While the main foundations of search engine optimisation (SEO) have remained the same over time i.e. it’s all about your site and how it ranks in search engines – there have been a mountain of updates and trends which influence your ranking, some of which are influenced by you, your content, consumer trends, and ofcourse the algorithm enlisted by search engines.
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THE SEO GOAL: The goal is to increase your visibility in search engines by complying with search engines’ expectations and ranking methods.
So how do we get to this goal? From researching the SEO mind-field, and monitoring the trends, we have narrowed it down to three key influencing factors:
Let’s focus on Google. These guys are the best at what they do, and they really care about their content. This is why they have been on the war against spam and serial link builders to keep their content clean, honest, and favourable for their users – with a boost to this year’s agenda specifically.
The latest update (this update has a name, like they all do, and his name is: Fred) has penalised three main things: lacklustre content, heavily-affiliated content, and AD focused content.
This means, your genuine, original content SHOULD propel you higher. The main sufferers from the latest update are blogs which appear to have been created solely for the purpose of AD revenue. And, as always, the algorithm is penalising sites which breach Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
On the plus side, other sweet updates have focused on giving more front page coverage to local companies by using searchers’ location from their smart phones to propel your business to the top. This is a big win for small, local businesses.
While it’s unclear as to how or when Google indexes your content, you don’t have to just sit back and wait for Google to rank you, and be the governing body as to whether you sit on the first page. It’s your job to focus on your content to boost your chances now and in the future.
THE GOAL: Boost your content’s value in the eyes of your core audience, and research what they are searching for when they come looking for a service like yours. This means, “phrases” are your friend.
The PHRASES strategy comprises of three core elements:
Navigational: This means, utilising phrases that help the searchers navigate their search options to land them on the page of the specific item or experience they identified in the search bar.
Transactional: This means, utilising phrases that insinuate someone is looking to purchase or enquire about a product like yours. This means, you’ll be (hopefully) attracting people who want your services.
Informational: This means, utilising phrases that signal that someone is asking questions on a particular subject – one you have the answers to.
Your greatest SEO potential lies in optimising pages for informational key phrases.
If we had a crystal ball to predict SEO changes in 2018, we would expect that it’s going to be much more consumer focused – it’s been heading that way with every Google update so far.
SEO is going to zone in on end-user experience and index websites accordingly, therefore affecting their rankings once more.
The goal for businesses is to naturally attract people to your site by giving them something they want (usually for free), and then persuade them to convert by making a soft pitch for your products and services. This is considered the basic level of Content Marketing – to feed into the consumer trends we’ve seen to date.
Increasing relevance means to appeal to a certain segment of search users, while increasing authority means making your site more trustworthy by creating better content and earning links. Therefore, consumer trends are following genuine, authorative content which answers their questions and provide solutions to their purchasing requirements.
This is where we see these three segments come full circle.
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