11- Apr2018
Posted By: DPadmin
22 Views

Optimize for voice search by keeping it short and to the point 

Contributor Dave Davies explains the many layers and aspects of Google Voice Search and how to optimize your content for it.

OK, Google … how do I optimize for voice search?

Ask that question and you’ll discover even Google doesn’t know but is trying to learn.

For those of us in the search engine optimization (SEO) field who want to stay up to date, waiting for Google to figure it out isn’t much help. We need to know what’s going on, and we need to know it before our competitors get the jump on us.

Who uses voice search?

Before we dive into the approaches we need to take to optimize for voice search, let’s take time to gain an understanding of who is using it.

Our friends over at Stone Temple Consulting published their findings after surveying 1,000 people on their use of voice commands. Here are some highlights:

  • People are becoming more comfortable using voice search in public.
  • The 35-to-44 age group is the largest segment using voice search.
  • The 25-to-34 age group is most comfortable using voice search in public.
  • The heaviest users of voice search have an income above $50,000 per year.

Add to this the Gartner research that predicts 75 percent of US homes will have a smart speaker by 2020:

It appears we will have a deep saturation of a technology with strong buying power in the near future.

You may be thinking, “Yes, Dave, we know voice search is important, and we know who is searching using voice, but what can we do to get our content in front of it all?”

Excellent question. Let’s take a look.

Voice search ranking factor

Clearly, the environment is changing rapidly, and it is difficult to predict specifically how users will interact with their devices using voice.

The winners in the voice space will be those who pay close attention to the various devices that launch and how they are used.

Understanding the new device capabilities and who is using them is step one.

Recently, Greg Sterling covered a study done by Backlinko on voice search ranking factors.

The study is based on 10,000 Google Home search results and is close to what I’ve experimented with on my own device on a much smaller scale.

In the findings, they note some results may be due to causality, while others may be coincidence or correlation. Understanding what’s at play is crucial to understanding what Google is looking at.

There are several key takeaways from the Backlinko study I feel are important to note:

  • Answers are 29 words on average. When you’re structuring the data you want to become a voice “answer,” make sure it’s short and to the point. This means formatting the page so an answer can be easily drawn from it and understood to be a complete answer to the question.

For example, ask Google what the Pythagorean theorem is and you’ll hear this 25-word reply:

  • The average writing level of a result was targeted to the ninth-grade reading level, so keep it simple.
  • Presently, voice search results seem to serve a more generic audience. I don’t expect this to last long; ranking for the present requires writing to the masses.
  • Google may eventually cater the reading level to the individual searching and implied education level of the query.
  • The average word count of pages used to draw voice search results was 2,312 words. This suggests Google wants to draw results from authoritative pages.

With each page we create, we need to keep in mind the entity we are discussing and the intent(s) we need to satisfy when trying to optimize for voice and general search.

Entities

An entity is basically a noun connected by relationships.

If answering the question, “who is Dave Davies,” Google needs to search their database of entities for the various Dave Davieses and determine the one most likely to satisfy the searcher’s intent. They will then compare that with the other entities related to it to determine its various traits.

When someone searches for Dave Davies, Google usually assumes they are looking for Dave Davies of The Kinks and not the author of this article.

I will get to why in a minute. Let’s look briefly at how Google connects the various entities around the musician Dave Davies.

A very small connection structure to illustrate might look something like:

What we are seeing here are the entities (referenced in patents as nodes) and how they are connected.

So, for example, the entity “Dave Davies” is connected to the entity “Ray Davies” by the relationship “Has Brother.”

He would also be connected to the entity “February 3, 1947” by the relationship “Has Birthday” and the entity “Kinks” by the relationship “has Band.”

Other people in the band will also share this entity point with Dave, enabling them to all appear for a query such as:

OK Google, who was in the Kinks

to which Google will reply:

The band members of the Kinks include Ray Davies, Dave Davies, Mick Avory and others.

To illustrate further the connected understanding Google applies to entities and their importance, they allow Google to respond to multiple questions without explicit direction and to understand the weight and prominence of specific entities to determine which to rank.

For example, Dave Davies of The Kinks is a more prominent entity than Dave Davies the SEO, so if I ask “who is Dave Davies,” it will reference the Wikipedia page of the Kinks guitarist.

Understanding the entity relationships and how they’re referenced on the web helps Google determine this but it’s also the reason why we can follow up with the question, “OK Google, who is Dave Davies’ brother,” and “Ray Davies” is given as the answer.

This is what will provide us the blueprint for creating the content that will rank in voice search. Understanding how entities relate to each other and giving concise and easily digested information on as many related topics as possible will ensure that Google sees us as the authoritative answer.

And not just for the first questions but also supplemental questions, thus increasing the probability our content will satisfy the user intent.

Circling back

This explains why the Backlinko study found longer content tended to rank better. A longer piece of content (or a grouping of pages, well-connected/linked and covering the same subject) is not just more likely to answer the user intent and potential follow-up questions but also eliminates any possibility that the entity selection is incorrect.

Let’s consider my own bio here on Search Engine Land. Why does Google not accidentally select this bio when answering the query, “who is Dave Davies?”

The bio is on a strong site, is tied to entity relationships such as my position, website and Twitter profile. That is a lot of information about me, so why not select it?

Wikipedia has enough content on the Dave Davies from the Kinks page and enough supporting entity data to confirm he is the correct Dave Davies.

Intents

What we see here is that covering as many related entities and questions as possible in our content is critical to ranking well for voice search. It extends beyond voice, obviously, but due to the absence of anything other than position zero, voice is far more greatly impacted.

