As SEO techniques have matured to keep up with changes in SERPs, so have the various tools, methods, and algorithms used by the companies who create them in the first place. To combat the early days of keyword-stuffed pages, companies like Google broadly updated their algorithms to provide more accurate and usable search engine results.
Consequently, people in the SEO sector have also had to up their game to remain relevant.
In today’s SEO world, bloggers need to provide helpful, useful and suitable information to encourage reader sharing and linking. This, in turn, builds authority and trust for the website. Strategic keyword use is the name of the game these days; not randomly planting keywords wherever possible in hopes of detection by a web crawler. Ultimately, providing useful, quality information that engages the reader and gives them what they’re looking for will result in better CTRs, increased organic traffic, and more linking.
In the modern SEO world, there are 4 major areas in which you should concentrate to produce the best results:
Keep Mobile Users In Mind
You see it all around you; everyone is on their phone all the time. And those people aren’t just making phone calls, they’re trying to use their smartphone to its fullest capability. Although accessing the web with your phone had been known to be an excruciatingly slow experience, as with everything, the technology is catching up. It’s even becoming apparent that mobile search traffic is overtaking that coming from desktops. Making sure your site is optimized for mobile traffic is the newest avenue for keeping up with the search engines.
The launch of the Google-backed open source initiative, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), in 2016 was meant to improve the performance of web content on mobile phones. Google reports AMP pages use ten times less data while other sources report much faster loading times. This, of course, will only increase the general public’s reliance on mobile search. Utilising the open source community to help revamp your sites to include mobile-friendly pages will be an important part of modern SEO tactics.
Gear Towards Voice Search
Although not as mature a field as mobile, voice search is becoming more and more popular. And it’s not only the millennials who are pushing this technology forward, it’s become a vital tool for older users who are finding voice-operated systems remove a lot of mystery regarding the internet. As time goes on, voice search error rate has dropped significantly making it a more and more reliable way to navigate the Web. There are a couple of key differences to enhancing your web copy for voice search compared to a keyboard search.
- Keyword Phrases
Voice searches typically involve full sentences whereas a keyboard search is more likely to use specific words and looser grammar. This phenomenon affects the keyword phrases most likely to be used. For example, a voice search may be phrased as, “Who are the running backs for the New England Patriots?” Whereas a keyboard search for the same information is more likely to appear closer to, “New England Patriots running backs.” Nowadays, your web copy needs to accommodate both types of search phrases.
- The Five Ws
Voice searches are more likely to ask for information using question words such as, “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.” Tailoring your copy to quickly and precisely answer these questions is going to move you up in the search ranks. There are different formats to accomplish this such as creating a FAQ page, inserting an informational table featuring questions and answers or offering a troubleshooting page. Just make sure to phrase your copy in a conversational tone as well as using short, to-the-point keyword phrases.
Cater To RankBrain
RankBrain, theGoogle-supported algorithm learning artificial intelligence system, is used to provide more relevant search results. It’s been admitted by Google that along with content and links, RankBrain results are among the most important in the ranking of web pages. By catering to RankBrain with your copy, your site will naturally move up in the SERPs. So, what are the best practices to aid in this?
- Produce “Natural” Copy
Even though this section talks about catering to RankBrain, the best way to do this is to make your copy sound as natural as possible. As the SEO industry has learned over the years, creating copy around keywords usually results in unnatural keyword stuffing and the subsequent loss of rank. While the use of relevant keyword phrases is still necessary, providing relevant content will ultimately be more important.
- Use Multiple Keyword Phrases
Unlike the early days of SEO where a single keyword phrase used all over a website would produce the best results, modern copywriting can no longer depend on such a simplistic practice. Try and find multiple keyword phrases that are relevant to your subject and use them in a natural tone throughout your piece as opposed to hammering away at a single phrase over and over again. Also remember to use these keyword phrases in your headlines and subs.
- Opt For Multiple Smaller Posts
Consistently posting multiple smaller articles with various related keyword phrases will produce better results than the one large, all-encompassing post. Of course, a more intensive subject might require a large post, but try to add complementary articles rather than leaving it to stand on its own.
- Produce User-Relevant Content
Ultimately, to rank well in Google searches, you’re first going to rank well amongst your readers. This means providing useful, intelligent, and user friendly content that your readers will benefit from and want to share with others. This may seem straightforward, but compared to the olden days of SEO where producing search engine relevant content was the way to increase your ranking, today’s SEO strategy places the user in the driver’s seat.
Embed Schema Coding
The Schema structured data vocabulary is the result of a collaboration amongst some of the largest search companies to make it easier for their search engines to understand website content. A system of tags added to the HTML on any website allows these search engines to provide better results for the user. Adding Schema tags to your websites may not actually increase your ranking in the most popular search engines, but it has been known to help with CTRs because of the rich snippets produced. Even if your forte is not in coding, there are tools such as Google Tag Manager that make it easy for the average copywriter to incorporate these bits of code.
If there’s one constant in the SEO industry, it’s that it is constantly changing. As the search engine giants find better practices, typically in secret, it’s up to the SEO experts to stay abreast of the changes to provide the best value to their clients. For now, the major points in this article are producing the best results. However, this will all change in the future, so stay on your toes, keep experimenting and welcome the opportunities.