Thinking beyond keywords with SEO
Whilst SEO sits at the core of most brand’s digital strategy, one misconception endures...
And that’s thinking that it’s all about words - or just keywords in fact.
You’ve probably heard all of those quotes before.
With search engines algorithms constantly evolving, there’s more factors than ever before to consider above and beyond keywords. Take a look below at other SEO activities that influence and contribute to higher search rankings.
Optimise for Videos
We all know that when used effectively, video content can be a successful way to increase engagement, awareness, and potentially drive conversion. But it’s also a great way to improve your SEO rankings.
The stats for video all point to one direction. With 62% of Google universal searches currently including video and an estimation that video will account for 81% of all website traffic by 2021, it’s no surprise to hear that 41% of B2B marketers are saying that they’re interested in exploring how video can be added to their strategy this year.
You can benefit significantly by Google indexing your website videos. Not only should you embed your videos in your website, but make sure you cover all the basics like adding some copy, metadata and a title description which includes keywords. If you want to take this even further, add a video transcript to cover all your bases.
Optimise for Zero Clicks
Recent research shows that less than half of Google searches now result in a click. This means that internet users get the information they need 50% of the time without even clicking on a link.
A large number of these ‘zero clicks’ hold almost no commercial value (like the example above) and a majority are also local searches, so it may seem that they’re redundant to most brands.
However, because of their continued rise, it is something that needs to be considered more thoughtfully. Its impact will affect brands and strategy differently, but may also create untapped opportunities. Particularly in B2B, where if there is an important ‘zero click’ keyword for your specific industry.
Optimise for Voice Searches
Voice is arguably the biggest and most important current SEO trend. In 2019, 20% of internet searches on Google were done via voice. No typing included.
As voice search becomes ever more popular through the use of Alexa, Siri and other voice devices, people will start to type search queries the same way they speak, much like the way most people talk to each other on social media already. This also means users will want more accurate answers to the exact questions.
Enter the world of long tail keywords. They are increasingly likely to convert users in the awareness stage and increase your ranking chances for voice searches. Even more so if they are created in a way to sound like natural phrases that are connected to everyday speaking patterns.
In the words of Matt Cutts, Ex head of Google webspan and the Don SEO, "The objective is not to make your links appear natural; the objective is that your links are natural."
Optimise for Mobile
This one may seem obvious but it cannot be highlighted enough: 53% of website traffic came from mobile devices in 2019. But the most important factor to recognise is that Google moved to mobile-first indexing in July 2019 to create a better search experience.
You can’t get very far in SEO rankings today if you haven’t considered optimising for mobile. There’s lots you can do to address this, but a good place to start is to input your site URL in Google’s mobile-friendly test.
Optimise for Snippets
Snippets are a summary of an answer to your search. Although they have been around for a while, they continuously change Google’s search result page as people upload new content daily. Snippets are generated based on the search keyword or key question and they get more traffic than the first organic search result.
Snippets vary from industry to industry, but here's one below addressing legal fee costs:
There are two main types of snippets that need to be considered:
1- Rich – which provide greater detail
2- Featured – which appear at the top of a results page
In the early stages of a customer’s journey, snippets can create branding opportunities.
Your business needs to optimise content for snippets with other traditional marketing strategies, including creating content that focuses on answering questions and not only keywords. Content that creates answers to common questions will significantly increase number of clicks. Obviously, this all depends upon your business’ specific industry, so target questions which your audience is asking and always be concise.
Never forget UX
UX design is and always has been a key part of SEO. A website that is built around your user’s needs usually leads to more engagement and consequently sends Google the right type of search signals. Once users land on your site, ensure clarity in your messaging - as any confusion may increase your bounce rate and affect your SEO rankings.
It’s clear that SEO is important.
But don’t forget, there are other areas of optimisation that require a company’s attention when creating a digital marketing strategy. Optimisation requires growth and experimentation in key areas including analytics, customer experience analytics, segmentation and data strategy.