Earlier, I mentioned Google determines which entity the user is likely to be referencing when there are multiples to select from.

In the end, it comes down to intent, and Google determines intent based on a combination of related factors from previous queries.

If I simply ask “OK Google, who is his brother” without first asking it about Dave Davies, Google will not be able to reply. Google uses a system of metrics related to authority and relevance to determine which would win in a generic environment.

While not all patents are used, some iteration of their patent “Ranking Search Results Based On Entity Metrics” probably is. According to the patent, Google uses the following four metrics to determine which entity is strongest:

  • Relatedness. As Google sees relationships or entities appear relatedly on the web (e.g., “Dave Davies” and “Ray Davies”), they will connect these entities.
  • Notability. This relates to notability in the field. Basically, it takes into account the popularity of the entity in question and also the popularity of the field as a whole. The music industry is a bit more notable than the SEO industry, and the Kinks are listed as one of the most influential bands of all times.
  • Contribution. Google will weight entities by reviews, fame rankings and similar information. Some may suggest Dave Davies of the Kinks is a little more famous than I am.
  • Prizes. More weight will be added to an entity or aspect of that entity based on prizes and awards. This isn’t referring to a lotto but rather something like a Grammy. Had I won a Nobel Prize for SEO, I might have been selected.

There is more to determining the generic intent reply than a single patent, but this gives us a very good idea how it’s calculated.

The next step in ranking on voice search is to isolate which entities will have these metrics and cover them by writing targeted content well.

Cover the core answer, but also consider all the various entities connected to that answer to reinforce that you’re referring to the same entity and also have the authority and information to give the best answer.

Bottom line

If you want to rank in voice search, you need three things:

  • A strong domain.
  • Strong content.
  • Content divided into logical and easily digested segments.

Out of the three, I feel that easily digested content and weight are the most influential elements.

Of course, getting a site up to par with Wikipedia is a massive undertaking, but I suspect we will see this weighting drop in importance as Google gains confidence in its capabilities to actually determine quality content and context.

Source: Optimize for voice search by keeping it short and to the point – Search Engine Land

04- Apr2018
Posted By: DPadmin
42 Views

How to Prepare Your Marketing Team for Mobile and Voice Search Takeover

Amplify your search success with cutting-edge SEO contractors!

Of all of the moving pieces that work together to support a digital marketing strategy, SEO is undoubtedly among the most complex and challenging elements to master.

In SEO recruitment, we recognize that SEO is a demanding, yet necessary component for any organization to prioritize. And if your team knows anything about ranking in search, you know that content marketing plays an integral part in driving SEO (and vice versa).

In today’s digital world, the value of content simply cannot be overstated – especially when organically ranking in SERPs. Because of this, SEO recruiters know that finding experienced SEO contractors who encompass sophisticated skills is critical in maintaining a strong digital presence.

There are two key trends on the rise in SEO recruitment brands must keep a close eye on – mobile and voice search. Growing organic search traffic should continue to be a priority for brands, as voice search and mobile present great opportunities for driving SEO like never before.

These trends have caught notable attention over the recent years, but are set to claim their rightful spots in search in the near future. Your organization must have the right team and support in place to stay on top of trends and satisfy search engines and web users alike.

SEO Recruiters: It’s a Mobile-First World

With over 4 billion mobile phone users today, it’s imperative brands equip their sites with mobile-apt capabilities – not doing so will severely hinder SEO and user experience. With the majority of search queries today coming from mobile, it’s necessary to optimize your content and ensure it’s mobile-ready to provide maximum user experience. This means optimizing the design of your site to ensure it’s easy to navigate, easily readable, and loads quickly.

Google’s mobile-first index is in testing, meaning the search engine will take into account mobile versions of websites before desktop. Thus, SEO recruiters highly encourage brands to ensure that all of their content exists on their mobile sites. And it’s equally important that your site pages are loading fast without causing your visitors to bounce. Users don’t have the patience to wait for a site to load – whether on mobile or desktop – and user experience is the first factor for search algorithm. By creating a seamless experience across all channels, you make the customer experience and journey as smooth as possible.

Is Your SEO Team Equipped to Master Accelerated Mobile Pages?

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) is Google’s open-source initiative that allows sites to serve super-light versions of web pages on mobile devices. It optimizes the process for mobile content creation and is a great way to boost site speed and drive rankings on mobile. In SEO recruitment, we know that implementing AMPs is no simple task and recommend organizations to rely on SEO contractors that are highly technically skilled.

Does Your SEO Strategy Include Local Search?

Mobile users frequently conduct local search and expect quick and valuable results. For instance, if someone in Atlanta is searching for “marketing recruitment firm,” we expect MarketPro to show up on the first page and in local search results. Optimize your brand’s site for local SEO to better serve your audience. Make sure that your team has an effective strategy for building citations and making the most out of you listing in Google My Business.

The Rise of Voice Search in SEO Recruitment

SEO consultants firmVoice search is still fairly new in SEO recruitment, and is on a continuous rise. And no, it isn’t just a temporary digital fad – but 62% of marketers still have no particular plans for the rise of voice search.

Google states that 20% of all searches come from voice search, but SEO recruiters predict that number will quickly grow this year. In fact, key voice search technology like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa have soared in popularity. They allow customers to use them without having to directly type a query in or even touching the screen, simplifying the user experience.

Voice search is a great way to improve your site’s rankings with cutting-edge technology and top SEO contractors in place. Digital marketers who are familiar with voice search optimization and know how to produce content to support it are going to prove to be highly valuable.

