Search engine optimization (SEO) experts are an analytical breed by nature. It’s no surprise then that most of them tend to keep a watchful eye on the largest of major search engines. Google sets the standard for search engines, and therefore, for SEO practices in general.
If you want to thrive in this competitive field you have to keep up with ever-evolving community guidelines and page-rank algorithms designed to weed out the weak and unethical. On top of this, Google is constantly evolving and improving as a company. With new innovations come new and innovative techniques. In order to stay competitive, it’s critical that you recognize these changes and add the necessary tactics to your toolbox.
There are several tactics in particular that seem to get overlooked too often. While it’s understandable, given the variety of factors you have to consider and keep up with on a daily basis, it doesn’t change the fact that your competition is more than likely already taking advantage of recent updates and developments by:
- Optimizing content for mobile devices
- Adding long-form written content focused on quality over keywords
- Optimizing content for Google Voice and voice search in general
Optimizing your site for mobile devices
According to Pew Research, over 70% of Americans own a smartphone. The same group revealed that 95% own a cell phone of some king. These two statistics alone prove that optimizing your site for mobile devices is not just recommended, it’s necessary.
While analyzing your site, it’s important that you pay attention to several elements, including:
- Speed – Avoid large pictures, unnecessary code, and an abundance of redirects. Take advantage of browser caching which decreases load times by storing web pages whenever someone visits your site.
Design killed flash completely
- Design – Avoid pop-ups and flash altogether. Pop-ups are incredibly annoying on small screens and flash is not used on most mobile devices by default, including phones by Apple, which killed flash completely. Moreover, keep in mind that most people are using their fingers to navigate your site. Don’t put buttons or elements too close together and avoid possible accidental taps.
Local SEO Possum
- Local SEO – Adding the city and state of your business in a specific URL, in the alt tags, meta description, and even the title, when appropriate, will allow you to take advantage of Google’s update “Possum.”
All stats point to mobile dominating the search industry for the foreseeable future.
Adding long-form written content focused on quality over keywords
Google has employed the use of machine-leaning by putting AI in control of the process of indexing web pages. Crawlers are controlled by a new breed of AI more advanced than ever. While keyword stuffing used to be exploited, it’s no longer effective and will actually harm your page-rank. The only way around this is to provide thoughtful, engaging copy that is personalized for your specific target audience.
In order to provide the best quality copy possible, pay close attention to:
Readability tone or style
- Readability – Use the proper tone or style. Format an article in a way that presents ideas and main points as clearly as possible.
Engaging content develop rapport
- Engaging content – If possible, tell a personal story within your article. If you’re able to develop rapport for readers, they’re much more likely to trust you and whatever you’re selling.
Grammar and writing errors
- Grammar and writing errors – It’s vital that you proofread your content before publishing it online. Grammar errors can destroy the confidence and rapport you’ve built up with your audience.
Keywords keyword research
- Keywords – It’s still very important to conduct keyword research and work profitable keywords into your work, but it’s not a good idea to prioritize keywords over the reader.
Optimizing for Google Voice
According to ComScore, by the year 2020, half (50%) of all searches will be voice searches. This means that it’s now more important than ever to ensure your website is optimized, and your content presented, in a way that will facilitate your audience reaching you via voice search.
In order to accomplish this, you have to provide more written content than before. Moreover, this content must be written as natural and conversational as possible. As you’re writing your next blog post or snippet of ad-copy, consider how your consumers would actually ask the question you’re answering through your content.
Make sure you stay competitive by ensuring you:
- Write in a conversational tone long-tail key-phrases
- Use more long-tail key-phrases instead of only single keywords
- Pay attention to the structure of your site so it’s easier for search engines to properly index your site
These factors are ignored for a variety of reasons. Oftentimes webmasters simply don’t know enough to remain competitive in terms of SEO and page rank. Educate yourself and stay on top of changes and innovations. Take the time to optimize your website for as many factors as possible. By applying the information covered here, you’ll see an increase in traffic and exposure, as well as revenue.