As technology advances, SEO does right along with it. We’re going to talk about 5 winning SEO strategies that will give you a good boost in your rankings online. Welcome to Marketing and a Mic. We’re here each week to give you a variety of digital marketing tips, trends, and useful guides all to help your business get results.
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SEO: The BASICS
We talk about SEO often, but if this is a new term let’s bring you up to speed. SEO, or search engine optimization, is an online technique that search engines use to help find relevant and useful content that matches the user’s search inquiry. Because there’s so much information out there on the internet, search engines use a specific checklist to make sure they are putting the most accurate and trustworthy information in front of the user. If your website, blog, or other online content doesn’t meet these criteria, search engines will not prioritize your website and your online visibility and rankings will suffer. To avoid this, we’re going to show you some recent SEO trends that will help your business and SEO strategies going into 2022. So, let’s dive in.
SEO Strategies: TARGET LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS
One of the things search engines look for when crawling the internet is short-tail keywords and long-tail keywords. An example of a short-tail keyword would be “scrambled eggs” and an example of a long-tail keyword would be “How to make scrambled eggs fluffy.” Long-tail keywords are more conversational, which is becoming increasingly important now that we use voice search. Because long-tail keywords are more specific, they can sometimes have a lower search volume. However, lower search volume means less competition. Therefore, your content becomes easier to rank for. Additionally, because there is so much content floating out there, so more specific you can be, the easier it is for search engines to deem your content useful.
How to Incorporate Long-Tail Keywords in Your SEO Strategies
Search engines aren’t dummies, so you can’t get by stuffing your keywords into your content without it making some sense. Our recommendation is to first scope out your industry and customers to determine which keyword phrases are being used. Once you’ve done your research, select your long-tail keyword and begin writing relevant content. The beautiful thing about keywords is they can be used in so many different forms of content.
SEO Strategies: USE MORE LONG-FORM CONTENT
Long-form content is any piece of writing that is between 1,000-7,500 words. The purpose of long-form content is to provide valuable and detailed information. Longer content produces higher search rankings. Why? Because longer content tends to be more high-quality, which is exactly what Google is looking for. It also provides the ability for more backlinks, which is another ranking factor. Long-form content It also generates more online sharing than short-form content, which online sharing means bringing more visitors to your website. Think about this. You’re online searching and searching for answers on a particular topic. Then you come across an article that is detailed, gives you step-by-step instructions, and answers everything you are looking for. As a customer, you begin to trust that this brand knows what they are talking about and you’re more likely to turn to them again. They’ve also spent more time on your website, which means less bounce rate, which is a signal to Google that you’re a trustworthy source.
Bottom line, long-form content gives you more: more shares, more links, more on-page engagement, and more content.
Types of Long-Form Content that Perform Well
Writing a 2,000-page blog might sound a little daunting, but it’s worth the time. Some examples of high-performing long-form content are guides and tutorials, case studies, resources lists, step-by-step instructions, and so on. Look at long-form content as a well to an example in detail of a particular talking point so by the end the reader got every answer they needed. Make sure you structure your content. Have you ever asked a question in Google and the search results come back with a list of short answers, FAQ boxes, and “People also asked “sections? The purpose of all this is part of Google’s ongoing effort to answer questions as quickly as possible and further enhance the user’s experience.
TIP: Google favors lists, numbers, and steps like that are featured in your content. Start including a table of contents or numbered items in your blogs. Not only will this break up your talking points, but it will provide a better user experience.
SEO Strategies: CORE WEB VITAL SIGNALS
You might be thinking “Core Web WHAT?” We’ll put this in simple terms for you. Core Web Vitals essentially put the user experience at the forefront by measuring a website’s performance in 3 Parts:
Cumulative Layout Shift (visual stability)
This is the maximum change to the layout of a page within a five-second session.
First Input Delay (Interactivity)
This factor is determined by how long it takes from a user’s first click on an interactive element (such as a link or button) to when it starts processing.
Largest Contentful Paint (loading performance)
This means how long it takes the element on a page to load. The quicker it loads, the better the metric.
