Can you believe that we're well into the second half of 2016 already? It's scary to think that it will soon be Christmas and then 2017. If you think that time goes by quickly, then consider how rapidly technology moves forward, particularly when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation. It is an area that is constantly evolving.
With each New Year it seems that there is no respite from SEO changes resulting from Google's new algorithms, ramping up the pressure for marketers and SEO consultants around the globe. New rules seem to pop up every other week, and usually this leaves small business owners wondering what the heck to believe or do. If you fall into this category, help is at hand… we are going to go through the top SEO trends you need to know and implement to stay ahead of the curve. Best of all, these particular trends are not going away anytime soon and will be relevant for the next few years at least.
Statistics any small business owner needs to know about SEO
If you own and run a small online business we don't have to tell you just how important online traffic is to your bottom line. If you're not getting traffic, you're not making any money – it's really that simple. With that said, it's always best to know some statistics that give you a better understanding of how people search online. Besides just knowing, it also encourages small business owners to work harder on promoting their services or products – believe us when we tell you, you NEED a piece of this pie!
According to hubspot.com, in the U.S. alone, an average of 12 billion web searches are conducted each month. SEO will gain importance more than anything else as it helps you drive quality traffic, get visibility, boost your brand and lend your business the credibility it needs to succeed. After all, what is the point of creating so much content and graphics if it is not visible to the audience when they run a search query?
The point is you want to be found and in order for this to happen, you need to implement at least basic SEO onsite. Ponder this for a moment – back in 2015 marketers realised the true value of SEO, and starting aligning content for their customers' needs including mobile optimisation. This was a good call because now if you're not mobile and you don't have any valuable content on your site, you're not getting anywhere fast.
Did it finally hit you? After reading the previous paragraph, if you have your head in your hands in frustration because you didn't grasp the importance of mobile first and content…don't fear, it's never too late to get started!
What exactly is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
The real question is what processes drive SEO? Searchengineland.com has suggested that the process of SEO is driving traffic from the organic and paid listings in the SERPs (search engine results pages) directly to sites based on very specific search keywords. At its most basic definition, SEO is used on your website to help search engines rank it.
Here's what you need to know now:
Search engine rankings are always changing. So you can be number one on a major keyword phrase today, but we promise you'll likely be number two tomorrow. In many ways you can make sure you keep that number one spot, but you need to be consistent! So, if you're thinking you can hire a marketing team or SEO consultant for just a short amount of time…think again!
You need updated content, this means regular blogs, at the bare minimum twice a month. Make sure that your blog is long and full of great information. Avoid fluff and keyword stuffing no matter what! To give you an idea of how much content we're talking about here, Quicksprout.com states that the average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. Obviously this is the best case scenario and isn't always realistic.
The SEO Trends you've been waiting for
We'll get right to the point, if you're not using all of these trends in your online marketing plan, then don't expect traffic, and certainly don't expect to make any money.
1. Social Content is gaining more popularity
Social media is vital today and Google is using social media as a direct ranking factor signal. If you're not ‘social' you are most likely missing out on sales. Facebook for example has far surpassed many expectations when it comes to an advertising platform. It's cheaper, more direct, and you can put your product or service in front of the exact customer you want…in other words people who are likely to buy! This is Facebook alone, so you can well imagine what you can get by utilising other platforms like Pinterest, Twitter or LinkedIn – our advice is to get social, and learn all you can about how to successfully advertise your business on these social platforms.
2. Videos still rule
Do you want to increase your visibility by over 400%? Yes, over 400%, no exaggeration and no kidding around! Video was predicted back in 2011 to overtake basic text adverts and they pretty much did! Video is the now and the future; people are more inclined to hit play than have to read. You can put this down to laziness on the part of the viewer, but hey, at least it could work in your favour. Facebook automatically play videos in your timeline now. This alone should tell you something right there.
3. Content is no longer King, it's now dictator and overlord!
Thanks to Google's new Sematic search and Artificial Intelligent machine RankBrain, content is everything now. As previously stated, Quicksprout.com claims 2000 words minimum will yield results, and we've seen it first-hand. You might want to consider improving or refreshing your website content as well – go ahead and say all you wanted to say on the homepage, but include some images, videos and of course your major keywords or phrases in there as well.
Mobile Optimisation has come and gone...if you're not on board you are already losing out.
4.Don't forget about voice search functions and keyword phrases
We have already established that most people will take the easy option of watching a video instead of reading. So what’s the next step? Quite simply spoken words…because mobile optimisation and mobile advertising has soared over the past two years, many people are now ‘talking’ into them. Voice commands are keywords – did you know that? Perhaps you did, but let’s just remind you again – you must now optimise for mobile search phrases. You do this through your web content which includes within your title tags and meta- descriptions.
Granted many things have changed or evolved over time when it comes to SEO; however, if you want to make money online you need to evolve with it. There are several ranking factors that go into Google when you search. Google themselves will sometimes give us clues or even better, directly answer our questions in a video.
We know for certain that these trends must be followed if you want any success online, so just to round up, please make sure you do the following:
Optimise your website for mobiles – if you have not, then you are already losing.
Refresh your onsite content or create a better blog – aim for up to 2000 words and don't forget to diversify your keywords, phrases and where you place them throughout the content. One big hint – your headings need to count.
Go on and make a video – you can make some great videos for very little money. Some of the most viral videos in our short internet history have gone viral and gained serious traction. Just remember to have fun with it, and try to keep your audience's attention.
Content may be King or a dictator, but don't forget that social media is queen – the reigning queen to be exact.
Meta tags still matter. Just as keywords and phrases still matter, title tags have been around since the dawn of Google's search algorithm. This is one trend not quite ready to leave the spotlight just yet.
Getting back to basics even when it comes to 21st century marketing will always yield the best results. Follow our simple advice, and stick with the trends that are proven to work. You can't go wrong, and you can make some money as well!
If you need help incorporating SEO into your marketing mix, contact Redline Company today. Don't delay, wasting time is costing you money.