SEO recruitment experts believe organizations who optimize their content for voice search will be far ahead of the competition. In order to make the most of voice search, SEO recruitment agencies encourage marketing leaders to create a strategy that integrates both voice and typed content to reach the full potential.

Tips to boost voice search

  • Do your research: SEO recruiters suggest CMOs encourage their teams to use voice search and experiment with it as much as possible. Marketers will get a good understanding of the types of pages Google ranks the highest, and can get good insights of how to structure their own content.
  • Structure your content to serve your audience: the majority of voice search queries are conversational, so it’s important for your SEO experts to tailor content to be suited for natural voice responses. Natural language shows intent more strongly, and should be managed by selecting keywords that are strongly based on user intent. Traditional search queries consist of a few words but voice searches tend to be full sentences.
  • Keep an eye on the roll out of speakable markup. When goes live in 2018, make sure your SEO team is equipped to thoroughly test it out and design and effective implementation strategy.

Conclusion

As an SEO recruitment agency, we understand that driving SEO and building a team to support it is not a simple task. But with expert talent acquisition and creative execution, your organization has the potential to maximize developments in technology, search algorithms, and the way consumers convert to build a strategic competitive advantage and get ahead of the competition.

Read more at https://www.business2community.com/marketing/prepare-marketing-team-mobile-voice-search-takeover-02003687

Source: How to Prepare Your Marketing Team for Mobile and Voice Search Takeover

04- Apr2018
Posted By: DPadmin
183 Views

What 3,000 voice search queries tell us about the ‘Voice Search Revolution’ 

You may have heard a voice search revolution is upon us. It seems a new article pops up every day saying marketers need to drop everything and get in line.

Usage is up and rising, but does that mean more opportunities for marketers?

Google Home

My family of five in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, has been using Google Home for a little over a year. We use it daily and now have five Google Homes in the house since the kids got Google Home Minis for Christmas.

Google returns personalized data in MyActivity, which you can filter by voice search queries. It’s not easy to extract, but when I did it manually, I extracted a total of 3,188 queries that mostly occurred between October 8, 2017, and January 10, 2018. These were mostly queries using Google Home, but some of them were voice queries from smartphone, desktop and tablet.

I have three kids under 8 years old, so not every query was crystal clear. When I categorized the queries, “unknown” was my sixth-largest category, and it comprised queries like my six-year-old daughter asking Google Home, “Does Google Home belong to me or my little brother” and queries I didn’t know we were making, like “All right, Blake if you’re going to be good you can come down,” after I told my 3-year-old he could come down from his time out.

But the findings largely show what my family uses the Google Home for. I am sharing my findings in hopes it will help other marketers find actual ways to promote their businesses with these devices and will provide value to themselves and to searchers.

Keep in mind while most of these are Google Home voice queries, we also search by voice from our smartphones and tablets, and those voice-based queries are included here as well.

Top queries

By far, the number one thing we asked of our Google Home was to stop, which usually meant to stop playing “Cherry Bomb,” “Ghostbusters,” “Jingle Bells” or some other song my 3-year old decided was worthy of playing 10 times a day.

The next top query for us is “shazam,” which is not the music recognition app in our case, but my programmed shortcut for “turn the lights on.

The 12th most popular query, “hot diggity,” is my programmed shortcut for “turn the lights out.

Of the remaining top queries, none of them go to local or organic search results, which offers nothing for marketers to take advantage of:

Turning the list of more than 3,000 queries into a tag cloud of our most frequently used words shows my family likes to use the smart speaker for playing music, turning the lights on and setting timers and alarms more than anything.

Top categories

When I categorized all 3,000 queries, that’s exactly what I found. Playing music, stopping music, timers, alarms, turning lights on and off and adjusting volume are by far the most popular uses my family has for Google Home, making up a full 72 percent of our usage over three months.

After the “unknown” category at 4 percent, the remaining 24 percent of usage breaks down to 3 percent looking for information on weather, 2 percent looking for information on music, and 19 percent comprised of 56 categories with 1 percent or less of usage.

Although this is just my family we’re talking about, it aligns pretty well with the usage categories mentioned in the Smart Audio report from January 2018 released by National Public Radio (NPR) and Edison Research.

In the report, they cite playing music as the #1 activity by far that the smart speaker is used for socially:

Although the time of day wasn’t something I looked at in my family’s data, the top tasks that Edison Research and NPR found in their survey were top tasks for my family as well:

Maybe of interest to marketers is that only one of the 3,000-plus queries in my dataset was an Actions on Google query, with zero percent of the total usage. My family may be an anomaly, as the smart audio report said that 43 percent of smart speaker owners would be interested in using skills from companies or brands they follow on social media. But for us, Google does a good job doing what we ask, and we don’t feel the need to use another assistant.

Prior to Google releasing the directory of Actions on Google, it wasn’t all that easy to know what skills were available. Hoping this will change going forward as Actions on Google is a clear opportunity for brands if the traffic is there.

Query intent

Even more important for marketers than Category is the specific intent of the query. As I mentioned in my first column on Google Home, the only actionable categories for marketers currently available other than Actions on Google are Facts, Info and Local Guide.

Facts and Info correspond to the query intent Know and Know Simple (as defined by the Google Quality Rater Guidelines), and Local Guide corresponds to the Visit in Person query intent.  However, those intents made up just 23 percent of my family’s usage, with 75 percent going to Do-Device Action queries, which don’t even use search results for their answers:

Effectively, Know Simple query intent is not all that actionable, as it simply reads a short answer without giving context, leaving just 11 percent of the queries that might lead to a site link. And of those, only a little more than 40 percent are powered by search results, and thus possible for marketers to gain visibility for.