These Core Web signals were introduced last year; however, many websites were slow to make the change. Going into 2022, Google is ramping up its importance to adopt these changes for ranking. Bottom line, put this on your radar so you’re not left behind when your competitor’s sites begin ranking higher.
Optimizing your Website for Core Web Vitals
Use facades for late-loading content
Facades are essentially placeholders for content. They hold the place for the content that will appear once the page finishes loading. Let’s say you have a product image loading on your website, the facade will hold its place as it loads so that the page won’t get rearranged once they do.
Drop large elements beneath the fold
Beneath the fold refers to any portion of a webpage that a user must scroll more to see. Fun Fact: Below the fold was a term coined when there was an actual fold in the middle of a newspaper. By dropping large elements beneath the fold, it allows more unstable elements like images, ads, tweets to appear gradually as the page loads.
Add interactive elements early that serve a purpose
For example, if a page has an element that needs to be clicked before users can view a site, it will cause a delay since the page is loading in the background. So, think about adding a pop-up like a subscribe to an email list, cookies preference, etc.
SEO Strategies: ADD KEY MOMENTS TO YOUR VIDEO
Google has a new way to optimize videos for search results when they’re published on a creator’s website rather than YouTube. All website owners must do is tell Google the URL pattern for skipping to a specific timestamp within a video. Google will then use AI to identify these key moments and display those links directly into their search results. This lets searchers jump to sections of the video aka key moments, directly from the search results. Previously, Google used the YouTube description and timestamps in the description for creating these key moment timestamps. Now, the SeekToAction markup feature will need to be used.
Tips for SeekToAction:
Your videos must have the ability to deep-link into some points other than at the starting point of your video. So, include a quick intro at the top of your video so that your key moment isn’t right at the start. You will need to use SeekToAction markup on every video where you would like Google to identify each key moment. Here’s a great to understand how SeekToAction works. Google must be able to fetch your video content files. To learn more about how to set up SeekToAction check out this great article. It’s important to note that the SeekToAction feature only applies to videos embedded on your website.
How to Add Timestamps to YouTube Videos
A good workaround to this and if your videos are only on YouTube is by adding timestamps to your YouTube videos. Here’s how it works:
1. Log into your YouTube account, go to your channel. Select Content on the left navigation panel, then select the video you want to edit
2. Navigate to the description field and type in the specific time in this format: [Hours:minutes:seconds} and add your keyword segment name next to it, then click save
3. Reload your published video and double-check your description field to make sure it updates.
Why Adding Key Moments is Great for SEO
With more and more videos showing up in Google search, this will make your video stand out and improve your search rankings with Google. Google can easily identify your video contents and place them directly in front of the end-user. Adding timestamps will not only enhance the user experience but will maximize your SEO opportunities and search rankings.
SEO Strategies: EXPERTISE, AUTHORITY, AND TRUST (EAT)
The acronym EAT refers to a bundle of 3 ranking factors use to detect the quality of content on a site: expertise, authority, and trust. EAT is considered one of the most significant ranking factors, so it’s important that your content utilizes the EAT guidelines. Here’s a brief description of what each factor means.
This refers to the trustworthiness of the creator of the content. When content relates to specialized fields, expertise is crucial. Additionally, Google can’t be publishing content to searchers that could potentially put them in danger. That is why their algorithms check for details like the author’s name, bio, links to relevant data sources. This doesn’t mean you have to have a Ph.D. to write a blog, but that your content is purposeful, truthful, and relevant to what the searcher needs.
Being an expert at something doesn’t automatically make you’re an authority. Being recognized by others will. Authoritativeness relates to how much of an expert you are perceived as in your industry. If people are sharing your content, sourcing your content, leaving you reviews, endorsing your business, and linking to your content from their own articles, you will gain authoritativeness. To gain this, make sure you’re providing relevant and resourceful information on your own page.
This is a major part of EAT, and it has everything to do with establishing your website as a reliable source of information. No one would appreciate a link back to some phony-baloney that doesn’t have a clue about what he or she is talking about. People appreciate and trust websites that deliver accurate and trustworthy data, and so does Google. Google will also penalize any inaccurate or misleading information. SEO is constantly changing, but these current trends will give you improve your online rankings. If you’re looking to add SEO strategies to your marketing, we’ll love to talk with you.
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