your brand. Obtaining the coveted top spots in the SERPs (search engine results pages) is a vicious battleground. Every second you waste and every corner you cut could be costing you massive amounts of potential profit.
By and large, content is the backbone of SEO. By 2019, content marketing will have swelled to a $300 billion industry aimed at obtaining higher rankings and increased sales. Because of this practice’s paramount importance, it should be one of your brand’s main focuses. However, scads of business owners don’t take this effort seriously enough, and consequently, fail to produce optimized, future-forward content that can raise their rankings in the SERPs.
This is no longer an option if companies wish to thrive online. Do your business a favor and stop skipping over these three crucial SEO-boosting tasks that can elevate your position in the SERPs and drive more traffic to your business.
1. Optimise for Voice Search
EMarketer estimates that more than 35 percent of millennial’s leverage voice-enabled assistants monthly. Alpine.ai has reported that over 1 billion voice searches occur each month.
Voice search is on the rise, with no indication that the trend will slow down. This will be a massive component of the evolution of search engines in the near future.
If this isn’t a clear enough incentive to start optimizing for voice searches, consider the fact that this medium currently drives $2 billion in eCommerce sales annually. That figure is poised to skyrocket to $40 billion by 2022.
If your aim is to increase your eCommerce marketing and sales efforts, voice search is prime real estate
When users employ voice search, queries tend to be much more specific, meaning that intent is clearer. This greatly increases the value of long-tail keywords, providing smaller sites with the opportunity to gain a massive jump in rank.
Voice search often shows intent to buy. So, how can you deploy voice-focused SEO strategies to encourage sales?
Firstly, write content that is easy-to-read and scannable by leveraging headers, subheaders and listicles. Within your content, utilize long-tail keywords in a conversational tone similar to how voice queries are presented.
For instance, instead of using terms like “baby stroller costs,” employ such verbiage as, “how much does a baby stroller cost” as this caters to the natural language aspect of voice search. Additionally, utilize structured data to its fullest to clearly convey your content marketing objectives.
Finally, optimize your images so that Google further understands what the content is referencing.
2. Oversee Image Optimization
Even though search engines can’t exactly “see” images, they still know they are there, and it helps to provide them with contextual meaning. When optimized properly, images can be an SEO boon while also retaining a reader’s interest and keeping them engaged.
Considering this, it is disheartening to uncover that 78 percent of SEO problems stem from image optimization issues. However, this also provides brands with an opening to become a top competitor in the SERPs.
To properly optimize images, you will need to tackle a few key areas.
Firstly, start with the file name. This tells Google what the image contains. In this space, be sure to accurately describe the image, utilizing keywords you wish to target. Place these terms as close to the beginning of the file name as possible.
Next, you need to consider what happens if the image file doesn’t load properly. To prevent losing all data, fill in the alt text field with keywords you are targeting. Additionally, be sure to leverage the image’s title text. This field should feature less-vital details such as the style or color of the image.
Finally, don’t neglect including your images in your site’s XML sitemap (you do have a sitemap, right?) as this will assist search bots to easily index your images to improve your SEO performance.
3. Create More Video Content
Video is quickly dominating the content arena. It has been cited many times over that video content will drive 80 percent of all online traffic by 2021. Considering that YouTube’s monthly active user base has surpassed 1.57 billion, this seems like a safe assumption.
Additionally, since YouTube is owned by Google, video content is increasingly surfacing at the top of the SERPs. This is likely to become more common as the video’s influence continues to accelerate.
While video content has been important for some time, it is no longer optional–it is essential. If you aren’t already producing lots of epic video content, you need to get started or you will fall behind the competition.
Fortunately, generating great videos is easier than ever. To begin, simply evaluate your site’s most popular content and repurpose those pieces into different videos. Additionally, you can leverage social media and social listening tools to pinpoint trending topics within your industry and capitalize on their current popularity.
Luckily, you don’t need to go all-out and spend $30,000 on cameras, recording equipment and software. A standard smartphone, good lighting, a microphone, and a decent editing program will do just fine.
To get the most SEO value from your video content, always add descriptions with a 200-word minimum and follow current video SEO best practices. You also may want to consider transcribing the video’s content, especially if it is loaded with a few valuable keywords.
This is an essential piece of the strategy. Just like images, Google doesn’t know what your video is about until you give it some context. It relies on the text provided to understand its relevance for a given query. By supplying Google with ample knowledge about the video’s content, you can get your content ranked and drive tons of organic traffic to the video and, potentially, your website.
Search Engine Optimization is a challenging and tedious discipline but it’s not impossible to master if you put in the time and effort. If you want to rescue your site out from the dreaded second and third pages in the SERPs–which have a combined CTR of roughly 6 percent–you need to refine your strategy and implement this 3 often-overlooked or sometimes even neglected aspects of SEO.
The only way to win in today’s competitive world of SEO is to optimize your efforts on all fronts. Do all you can to gain a competitive edge by looking at multiple aspects of your site and the way consumers are searching for your site and related keywords. Start knocking these tasks off your to-do list today, and you have a better chance at climbing the SERPs until your brand lands on the first page or, better yet, as the very first-page result.