If this doesn’t look like much of a voice revolution to you, you’re not alone. When it comes to query intent and categories of queries used by my family over three months, usage may be high, but the opportunity for marketers is relatively low.

Query length

Query length is often mentioned when talking about voice search, as Microsoft and others have said that voice queries are generally longer than typed queries. That is true with my family as well, with the average word count at four and the average length of 20.  Word count and query length differ, though, based on intent.

Source: What 3,000 voice search queries tell us about the ‘Voice Search Revolution’ – Search Engine Land

04- Apr2018
Posted By: DPadmin
45 Views

Why And How Semantic Search Transformed SEO For The Better

Did the introduction of semantic search change the SEO industry for the better, or for worse?

Some search optimizers like to complain that “Google is always changing things.” In reality, that’s only a half-truth; Google is always coming out with new updates to improve its search results, but the fundamentals of SEO have remained the same for more than 15 years. Only some of those updates have truly “changed the game,” and for the most part, those updates are positive (even though they cause some major short-term headaches for optimizers).

Today, I’ll turn my attention to semantic search, a search engine improvement that came along in 2013 in the form of the Hummingbird update. At the time, it sent the SERPs into a somewhat chaotic frenzy of changes, but introduced semantic search, which transformed SEO for the better—both for users and for marketers.

What Is Semantic Search?

I’ll start with a briefer on what semantic search actually is, in case you aren’t familiar. The so-called Hummingbird update came out back in 2013, and introduced a new way for Google to consider user-submitted queries. Up until that point, the search engine was built heavily on keyword interpretation; Google would look at specific sequences of words in a user’s query, then find matches for those keyword sequences in pages on the internet.

Search optimizers built their strategies around this tendency by targeting specific keyword sequences, and using them, verbatim, on as many pages as possible (while trying to seem relevant in accordance with Panda’s content requirements).

Hummingbird changed this. Now, instead of finding exact matches for keywords, Google looks at the language used by a searcher and analyzes the searcher’s intent. It then uses that intent to find the most relevant search results for that user’s intent. It’s a subtle distinction, but one that demanded a new approach to SEO; rather than focusing on specific, exact-match keywords, you had to start creating content that addressed a user’s needs, using more semantic phrases and synonyms for your primary targets.

Voice Search and Ongoing Improvements

Of course, since then, there’s been an explosion in voice search—driven by Google’s improved ability to recognize spoken words, its improved search results, and the increased need for voice searches with mobile devices. That, in turn, has fueled even more advances in semantic search sophistication.

One of the biggest advancements, an update called RankBrain, utilizes an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm to better understand the complex queries that everyday searchers use, and provide more helpful search results.

Why It’s Better for Searchers

So why is this approach better for searchers?

  • Intuitiveness. Most of us have already taken for granted how intuitive searching is these days; if you ask a question, Google will have an answer for you—and probably an accurate one, even if your question doesn’t use the right terminology, isn’t spelled correctly, or dances around the main thing you’re trying to ask. A decade ago, effective search required you to carefully calculate which search terms to use, and even then, you might not find what you were looking for.
  • High-quality results. SERPs are now loaded with high-quality content related to your original query—and oftentimes, a direct answer to your question. Rich answers are growing in frequency, in part to meet the rising utility of semantic search, and it’s giving users faster, more relevant answers (which encourages even more search use on a daily basis).
  • Content encouragement. The nature of semantic search forces search optimizers and webmasters to spend more time researching topics to write about, and developing high-quality content that’s going to serve search users’ needs. That means there’s a bigger pool of content developers than ever before, and they’re working harder to churn out readable, practical, and in-demand content for public consumption.

Why It’s Better for Optimizers

The benefits aren’t just for searchers, though—I’d argue there are just as many benefits for those of us in the SEO community (even if it was an annoying update to adjust to at first):

  • Less pressure on keywords. Keyword research has been one of the most important parts of the SEO process since search first became popular, and it’s still important to gauge the popularity of various search queries—but it isn’t as make-or-break as it used to be. You no longer have to ensure you have exact-match keywords at exactly the right ratio in exactly the right number of pages (an outdated concept known as keyword density); in many cases, merely writing about the general topic is incidentally enough to make your page relevant for your target.
  • Value optimization. Search optimizers now get to spend more time optimizing their content for user value, rather than keyword targeting. Semantic search makes it harder to accurately predict and track how keywords are specifically searched for (and ranked for), so we can, instead, spend that effort on making things better for our core users.
  • Wiggle room. Semantic search considers synonyms and alternative wordings just as much as it considers exact match text, which means we have far more flexibility in our content. We might even end up optimizing for long-tail phrases we hadn’t considered before.

The SEO community is better off focusing on semantic search optimization, rather than keyword-specific optimization. It’s forcing content producers to produce better, more user-serving content, and relieving some of the pressure of keyword research (which at times is downright annoying).

Take this time to revisit your keyword selection and content strategies, and see if you can’t capitalize on these contextual queries even further within your content marketing strategy.

Source: Why And How Semantic Search Transformed SEO For The Better

04- Apr2018
Posted By: DPadmin
20 Views

Seven ways to future-proof your SEO strategy for 2018

The web’s changing, and so is the ways people use it. Update your SEO strategy so you’re not behind the times.

Search engine optimisation is always changing. To stay ahead of your competitors you need to be able to shift your SEO strategy. You can expect to see mobile devices, artificial intelligence (AI) and voice search dominate the news.

