Search engine optimisation, or SEO, as we refer to it, is widely becoming a more recognised and crucial addition to any marketing strategy. SEO is an area of marketing that undergoes continuous changes to algorithms and changes to trends, so with this in mind, there are different tiers of SEO knowledge simply because there’s just so much to uncover.
This article aims to take your knowledge of SEO to the next level, by answering 6 simple yet imperative questions relating to search engine optimisation. If you want to figure out how to improve your company’s SEO marketing strategy, continue reading...
Are UX signals a ranking factor?
Regardless of being part of a ranking algorithm or not, providing a flawless user journey should always be considered a priority when it comes to website design. UX, in this instance, can be split into two different categories: the first being how the mobile website renders for a user when viewing on a device. This is the type of UX that impacts the mobile-friendly algorithm used by Google.
The second category is how a user interacts with the website once on it. Users who find it difficult and confusing to navigate around your website, making it harder to find the information they want, will more often than not result in high bounce rates, low CTRs and low time on site metrics. Whether organic CTR is a ranking signal or not is up for debate, however one thing that is certain is whether a user should be presented with a seamless journey through your website… and the answer to that is yes!
What are Featured Snippets and how can I optimise for them?
Featured Snippets is an interesting area of SEO. As with organic rankings, there can only be one top position! In fact, Google even recognises the website featuring in the Featured Snippet as ranking #0 - a cut above the rest!
The obvious benefits of holding this coveted position is that it will display your website as an authority for particular search queries. The CTR associated with that organic listing as you would expect is much higher than that of listings further down the page, however optimising content to be eligible to feature in this area of the SERPs requires additional effort. Search Engine Watch provides a very useful insight into optimising for Featured Snippets.
Below, you can see an example of a Featured Snippet in action. Taken from one of our clients, blu. You can see how it allows the company to be seen as an authoritative figure on the subject:
Should I be making use of AMP and what is the benefit?
If AMP hasn’t been on your radar, then where have you been!? With everything geared around mobile, mobile, mobile, AMP is recognised as a must-have in any mobile marketing strategy. Search Engine Watch created an interesting news piece on the 1 year anniversary of AMP, and with the 2nd year anniversary approaching, there will no doubt be more stats highlighting the positive impact AMP has had on driving organic web traffic.
Scaling back on all the trimmings around a typical content piece and providing a basic version of the page, which loads up to 4x faster across mobile, provides the mobile UX most users crave these days.
The key benefits of implementing AMP are:
- It speeds up website load time
- Increase mobile ranking positions
- Improves server performance
With many AMP plugins available to webmasters across numerous platforms, implementing AMP across your content pages has never been easier. With patience amongst users wearing thin when it comes to waiting for a page to load, AMP could be the difference between keeping a potential customer or losing one.
Should I be taking notice of Bing yet?
Oh, my yes! Long considered not worth shining Google’s shoes, Bing is now in a position that it can no longer be ignored. Although Google remains the market leader across the globe, optimising for both Google AND Bing is achievable and well-worth the effort. With the concern of optimising for Bing taking away from existing ranking positions held by Google a valid concern, this video clearly demonstrates the differences in ranking signals and how to compliment both major search engines.
What is voice search and does it impact on SEO?
Step One: Take the Google Mobile Friendly Test… and pass.
Without being eligible to show on Google, you will miss out on the opportunities voice search will undoubtedly offer. The main impact the rise of voice search will have on any SEO marketing plans will be to the keyword strategy.
Search Engine Land notes “Your keyword strategy must now be more conversational in nature and mimic how real people talk and ask questions verbally. Start thinking about the types of questions you get when customers call you on the phone to ask questions about your business, then start documenting and recording the exact words they use when they talk to your customer service representatives.”
Keyboard search and voice search are 2 completely different things, with conversational search much more focused on question-based long-tail search queries, as highlighted in the Alexa Google Echo ads being prompted to the masses.
This Moz Whiteboard Friday article does a great job at explaining the different methods of identifying long-tail search queries that could be driving targeted traffic to your site, such as:
- Niche + Specific long-tail SEO
- Large-scale, untargeted long-tail SEO
This Internet Trends Report from 2016 provides a breakdown of the ways users are using voice search, and can be used to understand how this might apply to your business.
If that wasn’t enough information, Fast Web Media has also covered this very topic recently on the battle between Amazon Echo & Google Home, and how to identify search and marketing opportunities.
What ranking signals should I be aware of in 2017… and beyond
You have probably heard that Google’s ranking algorithm is made up of over 200 components, which can sound daunting. So… to allay fears we have listed the top-ranking signals that flat out cannot be ignored going forward in 2017 (and beyond):
- Content (Use of Keywords)
- Technical SEO (Mobile Friendliness & Page Load Speed)
- User Experience
- Local Search
Due to the library of content around each of these topics, we have listed a few good articles that go a long into building your knowledge on each area, so enjoy!
There are many ways to improve the SEO performance of a site and with more and more webmasters now gaining a basic understanding of SEO. The 6 points highlighted above are useful in order to keep your website performance moving forward - and gain that all important competitive advantage!
Providing the best user experience possible is at the heart of everything search engines hold dear, so it’s important to understand where your customers are searching from, what users expect from you, and what marketing trends are impacting user behaviour.
If you need help in bringing your SEO strategy to the next level, why not get in touch with our specialist team today?