But what practical steps should you take this year? In this article, I’ll take you through the key trends to be aware of in 2018, and what you can do to act on them.

 

1. Leverage Google RankBrain and user experience signals

AI was a big topic last year. This year is no different. Google’s pushing to use AI whenever it can and it’s no different in search. Its machine learning system RankBrain, is its third most important ranking factor after links and content.

RankBrain helps Google better understand search queries. It runs tests on Google’s algorithm to try improve the user experience for people using the search engine, measuring the success based on user experience signals like click through rate, bounce rate and time on site.

How to optimise for RankBrain:

  1. Reduce your bounce rate
  2. improve your click-through-rate, and
  3. keep people on your website longer.

 

2. Make sure your website load speed is lightning fast

Nothing is more frustrating than a slow website, and search engines know this. Page load speed has been a known ranking factor for some time.

Until now, this has only applied to the desktop version of you website. Google has announced that starting in July 2018, page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches, too.

How fast is your website load? According to Pingdon, the average page speed is 3.2 seconds, while Google’s benchmark is 2 seconds.

How to improve your page speed:

  1. Reduce media file sizes
  2. compile and minify your code
  3. upgrade your hosting package
  4. work with developers to improve server response, and
  5. leverage browser caching.

 

3. Go mobile-First

In case you’ve been under a rock, mobile devices are taking over the world. It’s time to take your digital strategy mobile-first.

Jump into your analytics and check your device spilt to see what part of your website traffic is mobile. And even if it’s not a large part here’s why you need to go mobile-first:

  • Google has said that more than half of all its searches occur on mobile, and
  • this year it will begin switching to a mobile-first index. This means it will rank your website based on how it renders and appears on mobile devices.

 

How to prepare for mobile-first index:

  1. Make sure your website is mobile responsive
  2. make sure the mobile version of the site also has the important, high-quality content, and
  3. structured data is important for indexing and search features.

 

4. Prepare for voice search

A clear next step from mobile is voice search. Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant and more are living in our pockets and homes. Voice search is becoming more prominent in daily life.

Comscore predicts that 50% of searches by 2020 will be through voice-technology. Are you prepared?

How to get ready for voice search:

  1. Focus on answering questions
  2. target long-tail keyword phrases
  3. structure your pages with the question in the heading and answer directly beneath it, and again:
  4. optimise your website for mobile.

 

5. Take your visitors security seriously with HTTPS

Two big names in the web industry – Google and Mozilla – have each taken measures to make the web more secure. Chrome and Safari now show ‘not secure’ on pages with forms when websites are not secured with an SSL certificate.

Not to mention that Google has been using HTTPS as a ranking factor for a few years now. And with this recent security push we can expect it will become more important in the future.

How to make your website secure:

  1. Get a SSL certificate installed on your server, and
  2. migrate by redirecting HTTP urls to HTTPS.

 

6. Create long form content, it wins every time

There’s been a big shift in the length of content required in the past year. A short blog post is no longer going to rank well for a competitive keyword.

To rank in search engines you need to be writing long-form content that covers several topics. Research from Backlinko and Search Engine Land has shown that the top five spots on average in Google are usual north of 1,500 words.

How to write long form content:

  1. Pick a short-medium tail keyword
  2. cover it comprehensively in 2,000 words or more, and
  3. break it up by sub-topics: aim for six to eight.

 

7. Focus on content and links: they’re not going away

They are here to stay. With all the new trends that come and go in the SEO world, the foundation will always be content and links.

Google has confirmed that content and links are its top ranking factors. Without great content you will never get high-quality links. And without high-quality links you won’t rank for competitive keywords.

Source: Seven ways to future-proof your SEO strategy for 2018

06- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
29 Views

How Mobile And Voice Will Drive SEO Engagement In 2018

Search-engine optimization is the offensive-line marketing play: unheralded, but full of subtle maneuvering and crucial to success. Here are six SEO pointers for content marketers for the new year, courtesy of Forbes’ experts.

1. Tattoo “MOBILE FIRST” on your body.

“Given that over 50 percent of searches are now happening on mobile,” Richards said, “content marketers should structure their stories for mobile first and foremost.”

Think about page design, Richards said. “How does the page look on a phone? Is the font easily readable? Can users control the zoom if buttons are hard to access?”

Also, make sharing on mobile easy. “Use social icons instead of text, since images are more effective at capturing the eye. That will come in handy when their content is so good that the reader has no choice but to share,” Richards said.

2. Make sure all of your content is available on mobile.

Google is about to move to a mobile-first index that takes into account, and makes visible in search results, only mobile versions of websites.

“If marketers want to maintain their reach, they should make sure all their content exists on the mobile versions of their sites,” Pinsky said. “Websites with separate URLs for desktop and mobile experiences will need to make sure that all their desktop content maps one-to-one to their mobile URLs.”

3. Page speed will become more important than ever.

“No one wants to wait for a phone to load,” Pinsky said, “and that will play a role in SEO.” Page speed, of course, is a key SEO ranking factor.

“Marketers can reduce photo size by up to 40—and sometimes even 90—percent,” Richards said. “That’s a quick win in the battle against slow loads.”

Marketers can also switch to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), Google’s mobile page-speed solution. “Because they lack things like excessive JavaScript, AMP pages load seemingly instantly,” Richards said. “By going AMP, marketers stand to leverage Google’s AMP-specific features in their search results. And it’s the only way to be featured in a top stories carousel.”

Getting AMP’d takes work on the development side, Richards says, but it’s worth it.

4. Get ready for voice search dominance.

While traditional searches consist of two- to five-word phrases, Richards said, voice searches tend to be in full sentences. That implies a different method of structuring content.

Richards advises that marketers “include in their title or subhead the verbally-expressed question that they want to answer, to increase the chances that Google will feature that answer.” For example, if you have a page that answers the question, “Will the bitcoin bubble burst”? make sure that question is right in your page title—verbatim.

“Marketers should use voice search themselves as much as possible,” Richards added. “That will give them a feel for how queries are structured in it, and let them better create content that can satisfy those queries.”

5. Remember how your demo actually talks.

“What words do they use? Optimize for that language, that sound, and those words. People looking for information about Sean Combs will more often than not search for ‘P. Diddy.’”

And imitate success. “Study the sites that Google points you to and you’ll learn how to structure your content the way Google likes it.”

6. Get close to your social team.

“Google is all about making sure users get the most relevant content possible,” Pinsky said. “To gauge relevance, Google may start looking at how content is discussed in social. Marketers should reach out to influencers and share their content on social media.” So make friends with your social team. You’ll need them as the new year develops.

Follow these pointers and you’re on your way to SEO excellence in the coming year.

Source: How Mobile And Voice Will Drive SEO Engagement In 2018

06- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
23 Views

What you need to know about SEO in 2018 | SmartBrief

Quality content will remain in focus, but what else can we expect for SEO trends in 2018?

Those involved in the SEO world know how complex and ever-changing the industry can be. With over 200 ranking factors and the constant updates of the algorithm, keeping up with SEO trends is mandatory.

One thing never changes, though: providing the best possible experience for users. In 2018, quality content will certainly remain in focus, but there are other novelties in SEO practices that come with changes in user behavior and evolution in technology.  Take a look at a few of those things to look out for in the new year:

Google is switching to a mobile-first index

Today, we are witnessing a shift from desktop to mobile when it comes to the preferable way to surf the web. Nearly 60% of searches now come from mobile devices, and Google has finally decided to roll out the mobile-first index update. This means the algorithm will primarily use the content your site offers in the mobile view for ranking it in the SERP.

Mobile-first index was mentioned for the first time in 2016 on the Google Webmaster Central Blog, where the team shared recommended practices. Without any doubt, this will be a big historical change in the way websites are indexed.

Having a mobile responsive website is becoming an imperative, as well as having a structured markup for both desktop and mobile version. Webmasters do not need to make changes to their canonical links. Adding and verifying a mobile version of your site to the Search Console is also advisable.

Voice search will continue to rise

Virtual assistants such as Google Now, Cortana, and Siri have shortened the path between users and the answers they need. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai announced that voice searches make up to 20% of mobile queries, which puts new challenges in front of SEO experts. Forecasts say this type of search has a growth tendency, so optimizing for Google Voice Search is a good idea.

Marketers have to analyze user intent in order to optimize well for voice searches. Typically, users have four different queries: they seek knowledge (educational content and exact answers), places (“near me” queries and addresses of local businesses), activities (how to’s and other types of guides), and purchase opportunities (online shops of their favorite brands). In order to optimize content for voice searches, you should definitely include a well-structured FAQ on your website so that precise information will easily get indexed and put in front of users. Use relevant long tail keywords (voice searches are often lengthier opposed to text) and optimize your content for conversational language.

Link building is not going anywhere

study conducted by Stone Temple has proven once again that link building is not going anywhere and it’s not hard to understand why. A good quality backlink profile acts like a signal for Google that your website is a great resource that provides value to readers. But in addition to your standard link building efforts, you should also think about the concept of link earning. Although the difference between the two is subtle, the latter puts user experience in the center of attention.

Link earning is all about focusing on producing engaging content that actually answers the questions users are interested in, which inspires people to organically link to you. So, you are rewarded with a link naturally. If you want to hold a great ranking position, you should focus on building and earning links from reputable domains with high authority. Make sure none of the links pointing to your website come from shady and spammy sites. Disavow bad links.

High quality content + smart keywords will get you far

Smart SEO techniques always come down to creating great content with both users and search engines in mind. To truly stand out in the sea of average content across the web and earn better rankings, you need to create unique, original content that not only educates – but provides a concrete answer that satisfies user intent. That is the only way you will increase your organic visits. Of course, smart usage of keywords will help crawlers index your website easier. Use Google Keyword Plannerto map out relevant words and phrases and optimize your content. Reoptimize your old content in accordance to new keyword trends.

When it comes to content, ensure your text posts are scannable and easily consumable. Add eye-catching visuals, make your website navigation logical, and always keep UX in mind. Dwell time matters: give your site visitors a reason to stick around.

Featured snippets matter more than ever

Marketing and SEO experts such as Bill Slawski, Eric Enge, and Marcus Miller believe the chase for a featured snippet will become the focal point in 2018. If a featured snippet appears on the SERP, it’s far more likely users will click on that link opposed to the listed results below. According to the Ahrefs study, a featured snippet will actually steal clicks from the #1 ranking result. Optimizing for rich snippets or “People Also Ask” boxes pays off, specifically because it instantly grabs the attention of users. This helps you generate more traffic, save money on PPC, and gain more visibility.

You should definitely keep these SEO trends in mind but also commit to white hat techniques only. Everything you do as a webmaster leaves a trace on how your domain is perceived by Google. I have already discussed domain ranking factors, and while agility remains one of the most important skills for an SEO expert, don’t get carried away and forget the crucial basics. Take the holistic approach and you will nail SEO in 2018.

 

Source: What you need to know about SEO in 2018 | SmartBrief

06- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
17 Views

5 ways to improve your search engine marketing campaign

The coming year is going to be a landmark year for local SEO. Google has begun to roll out its mobile-first index, putting more focus than ever on mobile optimization.

Mobile searches are intent-driven, with an immediate local focus at play. Local and national brands will reap big rewards by targeting users when and where they search.

Approximately 50 percent of individuals who perform a location-specific search will visit a store location on the same day. Given the increasing trend of high-intent searches and limited search-engine results page real estate, brands need to work harder to get in front of consumers when they are most likely to purchase.

By adopting a mobile-first focus and aligning with on-the-go user intent, brands can succeed at the local level even if they are competing with brands several times their size at the national level.

What this means is that local search-engine marketing is one way small businesses can truly compete with huge brands — and succeed.

So, how can you put a limited marketing budget to use to reach high-intent customers, edging out bigger brands? Here are five ways to successfully implement location-based targeting in your SEM campaigns in 2018.

1) Adopt a mobile-first mentality

The rise in location-based targeting goes hand-in-hand with the surge in mobile searches. Google noted that searches including “nearby” or “near me” (hyperlocal searches) increased twofold between 2014 and 2015.

Interestingly, this trend is already changing with “near me” and other location-modified searches declining as searchers know their results will be relevant because they were conducted on their phone. Eighty percent of those hyperlocal searches occurred on mobile devices, so you should stop treating mobile optimization as optional.

Implement a responsive design on your mobile website, prominently feature your contact information above the fold and include a click-to-call button to make the path to purchase simple for mobile users.

2) Optimize Google My Business

How can anyone hope to find your business on a results page if you haven’t properly optimized your Google My Business profile? Get featured on the local three-pack when users conduct hyperlocal searches by making your business appealing to Google and to customers.

Pay attention to the details: Ensure that your business is connected to the correct categories to appear in relevant searches; upload attractive, professional photos of your business; and encourage satisfied customers to leave a review to boost your visibility.

3) Account for voice search

At the Google I/O conference last year, we learned that one in five queries via the Google app and on Android devices come from voice search, and that number is poised to increase substantially in 2018. Digital assistants like Siri are improving, and voice searches are becoming more convenient.

Voice searches are all about convenience, and users who are walking or in transit will be posing hyper-specific queries with an intent to buy that day.

To take advantage of this rise in voice search, center your SEO around long-tail search keywords that reflect conversational language. And remember, voice searches aren’t limited to smartphones: Smart home hub sales increase every year, and voice search is a substantial component of these devices.

4) Consider in-store customers

Many shoppers look to their smartphones for information even after they’ve entered your store. This is not cause for alarm. Often, they are searching for product reviews or clarifying which model, size or color of a product they want to purchase, according to Google.

Optimize mobile functionality to assist customers in these moments. Tools like Google’s Proximity Beacon API can help developers create in-store messaging associated with promotions or featured products. Leverage APIs to create an app that can connect in-store customers with product reviews, discounts, related products and helpful FAQs in order to increase conversion and drive brand loyalty.

5) Create compelling local content

An organic method of driving traffic to your website is to write content that is useful for local customers. For example, if you sell mobile devices and electronics in the Houston area, consider writing an evergreen piece of content highlighting the best neighborhoods for cell reception.

In addition, write content featuring any popular geographical landmarks around your business. If anyone searches for businesses near that landmark, your content will improve your location-based targeting capabilities, placing you on more users’ search results.

Using these strategies, you can structure an SEM campaign around hyperlocal searches, driving conversions and increasing overall brand awareness. And the best news for small business owners is that these hyperlocal strategies can help your company compete against competitors and budgets many times the size.

Source: 5 ways to improve your search engine marketing campaign – The Business Journals

01- Mar2018
Posted By: DPadmin
15 Views

SEO trends in 2018: What do the experts predict? | Econsultancy

What can 2018 throw at us that can top the un-ending dystopian nightmare of 2017?

Thankfully, in this article we’re concentrating solely on SEO (..and breathe). We’ve already looked at the big trends from this year, now let’s look into the crystal ball with the help of some search experts.

Local marketing

I think we’ll see Google push again at local marketing. This will likely mean even more improvements to Google Local but I think we might also see expanded use and tests with coupons and codes in PPC.

Organic short-sightedness?

There is a common opinion I’ve seen growing which I think is partly as a result of the market and regulatory changes that happened in 2017 (Google’s TAC – Traffic Acquisition Costs – increasing, and their loss in the EU dispute) and partly as a result of the incredible UI changes Google has rolled out as they’ve gone mobile-first, card-based, and ML-powered. The received wisdom is that it is getting harder and harder to get organic traffic from Google, and that more and more clicks go to either ads or Google’s own properties.

I predict that we will see some brands pull back from organic search investments as a result, and that it will hurt them in the long-run.

The reality (from clickstream data) is that it’s really easy to forget how long the long-tail is and how sparse search features and ads are on the extreme long-tail:

  1. Only 3-4% of all searches result in a click on an ad, for example. Google’s incredible (and still growing) business is based on a small subset of commercial searches.
  2. Google’s share of all outbound referral traffic across the web is growing (and Facebook’s is shrinking as they increasingly wall off their garden).

The opportunity is therefore there for smart brands to capitalise on a growing opportunity while their competitors sink time and money into a social space that is increasingly all about Facebook, and increasingly pay-to-play. I think that is going to be a trend through 2018.

‘Voice-A-Geddon’?

Recently some of the biggest brands are waking up and realising that as we begin to move towards voice, and move further away from the keyword game, the SERPs landscape and the content produced will change dramatically. Like with Mobile-Geddon, we will see a Voice-A-Geddon.

Are brands ready? How will Google (and Amazon) respond to this? Will position one be the new page one? And how will advertisers deal with this? Will organic be considered ever more important?

What will be the commercial impact for those who are prepared vs those who are not?

We’ll see more measurement of conversational UX/voice search. I can see Google creating Analytics for voice commands – for example a way to measure the most common intents and conversation patterns:

Me: OK Google, tell me what films are showing in Leeds tonight

Google: OK Mike, films are X Y & Z

Me: Tell me about Y

Google Synopsis for Y is …

Me: Book me some tickets for Y tonight

Google: Done

This example could measure the conversion rate from Google home devices, of those people that ask for a synopsis what percentage go on to book tickets. If on Alexa, what entities and utterances have been used by category and therefore work out intent per product category?

Data and privacy

Andrew Girdwood:

I think we’ll see ongoing focus on data and privacy. This will manifest with the likes of GDPR, new EU privacy rules (which the UK may or may not get in on) and data security. Helping to keep the latter in focus will be various governments increasingly concerned with cryptography and perhaps with legislation struggling to keep up with the pace of technology.

This loops back to search marketing because some of the analytics practices used by big brands in the US and the UK are enough to make you blink.

GDPR will make life more difficult for agencies, there’s greater risk to agencies and clients in sharing personally identifiable information (e.g. PPC, email marketing etc.). The new E-Privacy regulation may have a huge impact on analytics tools such as Google Analytics but still too early to be certain.

Faster, Google-centric UX

Tim Grice:

We’ll see further moves towards a faster mobile friendly web. Features that allow you to access products, services information without leaving Google in preparatiob for voice search. There will be less reliance on links with a potential move towards sentiment and mentions

‘War for the living room’

Andrew Girdwood:

Lastly, I think we’ll see tech brands ramping up the war for the living room. This will manifest through hardware pushes such as connected TVs, personal assistants like Alexa and even VR. I’m not confident enough to predict whether there will be much progress on that front beyond the advertising campaigns I’m expecting but if I had to pick a winner I could always roll an internet connected dice for you.

Source: SEO trends in 2018: What do the experts predict? | Econsultancy

27- Jun2017
Posted By: DPadmin
96 Views

Voice search becomes voice action: A key talking point at SMX London

Described as the “ultimate survival guide to the dynamic and tumultuous world of search marketing,” SMX  — run by Search Engine Land’s parent, Third Door Media — is a conference series designed to highlight the reach and opportunities that can be achieved through search advertising and outline search’s position in the wider marketing mix.

From my own perspective, one of the more enlightening sessions of the London event featured a presentation by Pete Campbell, founder and managing director of Kaizen, on the subject of voice search — a prominent theme given the ongoing battle of the AI assistants.

Despite existing for half a decade — Siri has been around since 2011 — voice search has only recently surged in popularity, with over a quarter (27 percent) of US smartphone users now utilizing voice search assistants once a week or more. This rise in usage is largely due to the shift in focus from voice search to voice command.

Just being able to search for information using voice doesn’t add a great deal of value for the user; it’s not that different to searching by typing. But being able to make something actually happen using voice? Well, that’s a far more useful experience — and it is something Amazon’s Alexa is excelling at.

Through voice commands, users can now order their favorite pizza, schedule an Uber, or even buy a dollhouse – as Amazon Echo’s incident earlier this year ably illustrated. Rather than using voice as an alternative to a keyboard or touchscreen for entering a search, users want to be able to control the world around them by talking to it and driving action, creating a far more personal and interactive alternative to traditional search.

At present, the voice search functionalities available through personal assistants remain within the realm of narrow AI, meaning they can only perform relatively basic tasks. Moving forward, Google’s DeepMind machine learning technology is likely to be integrated into Google Home, shifting voice search toward deeper AI as it starts to learn and adapt itself to the unique needs of the individual. And while it is still fairly new to the B2C space, IBM’s Watson is also expected to drive voice search to a point where it is continually aware and constantly learning.

While the discussion around voice search was one of the most interesting at the SMX London event, the technology is still in its infancy, and advertisers don’t need to be rebuilding their entire search strategies around voice at this stage. While paid advertising is available via the format, the search engine does the heavy lifting, translating voice search into keywords and matching these to ads in the same way as a traditional text search.

Once AI evolves and the technological capabilities allow a better understanding of natural language, the way consumers utilize search could change. Currently, users know they must phrase their questions in a way their device comprehends, omitting slang terms and speaking in a more robotic manner than they usually would.

It will be interesting to observe how common search activities — in particular, shopping — will change as the technology develops. Perhaps at next year’s SMX London, we’ll be discussing new strategies for harnessing the power of voice that we haven’t even considered at this stage.

To really gain the most value out of search — be it voice-activated or not — we need to fill the gap between optimizing search advertising and achieving business goals, and put customer lifetime value ahead of return on ad spend (ROAS) when measuring success.

As the technology develops, companies that use voice search technology that reacts more naturally to consumers’ preferred language will attract more repeat visits and loyalty. And by aligning marketing efforts with inventory management to ensure only those products that are in stock and require promotion are advertised, brands can create valuable experiences that keep consumers returning again and again.

From combining search and social to leveraging moments that matter, last week’s attendees at SMX London gained a deeper understanding of the numerous ways they can optimize their search strategies.

Source: Voice search becomes voice action: A key talking point at SMX London